Friday 15th of April 2011 and at was gloom and grey for as long as I could see when I came on my morning watch. We were still rolling slightly, but it was nothing compared to what it had been rolling all night long. I changed course from WNW to North at 20:20 when passing off Quessant, France yesterday evening and we got the swell on our Port side.
Heavy rolling and it was impossible to sleep. Or almost, it was darn hard to fall asleep so I was dead tired when they called me at 7 thirty in the morning. And for sure, the gloom and grey didn't do much to make me feel better. But a pot of tea made me feel a lot better. I enjoyed my tea while watching the AB rinsing of the salt from our windows.
My watch passed pretty quickly. Our 2nd Officer came on the bridge with a can of mackerel and 2 slices of black bread. Yes, I'm not the only health buff onboard. Captain came to the bridge to play mischief and, well, it was soon 12 o'clock and I left the bridge.
Pilot at 13:00 and I'm hoping to be able to go ashore in the afternoon. All depending on how far it is from the Terminal in to Pembroke. And of course, the weather. The sky was all black this morning and it looked like it was going to rain. But as I told 2nd Officer this very morning pointing at Milfordhaven in the horizon.
- Looks like there is a little blue in the sky over Milfordhaven!
- Yes, fat chance!
Well, the sun was shining when they called me at 2 o'clock. I had asked them to call me when we arrived. So maybe I can go ashore having a look for a tea mug.
I was on the bridge watching the guys mooring the boat to Chevron's Jetty #1. Gangway down and the Loading Master, Surveyor and Agent came onboard. I was mostly waiting for the agent trying to get some information about getting in to the town Pembroke.
I could go with our Agent in to town and I could get a taxi back to the main gate at Chevron's refinery. And the security would bring me from the main gate to the jetty.
It was a nice ride through the British country side, yellow and pink trees everywhere. And it was a beautiful scenery. The first thing I saw when we came to Pembroke was a big Robin Hood styled castle. And when we came around the corner we were in Pembroke with the streets lined with old houses. Very beautiful.
Our Agent asked me if I wanted him to take me to Pembroke docks or if I wanted to get of here in the town.
- What's at Pembroke docks?
- Tesco and Argos
- Well, do you think I can find a MANLY sized tea mug here in the town?
- Yes, here is a little bit of everything.
- OK, then I prefers the town. Thanks for the ride.
I got out of the car and I walked up the hill towards The Lion Hotel, a purple building that looked quite nice. When I came up the hill I was on the only street in town. The only street with shops that is, I discovered the supermarket. And there was a souvenir shop.
My first stop was at the souvenir shop and I bought a beer mug. Not as big as I had hoped for. But way better than the thimbles we have onboard. Next stop, the supermarket and I bought shaving gel for our 2nd Officer.
I bought a Diet MAX and a cartoon of coffin nails. Yes, we're out of cigarettes onboard.
I got my stuff and I walked up the shopping street. Well, hmm, shopping street? I don't know? There was a supermarket, 2 or 3 banks and some knick-knack shops. 2 Night clubs and 2 or 3 pubs. 2 barber shops.
I need a haircut so I stopped at one of the barber shops and I left with a NAVY cut 3 minutes later and 6£ lighter. 5 £ for the hair cut and 1£ service charge for paying with VISA card. Well, obviously the locals are trying to squeeze every penny out of the visitors. Well, never mind, I needed a haircut and 1£ more or less is never mind.
But I can imagine a British guy being charged a 1£ service fee on his VISA card in Thailand. Then it would have been complaints about Thailand and Thai people non-stop. And of course the compulsory “The last nail in the coffin for Thailand's tourist industry” comment.
I'm always impressed by cities with old houses. Well, I don't mean like Ambés in France. But old houses that are kept in good condition and with nice paint work. Like Pembroke, I was quite impressed by the town. And the castle, this was the first time I ever seen a Robin Hood styled castle, and it was huge.
But I saw one beautiful girl in Ambés when I finally made it to the restaurant “just” 100 meters away. In Pembroke, I saw exactly ZERO beautiful girls.
But I was lucky, I went to the only restaurant on the street for dinner and they didn't start to serve food until 6 thirty. Very good for my diet.
No dinner and no sign of any taxi. So I returned to the supermarket and I bought all of their Diet MAX bottles and I asked them to call me a taxi. The cashier had to call four different taxis before she found an available car. I said thank you and I went outside to wait for my taxi. It took about 5 minutes before the taxi arrived.
I asked the driver how much it was to Chevron's refinery. He brought out a table.
- 17 and a half £
- OK, we need to stop at an ATM
- ATM??!! Ah! A cash point!
I had asked for the price at the barber shop and they thought it would be 7£ so I had withdrawn a 10 £ note. Well, we need to stop so I can get another 10£ note.
We over shoot the gate I had left from with the Agent. I didn't recognise the gate we ended up at. I told the driver that I suspected that we were at the wrong place.
- This is the only gate I know of, the driver told me.
- OK, let's try to turn right again, I suggested.
We gave up that idea after 500 meters.
- OK, please take me back to the other gate
I gave the driver 20£ and I left for the gate.
- Ternvik? You're at the wrong gate!
But it was no problem, they took me to the ship and we stopped so I could have a picture of M/T Ternvik loading at Chevron's jetty #1 with Milfordhaven in the back. I was back onboard at 17 thirty. Captain was having his dinner so I joined him for some salad.
I brought the shaving foam for our 2nd Officer at the bridge after my salad. I also brought my new tea mug so I could clean it and the tea mug would be ready for use at 8 o'clock.
When I came back onboard it was back to gloomy and grey and it was pretty cold. But when I got on my watch the weather turned gorgeous again and we had a spectacular sun set over Milfordhaven. And of course, the sun set didn't turned worse just because I was enjoying my tea from my new mug.
I relieved our 2nd Officer at 8 o'clock and we're keeping a loading rate of 600 to 700m³/h so we expect to be ready tomorrow afternoon. Amsterdam next and I would really like to go ashore to buy some real black bread. I have searched UK, but for nothing. I will see, I have my tea mug and I really don't need anything else even though the tea mug only is half the size I wanted to have.
Now I can stay onboard concentrating on the punch bag and to lose weight.
Saturday 16th of April 2011 and it was gloomy and grey when I came on the bridge 5 minutes before 8 o'clock in the morning. I even had to turn on the heating on the bridge. Yes, it wasn't exactly a nice spring morning. Loading rate around 700m³/h so we expect to be ready around 2 or 3 o'clock. Depending on how long the stops are going to be when they change the shore tanks.
A gloomy and grey morning turned in to a gorgeous evening. I never took my evening constitutional as we stayed alongside. I don't think they would fancy having Porky walking up and down the deck with his iPod while alongside. Only EXPLOSION PROOF equipment allowed on deck and they tend to be a bit sensitive about stuff like this, nonsense if you ask me.
But I had my session with the punching bag. Punching, kneeing and kicking, and today I wore my sneakers so the kicking worked much better. My new adidas Tygun shoes goes up a wee bit above my foot and wraps my ankles and the lower part of the shin so it is hard to angle my foot with the shin. And
hitting the punch bag toe first is very painful and I could damage my foot.
ADIDAS TYGUN II BOXING BOOT
The Adidas Tygun II Boxing Boot is a re-design of the all time best selling Adidas Tygun Boxing Boot. The Adidas Tygun II Boxing Boot is now made with a new slim, lightweight outsole to keep feet moving and 2 Dimensional mesh construction for optimal breathability this boot with its new updated outer has be given a make-over that will keep it's great selling heritage alive.
Sneakers, short cut and no problem to angle my foot and it was way easier get the correct hit while kicking. And as I was not afraid of hurting my foot I could kick much harder and I might go for sneakers from now on. I can use my new boxing shoes back in Bangkok with the heavier punch bags.
And I think the shoes is for boxing and not Muay Thai, or Thai boxing.
Well, I felt pretty good with myself even though I had been eating lunch. I usually have a combined
breakfast/ lunch on the bridge with a pot of tea or two. When our 2nd Officer comes to relieve me he is coming straight from the lunch in the mess room. I usually ask him what they served for lunch and today he told me that it was hamburgers.
Day 16 with my scale
Average: What do I know?
Remarks: Slight rolling and impossible to get a correct measurement. The scale is going between minus 5 kg and plus 5kg
Breakfast/ Lunch: 5 Bananas & 4 slices of bread
Lunch: 4 hamburgers with salad (Only meat and salad)
( I have instructed our 2nd Officer to tell me that it is mushrooms for lunch next time I ask him what was served for lunch)
Dinner: Salad and chicken, 3 slices of black bread
Well, for sure doesn't sounds like I'm starving to death. SHAPE UP!!
- Hmm, pure meat. Not bad for the diet.
And of course, the food is important, but as important, maybe the most important, is to socialize a bit. Cracking a few jokes around the lunch table. And as it was pure meat for lunch I decided to go for lunch. We were screaming of laughter while eating our lunch. But it will never happen again.
I have instructed our 2nd Officer to tell me that it is mushroom for lunch next time I ask. Then I won't bother go down to the mess room and I can go straight to the punching bag on deck. Losing weight instead of gaining!
I could hear them starting the main engine while I was punching the bag and when I came on watch at 8 o'clock we had just left the pilot behind.
Nice, I'm looking forward to a watch with tea and music.
The AB on the 4 to 8 watch was busy taking down the flags when i came on the bridge. The AB on my watch relieved him with the flag stuff. I gave them some instructions for their work tomorrow. We will start the chipping and painting, not a day to lose. We have 20 litres of primer and we will start using this paint.
We will soon get new paint onboard, I just need to know if we're going to load in Brofjorden after Amsterdam. Then I will order the paint to be delivered in Brofjorden, otherwise I will try to get it in Amsterdam. Well, anyway, we will have the paint in a few days.
It was yet another beautiful evening with a nice sunset over the Celtic Sea. Sunset on our Starboard side and a full moon on the Port side.
I enjoyed the evening while keeping the AB on my watch busy. He has his 3rd Officer license so I have him to practice navigation stuff on the bridge. I had asking him to bring his plotting chart to the watch so he could practicing plotting targets.
- Why don't we use the ARPA?
- ARPA!!?? Then you can as well send you younger sister to do the job! Anyone can use a ARPA!
Yes, I asked him the other day how the ARPA could come up with CPA, TCPA, true course and speed just by the push of the button.
- How does it work? I asked.
- I don't know, some magic stuff going on in there? Is it Jesus Christ sitting in there?
- No it's not!
He brought his plotting chart and he started to plot the targets on the radar old style. Distance and bearing and he put the targets on the good ol' plotting chart or manoeuvring board.
So why waste time plotting other ships manually when there are machines that does the job for us? Well, machines can break down. And I don't know about you, but I like to know what I'm doing. Anyone can push a button. But what if the machine breaks down? Then you're standing there having no clue what to do. And while doing the manual plot we learn how the radar is doing the calculation for us.
Measuring the change in distance and bearing. Put in our own speed and course and it won't take long for the radar to calculate CPA, TCPA, true course and speed for us.
Exactly the same way we're doing on the manoeuvring board. Easy peacy! Well, it is fun to teach the guys that have interest. I have had several Cadets just asking “Where are the movies?” and “Isn't it time for a coffee break soon?”
- Coffee break??!! You will end up as a Engineer!
Time turned quick and it was soon midnight and time for me to return to my cabin and my Thai books. And I'm looking forward to a new day tomorrow. Hopefully without any rolling so I can do my punch bag session and to check my weight.
The sea is like a mirror, but we have an annoying swell coming in from the Atlantic.
Sunday 17th of April 2011 and we were approaching Joburg TSS in the English Channel when I came on my morning watch. Remarkably good weather, no rolling so I was looking forward to my evening “Getting up on the scale routines”. And while I prepared my FIRST pot of tea I decided to have a DOUBLE session with the punch bag in the afternoon.
Yes, if you're going to kick arse you call the arse kickers. And I will have to kick arse if I should reach my goal for the month of April 20011. I'm running out of month, but not of lard.
Well, yesterday evening I instructed the AB on my watch to start chipping and painting today so he was soon up and running with his work. And I took pictures of him working from the bridge.
Darn, I really need to practice holding my tea cup while taking pictures with my other hand.
I enjoyed the weather and my tea while the AB was busy on deck and at 10 thirty I had my breakfast/ lunch, 3 bananas and 3 slices of bread. At 12 o'clock our 2nd Officer came to relieve me and my first question was of course what they served for lunch.
- Mushroom omelette!
Today's lunch, mushroom omelette so I went straight to my cabin and my Thai books. And from my Thai books straight on deck for a double session with the punch bag. And now you can understand exactly how brilliant my plan was to ask 2nd Officer to tell me it was mushroom for lunch.
So I finished my Thai books and I tried to sleep, impossible to fall asleep. Insomnia seems to be the only one of my Bangkok routines that I have managed to get going. Go to bed and I'm tossin' and turnin' until 4 and 3 and a half hour later they call me. Same in Bangkok, tired all day until it is time to go to bed and then I'm wide awake. And it goes on and on.
Well, I left bed and I did a double session with the punch bag before going for my afternoon constitutional on deck. I had 15 grapes for snacks while I kicked arse in the track. Luckily enough the AB on watch was on deck so he
could get a picture of me.
Day 17 with my scale
- 0.8 kg since day 13
Average: - 0.39 kg/day
Remarks: Slight rolling and I checked my weight 4 times. Well, first time it was - 0.3 kg and the other 3 times it was - 0.8kg so I will go with the -0.8 kg. LIKE IT OR NOT!!
Breakfast/ Lunch: 3 Bananas & 3 slices of bread. 2 or 3 pots of tea
Dinner: Meat, onion and salad. Some small pieces of potatoes that I could not get out from the onion. Then it went downhill. 2 home made buns and, well, I blame the Captain for this one, 4 pieces of Daim Cake. MOTHERF@CKER!!
Snacks: 15 grapes during my afternoon constitutional on deck.
Back in my cabin and I popped open a Diet MAX. Bigger bottle better value! I was just about to take a sip when I remembered my scale.
- Hmm, Sunday and I'm better off checking my weight before dinner and any Diet MAX.
The swell is coming in from aster so we're not rolling so much. First try was minus 0.3 kg and the following 3 ended up at - 0.8 kg. Then I returned to my desk and my Diet MAX. Sunday and I will go for dinner, meat and salad only. But things didn't turn out the way I had wished for and I was glad that I checked my weight before dinner.
During the dinner our 2nd Officer decided that he will join me with the punch bag tomorrow afternoon so I will not do my training until he is off his watch at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
I felt asleep just before 7 and I got my wakeup call at 7 thirty. A quick sip of Diet MAX and I was off to the bridge for my evening watch. I prepared a pot of tea before relieving the 2nd Officer. We were approaching the Greenwich LtV on the Greenwich meridian when I took over the watch.
We had plenty traffic going in our direction in the TSS, and of course, plenty fishing vessels on top of that. But we never ran in to any problems and I could enjoy a gorgeous evening with a full moon shining at us. Well, it the weather continues like this we will be able to continue the chipping and painting tomorrow.
ETA Amsterdam anchorage around 13 to 14:00 tomorrow afternoon and we will have to drop the anchor due to a closed canal to Amsterdam. They are building a new tunnel under the canal and it will be closed for the whole day tomorrow.
Yes, a watch at anchor is OK, but after one watch it tends to get a wee bit boring. But this time I don't mind them digging a tunnel for a few days. Then I can have the crew chipping and painting all day long. And the first days are important just to get the job started and up and running.
Monday 18th of April 2011 and of course, no anchoring. Berthing at arrival and I really can't understand where our Agent came up with his information. Well, good, the quicker we can leave Amsterdam behind the better. ETA to Amsterdam Pilot station at 13:00.
It was a wee bit foggy when I came on the bridge, just a bit more than 2 NM visibility. But the sun was shining through the fog and there were no wind, so it was a pretty nice morning.
I drank tea, 2 or 3 pots while navigating towards Amsterdam pilot station. I called them at 10 o'clock to give my 3 hours notice.
- You will have Pilot at arrival.
They also told me to call them 1 hour before arrival to the pilot station. No more reporting and I could enjoy the last two hours of my watch drinking tea.
The AB on my watch was busy painting and chipping and as we need to get paint on the spot he has painted during the watch he had no time for anything else. So when the AB on the 12 to 4 watch came on watch he had to prepare the flags and pilot ladder.
I was on the bridge taking the pictures. Yes, I had planned to do the discharge plans at the anchorage. But berthing at arrival so I had to do it when I got off my watch at 12 o'clock.
Next voyage, 11017 was confirmed this very morning. Brofjorden to Thames FO so I took the opportunity to order paint and stores for Brofjorden as well.
I left the bridge when I was finished with all my paper work and back in my cabin I changed for my afternoon constitutional. I went down on deck, well, my intentions were to get on deck. But it was a wee bit windy so I returned inside to get my jacket. I don't know how, but I ended up in the kitchen where I discovered falukorv leftovers from lunch
Motherf@cker! Well, I don't want to reveal any details here, but it was grim.
I was in my cabin when we approached the lock in Ijmuiden. By now it was 2 o'clock and about time for me to get my arse out on deck for my afternoon constitutional.
Duty 2nd Officer and AB on the 4 to 8 watch was stand-by on the fo'c's'le when I came forward. And by the look of it they had a good time in the sunshine.
I went down to the bow thruster room to check the seal on our over board valve before I took off on my constitutional. I had almost 1 hour before I returned to my cabin.
Yes, it was almost an hour of constitutional. I had a break to check our tank cleaning hoses so I know what we have onboard for the upcoming tank cleaning. We will load ULSD in Brofjorden so we will have to wash the tanks after our LCGO containing 0.66% sulphur. And sulphur is a big NO NO in ULSD (Ultra Low Sulphur diesel)
Our 2nd Officer is off his watch at 4 and we have an appointment at the punch bag afew minutes after 4 o'clock. I went out to the punch bag 10 minutes before 4 to have some time to skip rope before our 2nd Officer would come.
Of course, I forgot to do my sit ups and push ups before going on deck. Well, I guess I have to to them when we're finished with the boxing.
We were arriving to BP Amsterdam and the mooring operation were in full swing at 4 o'clock. Where the is our 2nd Officer? 20 past 4 and I returned to my cabin.
Well, I ran in to him on my way to my cabin. He had been delayed with the mooring operation, but now he was ready for action. We returned to the punch bag on deck.
We started by 5x60 punches and then we continued with 5x50 knees in the bag.
Kickin', this is what I had been looking forward to, 2 guys and one of us will hold the bag while the other one kick. And literally, we can kick arse. No worries about a bouncing punching bag or hitting the bag “toe first”. Just to kick and burn calories.
5x 10 kicks and it was time for me to show 2nd Officers how to keep up his guard and to move with his feets. And as we did it 25 years ago in Helsingborg, only use left hand. When you master the left hand you can start Scooby Doo around with the right hand.
The foot work isn't very easy in boxing, but I was impressed by our 2nd Officer. First time for him and he did excellent. And he
told me a few days ago that he would start at Malmö Boxing Club when he is back home. So it is good if he is prepared.
Day 18 with my scale
+ 1, 6 kg
Average: - 0.28 kg/day
Remarks: I HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN EATING 1, 6 KG SINCE YESTERDAY. And my new t-shirt is getting bigger by the day! Explain that if you can!
- Hmm, the fabric stretching?
Breakfast/ Lunch: “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® & 3 slices of bread. 2 or 3 pots of tea
Snacks: 2 grapes, 1 bread roll and some falukorv.
I had planned for a second turn with 300 punches, 250 knees and 50 kicks when we finished with the technique. But it was 5 o'clock and our 2nd Officer had to relieve 2nd Officer on the bridge for dinner.
- But tomorrow it is 4 o'clock sharp!
Yes, we have to be in time so we have time to do double sessions with the punch bag!
Well, anyway, nice to be up and running with the punch bag, now I hope we can do this every day. Now I just wait for them to fix our internet so I can send e-mails and update my web page. As it is now the internet is only working a few minutes every now and then.
Tuesday 19th of April 2011 and as we had pumped 2000m³/h when I got off my watch at midnight I was not surprised that we were ready when they called me at 7 thirty. I looked out the window and they were disconnecting the cargo arms.
GREAT! I could enjoy myself with tea and “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® until the Pilot came onboard at 10:35. And it was 23°C in the shadow so it is summer time by now. Hell, I had to wear a winter jacket in Thailand while wearing shorts in Amsterdam.
We left BP's terminal in Amsterdam around 11 and as soon as we have passed the lock and left the Pilot behind I will start the bottom flush preparing the cargo tanks for the next cargo. We were approaching the lock when I went off my watch at 12 o'clock. I had to go down to the engine room to put our cargo pumps in stand-by for the bottom flush.
I stopped by at the mess room and this is nothing I want to.... Well, I want to forget all about the incident involving bread rolls, Kalle's kaviar. DARN!
- Hmm, maybe time to give my notice and return back home to Bangkok Fight Club?
Our Pilot left us sometimes after 1 o'clock and we started the tank cleaning at 14:35. We will do a bottom flush today and we will use our machines tomorrow.
We had filled 15 m³ of water in cargo tank 1 Port when we left Amsterdam and now we will flush our bottoms with this water. I expect it to take around 2 hours, including the line blowing.
I was busy with the cleaning while our 2nd Officers were playing around. Well, I got a few pictures out of it. Time turned quick while I did the cleaning and drank my tea and we were soon ready.
Of course, the nice summer weather made it a lot nicer. No wind and sun shine, can't wait to get out to the punch bag with our 2nd Officer. Well, I'll be darned, we were delayed today again. Today it was due to the tank cleaning.
We started with the 300 punches and we moved on (by now half dead) to the 250 knees in the bag.
After the shortest water break in the world we continued with the kicking. Yes, the very same exercises we do at Bangkok Fight Club. It will be to embarrassing to come back in a worse shape than I left in. So in order to be able to keep up at Bangkok Fight Club I will need to do these exercises every day.
When we finished with the kickin' we continued to work on our 2nd Officers foot work and his left punch. And yes, the plan was to do 300 punches, 250 knees and 50 more kicks before we finished. But we were delayed so no time today.
Never mind, our 2nd Officer still has a sore and aching
body from yesterday and a slow star will do him good. But tomorrow...
Day 19 with my scale
I didn't even bother stepping up on the f@cking scale. Seriously, I didn't dare to step up on the darn thing. But tomorrow... When I have put some history between myself and today's fiasco.
Remarks: This is turning in to a fiasco. I only have one ques.... No, two questions.
1) Why did I bring my f@cking scale all the way from Bangkok?
2) Will it be the return of the FUNKY MAN or the return of the PORKY MAN when I'm coming back home?
I really don't feel like thinking about it. I feel bad enough already
I kept myself busy with documents on the bridge and don't ask me how. But I ended up in the mess room 20 minutes after 5. Our Captain and 2nd Officer were eating in the mess room.
- Join us!
- No, I'm on diet....
- Fer f@cks sake!
- No, I'm on... OK, a wee bit.
Well, nothing much exciting happened during the day. Well, the best part was an e-mail. And I'm
not even sure this was such a nice thing. And I quote: “Good to hear you still keep exercise so you will be handsome when you come back” Hmm, I'm afraid that her expectations are a wee bit too high. I wonder how she got under the expression that I would return as the HANDSOME MAN.
I am very jealous to work like you so there are any jobs for cute lady to work there. 555
Good to hear you still keep exercise so you will be handsome when you come back.
Take care naka.
- Hmm, maybe something I wrote?
So I'm under a lot of pressure to look good at arrival to FUNKY TOWN. OK, a few minor setbacks, but I'm on track and I refuse to take responsibility for the mess room mishap earlier today. I will hold 2nd Officer and Captain accountable for this “stroke of bad luck” Of course, they refuse to admit having any part in my failure.
Yes, it had not been a very good day for my diet. Hell, I did not even dare to step up on my scale after my watch. Yesterday and I was plus 1, 6 kg going on watch. I checked my weight after the watch and then I was down to + 1, 2 kg. So I'm slowly evaporating away.
But today I had no hope for the EVAPORATION MIRACLE, so straight to bed. Yes, that would be something, just vanish in to thin air.
OK, I think this will be the time to leave Tuesday 19th of April 2011 behind us. I'm looking forward to a new day tomorrow. And tomorrow it will be back to the scale routines.
Wednesday 20th of April 2011 and we're steaming slowly towards Brofjorden when I'm coming on my morning watch. We're going at ECO speed in order to arrive tomorrow morning. And ECO speed has nothing to do with ECO, it is all about ECONOMY.
I poured a cup of tea and the whole thing cracked and my tea was all over the desk. DARN! Now I will have to drink my tea from the thimble again.
Yes, quite easy to understand that my mood wasn't at the top when I couldn't use my tea mug for my morning tea. Well, it was soon forgotten, it was time to start with the tank cleaning again. The tanks were gas free after being force ventilated over night.
5 minutes of hot water in each tank should do the trick. Well, if you ask me it would have been enough with the bottom flush. But hot water is required and it is not like it is any hard work.
A cup of tea in front of the computers. Good music on the entertainment centre and I'm good to go.
We completed the cleaning at 3 o'clock and I left for my cabin. I would meet our 2nd Officer at 4 o'clock for a session with the punch bag. 45 minutes to go and, well, what to do while waiting?
Yeah, I go stay on top off my bed. I was tossin' and turnin' in bed and at 3 fifty I looked at my watch. OK, 2 minutes more and I will go skip rope while waiting for our 2nd Officer.
DARN! I felt a sleep and I didn't woke up until 4 thirty and of course no sign of our 2nd Officer. Darn, no exercise today! Well, I will go down a cargo tank with Captain after dinner so we will get a little exercise up and down the ladder. We went on deck after dinner and I measured the tank for gas. Gas free, of course, after several hours of force ventilation it should be gas free.
Plenty to think about before tank entry, not only about gas measuring. I only need to think about getting pictures for my web page. So I went down the tank first and I had a nice picture of the AB and Captain looking down the tank.
And when we were ready in the tank I ran up the ladder, yes, I ran up the ladder in order to get a picture of Captain coming up the tank. And I was not even exhausted coming up on deck! Thanks to my exercises?
I had a tour on deck with Captain when we came up from the tank. And we were both impressed by the tanks, the coating is like new. And the valves and pump looks like new, and the ship is 10 years old!
The deck looks very good, if we have the weather with us and of course, the time, we will soon be ready with the painting. I got an confirmation from Jotun yesterday, the paint will be delivered in Brofjorden.
I had time for a shower before it was time for my night watch. I had been in better moods and, well, I was ridden by agony for the missed boxing exercise. But I could not help it, I just felt asleep waiting for the 2nd Officer.
- WHY THE DIDN'T YOU CALL ME??!!
- I didn't dare knocking on your door
Well, I'm a wee bit scared to go back home, at least if things continues like this. And of course, I'm under a lot of pressure to come back home as the good looking FUNKY MAN. So I really have to come up with something, and soon!
Well, anyway, I came up with a new idea. Ok, it is an old idea. I decided to give our 2nd Officer 350 US every time he caught me eating anything but salad and fruit for dinner.
I broke the news for him when he came to relieve me at midnight .
- I will soon be rich
- Well, or I will soon be very small
No white bread, only black bread in the morning. No rice, potatoes or sweets. Only salad, fruit and meat or fish for lunch! And I will have to introduce the bet for the rest of the guys and it will soon be impossible for me to come near the mess room. Imagine loosing 3500 US every time 10 guys caught me eating.
- Hmm, this will be exciting.
Suspense every time sneaking down to the galley. Is there anyone around? Can I have a quick snack? Yes, I really think that I'm on to something here.
Well, I'm a wee bit scared to go back home, at least if things continues like this. And of course, I'm under a lot of pressure to come back home as the good looking FUNKY MAN. So I really have to come up with something, and soon!
Well, anyway, I came up with a new idea. Ok, it is an old idea. I decided to give our 2nd Officer 350 US every time he caught me eating anything but salad and fruit for dinner, and we start NOW.
I broke the news for him when he came to relieve me at midnight .
- I will soon be rich
- Well, or I will soon be very small
No white bread, only black bread in the morning. No rice, potatoes or sweets. Only salad, fruit and meat or fish for lunch! And I will have to introduce the bet for the rest of the guys and it will soon be impossible for me to come near the mess room. Imagine loosing 3500 US every time 10 guys caught me eating.
- Hmm, this will be exciting.
Suspense every time sneaking down to the galley. Is there anyone around? Can I have a quick snack? Yes, I really think that I'm on to something here.
Thursday 21st of April 2011 and we were approaching Brofjorden pilt station when I came on my morning watch. One hour to go so I had time to have a pot of tea. Our Pilot was onboard an outbound ship and he came to us straight from the other ship.
Our Pilot boarded us 5 minutes after 9 o'clock in the morning. The pilot asked me if I thought it was ummer when he saw me in shorts. It was a beautiful morning, but it was a wee bit cold.
- Hell, yeah, we had summer weather when we left Amsterdam.
- They have promised 20°C today, he told me
We're going to drop our anchor waiting for jetty #5 to be available for us. M/T Ternland is loading and at first we were expecting to go alongside tonight. But our Pilot told us that we had to wait at the anchorage until tomorrow.
Well, I don't mind a day at the anchorage. The ABs will be busy painting and the AB on my watch hosed down the area around our emergency generator with FW before we reached the pilot station.
So everything is ready for the AB to start painting when we have dropped our anchor. Anchor was down 5 minutes before 10 o'clock and my guys started to paint while I was on the bridge drinking tea. I also took the opportunity to call SAAB in Go:teborg.
We have a problem with our IG pressure on our SAAB radar and SAAB usually have an excellent service so we might be able to fix this over the phone.
I took an inventory of our test gases for the gas detectors after lunch. For lunch I had fish, only fish as our bet has kicked in. I tried to get some sleep in the afternoon, but without any success. Well, I downloaded some TRIP HOP and I did some push ups and sit ups before I went on deck to the punch bag.
Yes, I have 3G coverage and I have my Internet modem hanging in my window by means of an USB extension cord. Our 2nd Officer has a built in 3G modem in his computer. And we ended up in an argument. He told me that it was better to have a built in modem.
- BS! I told him.
I said that it was easier to get contact if I had the modem in the window.
- NO! NO! I can have my computer everywhere and still have coverage.
Well, I didn't believe him, but if he said so. But when i passed his cabin on the way to the punch bag I saw him with his lap top in the window.
- F@cking A! Looks comfy, I told him.
I had a session with the punch bag before going for an hour of constitutional on deck. I finished just in time for dinner and today there were soup, pancakes with ice cream. But as the guys were watching over me, just waiting to collect their money I just had some black bread before I returned to my cabin.
Good Friday 22nd of April 2011 and we expect a heavy work load at arrival to the jetty. So we let our ABs having a rest during the night and I had to make a fire round in the accommodation after my watch. Coming down to the mess room, seriously, I had decided not to eat anything.
I discovered that they were taking our bet seriously. I had told them about my adventure onboard Argo Pallas a few years back. The crew had rigged video camera in the mess room hoping to catch me eating.
Yes, I could not help myself and I left them a message. And I bet that they are nervous over me eating during the night. But no risk, my diet is #1 priority. So I just checked so the fire wasn't on the loose before going down to check the engine department.
I was soon back in my cabin, pilot expected at 7 o'clock in the morning and I need sleep. And of course, I didn't managed to fall asleep so I was dead tired when they called me at 7 thirty. But I could not hear our engine. And when I looked out the window we were still anchored.
I was told that the Pilot would come onboard at 12:30 when I came on the bridge. OK, 7 o'clock was no good time, but 9 would have been perfect. Arrival during the watch and the time turns quick. Well, I will have to spend 4 hours on the bridge scratching my behind.
Well, I drank tea with Captain and we were talking about Diet MAX we will have a Service guy coming onboard in Brofjorden
- We can ask some him to bring a case.
- No, I'm giving up the diet drinks.
I could not believe my eyes when Captain took the phone.
- Can you please stop to buy a case of Diet MAX? AND IT MUST BE DIET MAX OR DON'T BOTHER!!
Well, looks like there will be a party in the afternoon.
It was dense fog this morning and I could hardly see the fo'c's'le. But the fog started to disappear after a while and it was beautiful. Luckily enough I had my camera with me so I could take a few pictures of the glorious morning.
I was enjoying my watch (maybe because I was looking forward to a case of Diet MAX) when Lysekil pilot called us on VHF CH 10.
- Ternvik, Lysekil Pilot on CH 10
- Ternvik replying, I answered on the radio
- Pilot will board you at 11 thirty
Pilot 1 hour earlier, well, will be nice to leave the anchorage. We started to heave up our anchor when the Pilot was onboard and I was in our mess room 5 minutes before 12 o'clock.
Coming in for a meatball with salad and I discovered that (Whoever it is) they had wrote a new message regarding my diet and the running bet on the white board. Well, if they expect to catch me eating they are in for a surprise.
I asked our 2nd Officer on watch to give me a wakeup call at 4 o'clock and I went to bed at 3. Not much sleep during the night so I need to catch up.
He called at 4 and of course, I felt a sleep as soon as I had hanged up. I woke up at 18 thirty. Darn! It will be hard to fall asleep after my watch tonight.
I had a shower and then I went to look for my Diet MAX. And they were nowhere to be found, what the ? I was disappointed, but when I ran in to Captain he told me that there was a case in his office.
I grabbed the case and my first thought was that it was DARN small bottles. I poured a glass and it was empty in one sip. I had to check out the bottles and it was 33cl. well, must be the very well known MINUTE MAID syndrome. They are so darn good so they disappear in a jiff.
Comparing to a cup of coffee that would last me forever. I will never forget when my neighbours treated me to an ice cream when I was a child. We were sitting in their kitchen talking when my neighbour's mother asked if we wanted ice cream.
She brought out a few cones and it looked to be vanilla flavour, well, maybe a wee bit darker so it looked like it might be soft chocolate nougat. NEVER MIND !! DELICIOUS!! I ripped open my cone.
- What the ? MOCHA FLAVOUR!!!
I must have set a record in SLOW eating. The darn cone was melting and the ice cream was running down my arms. Well, this is not a problem I have with MINUTE MAID or Diet MAX, quite the contrary. They disappear in a flash.
Well, our Captain told me that he had given green light for his son to start train Thai boxing. He had been hesitant while under the impression that it was only hooligans training Thai boxing, but since he meet me and our 2nd Officer has applied to a Thai boxing club in Malmö he has realized that it is nice guys (mostly) at the clubs. Or as we say in Sweden: Riktiga helylle killar
I came on the bridge a few minutes before 8 o'clock and the loading were still stopped due to laboratory tests of the cargo.
It was a beautiful evening and the weather will hopefully stay like this for a long time now. But I had not a very long time to enjoy the weather, we resumed loading quarter past 8. At 21:40 we stopped for yet another laboratory test. And as they had forgotten to inform us that they needed the cargo to be evenly spread in our tanks I had to start redistribute the cargo. Pumping from CT 3 to the rest of the tanks and I completed the operation at 23:30.
Easter Eve 23rd of April 2011 and it was a gorgeous day when I woke up. I was dead tired when I got out of bed at 7 thirty. DARN! I didn't felt asleep until 5 o'clock in the morning. for sure, 2 pots of tea and Diet MAX in the evening don't help me fall asleep. Well, I discovered a gorgeous morning when I looke dout my window and that helped me to wake up. Of course, 15 minutes in hot water was the thing that did the trick.
But I wasn't full of vim until after my first cup of tea on the bridge.
I was enjoying my tea while loading the ship, carefully monitoring the monitors. Suddenly our Captain puts a bowl of cookies and chocolate in front of me.
- What the
I got angry, they try the cheapes shots trying to get the 350 US.
- You saboteur!! Take away the bowl!!
Well, he left the bridge with the chocholate behind and when he left. He was back a wee bit later
starting to count the chocolate.
Unge Herr Sjö Officeren
Jaja, Påsk i Tärntank och jag kan inte hjälpa att jag tänker på dom jävla Gröna Dumle kolorna på Tärnfors.
Fan, skiten tog ju aldrig slut.
Och när jag letade på internet efter en bild på Gröna Dumle upptäckte jag att det tydligen finns alla möjliga färger på Dumlena idag.
- You have been eating of the chocolate!
- I counteded them
- How many where there?
- More than 40
- Now you're guessing!
When our 2nd Officer came to relieve me he helped himself to the chocolate. I didn't brought my camera this morning so I borrowed our 2nd Officers camera and thanks to this I have a few pictures of him eating chocolate.
And we also took a few pictures Thursday night at the anchorage. I had not brought my camera to the bridge so we had to use our 2nd officers Canon D50. Well, when I get the pictures from today's adventure on the bridge I will copy the night pictures as well so I can put these pictures on my web page.
There is a SLIGHT difference in the quality comparing my compact camera and our 2nd Officer's Canon D50. I had a reflex camera back in the day, but it was way too big to carry around.
The pictures are of course much better with a real lens. But, to carry this stuff around is a big disadvantage. But I have been thinking about buying a real Canon Digital SLR Camera, well, we have to see. For sure, it is nothing you have around your neck sleeping in a bar.
A glorious day and I decided to go ashore for a walk after lunch. There is woodland scenery close to Scanraff, or Preemraff. I don't know if Preem has changed the name from Scanraff to Preemraff when Preem bought Scanraff.
Well, never mind the name, I left the ship behind and if I'm lucky I might see some deer's running around in the bushes. There are plenty deer's around and we use to see them from the ship.
I passed the security and I left Scanraff/ Preemraff behind and as soon as I left the road the ground was yellow with flowers. And when I looked closer there were plenty white flowers as well.
I walked up and down a hill and I ended up at the sea before walking back towards the road and back to Scanraff/ Preemraff. It was a very nice walk even though I never saw any deer. But there were plenty insects and bugs so the spring is here to stay.
Coming back onboard and I tried to get an hour of sleep before going to the bridge to assist our 2nd Officer to complete the loading. We're expected to be ready around 5 o'clock so we cancelled the 4 o'clock boxing session.
- Let's do it at 6 o'clock instead!
I was called for at 4 thirty, but by then I had already been up since 4 o'clock. I had asked our 2nd officer to call me when he went off his watch so I could copy his pictures. Well, I was on the bridge 3 minutes' later and we completed loading at 16:55. Just in time for dinner.
Well, as I have my bet up and running I only had salmon, meat balls and some sausages. But Captain went on and on about how it was Easter and we must let us self indulge once and a while.
- Have a piece of cake!
- Well, I'm on diet!
Have some of this and have some of that!
- Well, I'm on diet! AND WE HAVE A BET!!
Well, even though I managed to doge all the temptations in the mess room I was full and when our 2nd Officer came to my cabin at 6 o'clock I really didn't feel like having a session with the punch bag. But I had to.
- PORKY!! SITTING ON YOUR ARSE GROWING FATTER AND BALDER BY THE DAY!! LET'S GET ON WITH THE BOXING MOTHERF@CKER!! IT IS 1 MINUTE PAST AND WE SAID 6 O'CLOCK LARDASS!
- OK, I'm coming.
Well, it was not one of our brightest ideas to have dinner before our session on deck. Felt like I was going to throw up all the time. But tomorrow we will hopefully be back on the original 4 o'clock session.
And of course, after today's dinner I decided to change my bet with the guys. From now on it will include me eating anything for dinner. I will just have my “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® with a pot of tea on the bridge in the evening.
Our pilot came onboard when we were boxing on deck and when I came on my night watch we had just left the Pilot behind. And the AB on my watch has his 3rd officer license so I let him be in charge over the navigation. Of course, I was supervising all the time.
Good for him to get some practice before he is standing all by lonesome on the bridge. Now he will hopefully know how to fill up the log book, checking the compass and stuff. And if we're lucky we will have a moon or sun tomorrow night so he can practise checking the compass error by the sun or moon.
Easter Day 24th of April 2011 and the wind had picked up to a force 3 from SE. But sunshine and it was a nice morning, and that's even though I compare with the previous week's mornings.
I had salad and meat sauce for lunch and as my new and IMPROVED bet has kicked in there will not be any dinner for me tonight, and not any other nights either.
we had planned a safety round on deck after lunch and we meet in the duty mess quarter past 1 o'clock.
But we opened the slop chest first thing after lunch and even though Captain had promised me that I was banned from buying cigarettes I ended up with a cartoon of cig.
We meet in the duty mess, 2nd Officer and Captain was dressed for winter and they were waiting for me. I didn't bother bringing on any warm clothes. It is April so shorts or bust!
- Are you going to be dressed like that??!!
- Why not?
We had expected the tour to last for about one hour, but it was almost 2 hours later when we went for a break. OK, it was almost 1 thirty when we started and it was 2 thirty when we went for a coffin nail. 2nd Officer and Captain were back on deck around 3 o'clock. By then I was in my cabin with my freshly washed laundry.
I had some “IMPORTANT ”stuff to do in my cabin before our 2nd Officer on watch went on his watch below at 4 o'clock and the boxing would start. I went on deck 15 minutes before 4 to skip rope until our 2nd Officer would come on deck.
And darn it was cold in the wind. The water in the North Sea is still cold so it is never mind if the sun is shining. I had to wear my bag gloves when I skipped rope.
We finished just in time for dinner. I skipped dinner and before I went on my night watch I had some salmon and a few meat balls. I also prepared some meatballs for my breakfast tomorrow morning. A hot shower and I were ready to take on my night watch.
And my new watch routines have kicked in. Push ups every full and half hour. And every quarter past and quarter to full hour I do 10 squat downs. I will do 10 of those every half an hour for 2 or 3 days then I will start doing 20.
And the time runs fast, 15 minutes between the exercises and it is like, DARN! Time again!
Easter Monday 25th of April 2011 and we were approaching SUNK Pilot station when I came on watch. 2 hours to go so plenty time to enjoy my morning tea. I was preparing my morning tea when 2nd Officer on the watch called SUNK Pilot station just before 8 o'clock.
He gave 2 hour notice to the pilot station and according to our information we were berthing on arrival. But SUNK Pilots told us that they didn't had any berthing prospects for us.
- You have to drop your anchor.
Later on we got news from the Agent that they had decided to discharge M/T Wisby Veritas before us. So we have to wait until tomorrow morning.
When I went forward to drop the anchor I passed one of the day rooms and our guy from C Survey was busy checking our ELSAs. (emergency life support apparatus)
I worked with the guy when he was Motorman onboard M/T Tärnsjö a few years back, and he is still remembering me. All our safety equipment needs to be tested and certified on an annual basis and we need to send ashore all the stuff to an authorised company for the yearly service and check.
As you understand this can be problem when we have short stays in port. But there was a guy coming up with a bright idea. It would be much better if the ship could have a guy onboard for a few days checking all the equipment. Said and done, he started the company C Survey and they are quite busy.
We had dropped our anchor 5 minutes before 10 o'clock ship's time waiting for our jetty to be available. Tomorrow morning and it is 4 hours with the Pilot up River Thames to Coryton.
Well, anyway, nice to spend a day at the anchorage, especially when we have nice weather like we have today. I will have time to inspect one ballast tank, DB 4 Stb. Darn, we're compensating list with 4 Port or I could have checked this tank as well.
We went down the tank after lunch. I went down with one of our 2nd Officers and the AB on watch was stand-by at the entrance.
Gas measuring, work permit and other forms to fill up before we could enter. I went down first, of course, I had to make photo arrangements.
I was surprised. The ship is 10 years old and the ballast tank looked like new. No rust, well, one or two spots. Not even on the ladders or around the edges. The coating was intact and no pitting around the well. No sign of any marine life forms.
The hydraulic pipes to the valves looked like new. Pretty much as when we were in the cargo tanks a few days ago, all looked new. We had some mud in the bottom of the tan, but next time we're rolling I can fill up 40 or 50 cm of water in the tanks and then pump it out again and we will get rid of the mud.
We were back on deck in time for our drills, better off taking the opportunity to do our drills while anchored. Otherwise there is not much time. And of course, I took the opportunity to get a picture of the guys in the sunshine.
It was almost 3 o'clock when we finished with the drills and I went straight to the punch bag. No time to lose if I want to lose weight. After my new push up and squat down exercise routines on my watches it was hard to get out of bed this morning.
So I missed my first set of push ups and squat downs because I was really stiff and my body was aching. Well, my body have pretty much been stiff and aching since day one at Bangkok Fight Club. I'm too old for this. But I felt a wee bit better after my morning tea so I started with my push ups and squat down exercise. And I will continue tonight. Yes, lose weight or bust and there are no short cuts to a V-Shaped torso.
- But hey! What's the f@cking story with your “STEPPING UP ON THE SCALE” routine? Nothing for a few days now.
Hmm, well, I checked my weight yesterday, PLUS 10 KG. Yes, it doesn't require much imagination to understand how disappointed I was. 2 hours later it had gone from +10 to minus 4kg.
It is not easy to check the weight on a ship, even if it is not rolling the scale shows different with different trim and list. But my trousers are getting bigger.
I think someone is sabotaging your diet, 10 kg what the....
As followers of Aladdin's adventures on the high seas, we need to make sure the boxing is still taking place. Climbing up and down the tanks will possibly use up just as much energy.
We need pictures of the boxing. I got money on you having a match with Mohamed Ali.
And I had just upload the latest about my disappointment over the 10 kg plus when I received an e-mail. So obviously someone was online when I uploaded my latest drivel. And of course, a request for pictures from the sessions with the punch bag.
And who am I to say no? But I don't have any pictures so I asked our 2nd officer for some of the pictures I took with his camera yesterday. Pictures from file are better than nothing. And as they are never published before it is almost like they are fresh.
So let's see some of the action at the punch bag from yesterday. Let's see our 2nd Officer in action, we really don't want to see Porky making a tit out of himself. And as I was the one taking all the pictures there aren't any pictures of me.
Well, that should be enough pictures to last you for a while. Well, checking my weight before going on watch and I was not satisfied with the result. We had a list to port and I called 2nd Officer on the bridge before going on my watch.
- Can you please take out the list so I can check my weight?
- No problem!
When he called back I stepped up on the scale and now I had gained weight. No more adjusting the list before checking my weight.
When I came on the bridge they had changed our Pilot boarding time to midnight thirty. Well, one thing is good, I don't have to spend my morning watch with the Pilot. We will hopefully be alongside in Coryton when I wake up tomorrow.
Well, I made a pot of tea and I had my “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® and 2 bananas for dinner. I spend my watch with squat down exercises and push ups. And my body is aching so it is almost impossible to get up from the floor after the push ups.
And I can't help wondering if this is healthy, I'm f@cking 100 years old. Or as our 2nd Officer said a few days ago: You have not been exercising for 25 years so you're better off taking it easy. AND YOU ARE ALMOST 100 YEARS OLD!
Tuesday 26th of April 2011 and I could hear the main engine running when I woke up. I looked at my watch and it was 7 thirty. Will I have to spend time with the Pilot on the bridge? DARN! I had not got any wakeup call this morning and when I looked out my window I discovered that they were alongside the jetty busy with the moorings.
Good, I won't have to spend time with the Pilot on the bridge.
I went on the bridge and we finished the paper work and we will have to wait for the laboratory result before we can discharge. I asked the jetty guy about the closest town or city.
- London is 45 minutes away.
- Nothing else?
- You have Seaside Shopping Mall 15 minutes away.
Well, I will see, I could use a few Diet MAX, but otherwise I really don't need anything. But it is nice to come ashore, if only the weather would have been nicer. The wind picked up yesterday afternoon and it became quite cold. 8°C when I went of my watch at midnight.
I emptied my valet yesterday. I don't know why, but I keep on saving all my credit card slips. I always hear how important it is to keep track of your purchases in order to avoid people stealing from your account. But after a day on town I have like a cubic ton of crumple up slips and receipts. I keep them for a while, just to obtain the feeling of being on top of things and then I throw them.
A major difference this time is that all my slips are from Sport shops and Athletic stores. Back in the days (A few weeks ago) they were all from bars and restaurants. And I must admit, it was much more fun at the bars. But finding slips from athletic stores feels much better, money well spent. Hopefully!
I woke up 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I must have been very tired because I felt asleep as soon as I laid down on my bed after the Alco test at 1 o'clock. So no session with the punch bag and I have not done one single push up today. But it felt good with a day of rest and tomorrow we will kick arse again.
We completed discharging 15 minutes after 10 o'clock in the evening. Pilot was ordered for midnight thirty so we have time to blow our lines before departure. But first I had to go ashore to check the draft from the jetty.
Our AB was busy draining the cargo arms to our drain tank. 2 arms and plenty gas oil, good. I will pump it to Slop tank Stb used for sludge. I will also blow our lines to this tank and after a few days the gas oil has hopefully dissolved the old sludge sediment on the bottom of the tank.
Then we can discharge and clean the tank before we're going to the shipyard in June.
Our Loading Master came onboard 5 minutes past midnight and we finished all the paper work and I went to my cabin. We have about 7 or 8 hours to Vaandelar pilot station so we will pretty much be there when I'm coming on watch tomorrow morning, yeah, 4 hours with the Pilot going up River Schelde is something I really looking forward to.
But Petroplus Terminal in Coryton was a pleasant surprise, very friendly Loading Masters and dock crew and this is nothing I expect in Antwerp tomorrow.
Wednesday 27th of April 2011 and we were approaching Vaandelar Pilot station when I came on the bridge. Slow speed because there was a boat taking onboard the Pilot before us. Pilot was onboard at 08:25 on a windy morning. It was blowing force 6 from the North and the summer was a goner.
Well, the sun was shining but it was cold in the wind. I hope the wind will be better in the afternoon because our 2nd Officer and I decided to skip the session with the punch bag and take a walk in to a city close to the terminal. I don't remember the name, but they will hopefully have Diet MAX available.
I discovered an e-mail with an attached picture when I came down to my cabin after my watch. And of course with hopes that I would put it on my web page. Don't people have other better and more fun stuff to do?
OK, power walk to the small town and the punch bag session is cancelled. Well, my diet can't take another setback so I went on deck while we entered the lock. I did my normal exercises before having my shower. Of course, sit ups and push ups before I went on deck. I didn't do any sit ups or squat down exercises during my morning watch.
What would the Pilot have thinking?
Otherwise I do 80 or 90 push ups during my watches. A great improvement, when I started at Bangkok Fight Club I managed to do 1 or 2. Sit ups are going better and better so I'm slowly getting in to a better shape. Now I only hope I can see this on the scale as well.
POWER WALK when we arrive to the jetty, so of course, it took hours in the lock. And at arrival there were no sign of the town “near by, within walking distance” that our Pilot had been talking about. Well, luckily enough I had done my session with the punch bag earlier in the afternoon.
I went to the bridge after dinner. Our 2nd Officer was busy doing paperwork with ESSO's safety inspector. I was told that the Loading Master would be onboard in a few hours. I wanted to meet him to ask about how much we would load.
It was time to start loading when I came on my watch and I missed my first set of push ups. So at nine o'clock I decided to try to make 20 making up for the first set of 10 that I missed. Well, I have not been able to do 20 push ups since back in 1984 at Helsingborg's Boxing Club. But I made it and I could make 2 notches on our white board.
What a pleasant surprise, maybe in a week or two I will crank up my sets to 20 push ups from 10. My squat down exercise is going very good and I will increase from 10 to 20 next week, or even maybe end of this week.
For sure, I'm ready to take on the 20 squat down exercises every half an hour. I put in a few bonus sets during my night watch and as our 2nd Officer was on the bridge I had him to take some ACTION pictures. The first set turned out to be useless so we had to do it all over again.
I just continued with my squat down exercises while our 2nd Officer took the pictures.
- How are the pictures turning out? I asked.
He was on the floor screaming of laughter.
- Well, there is a sexy ass crack!
- What the We have to do it again!
- Yes, an ass crack like that is nothing you want on internet
- Shape up this time! I said and I started all over again.
So after three sets in a row before we got it right I'm pretty confident that I will be able to crank it up to 20 every 30 minutes. Well, at 21:58 ESSO stopped the loading, they had problems with their pumps ashore. It's a new built terminal so I don't know if they had ever loaded a ship here before. But it was stop and we were just waiting for them to resume loading.
One of our 2nd Officers is signing off and the new one will arrive to Brussels International quarter past 10 in the evening.
He missed his afternoon flight due to Putin's visit to Stockholm. The roads were closed when he went from the airport to Stockholm city.
Well, Captain told me that Putin was in Sweden to buy green technique and hopefully they have started to think about the environment in good ol' Russia. Well, my solar cell stocks in Thailand went up today, a good sign for our future?
ESSO called me at 11 and they wanted to resume loading. Half an hour later they called again and they could not start the pump. Hmm, maybe I will have time to go in to Antwerp tomorrow afternoon. Who knows when they will get their pump working?
It was around 11 thirty when our on signing 2nd Officer stepped over the gangway and I was delirious with anticipation. We had sent him an SMS to stop and buy a case of Diet MAX on his way from the airport. Well, he never checked his phone when he landed in Brussels so he arrived without any Diet MAX.
But he brought Easter eggs for me and 2nd Officer. Filled with candy and obviously he is unaware of my diet.
2nd Officer ripped open his egg, but as I am on diet and I have an up and running bet I could not do anything but look at our 2nd Officer munching on his chocolate. Well, my diet has #1 priority right now and I can't, honestly, say that I'm peckish for any candy or chocolate.
But there was more than candy filled Easter eggs in his bag. He brought out two tea cups from his bag. The same cups he bought for us when we worked together on M/T Tärnvåg back in the summer of 2009.
So we were soon drinking Earl Grey tea talking about the good ol' times onboard M/T Tärnvåg. And our on signing 2nd Officer, not only did he bring us tea mugs.
He also brought a tea cup for our 2nd Officer, of course, not the same size we're using. But anyway and it shows what a guy it is! And, yes, and not only that! He had bought new boxing gloves and he will join us at the punch bag on deck. WHAT A GUY!
MOTHERF@CKER!! It is 2 o'clock in the morning again. I will do my sit ups and I'm off to bed! Every night the same and I are dead tired tomorrow morning!
Thursday 28th of April 2011 and I could hardly move when they called me 10 minutes before 8 o'clock. Stiff and sore from all the push ups and squat down. I looked at my wrist watch and I discovered that it was 10 minutes before 8 instead of 7 thirty and I called the bridge.
- Did you forget to call me?
- OK, I will just have a shower
- No hurry, nothing happens here. Loading has not yet resumed.
OK, I decided to step up on my scale. What the ? The scale was on an ALL TIME LOW!
I have not been so LIGHT since in the beginning of the Millennium, and then I just passed (quickly) on my way to a ton. I was practically gaining 80 kg over night back between 2001 and 2004. Yes, it was a terrible time when I jumped between the ships. No time for exercise and of course, the shit load of problem decorating my condo did nothing to help.
So I was in a pretty good mood coming on the bridge. Well, I was not too happy about having to skip my sit ups and squat down exercises. I could hardly move.
I had been on the bridge for about one hour, I was ridden by agony for my missed sets of push ups and squat downs. I felt a wee bit better so I started to do my exercises every quarter of the hour. The agony disappeared together with my pain, as soon as I got started the pain and stiff body was history. And hmm, is this yet another one of my failed “Brilliant plans”
The original idea was of course to lose weight, but also to make the time turns quicker during my watches.
- DARN! Quarter past and time for my squat down again!
- F@CK! Half again and time for the DARN push ups!
- F@CKING HELL! Quarter past to and time for the squat down again!
- MOTHERF@CKER! Full hour and time for the DARN push ups again! Never time to relax!
Well, this was a few days ago, now it is quite the opposite. I can't wait to get on with whatever set of exercises coming up.
- DARN! Time is slow!
Yes, who would think that this would ever happen?
My Easter egg is still not opened and I took a picture of my Easter egg with today's date just to prove it. I can imagine more than a few thinking that I have finished the candy long ago. And our 2nd Officer, he is not feeling too good today after shoving down his Easter egg yesterday. But I feel like a million, ALL TIME LOW and I'm running my routine exercises on my watch. V-shaped torso, here I come!
Well, I spent the time reading Bangkok Post between my exercises. Still no news about any starting time from shore. But after almost 2 hours they called me and now they had started their pump.
We resumed loading at 09:55. For sure, the rate at this place is nothing we can rely on, but it looks as we will leave Antwerp 5 o'clock tomorrow morning. If all goes well and that means that I can go ashore in the afternoon.
If our 2nd Officer joins me we will leave at 4 and if he don't want to join I will leave after my watch at 12 o'clock. I have stuff I need to buy, yes, I will have a look for a few cases of Diet MAX in Antwerp.
Well, we had been up and running with the loading for a while when we got visitors from ESSO's office in Brussels. There were 4 of them accompanied by the Safety Officer that did the Ship/ Shore checklist with us at arrival yesterday.
They had never been on a ship before so they took the opportunity to get a tour while we were along side. And of course, they were on the bridge to check out the equipment so I had to hold on with my exercises while they were on the bridge. But as soon as they had left I got right off with my exercises again.
I will go ashore with my training partner in the afternoon so our punch bag session is cancelled.
But we have a new upcoming star onboard, the very same 2nd Officer that joined the ship yesterday. I had sent him an e-mail asking him to buy the tea mug for me before he joined the ship. He replied by asking if I needed something else. I wrote to him that he should bring his boxing gear as we exercised on deck (almost) every day.
I had planned for my session after lunch though we were leaving for the city at 4. So I asked our freshly joined 2nd Officer at lunch if he was ready to start with the punch bag.
He was ready and we would start at 1 o'clock. I was waiting on deck and when he hadn't
showed up 5 minutes past I went to check out his cabin. He was not in his cabin so I called the bridge.
The Cathedral of Our Lady
(Dutch: Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium. Today's see of the Diocese of Antwerp was started in 1352 and, although the first stage of construction was ended in 1521, has never been 'completed'. In Gothic style, its architects were Jan and Pieter Appelmans. It contains a number of significant works by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, as well as paintings by artists such as Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos.
Where the cathedral now stands, there was a small chapel of Our Lady from the 9th to the 12th century, which acquired the status of parish church in 1124. During the course of the twelfth century, it was replaced by a larger Romanesque church (80 metres long and 42 metres wide).
In 1352, construction was begun on a new Our Lady's church which would become the largest Gothic church in the Netherlands. In the beginning, it was to be provided with two towers of equal height. In 1521, after nearly 170 years, the new church of Our Lady was ready. The south tower reached only as far as the third string course.
During the night of October 5–6, 1533, the new church was largely gutted by fire. The completion of the second tower was therefore delayed, which led to its ultimate postponement. Moreover, the church only became cathedral of the bishopric of Antwerp in 1559 but lost this title again from 1801 to 1961, following the Concordat of 1801. During the Iconoclasm of August 20, 1566 (at the start of the Eighty Years' War), Protestants destroyed a large part of the cathedral interior. Later, when Antwerp came under Protestant administration in 1581, a number of artistic treasures were once again destroyed, removed or sold. The restoration of Roman Catholic authority came in 1585 with the fall of Antwerp.
In 1794 the French revolutionaries that conquered the region plundered Our Lady's Cathedral and inflicted serious damage. Around 1798, the French administration intended to demolish the building but after each blow, the cathedral was able to recover. In 1816, various important works of art were returned from Paris, including three Rubens masterpieces. And over the course of the 19th century, the church was completely restored and refurnished.
- He is on his way!
When he came on deck he had new gloves, t-shirt, shorts and trousers. He had also bought a new skipping rope. So he was obviously going to get serious. It was raining but that didn't' stop us from exercising on deck and we finished at 2 o'clock. He relieved 2nd Officer on the bridge 1 hour earlier so we could leave for Antwerp with a taxi at 3 o'clock.
OK, it was 10 minutes past 3 before our pre ordered taxi came to pick us up. Took us about 20 minutes to get to town, including a stop at the gate to ESSO's terminal for a security check. Well, it was only to show a photo ID and they checked the crew list and we were good to go.
We asked the driver to drop us at Oude Koornmarkt, next to the cathedral which I learned later on in the evening when checking it out on internet that the cathedral was named The Cathedral of Our Lady. We walked over the square in front of the cathedral and I had a picture of the darn thing with our 2nd Officer in front.
We were smack in the old part of Antwerp, the tourist area so plenty souvenir shops. But no Diet MAX, only diet Coke and Coke Zero so I didn't bother buying anything to drink.
Otherwise there wasn't much shopping in the area so we started to walk towards the central station. I was looking for white t-shirts, pumpernickel, Diet MAX, hazelnuts and Stroh Rum. But the plan was to buy the heavy stuff before returning to the ship so it only would be to load the stuff in the car. So we took off to have a look at the sights of Antwerp.
We walked around town (FOLLOWING THE RED LINE ON THE MAP) and we were obviously moving in the wrong direction so we asked a girl for direction to the Central Station. She just looked at us and continued on without even saying hello. Yes, we're in Belgium and we were not surprised.
Well, we had to ask again and next time we were lucky. We had to stop at a red light when we reached Frankrijklei and we asked 2 ladies for directions and suddenly we had all the people waiting for the green light involved in giving us directions. Turned out that Frankrijklei was leading straight to the central station so we just followed the road.
We had been walking for 10 to 15 minutes when we saw the first beautiful girl. She was sitting in a car and when we passed she leaned out the window.
- Hello handsome!
OK, the handsome might have been my imagination but our 2nd Officer got sullen.
- She said hello to you and not to me just because of your stupid baseball cap!
- You have to join me with the punch bag every day and they will soon say “HELLO” to you as well!
We could see Antwerp Central Station on our right hand side when we reached Leysstraat. We turned left down the Leysstraat and we ended up at a walking street. We made a first stop at an department store to have a look for white t-shirts. I bought 5 t-shirts and a few wine bottle seals
I bought 6 of the bottle seals. We had been stopping at a shop when we walked from the cathedral, but they only had plastic seals so I never bought them. I have Whiskey and Cognac bottles at home, and when I open the bottle the cork breaks at the wooden top leaving the cork in the bottle. And you expect more when you pay 100 to 200 US for a bottle. Well, now I can change the original cork to a metallic/ Rubber cork and save me the embarrassment with cork in the Whiskey or Cognac.
And the Tequila, last time we had Tequila I opened a bottle. A big wodden top and when we ripped the bottle open the wood top came off but the cork remained in the bottle. If you ask me there should be screw top on all bottles, they have it on the STROH rum bottles and that works just fine.
We continued down the walking street and I was desperately looking for a place with Diet MAX, nothing! We passed a WAFLES place with about one million people in queue waiting for service. No kiosks or ice cream stalls, this is something I expect to find plenty of walking down the main shopping street in a big city.
We were looking for a Sport shop/ Athletic Store but we didn't found one until we reached the end of the
walking street. Our 2nd Officer bought a pair of boxing shorts and I was going to buy a pair but, well, won't hurt to lose a few more kilos. But I found t-shirts that fitted me, at a department store! No more need to go buying clothes at Porky's and Lard's Fashion. Or to send J to Nisse's Herrmode. So i was pretty pleased anyway, and I saved 45€. And honestly, I don't need the trousers, I have plenty trousers. It was just like it was itching in my fingers to spend money.
We left the sport shop walking up (or down) Schoenmarkt where there should be a supermarket that might have STROH rum. We had walked up Schoenmarkt for about 2 minutes when we meet an old wagon and 2 horses. Our 2nd Officer turned excited and I told him that I would take a picture of him with the horses passing in the back. He started to jump up and down in excitement when I suggested that I would take a picture.
- Can you make it in time?
- Does the bear shit in the woods?
The Supermarket, turned out to be a Carrefour. Yes, we have all been in those LOW PRICE supermarkets. Not very fresh, I found a bag of RYED BREAD, and it was all bread crumbles. Cheap, and it looked like people had been walking on the shelves and we left the place.
NO STROH RUM!
We came up at the Groenplaats. We recognised the place and we knew that we were close to the Cathedral. We had got a hot top about a Supermarket on Nationalestraat. (YELLOW LINE ON THE ABOVE MAP) We walked down the Nationalestraat and we had been walking for 500 meters when we stopped at a restaurant to ask for directions.
- A just 25 meters up the road!
- Thank you!
- If they don't have Stroh try the liquor store further up Nationalenstraat!
I discovered the Supermarket DELHAIZE as soon as I got out of the restaurant. Yet another BUDGET Supermarket, and this one was not better than Carrefour. The bread selection left a lot to wish for. I found 4 packs of pumpernickel (expires tomorrow 30/4). They had Stroh rum, 40% and in Souvenir bottles so I decided to try the liquor store.
We made several stops in search for pumpernickel and Stroh rum on our way up Nationalenstraat. We reached a red light and no sign of any liquor store so we gave up and turned around. We were looking for a taxi when we were attacked by a girl handing out flyers.
- YOU MUST COME TO OUR CONVENTION!
We told her that we were looking for a liquor store.
- You can buy liquor at the Supermarket
- We want Stroh rum
- Ah, try the liquor store, turn right at the red light and then at the end of the road.
- What time are they closing?
- 6 o'clock
- Now it is 18:10
- If you hurry they might keep it open
- How will they know that we hurry?
- The owner live on top of the store so they might open for you
We turned around and walked back to the red light where we turned right and when we reached the liquor store they were closed. DARN! We had to walk all the way back, no sign of any taxis. OK, good, I stopped at Carrefour Express on Nationalenstraat and I bought all their rye bread before we walked back to the cathedral and the taxi station. We had seen exactly ZERO taxis on our way so we were quite happy when we discovered a taxi at the taxi stand.
- I'm busy!
- There will soon come a taxi
- Yeah-yeah, Blah-blah!
We asked him if he could call a taxi. He handed us a business card.
- What the ? Don't you have a radio?
- It will take a very long time for the taxi to come. Here are taxis passing every minute so it is better to wait!
We waited, I didn't feel like walking any more. I was carrying 20 kg of black bread. No sign of any taxis and we asked at the Argentinean Restaurant if they could call a taxi. DARN! I could eat a few lamb chops, but we had no time.
Instead of calling a taxi they suggested that we should walk to the next taxi station.
- Walk up the street, third to the left and there are plenty taxis.
- OK, thank you
We walked up the road and we ended up at the Groenplaats again and there were plenty taxis. We were soon on our way, just a quick stop to buy Diet MAX. Of course, we passed a place with Stroh rum. Millions of bottles from floor to ceiling, but they were closed. DARN!
We were back onboard around 19 thirty and I went to relieve 2nd Officer on the bridge. I had my dinner on the bridge, tea and pumpernickel.
Well, it was nice to be back onboard after several hours of power walking in Antwerp. But it was very nice to get off the ship for a few hours. And during these hours I saw 3 beautiful girls. Our 2nd Officer only saw 2, he missed the last one when I was in the Supermarket buying Diet MAX and he was waiting in the taxi.
Friday 29th of April 2011 and I checked out the window first thing when they called me at 8 thirty. Still alongside, but they had disconnected the cargo arm so we were obviously finished with the loading.
I had a hot shower and I felt better when I was ready with my shower. Warm water alleviates my stiffness and soreness a wee bit. I came on the bridge and I prepared my morning tea.
And as I have new EASTER EGG routines I took the picture of my egg with today's date while waiting for my tea. And I don't know, maybe I'm better off finishing my egg. The crew are running around the bridge all day long asking about my Easter egg.
- When are you going to open your egg?
Or just to throw it away. Well, I will keep it, my new EASTER EGG routines keeps me busy. Well, anyway, the Surveyor came onboard with his paper work 25 minutes after 8 and 5 minutes past 9 the Loading Master came with the cargo documents. Pilot was ordered for 10 but was changed to 10 thirty. Pilot and the Pilot Apprentice came onboard 10 minutes past 10 and we left Antwerp 10 twenty-five.
I was on the fo'c's'le dressed in black at departure. And they say that black makes you look small. At least I remember Walen Thai language school back in 2009. My teacher came to class.
- Aladdin! You have lost a lot of weight!
Well, turned out that I was wearing a black shirt.
We entered the lock just before 12 o'clock and I was in the mess room for lunch 10 minutes' after 12. Salad only, some Greek salad and it was excellent. My second helping was broccoli so it was a very healthy lunch.
Our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch was eating his dinner. But he doesn't look very healthy to be on diet. Or if it is the 1 o'clock session with the punch bag that makes him looks sullen. I don't know, but if you want to look good it will cost you pain.
I finished my salad for lunch and I returned to my cabin.
- 1 o'clock sharp! I said to 2nd Officer.
- I will be there
- Not like yesterday, quarter past 1!
I had time for a few words on my web page and I had just finished my sit ups when it knocked on the door. 1 o'clock sharp and it was our 2nd Officer and today he had brought his new skipping rope.
- Ah, you brought your new skipping rope!
- Yes, can't we skip rope today? I want to try my new rope.
Of course we could skip rope. And I guess it was the first time ever for our 2nd Officer. It takes quite some time before you can do it properly. And our 2nd Officer's new rope was way too long. So he will need to adjust it. But I must say that he did very well after a few failed tries. He will soon get the hang of it.
He tried my rope and it worked out much better and he measured my rope so he can adjust his rope for tomorrow's skipping rope action. He wanted to start with the bag after a few minutes with the rope and I told him that we need practice skipping rope.
- We can continue tomorrow, he suggested.
He drank more water than our hero does when he suffering from a force 9,6 hangover. I can't say that I was impatient, but let's start so we can finish this so I can go do my discharge plan. We only have a few hours to discharge port so I will have to finish my discharge plan before arrival.
And I have a long list of other important stuff to do. Among them, my second session with the punch bag at 4 o'clock with the 2nd Officer on the 12 to 4 watch.
We finished our 5 rounds of punches and we got right on with the kneeing of the bag. These exercises are very good for your heart. What's the big deal? Punching a bag, yes, we have all seen the coin operated punching bags at amusement parks. Pretty much as the coin operated strength testing arcade machine on your left hand side picture. Always a guy punching the bag with a big bang surrounded by giggling girls admiring the hero.
Punching the bag one time is OK, 10 times OK, but after 100 or 300 times it starts to get hard. And it is a very good exercise.
We finished the kneeing and we got on to the kicking and when we finished I went to the bridge to do my discharge plan. I had time for a few words on my web page and yet another set of sit ups before it was time to go on deck and the punch bag again. Yes, double sessions at the punch ag means double set of sit ups before I start.
I was on deck skipping rope when our 2nd Officer came a few minutes past 16:00, in his new boxing shorts.
- Ah, you're skipping rope!
- Can I try your skipping rope?
- Of course!
When we finished I went for a shower and at 7 o'clock I went to prepare my “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® for breakfast. I prepared some chicken and a onion that I would eat on the bridge during my night watch. And I had to get started with my exercises.
I never did any push ups and squat down exercises during my morning watch. Surveyors and Loading Masters running on the bridge and I guess that there would have been a few raised eye browses if I would have throw myself on the floor starting to do push ups.
When I came on my night watch we had 2 hours to go to the NE Spit Pilot station so I had to go right on to my exercise business. My squat down exercises goes better and better and now I lift from the floor while doing them and our 2nd Officer is very impressed. He even had to get a picture of the eye sore.
But I was disappointed to see our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch in the day room when I went down to get our Pilot. He was drinking soda pop, from a 2 litres bottle.
- HEY! Didn't you say that you were on diet?
And the bridge was full of chocolate and cookies when I came to relieve him on the bridge at 8 o'clock. I could not believe my eyes, and this guy is on diet.
- What the is this?
- Oh, I didn't bring it. Must have been the 2nd Officer on the 12 to 4 watch!
We had the pilot onboard around 10 o'clock ships time. A Dutch Pilot living and working in England. Well, they have Pilots from all over the world working on the River Thames. OK, looks like we will arrive to the jetty around 2 o'clock and by then I will hopefully be a sleep.
Saturday 30th of April 2011 and we had all fast and we were discharging when I came on my morning watch. I prepared my tea and I had the daily Easter egg picture before I took over the watch.
Discharging around 1100m³/h and we expect to be ready between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Pilot is ordered for 6 o'clock.
Our Dutch Pilot told me that it was 10 to 15 minutes to the Lakeside shopping mall so I decide to go check it out after my watch. I need hazelnuts, maybe it will be easier to get out of bed in the morning.
It was a beautiful morning and I was looking forward to my afternoon walk to the Lakeside shopping mall. Our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch wanted to join me so we left after a very quick lunch. Meat and salad only.
Turned out that I had misunderstood our pilot, or if he was unaware of the distance to Lakeside. Well, never mind, when I was on the jetty asking the guy for directions he started to talk about bus and taxi.
- No no, we're walking
- Yes? 10 to 15 minutes walk?
- 10 minutes by car maybe.
- Isn't it the big blue building over there? I asked pointing at a huge blue building.
- No, that's an storage.
Well, we were not allowed to walk through the terminal so they drove us, one by one (Only allowed to have one passenger in their van) to the security at the main gate and I asked them to call a taxi while I was waiting for the 2nd Officer.
- You're not going by buss?
- Buss, no we're better off in a taxi. We don't want to lose any time that could be used for spending money at Lakeside shopping mall.
We walked towards the main road waiting for our taxi, yes, we had cancelled the punch bag session and we needed to move a bit. We crossed some rail tracks and as we were staying there looking up and down the tracks in desperation to discover something exciting. Suddenly there was someone screaming at us from the gate house. I have no idea what he was screaming about, but as we moved from the tracks the bell went off and the gate started to close.
How lucky can we get, ashore for 5 minutes and we're in the middle of a “train track” drama. An approaching train, we were delirious with anticipation.
From what direction is the train coming? Our 2nd Officer wanted me to be stand-by in front of the gate so he could get a picture of me with the train passing behind me.
We were walking towards the main road when the taxi came and we took off towards Lakeside shopping mall and we arrived 10 to 15 minutes later. Yes, it would have been taken us 1 to 2 hours to walk there and if I had known that I would have stayed onboard. But it was nice to get a shore and leave the ship behind, and if I'm lucky I will find me some hazelnuts. We passed Mark's & Spenser's so I will go have a look there before we return to the ship.
I looked for some white t-shirts, but I didn't found any at the first department store. But I found some of the bottle seals that I had bought in Antwerp, and almost half the price comparing to Antwerp.
I had bought the whole stock in Antwerp. 4 bottle seals and two spouts with stoppers. I bought 3 more of the same bottle seals that I had bought in Antwerp, and I bought an additional 4 bottle seal of a different design. So now I will have bottle seals to last me for the rest of my life. Well, when I was back onboard I discovered that the boxes had been marked with the wrong price tak, my receipt was on 46£ and it should have been 60£ so it was even cheaper than I first thought.
We left the department store on the second floor of the shopping mall and we were soon passing a sport shop. I found a good quality white t-shirt. But they only had one in XL. There were 2 XXL. LET'S GO CRAZY AND TRY AN L!
Said and done, and L fitted me and that even though I tried it over my shirt. Good quality t-shirt and a third of the price comparing to the t-shirts I bought in Antwerp. I was happy to have found my plain white t-shirts, for sure, not easy to find a plain t-shirt today. All these stupid prints make me crazy.
We saw one today, take your chance, I'm on booze! FER F@CK's SAKE, SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW TO WEAR A T-SHIRT LIKE THAT!
I bought my t-shirts and our 2nd Officer bought some training clothes for our punch bag sessions. We left the place and we had pretty much everything we needed, only hazelnuts at Mark's & Spenser's. We asked the staff and they showed us the hazelnuts and we were pretty much ready to go. Just one stop for dinner before returning to the ship.
Our 2nd Officer wanted to have a beer before returning to the ship, but we were not hungry so we decided to stop at a bistro or whatever they call it at the lake side. Well, we can as well order food when we're here.
And what a difference from a few months back, I ordered a salad, tea and water. And our 2nd Officer had his beer and an entrecote with salad. Marked with a “H” in the menu. “H” meant less than 600 calories, if it would have been 3 months ago I would have ordered pasta, bread and all kinds of stuff.
We got our food and we asked for the bill and if they could be so kind to call us a taxi.
- There is a taxi stand just around the corner.
The bill 35£, well, Ok, but my Cesar salad wasn't much to write home about. OK, honestly, which Cesar salad is something to write home about. But we gave the Waiter the remaining of our British money and we asked him to deduct the rest from my AMEX and this was no problem.
I got the slip to sign and I discovered that he had charged 35£, the full meal and when I pointed out the fact he was so sorry. We got our 17£ in cash back. What the ? Imagine if I had been drinking beers, then I would just have signed the bill without checking and f@cked off out of there.
A mistake, well, I don't think so. We had the bill on the table so it was not like he entered the amount from the bill. He had a big calculator at the table.
- Hmm, 35 minus 17? How much is that? I better calculate this a few hundred times with my calculator to make sure!
Then he brought the calculator to the machine and entered the sum, well, 35 minus 35 turned out to be exactly 35. Well, I don't know, maybe a mistake? But seriously...
And yet again, I must mention my first time in England. I was at a pub drinking beer. I think we paid 65 pence for a pint and I gave the lady a pound.
- Keep the change!
- MOTHERF@CKER! We work for a living! We're not begging!
She was very close to beat me up so I learnt that they didn't appreciate tip in England. Well, 20 years later and I was at an Italian restaurant in London. I got my bill and it was written “We don't pay our Waiters” at the bottom. Tip was expected and of course, easy to keep the unemployment down if the people are working for free.
Same today, on the bill we were more or less encouraged or requested to leave a tip. Or it might just been me over-interpreting the remark on the bill. But I don't think so, half the bill was remarks about the gratitude.
We were back onboard 20 minutes before 4 and I went to be after asking 2nd Officer to wake me up at 5 thirty. We left Purfleet at 6 and when I came on my watch at 8 we were on our way to NE Spit Pilot station. It was a beautiful evening, but we had strong winds blowing from NE.
Winds from NE and they suspended the Pilot service. We were the last ship to leave the Pilot and there were one more ship coming in that would get Pilot before they closed the pilot station.
Later on I heard a Swedish ship leaving the anchorage bound for Dover to get their Pilot for River Thames. Dover Pilot Station never close so the River Thames use to board ships there when their station is closed due to bad weather.
Well, we left the Pilot at 22:25 and I spent the rest of my watch enjoying my tea and music. And I'll be darned, the month of March 20011 has come to an end. BUT DON'T WORRY!! There are plenty more waiting for us in the month of May 2011.
And before we move over to May, when I woke up this morning I could not imagine buying a shirt size LARGE. But it happened, nice to go ashore shopping.
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