Monday 16th of May 2011 and the wind was gone when I came on my morning watch. When I got off my watch at midnight it was blowing a force 6 to 7 from West. As we were heading West we had headwind when we passed Skagen and we only made 11 knots. But today we're back on 14 knots.
No wind, but it was gloomy and grey. I could see showers passing in the horizon and they will hopefully pass far from us until we finish our drills in the afternoon.
I was hungry when our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came to the bridge a few minutes after 12 o'clock. He had a plate with sliced tomatoes and red peppers. There were also a few sliced radishes on the plate. I asked what it was for lunch.
- Well, this is better, I said.
- Maybe we should have some meatballs? He suggested.
- Are you crazy?
I had been nagging about the empty salt jar on the bridge the last few days and I had suggested that our 2nd Officer should call the Cook so he could come up and refill the salt jar.
And it has become like an daily routing to ask 2nd Officer to call the Cook for salt. But he came up with an idea when I asked him today. He suggested that I should go down to get us some meatballs and then I had the opportunity to fill the salt jar when I was in the mess room. Meatballs are almost pure meat and we need protein to build our muscles. So I went down to get us some meatballs and I filled the salt jar with a salt and pepper mix.
I had time for a few words on my web page before I went to the duty mess at 1 o'clock for our drills. We started with a fire drill and then we continued with the abandon ship drill.
By now it had started to blow from the South and we had a constant drizzle over us. Very annoying! And cold, so 2nd Officer and I decided to cancel the punch bag session after the drill.
Well, I actually read something in my Thai books in the afternoon. I have not open them for quite a while now. I'm busy updating old ships on my web page. More pictures and stuff. So it is easy to get carried away forgetting about my Thai books.
When I came on my night watch our 2nd Officer was on the floor doing sit ups.
- That's the spirit.
It was still gloomy and grey and the wind had picked up, a force 5 from West. Well, I hope we make it to Glasgow before 9 thirty on Wednesday or we have to wait for the
next high water. If we make it in time I can go to the Seaside shopping mall. I will hopefully not forget to buy a baseball cap this time so I can save some time when I work on my pictures on Photoshop.
The Pentland Firth
(Scottish Gaelic: An Caol Arcach, meaning the Orcadian Strait), which is actually more of a strait than a firth, separates the Orkney Islands from Caithness in the north of Scotland.
The Firth is well known for the strength of its tides, being among some of the fastest in the world, a speed of 16 knots (30 km/h) being reported close west of Pentland Skerries. The force of the tides gives rise to overfalls and tidal races which can occur at different stages of the tide.
Time turned quite quick during my watch and it was soon time to return to my cabin. We had about
5 hours to go to Pentland Firth when I got off my watch.
is a flatfish, genus Hippoglossus, from the family of the right-eye flounders (Pleuronectidae). Other flatfish are also called halibut. The name is derived from haly (holy) and butt (flat fish), for its popularity on Catholic holy days. Halibut live in both the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans and are highly-regarded food fish.
I had 30 minutes left of my watch when I discovered that we were approaching the “Little Halibut Bank”. Hmm, can it be? I checked out our lexicon and yes, Halibut is a fish. The very same fish we bought in Denmark and it is not hallibutt, but halibut.
Yes, I learn something new every day. And it was a darn tasty fish, at least the smoked Halibut we bought in Denmark. So it is not impossible that I will buy more of this fish, of course, I will check out internet for info about which of Salmon and Halibut that is the healthiest alternative. No guess work when it comes to my diet!
Tuesday 17th of May 2011 and we were steaming West North of Scotland when I came on my morning watch. It was a gloomy and grey morning and it looked pretty cold.
Wind force 5 from WSW. I reached Cape Wrath after 2 and a half hour something and I changed course to 222° (T) down the North Minch towards Sound of Shiant and Little Minch.
I had to call the Coast Guard to report that we were entering North Minch 20 minutes before 12 o'clock. And they asked what kind of weather we had. And I told them that it was just gloom and grey for as long as I could see.
I had had my plate of “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® in the morning with plenty of tea. But now I was starting to feel hungry again and as we had the Scwartzwalder ham yesterday it was time for Salmon today. Yes, we alternate between ham and salmon. But where is our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch? I had to call him and he came up to the bridge 10 minutes after 12. He brought a big plate of tomatoes and green pepper. There were also a few slices of cucumber.
I never liked tomatoes before, but now I grow to like them. Maybe it is because of the hunger. And just a few days ago I read how healthy it is with tomatoes. Maybe the reason for me to feel so good.
We finished our lunch and we had time to go have a look at our fixed gas measuring equipment before the SMS meeting at 1 o'clock. 2 of our gas detectors are not working and we have failure alarm. So it is most likely due to poor suction from the sampling point in the pipe trunk and pump room. Well, luckily enough we got the equipment back to working condition and we returned to the bridge for the SMS meeting with the rest of the crew.
Back in my cabin I realise that we f@cked up during the lunch. We were not suppose to have anything on our black bread during the lunch.
- Hmm, remind 2nd Officer or not?
Nah, I will tell him after we have finished our second pack of salmon with our afternoon tea.
Wednesday 18th of May 2011 and it was gloom and grey as far as I could see when I came on my morning watch. We had a few hours to go to Clyde pilot station, ETA 10:45 ST. But the pilot would not be ready until 10:45 so we had to slow down, but he was not onboard until 11 o'clock.
I was doing some cargo calculations when the 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came on the bridge 10 minutes after 12.
He was not on the bridge at 12 so I called him a few minutes after 12.
- I'M ON MY WAY!!
I could not believe my eyes when he came on the bridge. I brought the normal tomatoes and vegetables, but there were also 2 pieces of chicken on the plate. This was not according to our agreement.
- What the happened to our DIET MENU? I asked.
- I just brought chicken for us. Healthy! But if you want we can throw the chicken
- THROW AWAY FOOD!
We enjoyed out black bread, vegetables and chicken on our way up the River Clyde. We expect to be alongside around 2 o'clock in the afternoon and when we had finished our lunch tea o the bridge
I went on deck to check P/V valves and stuff. We will have a vetting in Dublin. Most likely on Sunday, we have received new voyage orders, gas oil from Pembroke to Dublin so we will have the vetting in Dublin. And of course, this is something we're looking forward to.
The River Clyde
(Scottish Gaelic: Abhainn Chluaidh) is a major river in Scotland. It is the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland. Flowing through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire.
Our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch wanted to go ashore and so did I. I NEED DIET MAX!! Our 2nd officer wanted to go check out a Whiskey distillery in town so we decided that I should take his watch so he could go visit the darn place.
- But bring back Diet MAX, a base ball cap and salmon! And of course, surprises!
Auchentoshan distillery, obviously this is his favourite Whiskey so who would I be to keep him
from going ashore to visit the Auchentoshan distillery. So I went on the bridge and he went ashore.
is a Single Malt whisky distillery in the west of Scotland. The name Auchentoshan is Gaelic and translates as "The corner of the field", the distillery is also known as "Glasgow's Malt Whisky" due to its close proximity to Glasgow and "the breakfast whisky" due to its sweet and delicate nature. Auchentoshan is located at the foot of the Kilpatrick hills on the outskirts of the city near the Erskine Bridge. It is one of five distilleries in the Scottish Lowlands along with Bladnoch, Glenkinchie and recently Daftmill and Ailsa Bay. The distillery is situated on the outskirts of Clydebank in Dunbartonshire.
We started to discharge at 16:40 ST and we have low water at 21:00 and we need to have less than 6,7 meters draft by then or we stand on the bottom. So full discharging rat and no filling of any ballast to be able to make it in time.
The planes landing in Glasgow is flying over the ship and there are plenty planes landing. Empty?? To take the people out of here? I would guess so because the weather leaves a lot to wish for. Middle of may and it is blowing full storm. And on top of that gloom and grey for as long as I can see.
At 19 thirty the AB on watch called me on the radio. He could see our 2nd Officer coming back through the gate. He had his bag full of stuff. Plus a plastic bag and I Hope it is full of Diet MAX and not the Auchentoshan Whiskey. Of course, I asked our AB to stop him and search his bags. I was relieved when I got a full report.
- His bag is full of Diet MAX!
- GOOD! SEND HIM TO THE BRIDGE ON THE DOUBLE!!
He had failed to find salmon and a base ball cap.
- Everything was closed!
But he managed to get us ham and turkey so now we have black bread and ham, salmon and turkey to last us for 2 weeks. A bag full of the BIGGER BOTTLE BETTER VALUE Diet MAX and I ripped open a bottle first thing. Is it possible to be addicted to the Diet MAX?
We had to try the turkey he had bought. I was still full after my afternoon tea on the bridge. And today I had my afternoon tea all by lonesome so I had to eat a whole pack of salmon by myself.
Thursday 19th of May 2011 and we had completed discharging when I came on my watch. Arm was disconnected and the crew was working in the pipe trunk. Cleaning so it will be nice for our vetting, and when they are ready in the pipe trunk we continue with the pump room.
I kept myself busy with cargo planning on the bridge, 2 parcels of ULSD in Pembroke so I did 2 different cargo plans so we're ready to take on which ever parcel they want to throw at us first.
Pilot was changed from 14:00 to 13:15 and when the Agent came onboard at 11 it was finally adjusted to 13:00. 3 hours with the Pilot and I expect to start the bottom flush at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
The weather is changing from rain, sunshine and gloomy and grey. It is raining with sunshine. But the wind from yesterday is gone so that is good, but the forecast says more wind is on the way.
I was on deck with the 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch after departure. We had planned to test our gas detectors, but as we have Pilot onboard it might not be such a good idea. The gas detectors will alarm nonstop during the test. So we went on deck instead to check out the progress with the cleaning.
All crew busy cleaning in the pump room and under the fo'c's'le so it will hopefully look good in Dublin when we have our vetting.
We left our Pilot 4 o'clock in the afternoon and we could start with the tank cleaning. The AB was on deck preparing when I called him on the radio.
- Hey! Can you come to the bridge?
I had discovered that it was his birthday and I told the guys that we would sing for him. So we were hiding behind a curtain on the bridge. Our 2nd Officer was wetting himself giggling.
- Aladdin, where do you come up with all your ideas?
We were waiting behind the curtain and when he came on the bridge we jumped out in front of him screaming “SURPRISE” and we sang Happy Birthday. He looked like he was going to get a cardiac arrest. And our song didn't make anything to alleviate the chock.
And I had the perfect birthday gift for him, the Easter egg. Now I don't have to worry about my Easter egg and the 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch any more. It was just a matter of time before he would rip the egg open. Well, we have tanks to clean and the AB needs to be on deck.
Of course, I wouldn't mind to “Spela sitta o sjunga kör” but we just don't have the f@cking time.
- ENOUGH ALLREADY! ON DECK!!
We started to filling cargo tank 1Port with 15 m³ water and then we pumped this water around the tanks and I left for my cabin at 18 thirty leaving the draining and super strip for the AB.
We just passed Ailst Craig when we were ready leaving Firth of Clyde behind. And now the wind had picked up to a force 6 from SW. DARN! Is it never any nice weather in Scotland?
Friday 20th of May 2011 and we were steaming south on the Celtic Sea when I came on my morning watch. Sunshine and flippers swimming around the ship. I entered the Celtic deep TSS just before 9 o'clock and ETA Milford Haven Pilot station 11 thirty. I changed to course 096° (T) when I came out from the TSS and it was a straight line to the Pilot station. Our ABs were busy preparing deck for arrival and the vetting in Dublin.
Arrival just after lunch when our 2nd Officer and I had our lunch tea on the bridge and I could not go to bed. Paper work to take care of and I really need some sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with cramp in my left leg. DARN! I don't know if it is since my squat down, but I have cramp almost every night in both of my calves. But today it was the whole leg.
We started to load around 19 hundred in the evening, after several hours of doing cargo plans. We had several different loading orders and when we finally got the FINAL loading order I had to do a FINAL loading plan and I was not ready until 7 o'clock in the evening. No time to prepare for any vetting. And no well needed afternoon nap.
Saturday 21st of May 2011 and we had completed the first parcel, ULSD B0 when I came on the bridge 10 minutes before 8. So I had time for my tea before we started with the second parcel, the ULSD B7 at 08:35.
We completed loading at 12 o'clock, just when 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came to the bridge with our salad. Greek salad so I went down to get my own plate of salad, his plate just wasn't big enough for the 2 of us.
Our bunker barge is delayed so no departure until late afternoon/ early evening. That gives us a little extra time in Pembroke and I took the opportunity to make an EMERGENCY call to our Agent.
- YO! I have serious problem!
- Where is the fire?
- I'm very low on Diet MAX!
- I will put my best guy on the job!
I was in a very good mood 100% sure that our Agent would manage to get me my 20 bottles of Diet MAX. I went straight down to my cabin and I ripped open a bottle. I enjoyed my drink before returning to the bridge and the gas detectors.
I was doing our gas detectors on the bridge, but I had to stop when the Surveyor came onboard. I don't know if the guys would have appreciated all the alarms while doing paper work. So I went for a POWER NAP and I had just felt a sleep when they called me from the bridge.
- Your Diet MAX is onboard
Sunday 22nd of May 2011 and we approached Dublin when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. We made the course change to West 10 minutes after 8 and we dropped our anchor at 9 twenty. It was blowing full storm at times and the sea was white. And even though we were anchored close to the shore, westerly wind so it was blowing from shore, we had very rough sea.
Yes, it was almost a full storm, 26 to 28 meters per seconds at times. And they have promised a FULL storm for tomorrow. What is this? Autumn?
When I finished my watch I went down to see where our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch where. 12 o'clock and it is time for our lunch tea on the bridge. Well, he was still in bed so I went down to get our salad and I brought one pack of the salmon that we bought in Denmark.
The salad and salmon on the black bread is something of the best I have eaten. And the ham and turkey is also very good. I think it is a combination of the salad and black bread that makes it so good. Only eating salad and meat is not very tasty and that's even though I add a few drops of olive oil.
Well, anyway, I prepared our pot of tea and we dug in. And our 2nd officer was quite chocked when he discovered 4 (FOUR) pannbiffar under the lettuce. Of course, we didn't need to throw away any food and when we finished I completed our cargo planning for Dublin and I managed to get an hour of POWER NAP before it was time for dinner.
Sunday and we will eat fillet of beef and smoke salmon in the mess room. Our 2nd officer knocked on my door on the way down to the mess room and I was in the mess room 2 minutes later. What a disappointment! No salmon, shrimp! Who the hell eats shrimps?
Well, I had a few potato crocket or crackets or what the f@ck they call them. Our 2nd officer was quick to make a remark.
- Ah! You're eating deep fried mashed potato!
Our 2nd officer filled a cup with ice cream before leaving for the bridge. And talk about a brimmed cup. He dashed of when he discovered that I had slipped out my camera.
- I SAW YOUR CAMERA!
Well, I called him when I was back in my cabin. We had agony and we felt, well, not so good and we decided to skip this part of our DIET MENU ASAP.
It was sunshine and the storm was gone when I came on the bridge for my evening watch. Now we just waiting for the next storm and according to the forecast it will pass Dublin tomorrow.
Yes, this one we're really looking forward to. What happened with the summer? A few weeks ago it was gorgeous weather and it started in Germany when the Pilot complained that they had not got any rain for 8 weeks.
It have been bad weather ever since.
Otherwise there wasn't very much exciting happening on my watch. We will get our Pilot at 01:30 and we will hopefully be up and running with the discharging when I'm coming on my morning watch tomorrow morning.
Monday 23rd of May 2011 and we had not started to discharge when I came on the bridge 10 minutes before 8 in the morning. We had not even connected the cargo arms. But I got my shaving soap, I ran in to our Vetting Inspector and company representative on my way to the bridge. I had ordered shaving soap on the internet and our company representative brought the parcel from Sweden.
I bought a shaving bowl at L'Occitane on Ratchadamri Road in Bangkok a few years back, and of course, now they are not selling the soap anymore. But L'Occitane in Sweden had it on their web shop and now I have soap, and I'm sorry to say, for the rest of my life. Yes, that's exactly how old I am.
Now I can see the end of it, what a difference form 20 years ago, then it was like I had for ever to live. Well, anyway, I don't need to worry about getting any shaving soap for my darn shaving bowl before I die.
Tuesday 24th of May 2011 and we were still discharging when I came on my morning watch. The wind had decreased a wee bit and I really hope it is getting better before departure. Looks like we will finish around 12 o'clock and departure 1 hour later.
I called our Agent to give the 2 hour notice.
- I have an emergency!
- What's happening??!!
- I'm running alarmingly low on Diet MAX
- I will bring a case.
We completed discharging 5 minutes past 12 and I could see our agent coming over deck a few minutes after that. At first I thought it was a Surveyor or something.
- Who the hell is that coming on deck with a wood box of samples?
Turned out to be our Agent coming with my Diet MAX.
- I could only get 15 bottles, he said when he came on the bridge
He explained that they had to go in the back to get all their Diet MAX bottles.
Our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch arrived with our vegetables a few minutes later and we had our lunch “MYS” when the Surveyor and Agent left.
We left Dublin around 1 o'clock. I was in my cabin writing on my web page. I had asked the 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch to wake me up at 16 thirty so I had time for a shower before our afternoon tea on the bridge.
I came on the bridge 15 minutes past 5, yes, our 4 to 8 Officer called me a wee bit late and I didn't discovered that until I came out of my shower. Coming to the bridge was a plesant surprise, smoked salmon.
- I'll be back in a sec. I just go down to get one more plate, I said and left for the mess room.
It was a beautiful afternoon, no wind but slight swell. So I will bring out the punch bag on deck tomorrow. We have not been exercising with the punch bag for quite some time now. But tomorrow it will be “the punch bag or bust”
But seriously, the weather had left very much to wish for the last week. So much time for my Thai books! Yeah, fat chance, I can't even remember when I read the books last time. I have been busy rewriting about M/S Bellatrix and M/S Katharina and some other ships. New pictures & updated text and this have taken quite some time.
First it was Pilot at arrival to Milford Haven, then it was 4 o'clock in the morning. Slow down to adjust the arrival time. Then it was full speed again and when I gave 2 hours notice after changing course to 094° (T) after coming out of Celtic Deep TSS it was new information.
- After breakfast tomorrow, maybe later. Not before 8 o'clock.
So we changed course towards the anchorage. So we will see what happens tomorrow morning.
Wednesday 25th of May 2011 and we were anchored when I came on my morning watch. No berthing prospect, other than “maybe” 10 o'clock. So I had time for my GOOD MORNING “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® and tea before they called us 25 minutes past 9. They asked us to be at the pilot station quarter past 12 S/T, that is 11:15 British time and 10:15 UTC.
Well, we had an almost full gale blowing from the South when we heaved up our anchor. Gale warning for the Irish Sea and most of the British West coast. Yes, we just came out of 2 days of storm in Dublin and now gale. What's next? SNOW?
I ordered paint and since we received the paint in Brofjorden we have had nothing but bad weather. Well, the guys could paint for a week or so, but not more.
We finished our lunch “MYS” on the bridge just before the Pilot came onboard and I left for a POWER NAP in my cabin. I woke up at 4 and when I came on the bridge for our afternoon tea we had started to load the ULSD.
Thursday 26th of May 2011 and we had just resumed loading when I came on my morning watch. They stopped the loading at the end of my watch yesterday, no more cargo. So I had to continue pretty much exactly from where we where yesterday
And it was still blowing a full gale, when I went off my watch yesterday we had it coming in from the South and today we had the wind coming in from West. Wind from dead ahead when we were alongside Chevrons jetty #8.
We were not rolling alongside the jetty, but we had heavy movements and thus swell in the tanks so the 98% alarms went off at 97% filling. Well, never mind, we're only loading 11000 tonnes so we will have plenty slack. But if we would have to load full cargo it could be a problem with the swell in the tanks.
Punch bag or bust, yes, today was the day. But I must say that we went bust, the weather reminds me of something we're used to have in October or November.
Pilot was onboard 20 minutes past 8 in the evening. A gorgeous evening and I was in a good mood. But the crane on the jetty was not working so we had to wait for a mobile crane to lift ashore the gangway and we didn't left Pembroke until quarter to 10, ship's time.
And of course, while we waster time waiting there was a new gale warning for the Irish Sea. What is this? It is summer and we have gale and storm warnings every day.
Leaving Pembroke and we're passing several old forts on our way to the Celtic Sea. According to the Pilot they were built by French war prisoners. And we remember Pembroke fort last time I was ashore. An impressive building, almost 1000 years old.
I told our Agent in Dublin about the fort.
- Strange they have a fort in the middle of nowhere. Who cares about Pembroke?
- Well, 1000 years ago this might have been the centre of the universe, I said.
For sure, 1000 years ago no one knew about FUNKY TOWN. And by the look of all the forts in the area it must have been an important place back in the days.
I'm interested in history so I will try to find out about all the forts around Milford Haven and Pembroke when we have internet access. Leaving Pembroke and we're keeping a westerly course for 2 hours until we reach Celtic Deep TSS where we turn North. And it seems like our satellite dish is in a shadow on Westerly and Easterly courses.
Well, and of course, I need to find the time. But we will hopefully be anchored at BAR anchorage outside Liverpool for 2 days. Berthing prospects in Tranmere is on the 29th in the evening. And with this weather I don't expect that my boys will do very much painting.
But we have plenty other stuff to do, well, the ABs has and I can search the internet about Pembroke fort and you will soon have more information than you care about. But the beauty of internet is that it is just to skip drivel we don't want.
We were working our way towards west keeping a course of 267°(T) and a gorgeous evening was slowly turning in to a windy night. When I went down to my cabin at midnight we had a North wind force 6 or 7 blowing at us. Not yet a gale and I hope it never turns in to a gale.
Friday 27th of May 2011 and we were keeping 322°(T) when I came on my morning watch. The wind had increased, but it was still a force 6 blowing from the NW. Well, nothing to worry about. We were approaching Holy Head Deep and the Saint Georg's Channel TSS.
I had time to finish my good morning “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® and tea before we entered the TSS. When I came out from the TSS I held an easterly course towards River Mersey and Liverpool. I had been on this course for about 30 minutes when Point Lynas Pilot called me. We had about 3 hours to go to Liverpool Pilot station.
- Ternvik, Point Lynas Pilot calling
- Ternvik replying
- CH 09
We switched to CH 09 and they suggested that we should drop our anchor 2 miles East of Point Lynas.
I was looking for Point Lynas on the chart but I could not find it. Yes, we only have electronic charts onboard and they are not as easy to find places in as on the paper charts.
Darn, I could not find the place. I tried our passage plan and I found Point Lynas and we were just about to pass the darn place. So I changed course towards South East and Point Lynas anchorage.
We dropped our anchor at 11 and it was soon 12 o'clock when our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came with our vegetables. Today it will be boxing and I asked him to wake me up at 14 thirty before I returned to my bed in my cabin.
He called me at 14 thirty and I don't know if I managed to get some sleep, maybe a quick slumber. But I had time for a Diet MAX and sit ups before we started our punch bag session
Saturday 28th of May 2011 and we were still anchored when I came on my morning watch. Obviously the wind had decreased during the night, nice. Well, now throw in an extra 10°C and sunshine and we can call it May.
I had my morning tea and “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® and I'll be darned. It started to blow again, a force 6 from West wearing to NW. Yes, the month of May in the year of our Lord 2011 is more like the month of October.
2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came to the bridge at 12 o'clock.
- Where is our vegetables? I asked.
- There was only lettuce and radish in the mess room. So I didn't bring anything.
- What was for lunch? I asked.
- Biff Greta
- Do you want to eat Biff Greta? I asked.
What a stupid question, I really didn't need to ask. I could see how he looked and as soon as I mentioned “eat Biff Greta” he was beaming of joy.
- Yes, let's eat, he said.
I told him that it was up to the other 2nd Officer if we were going to destroy our diet or not. I asked him and he looked at the 4 to 8 Second Officer.
- Looks like he needs some Biff Greta.
- YIPPEE!! Our 4 to 8 Second Officer took off like a bullet from a gun. He was in the mess room in 0,5. And of course, when we finished our lunch I felt like I deserved. I went to bed.
- Please, call me at 14 thirty for the punch bag session.
I woke up at 4 o'clock and our main engine was running. What the ? We were not supposed to get our Pilot until 21:18 British time. Well, obviously we should be alongside around this time and we had all fast at SHELL Tranmere at 21:55, 20:55 British time.
I did the paper work with the Loading Master and he told me that we would start discharging earliest tomorrow afternoon. Yes, the original plan was for us to come alongside tomorrow night, but when we dropped anchor yesterday it was changed for today.
They don't have enough space in their shore tanks and as I'm writing this they are
Pumping the diesel from Tranmere to Stanlow in pipe lines. They told me that it would take 12 hours and then it was 30 hours so I guess we will have to see when we're leaving Tranmere.
Well, it is a bank holiday on Monday. But as the Loading Master told me: All the shopping centers
will be open in Liverpool tomorrow and on Monday. So I will go ashore tomorrow afternoon for a walk around Liverpool, of course, weather permitted.
I did manage to see you arrive, some pics to show your fans how expertly you steered the vessel, without a problem. Who needs a pilot.
And also the captain need to see how good his ship looks when arriving at the most famous port in the world,
And yes I had to get a picture of the punch bag.
I left my watch a wee bit before normal time, no discharging during the night so I can as well write a few stupid words on my web page. I was at my desk when I got an e-mail at 01:00. Yes, it will be yet another one of those late nights writing on my web page. And the e-mail, what a surprise!
Sunday 29th of May 2011 and we were still waiting to start discharging when I came on the bridge at 8 o'clock. I started my day by calling Gwil, the guy that took the pictures of us arriving yesterday evening. It looked like he had taken the picture just next to our jetty. So I sent him an e-mail asking if he wanted to come onboard for a look on the ship.
He would be happy to come onboard for a tour of the ship so I called the gate and I asked them to put his name on the visitors list. I have never met him before, but he found my web page 2 or 3 years ago and we have exchanged e-mail ever since.
Well, it has been a few years now and when I got the pictures yesterday I sent him an e-mail asking if he wanted to come.
When his name was on the visitors list in the gate I had my tea and “TUNA & ONION SURPRISE” ® And Gwil came onboard just after 9 and he brought 2 JUMBO bottles of Diet MAX. Hmm, I wonder where he got that idea from.
I made coffee for him, no he was not drinking tea as expected from a British guy. I showed him around on the bridge and we went down to the engine department. This is what he was interested in as an Engineer. We returned to the bridge for more tea when we were finished in the engine room.
Yes, coming back on the bridge and we ended up in the middle of our 2nd Officers “TESTING THE MOB BUOYS'” drama. Yes, how lucky can you get coming onboard for a tour of the ship getting a chance to test the MOB buoys'?
Gwil left us midday and I finished some paper work before I went ashore with our 2nd Officer. I called the gate and they sent a minibus to pick us up. We not allowed to walk on the terminal area so we have to go to the gate by minibus.
It took us 2 minutes to get to the gate and we asked the security guard to call us a taxi. We had to wait 5 to 10 minutes before the taxi arrived and darn! It was cold and this is supposed to be the month May, almost June. I had expected better weather.
So I was very happy when our taxi arrived and we hopped in to the car.
- Liverpool city centre, on the double!
We took off with smokin' and screamin' tyres and we arrived to Liverpool city centre after about 10 minutes. The tunnel under River Mersey is just next to the terminal and when you come up from the tunnel you're smack in the city centre of Liverpool.
- Please, stop at an ATM, we don't have any of the local Scooby dollars
- I don't know where there is an ATM. This will cost you extra.
- Never mind, just find us an ATM!
We stopped at a bank and I went to the ATM and we were loaded again. Yes, it is not very nice to go around without cash, but as soon as your valet is full it feels good again. Free to do whatever we want.
We had skipped our lunch “MYS” on the bridge when we went ashore so we were hungry. But we had a plan! We were hungry so we were looking for a restaurant, having a meal firts thing. Then walking around for a while and we would be hungry again and we could eat salmon sushi before returning to the ship.
Yes, we wanted to get as much as possible out of our port stay, so a nice restaurant and a sushi place was what we wanted before returning to the ship. Finding a nice restaurant was not as easy as we had expected. We stopped at a place called “ La Vina” or something like that. But it turned out to be Spanish food so we continued.
I had been in Liverpool before so I knew a place with a few restaurants, 1 Spanish, 2 Mexican and a Italian with Pasta and Pizza only on the menu. So our 2nd Officer wanted to continue our search. By now I was almost pissin' myself. So I needed to find a place in a jiff, yes, I had been drinking Diet MAX non-stop for the last few hours.
We went to check out the restaurant where I and our Os had our dinner when we were here with M/T Ek River back in February 2010, but this place had closed down and we went to check out Marriott next door.
Marriott is supposed to be a 5 star hotel, at least the Marriott's I have been at and the restaurant at Marriott in FUNKY TOWN is a 5 star restaurant. Coming in to Marriott City centre Liverpool and I thought I was at a youth hostel. Well, no sign off any restaurant so I went in to the pub to ask for the restaurant. As soon as I approached the pub I was about to throw up. It smelled of old beer, it was terrible. When did they clean the carpet last time?
- Do you have a restaurant at the hotel?
- Only for breakfast, but we have a pub menu.
- What the ??!! Is he joking with me?
I mean, you would have to be out of your mind considering eating at a place like this, at least while sober. I turned around and I left. And I got a chock when I approached the exit. Our 2nd Officer was sitting at the last table reading the menu.
- What the are you doing? Are you considering eating here?
I was surprised, after a few weeks hearing his stories about him only eating at nice restaurants back home. Well, there should have been an alarm going off when we were talking Cognac the other day. We were talking fine Cognac and he mentioned Larsen Cognac.
- What the ??! Are you joking? Maybe Slatten and Fimpen in the park back home would consider Larsen an excellent and exclusive Cognac.
We left Marriott and now I was desperate for a bathroom.
- We take the next place whatever it is, I suggested.
We passed a place and our 2nd Officer wanted to go inside. This was a place that looked like a place for people with welfare coupons.
- I'm sorry, but I prefer to piss my pants before eating at this place.
- What's wrong with that place?
- I have no doubt that Slatten and Fimpen would consider this place as “Fine Dining”
By now I was really sceptical to our 2nd Officers stories about “Fine Dining” and nice restaurants back home. We walked around the city centre and I was desperate for a rest room. Our 2nd Officer asked people for directions to a GOOD RESTAURANT. When he asked a scavenger I had to ask him what kind of restaurant this guy would give directions to.
Finally, we got directions to a Brazilian restaurant and we walked towards the restaurant, but we could not find the restaurant. But we found an Italian restaurant that looked very nice so we went inside. We started with bread and olive oil. Our 2nd Officer ordered tuna as a started and a plate of 5 different fishes as main course.
I ordered smoked salmon and avocado. Not on the menu, but they would bring my food. Spaghetti Carbonara as main course and a big bottle of water to chase down the food with. We finished the bread and we asked for a second bowl of olives and still no sign of our starters.
The Waiter could sense our impatience and he came over to our table.
- You starter will be here in 2 seconds.
Hundreds of seconds later and still no sign of our starters. And when the food finally come my salmon and avocado had turned in to avocado with shrimps and some sauce.
- I ordered salmon and avocado, no sauce or anything on.
They were so sorry and I was impressed by that they didn't tried to come up with a lot of excuses.
- Our mistake!
- NO NO NO PROBLEM, 2nd Officer said.
I could not believe my ears.
- Of course, if I order salmon and avocado ONLY I don't expect avocado with shrimps in some sauce!!
Our Waiter returned a minute later with a plate of smoked salmon. I asked for a plate of avocado.
- ONLY AVOCADO! Nothing else!
30 seconds later he arrived with a plate of avocado. And they never charged me for it. And they never charged me for the avocado and shrimp.
And it was good, darn! Smoked salmon and avocado is really good. I called the Waiter again.
- Can I please have 2 more of the Smoked salmon and avocado?
- Your main course is on the way
- Never mind, can I please have 2 more plates?
- No problem!
I finished my Spaghetti Carbonara and my 2 plates of smoked salmon and avocado arrived. (I was charged for these 2 plates, well, that was expected and no worries)
It was an excellent diner and the only thing I will do different next time is to skip the bread and olive oil while waiting for our food. I was very full when I had finished my spring roll “Aladdin Special”
Yes, the food had been excellent and I was content, well, at least until they came by with the dessert menu. Hmm, some tea and sweets would be nice.
I ordered chocolate cake, and as they didn't had whipped cream I asked for vanilla ice cream. Our 2nd Officer ordered a double cappuccino and some stuff with a strange Italian name. But it was something with fruit.
We paid our 90£ bill and we were out in the cold again. Yes, it was darn cold and windy outside so I can't say that I was turning cartwheels back out on the street again.
We had stopped at shop our 2nd Officer thought looked interesting on our way to the restaurant.
- Fer f@ck's sake! Get movin'! I need a rest room.
So we went back to the shop after the Italian restaurant. Well, it was a store full of crap, yes, there wasn't anything worth buying. BBQ set for 3£, magic playing cards, comical tea mugs, cuff links with smiley's and bullets etc. Yes, I think you get the picture.
- I will wait for you outside, I said.
After 30 minutes it was like “ What the ” is going on in there? I went back in to see what he was doing. He was busy checking out the washing-up brush ”PUNK ROCK” Yes, it doesn't requires too much imagination to understand how this washing-up brush looked like. And I'm not sure this is something you want to have lying around in your kitchen. At least not when you have guests.
- Let's go already!
Lo and f@cking behold, you don't need any imagination at all. I took a chance and I searched the internet for the PUNK ROCK washing-up brush and I found a picture of the darn brush. Maybe this thing is more popular than I can imagine.
He came out after a few minutes and I was surprised that he hadn't bought the “MUST HAVE” Guinness World Records Chop Sticks Challenge Set. Next stop was not less interesting. Watches that went backwards, plastic bottles in different colours and more comical tea cups. Yes, a gift shop and you understand what kind of stuff they sold.
- When you have finished looking at wrapping paper I'll be outside, I said.
Well, we were ashore to relax a bit, and of course to enjoy the afternoon so I didn't wanted to stress our 2nd Officer. But when he wanted to go in to one of those 1£ shops I sat down my foot. Enough was enough.
- What the do you expect to find in there?
We were walking around the city centre of Liverpool and we made several stops so our 2nd Officer could look at t-shirts. While walking around we realised that we would fail with our plan to have sushi before returning to the ship. We were still full after our lunch so no more food.
We stopped at Curry's to look for cameras and as they didn't have any Canon EOS we left the place. We passed a camera shop a wee bit later and I entered the shop. My first shop since we arrived to Liverpool. Nice to get in to a real shop knowing what you actually are looking for, not having to look around just to kill time. I was going crazy by running around looking at PUNK ROCK washing-up brushes and Diamond Ring Tea Mugs.
- Can I have a look at your best Canon EOS camera?
- We have a Canon EOS D60
- I want a 18 or 35 mm to 135mm lens
- Yes, we have a pack here for 1000£, an excellent camera
- Ok, I take it.
I handed them my card and they refused to slide the magnetic strip.
- We only do it with the smart chip
I tried a PIN code, two different but I didn't dares to try a third after the 2 first try failed. DARN! I can't remember my PIN code. I heard later on that it is a new EU regulation that they must use the smart chip and PIN code.
And where the have I put my PIN code?
We left the place and I was not happy, well, I was in a pretty good mood 10 minutes later. I realised that I would have a hard time finding space for the camera going home with all my STROH Rum in the bags.
I have plenty old pictures I never look at. Now a day I delete most of the pictures after that I have posted them on internet. So 1000£ for a camera that I will never use would be a waste of money. But, hmm, I can stay onboard for a few extra days to make the 1000£ and it would be like I never bought the darn thing. Well, anyway, I would have got nice pictures with the camera. But what to do with all the pictures?
Bank holiday tomorrow so all the pubs were full. 2nd Officer stopped for a beer and we stopped at TESCO on our way to look for a taxi. I bought 4 kilos of smoked salmon and a kilo of smoked ham. I also
bought rayed bread so now I have health food to last me until I sign off.
Just like to thank you all for the warm welcome this morning, it was really nice to meet you.
And thank you for the tour, really impressed and a nice looking ship.
I not downloaded any pictures yet, will do that a bit later, hope you got time to get out and get to Liverpool.
Thanks again, catch you soon
Coming back onboard and there were an e-mail from Gwil. Nice to hear that he had enjoyed his stay. And the beauty of internet, without www.aladdin.st I would never have met him and I would never have to the pictures of M/T Ternvik arriving to Liverpool.
Well, anyway, I was tired after running around Liverpool so I was just reading a blog I found the other day. Actually I found 2 blogs when I was searching internet for pictures of Julmust and Kronhusbodarna in Go:teborg. I'm sorry, Swedish only, why write a blog in Swedish? Well, anyway, you can look at the pictures.
• pommechateu.blogg.se Beautiful pictures from Go:teborg by Giovanni Salaris.
• rank.blogg.se About Jasmine's diet and her life in Go:teborg.
Provides good reading and but it is strange to read all the comments (Again, Swedish only) on her blog. It goes like:
• Never mind your diet, you are so beautiful!
• Just keep on eating and feel good!
• Don't you care what other people think about you!
• YOU ARE PERFECT!!
And it goes on like this, well, it is a different story when I'm coming around the corner.
- Oh Oh, here comes Porky again. He's looking like a grotesque Human Balloon!! Why doesn't he just throw himself from a bridge?
- Hmm, well, of course, she doesn't weight a cubic ton. But anyway....
Our 2nd Officer wanted to go ashore for a beer, there was a place not far away from the gate. But I was too tired so we were dinking Diet MAX in my cabin talking about the good ol' times instead.
When we grew tired of the Diet MAX we moved on to the bridge and we made a pot of tea. We were drinking evening tea (without any salmon or black bread) on the bridge. We decided to go ashore tomorrow to buy our cameras, our 2nd Officer wanted to buy a camera as well.
- And we will stop at the Italian for some lamb on the rack.....
- And smoked salmon with avocado, I added.
When we paid our bill they brought lamb on the rack to the table next to us and we were almost staying for a second meal. But we were full, tomorrow??
Monday 30th of May 2011 and we were still waiting to start discharging when I got out of bed at 9
o'clock. Monday and we got e-mail from the company about our Vetting in Dublin last week.
Extract from the report.
“The safety management function on this vessel appeared to be taken very seriously by all of the crew and a well advanced safety culture was evident throughout the inspection. The company had provided equipment well above minimum requirements and there was an obvious pride in the crew to maintain the equipment as well as to practice and prepare for all eventualities”
Thank you all for another well performed vetting.
There was e-mail from the ship owner as well and they
seems to be happy about the result. Our 2nd Officer on the 4 to 8 watch came on the bridge for our lunch “MYS”. And as we had so much to eat yesterday we had decided to go back to the ORIGINAL diet menu. Only black bread for lunch, no smoked salmon or ham.
To Ternvik - Master Ch Eng
To All Departements at the office .
Dear Friends - Thank You for a lovely vetting - LOVELY - Thank You - Please tell your crew this also .
- No smoked salmon, 2nd Officer suggested.
- No, now it is back to the original diet menu!
- It is bank holiday today!
- OK, let's try the darn TESCO salmon.
We started to discharge while we had our lunch tea and we will hopefully leave Liverpool tonight for our last voyage before the shipyard. It was raining so we decided to stay onboard so no Italian food or cameras in the afternoon. I went for a power nap instead and I was dreaming about Bangkok Fight Club.
- Maybe because I will go home soon?
Well, anyway, it was sunshine when I got out of bed at 16 thirty and we enjoyed yet another pack of smoked salmon to our afternoon tea on the bridge at 5 o'clock.
Yes, TESCO is selling the smoked salmon in 200gram packs, perfect. When I buy the whole smoked salmon at SCAN DELI in Bangkok I get between 1 and 1 and a half kilo in one pack. And as you understand the salmon is finished not long after I have opened the pack.
But I have a plan, or at least an idea. I will ask them if they have packages of about 200 gram. Same as Tesco Value Smoked Salmon Slices 200G and I can have one pack per meal and it will be easier to keep my diet on track.
I will upload this bullshit and then I will go do something I haven't done in a very long time, open
my Thai books. Yes, time to sign off and I need to refresh my memory.
I have lunch today with Maria, Ira and Wicko in Anoma Hotel for Dim sum and everyone was happy.
We talked about you and we all missed you. I told them you will back the end of June so we will have welcome party for you.
Today we talked about avocado and Ira told it was high cholesterol so I think you shouldn't eat too much coz it is not good for health.
I sent an e-mail regarding our health lunch yesterday and it took a few seconds before I had the reply. And Ira is the Doctor so obviously her words carries a lot of weight. She was the one that suggested that I should go under the knife to lose weight. Well, I don't thinks so.
But Hmm, maybe... Nah, I have tried it before and I don't want to do it again. We completed discharging at 21:45 and I went down to check our departure draft. I stopped at 2nd Officer's cabin on my way back.
- Hey, are you sitting here celebrating the Bank Holiday?
- I'm just relaxing
- What about a salmon surprise on the bridge?
- OK, I go see if I can find some vegetables
- I will go to the bridge and put on the kettle, I said.
I finished the paper work and the tea was ready. Our 2nd Officer came with 2 apples, he didn't find it necessary to have smoked salmon in the evening.
- We have had a lot to eat today.
- What about smoked ham? After all it is holiday today!
And on top of the Bank Holiday our 2nd Officer is signing off in Pembroke so we need all the “quality” time together we can get before he leaves in a a few days time.
We had just finished our Bank Holiday festivities on the bridge when the Pilot came onboard at 22:15. Well, it will be nice to leave Tranmere and Liverpool behind. It had been a nice couple of days. But it is always nice to leave. Pembroke next!
I was back o the bridge quarter to midnight and it was almost time to go off my watch. I will upload some of the latest drivel and then it will be nice with a POWER NAP.
Tuesday 31st of May 2011 and we were South West bound in the Irish Sea when I got on my morning watch. We will drop our anchor at Saint Brides Bay waiting for our Jetty at Chevron's terminal in Pembroke. Lo and f@cking behold, it was sunshine. We haven't been spoiled with sunshine for the last couple of weeks now.
We dropped anchor at 16:00 and we expect to go inside tomorrow. First it was 8 o'clock, then midday before they changed it to 5 in the morning. When I got of my watch it was 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Well, I'm off to bed and I will wake up to the month of June in the year of our Lord 2011
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