M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria
Photo from www.shipspotting.com - Picture by Fredrik Andersson


Built 1999
at Juron shipyard, Singapore
Length over all 137.7 m
Lpp 126.5 m
Breath mld 21.5 m
Depth mld 10.5 m
Draught design 7.4 m
Draught scantling 8.0 m
Deadweight at 7.4 m 11 500 DWT
Deadweight at 8.0 m 13 080 dwt
Cargo tanks 14 596 m³
HFO tanks 530 m³
DO tanks 120 m³
Techn FW tanks 270 m³
Water ballast 5655 m³
Owner Rederi AB Veritas Tankers
Main engine MAN B&W 8L 40/54 5760 kW
Propeller KaMeWa CP Stainless steel diam. 4.8 m
Aux engines 3 x 880 kw 6 cyl Yanmar diesels
Bow thruster Retractable Brunvoll thruster 590 kW
Cargo pumps 12 x 330 m3 /h deepwell FraMo pumps
Ballast pumps 2 x 500 m3 /h deepwell FraMo pumps
Thermail oil boilers 2 x 2907 kW + 1 x 800  kW   HTI
Inert gas system 3000 N m3  Inert gas system
Speed ( at 7.4 m ) + 15 knots
Flagg Swedish
Class DNV +1A1,IMO2, Ice 1A, a2, b3, v3,f2, k, 1.50  t7m3, str0,1 TMON, W1



Saturday 20th of November 2004 and as I suspected, when my alarm went off at 8 o'clock I was half dead as expected this time of the day.
- Puh hvor er jeg træt!

But I was cured after a few cups of tea and I was quite satisfied with my holiday. I had done some serious a** kicking during my holiday and my condominium was almost ready. I had my tea and I put my things back in order and I was glad that I had been foresighted enough to Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stclean the bathroom yesterday. I only had to clean up the kitchen and to take a round in the apartment with the vacuum cleaner. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

I took out the garbage and I looked at my watch, 10:30 already. When I came out with the garbage I saw that the taxi was waiting for me.
- I will be with you in 1 minute!

I went back for my luggage and we drove off with the snow whirling from the tires. It took us about 10-15 minutes to the airport and we arrived around 10:45.

Kalmar flygplats/ Kalmar Airport
Kalmar flygplats/ Kalmar Airport

SAS flight arriving to Kalmar Airport
Our flight arriving to Kalmar Airport

SAS flight arriving to Kalmar Airport
Our flight arriving to Kalmar Airport

SAS flight arriving to Kalmar Airport
Our flight arriving to Kalmar Airport

SAS flight arriving to Kalmar Airport
Passengers coming off at Kalmar Airport

SAS flight at Kalmar Airport
Time to board the flight

SAS flight at Växsjö Airport
We make a stop in Växsjö

It was a sunny and nice day. Check in opened at 11 o'clock and I looked around for the AB that was going on the same flight as me. I could not see any one looking like a sailor.

The company gave me his number when I spoke with them on Friday morning. Hmm, I think they gave me the wrong number or I misunderstood one or a few digits. I ended up at an old lady's answering machine when I tried to call him on Friday night. Never mind, I will meet him on the flight or in Helsinki.

After checking in and passing the security control I remembered that my snus supply was running low. I had checked in all my snus. My snus is one of the reasons for having portable home.
- Can I buy snus here? I asked the security.
- No! You have to buy it in the restaurant.
I had to go out and I bought some snus, enough to last me until arrival to Helsinki when I could get my bag. 2 tins should be enough or I could buy more in Stockholm.

We left Kalmar and we had to make a stop in Växjö on the way to Stockholm. There were a few passengers joining us in Växjö. But there were more passengers leaving than boarding so there were plenty space on the way to Stockholm.
Well, plenty seats that is, I don't know about the space in the seats.

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over a Swedish winter landscape

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over a Swedish winter landscape

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over a Swedish winter landscape

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over Södertälje

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over Södertälje

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over Södertälje Oil port - I have joined ships at this jetty

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over a Swedish winter landscape - Mälaren

Flying over a Swedish winter landscape
Flying over a Swedish winter landscape

Our flight to Helsinki was leaving at 16:30 so we had to kill a few hours at Stockholm Airport. I called Sue Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st first thing and then we ordered something to eat. Then I spent an hour on the Arlanda Airportinternet, checking Sue's web page for the latest updates. Inspired by her site I gave her 1 more call before going to the gate.

I met the AB at the internet place on Arlanda. We left Stockholm and we arrived to Helsinki International Airport around 18:30. We had to adjust our time to Finnish time as it is 1 hour different from Swedish time.

At Helsinki airport we meet our Cook apprentice. He had been 2 years at cooking school and now he was going to do 3 months on board to practice cooking with our Cook. We were waiting for 2nd Officer and one more apprentice. They were flying from Copenhagen, but their flight was delayed. We had to wait for 1 hour and finally 2nd Officer arrived.
- Where is the Apprentice?
Well, the apprentice had got sick Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st and could not come.

Helsinki International Airport
AB and our Cook Apprentice while waiting for the remaining crew

Helsinki International Airport
2nd Officer is arriving, but no Apprentice

It was nice to finally get in to the taxi and leave Helsinki International Airport behind. We drove through a dark but snow covered Finnish landscape. We arrived to the ship around 20:30, and she was moored at jetty #4 at Fortum in Porvoo discharging crude oil from Kaliningrad.

When we came on board 2nd Officer showed me to my cabin, the owner's cabin. The old Chief Officer will be on board for 1 trip giving me pointers.
Captain and Chief Engineer were hugging Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st 2nd Officer when she came on board.
- Hey! No hug for me?
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Chief Engineer gave me a strange look, but I got the hug. That's the spirit! Well, I guess it is not all that common that the new crew asks for hugs when coming on board. After getting my bag to my cabin (owner's cabin) I took a shower, nice! After a chat with Captain, we had been in navigation school together, I took my CDs and went to the bridge.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Owners cabin, my nook

Yeah-yeah, we know the routine by now. I located the tea machine and entertainment center first thing after coming to the bridge. I made some tea and put on some good music.

Discharging was in full swing and Chief Officer showed me the CCR (Cargo Control Room) located on the bride. It was the normal stuff, cargo computer, tank radar and the other stuff.

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Our bridge - Click HERE for bigger picture

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
A what we call a 360° of our bridge - Click HERE for bigger picture

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Our cargo computers in the CCR on the bridge

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Our cargo computers in the CCR on the bridge

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Office and IG panel on the bridge
Nu fick väl Unge Herr Sjöofficeren nog med bilder från bryggan?

I checked the drawers in the desk at the CCR. In the second drawer there was a digital camera. The bridge on board M/T AstoriaThe same model that I gave to my friend.
- Who's this camera?

It was Chief Officer's camera and he told me that Chief Engineer had the very same camera.

So there were at least 2 chargers on board for the camera. Hmm, that's typical, I buy a new camera because I had forgotten my charger in Bangkok and all of the sudden I come to a ship full of these cameras and chargers.

Of course, if I hadn't bought a new camera there would have been no camera of this model on board. Well, the most important is to have a camera. And now J has a digital camera and he was so happy when he got my camera.

The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Chief Officer on the bridge discharging crude oil


The bridge on board M/T Astoria
Chief Officer on the bridge discharging crude oil


It was a very nice ship and the bridge kept Swedish standard with top of the line equipment. So I liked what I saw. We were discharging and the off signing Chief Officer showed me the ropes on the bridge and in the CCR

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 21st of November 2004
and we completed discharging just before 3 o'clock and cargo arm Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004was disconnected at 03:10. We left a few minutes after that and I was off to bed after having spent some time with Captain talking about the good ol' times in school back in '85 and '86.

We studied at the navigation school on Kvarnberget in Göteborg together. So we had some
Nécessaire
Armoire de toilette
memories we had to sort out. I was soon in my cabin.

Falling asleep was not easy. It was very cold in my nook and impossible to sleep. I had to get me some extra quilt, but it was cold, and I mean very cold.

They woke me up at 09:30 and it felt like I had just felt asleep.

I wasn't jumping out of my bed but I managed to get in the shower. I had bought an eécessaire before leaving for the ship. When the Cook from Bro Jupiter visited me in Bangkok he had had an nécessaire that you could hang on the wall. I was impressed and I decided to buy one.

Good idea, so I bought one and it turned out to be a huge success. It's convenient, when signing Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004on it's just to hang it in the bathroom and ipsi wipsi wu there is a new armoire de toilette. When it's time to sign off it's just to roll it up and throw it in your bag.

And one more thing, well, we can call it a pre warning. Before leaving for the ship he sent me a package of press cuttings and a book. For you he's best known as the “ Cook from Bro Jupiter or Stena Barbados ”.

Well, it seems like he's known as the “ Jazz Chef ” for the rest of the world. If it's the funky one I don't know, but we will find out here on aladdin.st as soon as I have scanned all those Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004clippings. There are plenty of them! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Keep an eye out for updates!

We spent our watch, Chief Officer is on watch 08:00 - 16:00 and then from 20:00 - 24:00, on the bridge. We talked about the paper work and the old Chief Officer showed me around on the bridge.

It was time for my first (and last?) dinner on board. When Captain arrived to the mess room, he was late so I had to take a second platter to keep him company. Or as I want to call it, a courtesy plate. He asked our Cook:
- What time is the final tonight?
- The final was a few weeks ago. Malmö FF became Swedish champions a few weeks ago, I said.
I don't know what final they were talking about. But it was on Swedish TV in the evening. We have a satellite receiver so we can see Swedish TV.

Well, anyway, I told the Cook that this was my last dinner and I asked for a box of oatmeal for the bridge. I never have to go to the mess room again. I hope so!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook had his very own Malmö FF flag in the fridge

When we came out in the store room he had his Malmö FF flag. I was touched by the moment and I took a picture of his graceful token of homage.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 22nd of November 2004
and we dropped anchor outside Kaliningrad at 07:10. We are only allowed to go in to Kaliningrad in convoys. There is 1 around 8 o'clock in the morning and 1 around Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 200415-1600 in the afternoon. We are not allowed to transit the canal to Kaliningrad if it's blowing more than 14 m/s.

They told us that we could go inside at 14:00. We never heard of them and when we called the agent he told us that there was too much wind. We were supposed to go inside at 8 o'clock this morning.

BUT THEY FORGOT US! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
Unbelievable, they had forgotten us and now we don't know how long we have to wait here. Weather forecast says that there will be a storm tomorrow. In the afternoon I was on deck with the off signing Chief Officer. We took a tour and he showed me around and we were ready just after 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun hosing down deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun hosing down deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Kaliningrad anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Russian submarine passing us at Kaliningrad anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Trainee Cook in the kitchen

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Important calls had to be made

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Waiting

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Off signing Chief Officer shows me around the ship

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our pipe trunk

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 23rd of November 2004
and when we came on the morning watch the weather had turned from bad to worse. I had planned to go out with the AB in the morning to check our emergency Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004control for our ballast valves.

But I had to start with oatmeal and tea to get some energy. Our AB was waiting for me in the duty mess and the rumour was going about our meeting so Captain was there waiting as well, he's always ready to crack a joke.

And when I'm around there is always a few jokes, so he was waiting. And he was impatient, nonstop calling on the radio
- Are you ready with your tea? He called on the radio.
After 2 minutes:
- Are you ready with your tea? It's lonely down here!

He was on the radio non-stop so I thought I could as well go down. Bla bla blaa and when we were ready to go on deck Captain called us and we had to heave up our anchor. It was almost impossible to go to the fo’c's’le, wind force 9 with hail, snow and rain. Why am I not I sitting home with Sue?

At 09:45 the anchor was up and we steamed slowly against the wind and sea. I took a few videos of the weather, but when I transferred them to my computer I managed to erase them. Never mind I can take new videos tomorrow.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Chief Officer? What do you think?

I went to my cabin after the watch and I was busy doing nothing when the phone rang.
- What are you doing? Captain asked.
- I'm doing f••• all.
- Come down and eat!
- Do you feel lonely? I asked.
I was in the mess room in 2 steps. You see what I'm working with here. I was in my cabin and it was dinner time. I wasn't hungry so I stayed in my cabin. I can take some oatmeal if I'm getting hungry later. Now I don't know how many platters I had. Keeping my diet(I have promised to use this word with restraint) will not be easy.

Mess room on board M/T Astoria
Our mess room - Click HERE for bigger picture

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 24th of November 2004
and the wind decreased in the afternoon so we could return to the anchorage in the evening. Latest word is that we will go inside tomorrow morning. On the way to the dinner I got my ECDIS certificate from the Captain. It was a real solemnity and I was lucky to have my camera with me.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
On my way to dinner and I pass Captain's office

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
And he was busy...

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
...but not so busy that he could not hand me the certificate

Hmm, I had planned to send e-mail to Sue during my night watch. But my infrared port on the phone is not working. We tried to do everything and I even tried my NOKIA phone. Yeah yeah, you heard it before, it's bull all those mobile phones. But Captain had a Bluetooth radio and the Bluetooth on my phone was working so I managed to send my e-mail and to upload my web page.

There were plenty e-mail from Sue and I was so happy. I haven't heard from her since we were waiting for the plane in Stockholm.

When I had completed the uploading our Chief Officer asked if there were any pictures of him. Well, no there were no pictures of him and I had to upload a picture of him and he was happy again and I was off to bed.

When I bought my new camera there was a Photo Stitch program coming with the camera. So now I hope Unge Herr Sjö Officeren likes the pictures of our bridge. I'm also very pleased with the result with the picture of our mess room.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Off signing Chief Officer in his cabin

And we can hear that we're playing MC Shan in the back

          
Hit the PLAY button and you can enjoy MC Shan while watching the video. FULL BLAST!!

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 25th of November 2004
and we left the anchorage at 12:55. Finally it was time to go inside and load the crude oil. We had all fast 16:25, I think. Paper work and we started to load at 18:00. But I was busy before starting. At 17:30 Captain called from the mess room.
- It's dinner!
- What the bipping bip? Leave me alone! I screamed and slammed the phone.
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004I called back to the mess room and I asked Captain to bring me a basket with fresh fruit to the bridge.
- Come down and eat!

I had to go down and set things straight, this is getting out of hand. When I came down to the mess room there was a basket with fruit. Well, when I had going through Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stall the trouble getting down there I could as well have a snack.

It was nice to be relieved at midnight. I had just finished my cup of oatmeal when 2nd Officer came on bridge and she had a snack before relieving me.
At midnight it looked like we could be ready at 6 o'clock.

So I need some sleep before that, but first an e-mail to Sue!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
On my way to dinner and I pass Captain's office

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook keep me company on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook keep me company on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Off signing Chief Officer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
A snack before taking over the watch

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
And I can leave the bridge

+++++++++++++++
Friday 26th of November 2004
and we left Kaliningrad at 10:55 and It was a gloomy and grey day. We had finished all the cargo documents on the bridge and when the pilot came on board we went out to let go all our mooring ropes.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Waiting for the cargo documents

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Let go the mooring ropes on the fo'c's'le

There was a barge before us in the Canal so it took us more than 3 hours to the pilot station. We had time to fuss about a little and Captain told me about the “Mumin dalen” outside Naantali.
- It's a nice place, he said.
- Well, Chief Officer doesn't have any time to go sightseeing. But you can go, you have plenty time, I said.
- You can meet Mumin trollet, he said.
I told him that I already meet Mumin trollet and I took a picture of us to prove it. Nice souvenir and I don't have to go ashore and spend my money.

Mumin trollet
Jag möte Mumintrollet

We left the pilot at Baltiysk breakwater at 14:20 or something like that. Start of sea passage at 14:40 and we were on the way. When we passed #1 light buoy we reported to Baltiysk Traffic on Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004VHF ch 74. Around 3 o'clock we changed course to north and we have about 20-21 hours to the pilot station in Finland.

After my watch I went to my cabin to write a little on my web page. I told Captain that I would keep him company for dinner hoping that he would forget to call me. Somewhere down the line something had got terrible wrong when I signed on this ship. I try to mind my own business, doing my best to be nice.

But somehow I ended up at the bottom of the pecking order, everyone trying their best to sabotage my diet. I was writing an e-mail to Sue when my phone rang.

I didn't answer. 1 minute later I could hear Captain on our PA system
-ALADDIN!!!! ALADDIN!!!! Come to the mess room!! Your friends are waiting for you to come down for dinner!!

What the bipping bip? I had to go down and see what was going on. It was fish for dinner and according to my book that's healthy food. Plenty OMEGA 3 so I dug in.

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 27th of November 2004
and we arrived to Turku pilot at 12:00. I had to call them 3 hours before arrival to confirm our arrival time. I tried to call on VHF ch 13 but we were too far Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004away. This ship is too fast.

Instructions for calling the Pilot must be 100 years old: Call Pilot station 3 Hours before the Pilot boarding Area

Yes, this was OK back in the days when it took a 3hours to make a few miles and we were well within radio range. 2004 and 3 hours can mean on the other side of the globe with the speed we make. So 3 hours before there is no chance to reach them on the radio. But we have a phone.

I called them on the phone and then I mixed a cup with oatmeal.

It's about 4 hours from the pilot station to Naantali and we had first line ashore at 16:10 and all fast at 16:30. Loading Master and our Agent came on board. I got my winter boots from the Agent that we ordered from Kaliningrad.

We started to discharge at 16:55 and I was off to the mess room and after dinner I moved in to my new cabin. I took the pictures before moving in, it looks better that way.

Chief Officer's cabin
My cabin (before moving in, now it's a pandemonium)

Chief Officer's cabin
My cabin (before moving in, now it's a pandemonium)

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun and our Cook on the bridge looking for the Pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Approaching Turku and the moon comes up over the Finnish archipelago

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Coming alongside in Turku

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Off signing Chief Officer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain is busy in his office

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Chief Engineer

There was a taxi for the off signing Chief Officer on the jetty at 18:00. There are no flights for him so he has to stay one night on hotel. But he left me all by lonesome! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
I tried to sleep before my night watch, but I failed and I wrote some e-mail and uploaded my web page instead. Then it's a shower and I'm on watch. Next update will be when we come back to Finland next time. I hope you can wait a few days.

At midnight I went straight to bed and I read a few pages in “ Dreamwaver, The complete reference ”. Here we are talking a real early morning ( or late night) boredom killer. I turned off the light pretty soon, but it was hard to sleep. I felt asleep around 3 o'clock in the morning and I was tired when they called me for my morning watch.

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 28th of November 2004
and we left our pilot at Utö around 08:15 and I could spend my watch alone on the bridge. Well, our Chief Engineer came for a cup of tea and we spent the morning discussing the meaning of life. Our Cook came to the bridge with fresh made sponge-cake. Yesterday they brought Danish pastry to the bridge and they refused to take them down again. I kept myself from eating. But I didn't want to take any chance today and I asked our Cook to put them at Captains office.

After 8 hours on the bridge with only 1 vitamin tablet, 2 cups of oatmeal and 2 oranges I was very hungry and I went down to say hello to our Cook after my watch. I'm ashamed to tell you that I had some sausages and mashed potatoes. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
He told me that he had been on my web page when we discharged in Finland. I asked about the phone bill, it must be expensive surfing the net in Finland on Swedish internet.

After dinner I was hovering around the kitchen telling our Cook and Cook apprentice cock-and-bull stories. It was hard to leave them after 8 hours on the bridge in a social vacuum. I need to train my social competence.
- I'm off to bed!
- Now it's the tenth time you're leaving us.
After saying “ Good night, see you tomorrow ” ten times I managed to get to my cabin. It's always nice to have a chat with the Cook and to crack a few jokes. Well, it's a nice guy and we're always laughing. There are too many wet-blankets out there and I'm glad they are not on board M/T Astoria.
Där ser du Kocken, nu e d känd från internet med dom bästa vitsorden

I was called for 19:40. I want to be called 20 minutes before my watches. I can't say that I'm jumping out of bed, but I'm straight off to the shower. Hot water for 15 minutes and there is no time to eat.

I start my watch with tea but now we don't have any milk on board so I make hot chocolate. Yeah, I know, it's slowing down my diet a little. When I should turn on music there was a CD with x-mas songs in the entertainment center. While preparing my chocolate I noticed Christmas light next to the tea machine. Today it's the Advent Sunday. Christmas is closing in on us and I'm glad to be on the ship.

Yes, it is very nice to be on a ship during Christmas, they start with the Christmas decorations ashore in October and by the time it is November I'm already fed up with Christmas. And did I mention that the X-mas song CD in the entertainment center was ejected before I reached 5 seconds on the first x-mas song.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 29th of November 2004
and we were anchored at Kaliningrad anchorage when I came on my morning watch. Sotka, a Fortum tanker was still anchored. She was waiting here last time we Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004were here. Now they say that we will load after her. We will see what happens, you never know in Russia.

Lo and behold, Baltiysk Traffic called us at 13:30 and told us to have our anchor up in 1 hour. I called engine and gave them 30 minutes notice. Engine should be running in 30 minutes and we will start heaving our anchor then.

Pilot came on board at 14:45, we had to wait for a military boat or something like that. I spent the last hour of my watch on the bridge chit- chatting with Captain and our Cook. At 4 o'clock I went down to my cabin for a shower and at 5 o'clock it was time for dinner.

At 19:50 I was called for again, time for my night watch. After dinner I found some comics and I read one before falling asleep. Plenty sleep, but I had to go straight to the shower to wake up before going on watch. When I came on the bridge I found out that we didn't load. We had to wait for Sotka to be ready before we could start loading the crude oil.

I spent the night watch with the AB and Captain in the day room watching TV. Well, it was more talking than looking.
I don't know what happened but all of the sudden we all ended up in the galley. AB was taking pictures of me “ WATCHING ” the Captain making a sandwich.

When checking the picture on the display Captain was not visible behind me and they made a big fuss about it. I call it the old Photoshop trick. Nowadays you can't trust any pictures, it's possible to twist pretty much anything to anything today. They pestered me until midnight when 2nd Officer came and relieved me.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 30th of November 2004
and Sotka was ready with her loading on jetty #4 around 10 o'clock. They connected our arm at 10:15 and we started to load at 10:50 on jetty #3. The plan was for us to load at jetty #3 until Sotka left jetty #4, and then we should shift to jetty #4 and complete loading there.

M/T Sotka loading crude oil in Kaliningrad
M/T Sotka loading in Kaliningrad - Click HERE for bigger picture

There was a jetty man on the jetty screaming at the AB and waving his arms.
- I think they want to start, the AB said to me on the radio.
I wanted to speak with the Loading Master before commence loading. There was a man coming on board and he spoke no English. I wanted to know how much we should load before shifting so I could plan the loading. He wrote 13:00 on a piece of paper. Well, I guess that it meant that we should shift berth at 13:00, but it could also mean 1300 MT or 1300 m³/h.

We shifted berth between 13:35 and 13:50 and we started to load at jetty #4 14:20. Loading rate was up and down but when I got of my watch at midnight we expected to be ready between 00:30 and 01:00 1st of December.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 1st of December 2004
and When I came on my morning watch 1st of December we were just waiting for our cargo documents. They came at 08:20 and then we had to wait for the pilot. He came on board at 10:40 and we left Kaliningrad 10:50.

ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) to Porvoo 18:00 2nd of December. There will come a new Captain and an AB in Porvoo. Our Cook apprentice will go home as well, after just a few days on board. Hmm, this is the new generation, giving up after a few days.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook is on the bridge talking Kålpudding

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 2nd of December 2004
and we entered Gulf of Finland on my watch. I had to call Tallinn VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) on VHF ch 61 and report us when entering the area almost first thing when coming on watch at 08:00. I had to spend 8 hours on the bridge. Poor visibility and haze and fog with rain. I have not seen the sun for a long time now.

I was lucky to have millions of GB with MP3 music on my computer. It's just to connect my laptop to the entertainment center on the bridge and we have funky music on the loudspeakers

But even more important is our Cook, coming to the bridge 4-5 times every day. It's a nice break and today we planned the menu for the next few days. Raggmunk is coming up and today we will have Kålpudding for dinner.

After my watch I had to do some paperwork and then I was down to the mess room and the Kålpudding. Today I have to eat without the Captain as we will arrive to Porvoo lighthouse around 17:20 for the pilot.
After dinner I will see if I can get network coverage with my phone so I can send my e-mail and upload my web page. Maybe there is a little something in the inbox from Sue.

I was down in the mess room in 2 steps and it was in the nick of time, they were running low on Kålpudding. But I had a plate at my place in a jiff. Not as much as I had been hoping for. It tasted good and I asked our Cook for the recipe. And I really got him going.
- I have been doing this for many years and you think you can get the secret in 1 minute and open Aladdin's famous Kålpudding restaurant.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
They are eating Kålpudding like there is no tomorrow

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
THAT'S THE FOOCKING SPIRIT! Don't leave any Kålpudding for the Chief Officer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
On top of the “empty”serving plate disappointment he plays hard to get

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
I had a hard time hiding my disappointment

Didn't take too much to persuade him to give me the “secret” and I soon had the secret and I will try it when I'm coming home.

Maybe Sue will like some good Kålpudding. Of course I will do it with a Skånsk touch, yummy.

I went to my cabin after dinner and there was e-mail from Sue. I can't say that they made me happy. Actually I was in a bad mood after reading them. It's the normal complains about me being on a ship. She also seems to have lost faith in my diet:

Hi Darling,

I really, really hope that you will achieve your goal of being on diet. Fish has plenty Omega, and when you went down to the mess room, you had to take some snacks... You said 'let the result speaks for itself', I don't think you can stand yourself eating your own words!!! And if you cannot achieve your diet goal, you stamp yourself as a LOSER. I will REPEAT 'THIS IS ANOTHER THING YOU CAN NEVER SUCCEED IN'....

You will never win darling, you hear me?
Sue

Hmm, this e-mail was anything but encouraging. Or maybe it was, this e-mail might have been the thing to kick off my diet. I was discharging our crude oil in Porvoo, we started discharging at 19:45, and our Cook came up to the bridge just after 8 o'clock. I told him that we had to be Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004serious from now on. I mentioned the last e-mail from Sue.
- People have lost faith in my diet. I have received unpleasant e-mails, I said.

He said that he could bring salad to the bridge for my lunch. Yeah, maybe a good idea.
- We got fresh milk on board and I can start drinking tea again, I said.
I also told him to wear a big boxing glove and that he should Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.sthit me hard every time he saw me around the mess room.

I called the AB on the radio and asked him to bring a bottle of fresh “ LIGHT ” milk. Talk about Christmas, on the bottle there was a cow dressed like Santa.

We got a new Captain on board and a new AB. The Captain will be on board for 1 trip with the new Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004Captain before signing off next time discharging in Finland.

Our new Captain came up to the bridge on my watch and we talked about this and that and before soon it was midnight and I could go to my cabin. Checking my e-mail and uploading my web page and I'm off to bed. We expect to leave Porvoo 0430 - 0500 so when I'm coming on my morning watch I will hopefully be alone with my entertainment center. I will enjoy some tea with fresh milk.

You can enjoy the updates and I hope that you are looking forward for new updates and I will update next time we arrive to Finland. Good night!

+++++++++++++++
Friday 3rd of December 2004
and we were out in the Gulf of Finland when I came on my morning watch. We left Porvoo early morning at 04:45. I had an emergency meeting with our Cook on the bridge Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004regarding the latest developments with my diet. We decided to take two bites at the cherry and he should bring salad to the bridge for lunch.

While waiting for my lunch I was dreaming about an inbox brimmed with merry e-mails. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

Our Steward came up to the bridge with my salad at 11:40.
- Hmm, now I must go down with the plate after my watch and then I have to pass the mess room. It will be hard not to go for a snack then, I said.
- Send Captain or the AB with the plate. But it's pea soup for dinner, our Cook said.

I gave it a (quick) thought. Pea soup is delicious and I consulted our Cook again.
- Pea soup is healthy food according to my book. Or what do you think?

When I came down with my plate our Cook asked me the check tomorrows menu. Potato pancake for breakfast and Raggmunk for lunch. Fillet of veal for dinner, well, I don't care very much for the veal.
- FOR BIP'S SAKE! Raggmunk and potato pancake, 2 of my favourites.
- You don't care about my diet! Foocking sabotage! I said.

I knew that tomorrow would be a hard day. Well, I checked in to the mess room. Well, no worries about the diet, Captain took the last pancake after the pea soup so there was nothing for me. Good!!!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Chief Engineer on the bridge for the latest gossip about my diet

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Officer takes the new Captain and AB on a safety tour


+++++++++++++++
Saturday 4th of December 2004
and when I answered my phone in the morning it was Captain.
- We will drop anchor at 08:15 and I will be on the bridge. You can have breakfast, it's your favourite breakfast today. Then you can go straight to the fo’c's’le and drop the anchor.
- What! Yes! I answered dazed with sleep.
I took a hot shower and I went to the bridge to pick up the walkie talkie. Now they told me that we should drop anchor at 08:00. No time for breakfast.
- I can drop the anchor if you want to eat, 2nd Officer offered.
- No No, I'm on my diet.
- I will stay on the bridge so you can eat after you dropped the anchor, Captain said.

We dropped anchor at 08:05 and when I came back on the bridge Captain was busy showing the new Captain the bridge.
- This is the button we push!
Well, not very much to show, the button is less complicated than the TV remote or as I told them. The remote for the TV is the most important to know, and also the most difficult equipment you will use during the time on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Handover on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Handover on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Handover on the bridge

Chief Engineer came on the bridge and I burnt a CD for him and we talked about the good old times and before soon it were 10 o'clock and our Cook arrived with Danish pastry.
- This is getting out of hand! Just because I had a one fifth of a potato cake this morning doesn't mean that I gave up on my diet.
I didn't eat any of the Danish, I left them for Captain.

We expected to go inside with the afternoon convoy. Our berth is occupied by another vessel. At 11 o'clock we got news that we have to stay anchored until tomorrow morning. Hmm, we know Russia by now and that means that we don't know anything.
Well, I'm in no hurry for sure. And I told the guys signing off next time in Finland that the quicker they got home the quicker they have to sign on again.

I tested the fire alarm just before 12 o'clock and as you all know, Raggmunk is a force majeure so I had to go for lunch at 12 o'clock. When I came back on the bridge I was sitting down minding my own business drinking tea when suddenly, around 20 minutes before 2 o'clock the phone rang. It was Captain.
- Do you want any chocolate?
- NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!
I returned to the tea machine and I saw that someone had been on the pastry. Taking a little bit, I suspected one guy, but I know everyone will blame me. Well, we have already blown this page out of proportions with stupid images. So here are a few more, for broadbanders it's never mind. Slowbanders can make a cup of tea while the page is loading.

Pastry thief on board M/T AstoriaPastry thief on board M/T Astoriaashtray thief on board M/T Astoria
The pictures leave no room for doubt that someone have been pinching from the pastry plate


While waiting at the anchorage I read e-mail from the Jazz Chef. He's on Bro Jupiter now. He wrote that they had poured out “ Isterband Special ” for lunch. Yeah, I can as well say it now. The story about the “ Isterband Special ” you have read here on aladdin.st is about the Jazz Chef. Believe me, I have annoyed him enough about the “ Isterband Special ”. But he's not ashamed at all and I suspect the mutiny is in full swing on Bro Jupiter by now.

They put the Jazz Chef in a dinghy and he have to paddle the oceans looking for a place of refuge. He will name the island Isla Manteca de Cerdo and the capital will be Isterbandville. Coming generations will read about it in the best seller Mutiny on Bro Jupiter. All this because of some foocking “ Isterband Special ”

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 5th of December 2004
and we expected to go inside at 14:00. It was still blowing force 8 from SW and our Agent called in the afternoon. He told us that “ maybe ” we could go inside Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004tomorrow at 14:00. I'm in no hurry.

Our new Captain spent the night watch on the bridge telling me the most incredible cock-and-bull stories.

Our Chief Engineer came by with a picture of his sailboat. He wanted me to put a red line on the hull and we loaded his picture in to my computer.
- I want to see how it looks, maybe I will paint a line on the hull next summer, he said.

We put a red line on the picture of his boat in Photoshop. If you brought a laptop on board 5 or 10 years ago they started to call you “HACKER” Today most of the crew have their own laptop. But a Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004digital camera is not all that common, and if you bring Photoshop along with your camera they will soon come with different tasks and questions. Well, maybe it was better back when they called me “HACKER”

Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful day. Well, at lunch I went down to the galley and I picked up some oatmeal and LIGHT milk.

Hopefully I don't have to show myself in the galley or mess room for a very long time now as this oatmeal should last for a week.

Well, anyway, I took the opportunity to pester our Cook when I was down for the oatmeal. and one thing is for sure, it won’t be any Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004problem with the diet today as he was busy cooking something I would not have eaten even if I was starving.

I also ran in to our Chief Engineer in the kitchen.

I didn't call 2nd Officer for her watch at midnight. She can sleep until 1 o'clock and I can as well sit on the bride.

It's a little unnecessary for me to sit in the cabin not being able to sleep while she's sitting on the bride wanting to sleep. I would have been wasting my time watching a video. I watched 1 movie after my afternoon watch, first movie on this ship. I have read all the Donald Duck and 91:an comics on board. It's nice and easy to read a comic before sleep.
Otherwise I read books, but I don't find the repose on board the ships to start a book.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook and Chief Engineer

+++++++++++++++
Monday 6th of December 2004
and the same routine as every morning when coming on my morning watch. Make tea and mix oatmeal with water. It's still blowing force 8, but now it's from WNW. Still no news about going inside. I'm preparing myself for another night on the anchorage.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 7th of December 2004
and the same routine when coming on my morning watch, except making the tea. The ship was rolling so I had to wait until 10 o'clock for my tea. But I had my oatmeal. The wind had decreased to force 5 or something like that and we expected to go inside today.

Around 13:30 Baltiysk started to call the ships around us. They asked them to heave their anchors and be at the Baltiysk breakwaters in 1 hour. They never called us and the 2 or 3 tankers in our size at the anchorage. There was a small tanker Laura Therese or something.
- LauraThereseBaltiyskTrafficLauraThereseBaltiyskTrafficcalling!!!!!
It's scary hearing these Russians on the VHF. They sound like they are facing an imminent death or like a disaster are imminent. You're crapping your pants every time.
- Laura Therese replying!
- Startheavingyouranchorandbeatthebreakwaterin1hour.
- Pilotladderportside1decimal5metersabovethewater

They called 6 or 7 ships this way. I must admit that I didn't understood very much of what they said. When Laura Theresa was at the breakwater they called Baltiysk Traffic.
- LauraTheresawait50minutes, Baltiysk replied.
After a while they called Laura Theresa again and asked them to drop their anchor again.
- Thechannelareclosedforyouandyouwillgoinsidetomorrow
20 minutes after they had dropped their anchor Baltiysk Radio called them again and asked them to heave up the anchor again.

It was nice to go off my watch at 16:00. I started a video and at 17:00 I went to the mess room Diet foodfor dinner. I'm pretty satisfied with my day regarding the diet. Oatmeal in the morning, steamed fish and broccoli for lunch and mixed salad with a few drops of olive oil for dinner.

Well, I forgot the 5 hazelnuts in the morning. Our new Captain told me that it's very healthy with 5 hazelnuts per day. But not more! I don't know for what, it's something with stiff joints and I'm a little stiff in my left shoulder when I wake up in the morning. I'm getting old.

While waiting at the anchorage our off signers are getting moody. they want to go home. When coming back to Finland our Cook, Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer and Captain will go home. No more Cook running around on the bridge. It will be lonely sitting there driving the ship. Our Cook and Chief Engineer used to be there talking about the good old times and we always cracked a few jokes. It's always nice with visitors, well if it's a nice visitor and if they don't bring cookies.

That's one of the problems, you're sitting alone on the bridge and when it's time for dinner you're rushing down to the mess room just to see some people. It's nice to crack a few jokes and have a good laugh. I hope it's not any “kill-joys” coming on board in Finland.

Hmm, after giving it a thought maybe that could be good. I don't have to go to the mess room, I can stay on the bridge sucking my oatmeal's. OK, I know I got carried away with all this and that about the diet. It has been a little too much about the diet lately. Now you can imagine all the excitements happening on board when the most exciting thing to write about is my diet.

Well, anyway, the good news for you is that I bought Captains Bluetooth radio so I can continue my uploads. So no worries!

When I came on my night watch I had to turn off the Christmas music first thing. It's a little too early for that kind of music. When relieved at midnight I went down to my cabin and I started a movie. I can finish the movie tomorrow afternoon.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 8th of December 2004
and it was blowing force 8-9 from West. During the morning the wind decreased a little and after lunch the sun showed up. But it was still too much wind for us to go inside. Well, maybe they don't have any cargo for us. Last time it was blowing like this and we came inside.

Anyway, It's another day with a success full diet. 5 hazelnuts in the morning and oatmeal for lunch. Our Cook came on the bridge after lunch:
- Why haven't you been visiting me today?
- I'm eating my oatmeal.
I had one more cup of oatmeal before going off my watch. Salad with a few drops of olive oil for dinner. When I came on my night watch we had received an e-mail from our agent.

Pilot 9th of December 0630 The off signers were happy to leave the anchorage. Our 2nd Officer had been afraid to miss Christmas at home due to the delay. She will do 1 more trip before going home so she was very happy.

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 9th of December 2004
and the first thing I did when 2nd Officer called me at 07:40 was to look out of the window. We were still at the anchorage, big surprise!

We spent the morning changing a flammable gas detector in the pipe tunnel. Hmm, I was glad for my past as a élite gymnast because the pipe tunnel isn't very easy to work in. Well, we had a small AB that could do the work while Captain was on the bridge adjusting the potentiometer while the AB measured the voltage at the sensor. When we read 2,05 Volt we were satisfied.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
On our way in the Canal to Kaliningrad

Just after 12 o'clock Baltiysk Radio called us on VHF ch 74 and requested us to have the anchor up in one hour and at 13:05 our anchor was up. And at 13:45 the Pilot boarded us inside Baltiysk breakwaters. Our new Captain was on the bridge with the home going Captain and I took the opportunity to take a picture.

At 16:00 I was relieved by 2nd Officer and I was off to my cabin. At 5 o'clock I was hungry, 5 hazelnuts and a cup of oatmeal during the day wasn't much. I went down for some cauliflower soup and then I was off for a quick power nap. 45 to 60 minutes of sleep in the evening is nice.

Ville, Valle & Viktor
Ville, Valle & Viktor

When I came on my watch 20:00 we had been loading for 45 minutes. At 9 o'clock our Cook came on the bridge. We hadn't had any time to discuss tomorrow's menu as we use to do after dinner.
- Tomorrow it will be Pomplet, our Cook said.
- That's my favourite! Crêpe pommes de terre

+++++++++++++++
Friday 10th of December 2004
and it was a gloomy and grey day. We left Kaliningrad at 10:35 and it took us 3 hours to Baltiysk breakwater and the waiting pilot boat. And it was nice to leave Kaliningrad and the pilot behind. I spent the rest of my watch listening to music. There were plenty fishing boats outside Kaliningrad and it was a little fogy and the navigation required all my attention so it was nice to leave the bridge at 1600.

I spent 1 hour in my cabin and I was off to the mess room at 17:00 for my salad. It was the usual ballyhoo in the mess room and I managed to get 30 minutes of sleep before my night watch. At 9 o'clock our Cook came to the bridge. He told me that he had put a gift in my cabin. I was curious for the rest of my watch and at midnight I dashed down to my cabin. I found the biggest chocolate bar I had seen in my life.

Why the gift? I suspect that they don't like me on this ship. Captain calling all the time:
- Do you want me to send pizza to the bridge?
- Now you have to go and eat!

But the Cook is worst. I made it clear when I came on board that I would not eat any breakfast or lunch. Maybe some salad for dinner. But he's on the bridge uncountable times nagging:
- Are you coming for lunch (dinner)?
When he's not on the bridge he's on the phone:
- Are you coming for lunch (dinner)?

It's only my character and will-power together with my self-discipline that keeps me from going down to the mess room. Hmm, tomorrow its tunna fläskpannkakor for lunch. Yummy, we have to see what happens tomorrow.

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 11th of December 2004
and it was still dark when I came on my morning watch. A few hours later I could see the sun rise in the east. But a nice morning became a gloomy and grey day before lunch. Before going to the mess room for my lunch I picked up my camera in my cabin. When I came down our Cook was busy making fläskpannkakor. We had planned for this for a long time and I skipped my diet for today. I started easy with 4 Fläskpannkakor.
It was the best pancakes I had ever had. Light and a little crisp.
- How do you get this crispy surface without burning them? I asked.

Yeah-yeah, it was a secret, big surprise. But he promised to tell me the secret later on. It was the last lunch with this Cook before he signs off. And my last lunch on this ship, from now on its oatmeal.

Our Cook asked me if those pancakes would have been good enough for Her Majesty the Queen Silvia. I have told him about the “ Jazz Chef ” and his fläskpannkakor.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Making fläskpannkaka

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Making fläskpannkaka



Our agent called on the phone when 2nd Officer came on the bridge to relieve me at 16:00. Our jetty was occupied so we have to drop anchor at arrival. They expected our jetty to be free between midnight and 2 o'clock in the morning.

I was off to my cabin to prepare the video of our Cook. I will try to upload it tonight. I tried to get the secret from our Cook a second time and I asked yet again about the secret with his Fläskpannkakor.
- I will tell you when we're alone, he said.
When everyone was ready with dinner and we were alone in the mess room he told me the secret. I
Såja Pepe!

E d beredd för hemligheten med dom godaste Fläskpannkakorna? D går ju inte at servera Drottning Silvia det näst bästa.

Slå i lite grädde när smeten är klar, cirka 1 dl på 2 liter smet så blir dom frasiga och goda. Ungefär samma trix som när man häller lite grädde i våffel smeten när man vill ha dom frasiga och goda.

FÖRSIKTIG!!!! INTE FÖR MYCKET!!!!!

will pass it on to our “ Jazz Chef ”

We had just dropped our anchor when I came on my night watch. Pilot told us that we could expect to go inside around 5-6 o'clock in the morning.

I took the opportunity to send some e-mail.

There were e-mails from Sue and I was happy. E-mails from Sue always make me happy.

There were also e-mail from Krisse and he's up and running with his web page. We registered a domain for him the day before I left for Astoria. Visit www.crisse.se, new updates are expected soon. But he's busy with school at the moment.

At 22:35 2nd Officer came to the bridge. Hmm, I was supposed to wake her up at 22:30. She will take our MOB and pick up the on signers waiting on the jetty. Our off signers will leave tomorrow morning when we arrive to the jetty.
At 22:40 our agent called and said that the on signers will arrive to the jetty at 23:15. Our 2nd Officer left at 23:10 or something and the on signers were on board at 23:35. Before going to sleep I will send e-mail to Sue and upload my web page and then you have to wait until next time we're back in Finland for more exciting news from Astoria.

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 12th of December 2004
and we were still waiting at the anchorage when I came on my morning watch. I was on the bridge talking with the Captain when the pilot called us.
- Pilot will board you in 1 hour.
At 09:30 the pilot came on board and we had all fast at jetty #2 11 o'clock. We passed Bro Sincero and Tärnvik on the way to our jetty. Tärnvik was loading on the jetty next to us.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun on deck at arrival to Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun on deck at arrival to Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun on deck at arrival to Porvoo

We started to discharge at 11:30 and just after 12 o'clock I could hear someone calling on the radio “Aladdin!” First I thought it was the AB on my watch calling. When I called him I got a reply from Tärnvik. Chief Officer thought he had heard me on the radio.

He connected his laptop to internet and checked my web page. Yes, Aladdin was on Astoria. Yes, a GPRS modem and a computer come in handy at times.

My GPRS modem came in handy in the evening when I received e-mail from Sue. It was nice and I was in a good mood and it was easy to go on my night watch.

We completed discharging at 20:30 and we left Porvoo at 21:15. Just before 10 o'clock (9 o'clock in Sweden) our old Captain called on the phone. He had just arrived home to Farmerville. The first thing he did when he came home was to check my web page.

There was an e-mail from him as well. Hmm, it must be because it's Sunday and there is nothing to do in Farmerville. He was lucky to have aladdin.st!

-----Original Message-----
From: Farmer John [mailto:Farmer John@Farmerville.se]
Sent: 12 December 2004 20:36
To: Aladdin
Subject: Form mail from web page

Nisse du ljuger bra mycket om antal fläskpankakor du åt 4!! var är dom andra
16?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let me try to translate this to English:

Hello Aladdin!
It was no fun coming home from the ship. I would be better off on the ship with my friends. Nothing is happening here in Farmerville and I hope to be back soon.



Yeah-yeah, we have to listening to the same crap every time they are signing off the ship.

- When I'm coming home.......... blah-blah blah-blah blah-blah .........it will be nice..... blah-blah blah-blah ...........nice to leave the ship.... blah-blah blah-blah ........holiday..... blah-blah blah-blah ..........enjoy myself............. blah-blah blah-blah blah-blah blah-blah .........it will be nice..... blah-blah blah-blah ......nice to leave the ship.... blah-blah blah-blah....
- Yeah-yeah, the boredom will drive you crazy. You will sit behind the curtains in your kitchen looking out. Looking at your watch wondering what Aladdin is doing right now.


- No no! I will have so much fun.......... blah-blah blah-blah ............busy enjoying myself every day....... blah-blah blah-blah .....laughter every day............ blah-blah blah-blah..... I will not miss the ship............ I will have so much fun............blah-blah blah-blah ..........doing this doing that....so much fun......blah-blah blah-blah.......
- Hey hey, I have been around for too long to believe this crap. Let's call the apprentice, I doubt it, but maybe he will fall for this crap.


- I will not miss the ship...... blah-blah blah-blah ......I will not give the ship and the crew a thought when home.... blah-blah blah-blah .......Ha!!! I will laugh myself to sleep every night.... blah-blah blah-blah ....

Well, Farmer John is lucky to have aladdin.st, he can spend many hours here.

Believe it or not, it was the same when our Chief Officer signed off in Naantali. There was no flight for him so he had to stay on hotel until Sunday afternoon.
- It will be nice to sign off! Saturday night in Turku and I will enjoy myself on a pub, he said.
- Yeah-yeah, blah-blah! You're better off on board, I said.
A few hours later he called from the pub. I couldn't help myself.
- Are you bored? Who calls to the ship from a pub 10 o'clock on a Saturday night?

+++++++++++++++
Monday 13th of December 2004
and we had left Gulf of Finland behind when I came on my morning watch 13th of December . It was gloomy and grey, but no wind so it was OK. I started my watch with 5 hazelnuts and a pot of tea. For lunch I had a cup of oatmeal while enjoying the view. Our Captain was busy in his new office. This was his 2nd day alone on board. But not busier than that he could spend most of the time with me on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain in his office

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain in his office

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Not much time to relax

It was a slow watch. I had to change course for some fishing vessels. One crossing my bow showing green and when he had crossed he changed course and crossed my bow again showing red. Anyone Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004surprised?

And if you don't know about red and green, well, just pop by my web ship and you will soon know. All the fishing vessels and changing courses made me hungry. I mixed a oatmeal surprise at 15:00. I had my camera on the bridge and I came up with the idea to put the délicatesse on the web.

When I was arranging the cup for my pictures Captain came sneaking up behind me.
- Are you taking a picture of the oatmeal?

Yeah, I want everyone to know what an oatmeal surprise is. The cookie jar behind the cup is for coffee and there are no cookies in the jar. But well, anyway, now you know what a oatmeal surprise is and you can make it for yourself in the comfort of your home.

I was relieved at 16:00 and I was down to my cabin. We got new videos on board in Porvoo. I watched video until 1700 when it was time for salad in the mess room.
Our new Cook was working on Framnäs before so I knew him. He gave me a bag of hazel nuts that I brought to my cabin. 5 a day and the bag will last me until I sign off.

When I got of my watch at midnight we were just outside the approach to Kaliningrad and we put end of sea passage 00:05 14th of December.


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Foam monitor

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 14th of December 2004
and we were just about to arrive to our jetty when I came on my morning watch. We had all fast at 08:45 at jetty # 4 in Kaliningrad. I was talking to the Captain on the bridge while waiting for the immigration and the Agent. At 10:15 we had free pratique and Loading Master and the Surveyor could come on board. Our Loading Master, (Well, it was the Surveyor doing the talking, Loading Master could only grunt in English) that we could not start to load until M/T Equinox had completed loading at jetty #3 behind us.
- We expect you to start loading around 13:00, the Surveyor said.

At 13:20 they started to load the crude oil. While waiting for them to start Captain and I were busy. We ordered 30 kg of Clementines for Naantali. I will be busy eating Clementine's and losing weight. I can't wait until we get them on board.
But I got 1 bag with Clementine's today, our 2nd Officer, AB and Motorman was ashore shopping today. Our 2nd Officer returned with a bag of Clementines.


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Ships passing us on the river

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 15th of December 2004
and our 2nd Officer didn't call me until 08:30. It was nice with the extra sleep. I covered for her yesterday when she was ashore.
We left Kaliningrad 10:35 and it took us about 3 hours to Baltiysk pilot station. On the way we passed Corona, a ship that was grounded. There had been a malfunction with her auto pilot.

We have ETA to Utö pilot 11:40 16th of December. It's about 4 hours from the pilot station to Naantali. Good, then I can send a happy birthday e-mail to Sue. She won't be happy if I forget her birthday. But I have not forgotten her birthday, the only thing to worry about is if I have network coverage on my mobile phone.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
They did the cargo documents when I came on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
They did the cargo documents when I came on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun taking on board gangway at departure from Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Aground

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Aground - Well out of the fairway

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Russian navy in Baltiysk

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Baltiysk Pilot station

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 16th of December 2004
and Utö pilot boarded us at 12:25. Strong wind from West and the wind had increased since yesterday. But it was sunshine and pretty nice to go on deck to pick up the pilot.

On the way in to Naantali we got e-mail from Fortum. They changed next voyage, we will discharge in Naantali instead of Porvoo. But it was hard for me to get network coverage, I had expected to send e-mail after picking up the pilot.

During the afternoon I started to get hungry. 5 hazelnuts and a cup of crushed rye and a cup of oatmeal for lunch. Not very much! I got network coverage at 15:00 and my inbox was brimmed with love letter from Sue. My mood turned to very good and I made a pot of tea for me and Captain.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st I was happy to have been able to send Sue her happy birthday e-mail. There was also e-mail from our Cook that signed of last time in Finland.

-----Original Message-----
From: Cook [mailto:Cook@Hicksville.se]
Sent: 15 December 2004 18:41
To: Aladdin
Subject: Re: Form mail from web page

Det blir både Nissecakes och Raggmunks i januari,
Björnen

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let me try to translate this to English:

Hello Aladdin!
It was no fun coming home from the ship. I would be better off on the ship with my friends. Nothing is happening here in Hicksville and I hope to be back soon.



We arrived to Naantali and had all fast at Fortum's jetty #3 at 16:40. It was dark at arrival, but the weather was nice and we had had sunshine all day long so we can't complain.

Our ship chandler was waiting on the jetty. We are not allowed to use our deck crane while Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004discharging. So we took on board our provision before the cargo operation and we started to discharge at 17:45 when our provision was on board.

We had to discharge with a maximum rate of 500m³/h for 2,5 hours before going up to full speed.

I was sitting on the bridge minding my own business while discharging when the Bosun, he is on my watch brought me a box of clementines. Oh yeah! Now we're talking. I was lucky to have my camera handy and I took a picture of the AB and Captain. Captain is always hovering around when there is Diet Drinks or Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004clementines around. Captain wanted to take one picture of me as well. I wasn't so keen on it, but hey! I was in a good mood.

While munching on the clementines our new 2nd Officer came on the bridge. We got a new 2nd Officer, AB and Motorman on board today.

The off signers went home to celebrate Christmas. But they were lucky to get home. It was very hard to find tickets for them. They had to work until 23:00 on the office yesterday until they found any tickets. Many people are travelling around Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004Christmas time, Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stespecially Santa Claus.

Busy buying Christmas gifts and all the other stuff making people happy. Well, for most of the people it turns out like a big disappointment.

They spent so much money buying food and stuff. Being worried that it wouldn't be enough they buy more and more and after Christmas is just agony and pain.

We expect to leave early tomorrow morning for Kaliningrad. How early depends on how long we must discharge with slow rate. They called me just before 2200 and asked me to increase to full rate and that means departure around 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

+++++++++++++++
Friday 17th of December 2004
and we were ready to leave Naantali when I came on my morning watch. I went on deck and at 08:25 we departed from Naantali. During the night there had been a storm. The wind had increased a little, but it was still blowing force 8-9.
When passing Utö we meet very rough sea and the ship was rolling heavily. The sea became better when we came out on deeper water.

We have our box of clementines on the bridge and there is a very strong smell of clementines on the bridge. You can smell the clementines all the way down the stairways. Everyone coming to the bridge says that the smell is very fresh.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain busy to copy our Pilot's chart when leaving Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain busy to copy our Pilot's chart when leaving Finland

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 18th of December 2004
and the gale force winds were gone. Now it was blowing force 5-6 from SSW. We had ETA 13:30 to Baltiysk pilot station. We had received e-mail from the agent that the pilot will board us at 14:00.

I called Baltiysk Traffic 2 hours before buoy #1. I asked about the latest news and they told us to drop the anchor and that the pilot would board us at 15:00. They asked us to call again when we were 7 miles from the breakwater.
Captain called Baltiysk Traffic 7 miles from the breakwater. It was 13:10 and they told us to slow down. Pilot will come at 14:00.

We proceeded slowly to the breakwater and the pilot boarded us at 14:15. It's about 3 hours to jetty #4 in Kaliningrad, so arriving in the middle of the dinner.

I was relieved at 16:00 and I was off to my cabin. Writing a little on my web page and I started with my new language course. I had bought a CD-rom that I had never been using. Now I wanted to start learning, but first I had to finish a video I started yesterday.

When I came on my night watch loading was in full swing. Loading here in Kaliningrad means changing rates all the time. Loading with 1700m³/h and then all of the sudden its 0 rate. Hard to estimate any time for completion. Well, anyway, it was nice to be relieved at midnight.



+++++++++++++++
Sunday 19th of December 2004
and we had just completed loading when I came on my morning watch and paper work was ready around 9 o'clock.
- Cargo documents will be on board in 1, 5 hours, Surveyor said when he went ashore.
1,5 hours? Hmm, at 11:30 the paper came on board. But we had a nice time waiting, the bridge was crowded. Captain, AB and Motorman. We talked about the good times. Our AB is going home in Naantali and he was worried that we would miss the afternoon convoy. He's in a hurry home for Christmas.

We left Kaliningrad at 12:30 and when I came back on the bridge I was busy with the paper work. I scanned all the documents and saved them on the computer. The original will be sent to Fortum and the scanned copies will be kept on board. 1 set of cargo paper and a copy of the ullage report is for the receivers.

On the way out our pilot asked for a ship stamp. He was collecting stamps from all the ships he had been on in a note book and there were stamps from plenty ships.
We don't have a ship stamp so Captain put a stamp with the company address and one stamp with the ship name.
- Hmm, it doesn't look good, I put my Chief Officer stamp as well, I said.
-No no, don't destroy his collection, he been collecting these stamps for several years now. He only wants ship stamps, Captain said.
I took the Chief Officer stamp and I noticed that the Captain became stressed. He throws himself over the desk grabbing all the stamps he could reach.
- NO NO! This nice old gentleman has been collecting these stamps for several years. He doesn't need you to destroy the collection, Captain said with agitation.
He had all the stamps in his arms. He was unable to reach out his arms. I opened my drawer and I showed him one more Chief Officer stamp.
I tried to reach the stamp but I feint him a few times while screaming with laughter.
- Please! Give me the stamp! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

I asked the pilot if he would like to have a Chief Officer stamp in his book. He beamed with joy when answering.
- Yes, please!
I put the stamp in his book. Captain became green of envy.
- I want to put my stamp as well, he said.
- I think the pilot is better off without your stamp, I said.

We left the pilot at Baltiysk pilot station at 15:40. When returning to the bridge I asked Captain about his pillows. When I came on board I stayed in the owner's cabin. The pillows were terrible, not filthy and disgusting as on Vinga Helena, but they were of inferior quality. It was like sleeping on a bag with rags.

I asked the Chief Officer about the pillows in his cabin. He told me that they were OK. When I moved in to his cabin I became disappointed, same poor quality in his cabin. So I asked the Captain about his pillows when returning to the bridge.
- They are terrible. I was hoping to find good pillows in Captain’s cabin. They were terrible when I stayed in the owner's cabin, he said.
- We have to order new pillows, I said.
When 2nd Officer relieved me at 16:00 I asked him about his pillows.
- They are terrible.
When he came on board he complained about the pillows. The off signing 2nd Officer told him that he could use Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004her pillow. She had brought her own pillows from home.

Well, it is not the foocking 18th century when you had to bring your own sack of hay as a mattress when you joined a ship

We decided to order pillows for our 3 cabins. Its better that the deputy crew is doing it. We don't have to be that loyal to the company as the crew being on board for 5 years. When they crew is coming back they can blame the deputy crew for everything.

The AB on my watch received his travel information in the evening of the 19th of December. They had booked a ticket from Helsinki 19:00 20th of December. He had to call the company because we will arrive to Naantali and not to Porvoo. It's far from Naantali to Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004Helsinki and we got new travel information a little later via e-mail. He will fly from Turku 06:35 21st of December. His reliever will arrive 00:40 21st of December.

When everything was set I asked the AB to bring a box of clementines to the bridge. He came up on the bridge in the dark. Captain didn't know that I had my camera stand by. He grabbed a handful of clementines in the darkness. He was surprised by the camera flash and we caught him red handed.

While the AB and Captain discussed times long gone and never returning I was busy hiding the box of clementines. I placed my “ spy cam ” so I could get some pictures of the action. This morning when I came on my watch there were an empty box and no one had been eating of the clementines.

Hmm, during the night there were plenty action behind the plant. Popular corner of the bridge, and we know why! Well, everyone is eating like there is no tomorrow. Everyone tries to get the clementines without the pips.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
There was nothing stopping Captain and he went behind the tree several times

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He was obviously not happy about his ration

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He is leaving

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He didn't got any clementines??!! The box is half empty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun prepare coffee for the next watch

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun prepare coffee for the next watch

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun have yet another go on the clementines

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Next watch is coming to relieve us on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
At least he only take one

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He decided to try one, or ten

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Eating clementine

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
A wee bit of blah-blah before we can go to bed

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
A wee bit of blah-blah before we can go to bed

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He gives the clementines another go

When the 2nd Officer and AB on 12-4 watch came to relieve us at midnight they knew there were new clementines on the bridge by the smell. They went straight to the box and started to munch. Plenty vitamin C is good during the winter.

But Captain took the prize, he went through the box like a chipper. With all the vitamin C he got I Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stdon't think that he will catch a cold for a long time. A healthy Captain is a happy Captain!

Hmm, maybe not when it's coming to the pilots stamp collection. Ha! He was so eager to put the Captain stamp in the book but he didn't dare to do it until I put my stamp.

When I got off my watch the ship was shaking and rolling a little for wind and sea from NW. I had a video running in the back while preparing my pictures for the web. It was not easy doing it when the ship was rolling and shaking. But at 0130 I went to bed satisfied with the result.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 20th of December 2004
and the wind had decreased when I came on my morning watch. We had ETA to Utö pilot around 15:00. In the afternoon the wind increased a little again and slowed us down a little. But we should be able to keep our ETA 15:00.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun investigate what's wrong with our heating fan

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our Cook

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
AB in the duty mess

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
We're on deck waiting for Utö pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
We're on deck waiting for Utö pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
We're on deck waiting for Utö pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Utö pilot boat on the way

We arrived to Utö pilot station at 1455. I was on deck to meet the pilot. It was windy and cold Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004and when pilot was on board we hurried back indoor.

When I came on my watch at 20:00 we were alongside and our agent was on the bridge with our new pillows. It will be nice to go to sleep tonight with new pillows and I'm really looking forward to it.

We started to discharge at 20:20 and when I got of my watch it looked like departure around 8 o'clock Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stin the morning. So it looks like I will have to spend the morning with the pilot and Captain on the bridge. Drinking tea and talking about the good old times.





Well, this will be the last time in Finland and my last upload before Christmas. I hope that Santa will bring you many and expensive gifts. You're opening gifts while I'm sitting on the ship with no gifts. I will celebrate Christmas on board, but I will not let it go out of hand. One cup of oatmeal is enough. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas. While eating you Christmas food you have my next upload to look forward to.


At midnight I went down to my cabin and I uploaded the latest news to my web server. My inbox was full of e-mail, Sue wrote that she had had a nice birthday.
I also got e-mail suggesting that I should buy a program translating his e-mail to English. It was not the Cook at home, because he's a well-mannered and urbane gentleman in full vigour.
Not the from the Cook, but we can guess who it was from. Well, anyway, I don't want to translate stuff like:
Bipping boring at home! Here is Bip all to do. Bipping bip
Yeah-yeah, you got the picture.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 21st of December 2004
and 2nd Officer called me at 07:40 and woke me up from my torpor. I was sleeping like the Sleeping Beauty on my new pillows. When I came on my morning watch we were just about to be finished with discharging. I stripped the last tank and we completed discharging at 08:00 and we left Naantali 08:50.

We had a nice passage through the Finnish archipelago with sunshine and I was drinking tea with the Captain. Our pilot was drinking coffee. Well, Captain told me some of the worst and most incredible sailor's yarns and cock-and-bull stories I had ever heard.

It was something about “ hard work ”and “ I haven't got any clementines ”. I don't know where he comes up with all this crap. I don't want to go into any details, even though you are used to that aladdin.st brings you the truth and the web to a new level every now and then.

During the winter 03 a web ship was introduced on aladdin.st. I got my latest e-mail regarding my web ship yesterday. It was from a student in Gothenburg. She's studying at the shipping business university and she wrote that my web ship had been of a very great help during her studies. She also suggested that I should put my account number on my web page for people contributing. “ You would be rich in a jiff” as she wrote. It's warming for the old Chief Officer heart to receive e-mails like that.
Imagine my web ship if I were the Captain and had all the spare time coming with this position. I could write MB after MB every day, now I don't have so much time.

During the spring 04 aladdin.st introduced explanatory and illustrative videos on the web site. You can see all the action on the ship from the comfort of your favourite armchair in your home. After watching these pedagogical wonders there should not be any questions remaining for the amateur sailors.

During the summer 04 you could find interactivity on aladdin.st and this is as close you can come to being a Chief Engineer on a ship. We remember the push button, the Friday afternoon boredom killer. If you're doing it from the most comfortable armchair while muttering:
- My salary is a disgrace! 24/7! Working for free!
It will be exactly the same as being a Chief Engineer on board. So next time on your favourite pub
you can say that you have been a Chief Engineer while swinging yourself up on the stool. If you by perchance will meet any Engineer on the same pub just say the above.
You can also add a:
- Pushing the button every now and then!
Every one you meet will think that you are an experienced Engineer, even if they have been working on ships for 50 years.

So even if we consider aladdin.st as edge breaking I don't think we are ready for some of the rubbish I was told this morning. You know, back in the sixties half of the population throw out their TVs when there was someone in underwear on the TV. We are stretching our degree of tolerance and today no one would raise one's eyebrows because of underwear on the TV. So maybe we will be ready for his incredible sailor's yarns and cock-and-bull stories in a few years.

Well, we left the pilot at 12:25 at Utö pilot station and at 12:35 we had full speed and started our sea passage. Captain left me alone with my music and the sunshine. He came back after one hour and I asked him:
- What have you been doing?
- I have been busy, very busy. I have done paper work and sent e-mail.
- Yes, what about the other 56 minutes? I asked.

It was a very nice afternoon, blue sky and not very much wind. But the pilot, agent in Russia and the Swedish news are talking about the storm of the century approach. During the night it will blow up to 33m/s. 33m/s is no storm, that's a hurricane. I hope the forecast is wrong.

When I came on my night watch there were only 2 clementines left. Hmm, someone has been busy in the box.
When we were relieved at midnight we discussed our satellite dish with the relievers. Some of the crew wants to buy a gyro stabilized satellite dish instead of the satellite dish we have now. This one needs to be adjusted by hand. They need to direct the dish towards the satellite. And as you understand it's a lot of adjustment on a moving ship.

On all Swedish ships they have a leisure fund. Everyone on board pays to this fund, but it's voluntary to pay. On Astoria we pay 4 Swedish Scooby Doo $ every day. It's expensive, otherwise I use to pay 1 or 2 Scooby $. The money in the leisure fund is used to pay for the videos we got sent to us every month. The surplus is saved for other stuff we want to buy.
We have meetings on board were we are deciding what to do with the money.

Well, now some of the people on board want to buy a gyro stabilized satellite dish. This cost about 70 000 Scooby $. Now they had have 4 voting's about the gyro stabilized satellite dish. It's expensive and they come up with different solutions. One idea is to cancel the subscription on the videos and pay twice as much to the leisure fund.

Well, there are people on board that are not interested in the dish, I understand them. There is no time to watch TV for some of the crew, especially the Deck Officers.

Some of the crew says that they won't pay anything to the leisure fund if they cancel the video subscription. I agree with them, why should we pay for them who have time to spend the whole day in the sofa in front of the TV.

I never have time to watch TV and I will not pay to any leisure fund if there are no videos on board. Another problem is that crew will leave the ship and new crew will come. Maybe in 6 months or a year from now there is only a few of the old crew left. What happen if the new crew refuses to pay for a satellite dish they can't or have no time to use. It's voluntary to pay to the leisure fund and to look at the video.
It will be expensive for the remaining ones who have to pay for the satellite dish.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 22nd of December 2004
and they had disconnected our shaft when I came on my morning watch generator. Baltiysk Traffic had called them and asked them to be at the pilot station so we could go inside with the morning convoy. As usually they asked us to call 7 nautical miles from the breakwater. Disconnected shaft generator and we' were hauling arse. Of course, when we called them 7 miles from the breakwater they told us to drop the anchor.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Officer putting the 8 o'clock position when I come to take over on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Officer putting the 8 o'clock position when I come to take over on the bridge

I went forward to the fo’c’s’le with the Bosun and at 09:35 we were anchored. Now it's just to wait, maybe we can go inside this afternoon, of course weather permitted. But they want us to go inside as soon as possible even though our jetty is occupied.

They want us to wait at jetty #3 for the other ship to be ready. They expect storm conditions here as well. Hmm, I prefer to wait alongside. If the weather turns very bad we have to heave up our anchor and steam towards the sea.

I was busy during my watch doing nothing, except watching our anchor position. Captain came to the bridge with a Diet Coke and a Soda water.
- Are you bringing a Coke to me? I asked.
- You're not drinking Coke, he said.
He ordered Diet Coke in Finland and he asked me if I wanted to have some Diet Coke.
- NO! I gave up Diet Coke a long time ago, I said.
I had severe pain in my stomach. On the right side under my ribs. I was afraid it was cancer, and maybe it is. But when I gave up Diet Coke the pain disappeared.
Maybe I'm full of cancer and about to die, I will check it sometimes. But as I said, I have felt good since I gave up Diet Coke. But maybe I can drink one.
- Do you want to swap the Coke for the Soda? I asked Captain.
We swapped and I had my first Diet Coke for a long time.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Approaching Kaliningrad anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Approaching Kaliningrad anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Bosun on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Kaliningrad anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Our fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
AB washing on deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
We had time for a fire drill

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
ISM meeting on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
The crew - Click HERE for bigger picture

There was no news during the afternoon about our berthing prospects. Waiting at the anchorage and nothing to do, well, we decided to hold our fire drill and oil spill drill. We finished the day with an ISM meeting on the bridge and I took the opportunity to take a picture of the crew.

I relieved 2nd Officer on the bridge at 20:00 and not long after that our Motorman came to the bridge. He brought some Dumle toffee that he offered me. I had the self-discipline to say no. But I wanted a Diet Coke.
I called Captain and asked him if he had some more Diet Coke. He had a few cans in his cabin.
- Are you dressed properly? I'm coming down to get some cans, I said.

A little later Captain joined Motorman, AB and me on the bridge. We discussed the union and I suggested that they should leave the union. I never give up and I'm happy for everyone I can persuade to leave the union.

Before I left for the ship there were many of the union-leader arranged apartments for themselves and their children. There were a few buying sex toys for the member's union dues. And the Deck Officers union are still telling us that there is a lack of Deck Officers. According to the union there is every indication that the feared lack of Officers is approaching Europe. There is a gap of 12% between accessible and demanded Officers.

We get a news letter “ The union informs ” via e-mail from the union. In the November issue we can read one solution is to get more females to work as Deck Officers on the ships.

Hmm, please help me out here, maths might not be my forte and this was a bit too much for me. They write that only 2% of the work force in the international merchant navy is females. According to the unions study shipping companies with an even distribution of the crew according to sex are more serious and behaves better.

2% of the work force, hmm, that means that the females only works in a very few shipping companies, otherwise they would not be able to get the amazing result from their study. There are just as many females in the merchant marine to get them even distributed of the crew in a few companies and they need some females to make them a minority working in some shipping companies. This is needed so they can compare the different companies.

Already now we understand that this study is nothing but rubbish. And the, well, I don't want to say scary part because I'm used to the union. They have poor sailors from third world counties compulsorily enrolled so they can collect membership fees no matter what!

And I think that we can agree on that sex equality and equal opportunities being the fashion now a day. It's fabulous that we have unions oppose sex equality and equal opportunities. Or if not against sex equality and equal opportunities do the union seriously mean that Caucasian males should leave the merchant navy?

That's the only way I see it. They union allow the companies to hire cheap crew from third world countries. (of course they charge a fee for this) On Swedish ships it's allowed to have 50% of the crew working from the Philippines.

I have never heard of any female sailor from the Philippines. So then there is only place for females on the ship. 50% female and 50% males (from countries were they never heard of things like sex equality) to allocate the appointments according to sex.
And thus the females must be Caucasians in order to have equal opportunities for the different races. Well, I'm not a racist but the crew from the Philippines are brown-hued or tanned as the correct term is. So 50% of the crew is tanned males and the other 50% is Caucasian females.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st You don't need an advanced degree in the field of rocket science to figure out that my future in the Swedish merchant navy looks dark.
There are no future prospects at all and that's how they like it.
- There are no Swedish Officers so we must put foreign crew on the ship. Lo and behold!
But I'm looking at the bright side of things, I can spend more time with Sue Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

And I'm very glad to see that the membership fees to the union are used wisely. Studies, reports and Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stnews letter via e-mail. There are no bounds to the perks coming with the membership. Maybe I should join the union again!

Or as I said to our Captain:
- Make an announcement on the PA system that I offer a Diet Coke to everyone that announces their resignation from the union.


When I got of my watch at midnight it was full snow storm. Nice to go down to my bed with the new pillows. I had been looking forward to this for the whole of my watch.

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 23rd of December 2004
and the wind had decreased and there were no snow when I came on my morning watch. It was raining and everything was gloomy and grey. During the afternoon the wind increased again. We are not going inside today, but who's in a hurry?.

They called from Fortum in the afternoon. They told us that the agent had called them. He told Fortum that we would maybe go inside today and that we would start loading directly.
There is another ship, M/T Stenberger that will load on the same jetty as us. They told Fortum that we will load before her.
- Hmm, that was strange, our Captain said to Fortum.
- The Agent told us that M/T Stenberger will load before us and that we should wait on jetty 3 for her to be ready. We have heard nothing about going inside today. There is too much wind, Captain said to Fortum.
Yes, this is shipping or as Captain say:
- Hurry up and wait.
Well, we spent the day on the bridge drinking Diet Cokes like there was no tomorrow.

After my watch I spent a few minutes in front of the video. I started a Swedish TV series. It's 12 episodes and each episode is 1 hour. There is enough to last me until it’s time to sign off the ship.

I also found a book in our day room that I started to read before my power nap. I'm sleeping 30-45 minutes every night before my night watch. I have my alarm on 19:15 and I have 45 minutes for hot shower and a few minutes of sitting down and relax.
It's very nice to sit and relax in my sofa drinking a Soda water after the shower. I can write e-mail or watch a little on the video. And at 8 o'clock I'm ready to face the responsibility on the bridge. I relieved 2nd Officer on the bridge at 20:00 and not long after our Motorman came to the bridge. Seems like our Motorman finds it exciting on the bridge.

During the night I sent my e-mails and my inbox were brimmed with Christmas greetings and I spent the rest of my watch answering all of them. After writing more than 30 e-mails it was nice with a break when Captain came for more Diet Coke.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He can hardly find the time to sit down and relax for a few seconds

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He can hardly find the time to sit down and relax for a few seconds


I was relieved by 2nd Officer at midnight. He told me that our Christmas tree was Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004decorated and ready. I went down and I took a picture of our Christmas on board M/T Astoriatree. The tree was looking good.

After my watch I was sitting on the bridge blustering for 2nd Officer, Captain and the AB before going down to my cabin. It was time for a few minutes of video and a few pages in the book before going to sleep.


I night of good sleep will do me good. I'm looking forward to a new day tomorrow full of hard work and excitements. Shipping is fun!

Well, before going down Captain showed me the latest e-mail from the agent. Now M/T Bellona will load gas oil on jetty #3 and we have to wait until M/T Stenberg is ready on jetty #4. Earliest berthing 25th on the afternoon, weather permitted.
- You see! I have to work until midnight, plenty to do, Captain said.
- Well, you could as well have done the work between 11 and 11:15 this morning, I said.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Officer coming on watch at midnight

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain and I stayed for an extra BONUS hour on the bridge after my watch

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
We having a middle of the night chat on the bridge when they come to relieve us

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Officer amazed by Captain's yarn about the good ol' time

+++++++++++++++
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Friday 24th of December 2004
and 2nd Officer called me at 07:40, I don't remember him Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stcalling and I woke up at 8 o'clock. I went straight to the bridge and arrived a Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004few minutes late. We're still anchored and today there was a rainbow and I managed to catch the rainbow with my camera.

Well, it's Christmas again, it feels like it was yesterday it was last Christmas. The years pass by quicker and quicker the older I get and this is not a nice experience. All I want from my Christmas is another Christmas. If I can spend them together with Sue it would be lovely.

I was drowsy with sleep when I came on the bridge and I made some tea first thing. I had a cup with Captain and we were blah-blah-blah about this and that.
- Did you get breakfast? He asked.
- No, I don't eat breakfast. What was for breakfast?
- It was tomtegröt, he said.
I was down in the mess room in 2 steps.Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stAs you know tomtegröt is my favourite.



Captain asked me if I wanted some lunch and I'm proud to be able to write that I said no. After lunch the AB came up and told me that it was “ Dopp I grytan ” for lunch. “ Dopp I grytan ” is an old Swedish tradition, or maybe it's from Skåne or Germany as all old Swedish traditions.

Well, anyway, it's the broth after boiling the Christmas ham. A few hundred years ago when everyone was poor they took care of everything. Then they put potatoes and sausage and other stuff in the broth. I think the potatoes and sausage was added when the people got more money and Sweden was a welfare state. I think that the original idea with the
“ Dopp I grytan ” was to dip old hard bread in the broth. But I'm not sure about that.


After lunch I got an SMS from my favourite Captain in Tärntank. He wished me a merry Christmas and he was just North of Bornholm when he sent the SMS and I called him on the phone.
He had his family on board and he had a good time.

We talked about the good old times and I wished him a merry Christmas and I continued to write on my web page. There is not very much to do when waiting at the anchorage. But I'm lucky on board M/T Astoria, there are always people visiting me on the bridge.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man on the bridge
Obviously having a break from the chocolate eating



At 3 o'clock it was time for glögg in the day room. Glögg is mulled wine served with almond and raisins. I don't like glögg, but there was chocolate. I spent some 20-25 minutes in the day room. I had to return to the bridge before I lost my self control. Easy to lose the self control when the day room is full of chocolate and Toffee.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Time for glögg in the day room

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Mangoes easy on the chocolate

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
But I can see that he really want to throw himself over the chocolate

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Now he have a hard time holding back

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Time for glögg in the day room

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He is about to explode

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
And suddenly, he is attacking the chocolate

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
He managed to resist for 5 minutes


But I managed to get a picture of our Motorman with lost self control, not a nice sight. I loaded my pictures to the computer when I came back on the bridge. So now they are ready to upload next time we are in Finland.

But I don't know when we are back in Finland. M/T Stenberg should have been going inside today. This morning there was no wind at all and after lunch it was near gale again. So this can take long time, but I do my best. I know you're waiting for new uploads. It's very expensive to use the phone in Russia. It's about half the price to use the satellite phone. Hmm, if we're not making it to Finland before New Year’s Eve I have to upload my page in Russia so I can wish my visitors a Happy New Year.


After my watch I went to my cabin. A took the time to relax a few minutes in front of the video before taking a hot shower. I got dressed in a white shirt and black trousers and I went down for the Christmas dinner.

In the mess room our Cook had cold food and in the kitchen there were plenty hot food. It was a smörgåsbord, but during Christmas they call it Christmasbord.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004

Well, it was the same story, I had too much food and I had to roll back to my cabin. Well, when I came on my night watch the Christmas was over. Now we have to wait for another year and I will not miss Christmas.
I really hope that they finish all the chocolate in the day rooms before I'm off my watch.


+++++++++++++++
Saturday 25th of December 2004
and M/T Stenberg got inside a little after I came on my morning watch. If the weather permits us we can go inside tomorrow. But anyway, we can be back in Porvoo earliest 28th of December and then we can only make 1 more voyage this year.
75 trips between Russia and Finland in one year.

When I came on my night watch the wind was gone. Maybe we can go inside tomorrow if M/T Stenberg is ready at jetty #4. Our Motorman came to the bridge and he spent the night with me. We were talking about memories when we were travelling the world.

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 26th of December 2004
and it was only blowing 6 M/S when I came on my morning watch. With this wind we will go inside today.

Around 11 o'clock we could see that M/T Stenberg had left her jetty on our AIS, and now there were no wind at all. The range decreased by the minute. But at 1 o'clock in the afternoon there were still no news from Baltiysk Traffic.

At 14:40 Baltiysk Traffic called us and told us to be at the pilot station at 16:00. Then we will start heave up our anchor at 15:30 as we have about 3 nautical miles to the breakwater.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
On our way forward to heave up the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Heaving up the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Heaving up the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
No worries in the world eating chocolate

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
No worries in the world eating chocolate

Our anchor was up at 15:40 and we went inside while waiting to pick up the pilot. It's a wee bit too cold to wait on deck for the pilot. While waiting we meet our Motorman in the dayroom. There were still Christmas candy and he was busy eating. His hand was constantly in the candy jar and he was very annoyed when I took pictures of him eating.

I was lucky and I was relieved by 2nd Officer before the pilot came on board. Our pilot came on board at 16:05 when I was on the bridge doing paper work. I took some video when we tested our hi-level alarms in the cargo tanks, so keep your eye out for updates on my web ship.

I stayed for a while on the bridge loading my pictures to my computer. At 5 o'clock I went down to the mess to see if there were any salad and then I was off to my bed. A quick beauty nap before my night watch.

When I came on my night watch they were waiting for the immigration and the agent. Motorman and Captain were busy while waiting. There was a female guard at our gangway and they were fighting over the best set of binoculars.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Playing with the binoculars, until they discover the female guard at the gangway

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
They discover the girl on the jetty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
They discover the girl on the jetty

Just when we were on the way down to see the news on the TV the immigration and agent came on board. By then the clock was 20:40 and we missed the news.

The immigration formalities here in Russia run very smooth now a day. But they still stamp our Seaman's discharge books. But you all remember the immigration formalities in Amsterdam, well, Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004just thinking of it pisses me off.

While the Custom Officer checked our bonded store and narcotics I took a picture of our Agent and Immigration Officer. Our agent would go visit my web page. I told him that I will upload his picture next time in Finland.

At 21:05 we had free pratique and the agent and immigration left the ship. The Surveyor was waiting on the jetty for the immigration to be ready and he was on board around 21:10.

All the paper work was ready at 21:45 and that's the same time the bunker barge was arriving. We will bunker 160 MT of HFO here in Kaliningrad for the first time. Otherwise we always take bunker in Finland. We started to load at 22:05 and we have to see if we manage to be ready in time to catch the afternoon convoy out of Kaliningrad tomorrow.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004

+++++++++++++++
Monday 27th of December 2004
and we were still loading when I came on my morning watch. We load to a maximum draft of 8 m even keel. We have to call and ask for the water level before completion. If there is less water in the canal we have to load less than to 8 m. When I called our agent to hear about the water level he said it was +23 cm. We will load to maximum 8 m even if there is more water.

He also told me that we won't make it with the 10 o'clock convoy and we have to stay until tomorrow morning. At 09:05 they stopped loading and they started to load Equinox on jetty #3 instead. The terminal told me that they will resume loading tonight.

Well, I had expected to be ready before lunch so I could go shore for some shopping in the afternoon. But we got good news from Fortum, we were bound for Porvoo but now they sent M/T Dicksi to Porvoo and they will send us to Naantali. I prefer to discharge in Naantali. It's longer to Porvoo and then I got these 8 hours bridge watches. When we go to Naantali half of the 8 hours watches are with pilot and Captain is on the bridge. Then I have someone to play mischief with.

I took the opportunity to go down in the engine room trying to find something to take a picture of. Well, Motorman and 1st Engineer were doing something with the engine.

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Engineer and Motor Man working in the engine room

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man and 2nd Engineer working in the engine room

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man in the engine room

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man and 2nd Engineer working in the engine room

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man in the engine room

Aladdin's adventure in the engine room on board M/T Astoria 2004
2nd Engineer in the engine room

We could not discharge all the ballast in DB 6 port and I went down in the tank to see if I could find any leak on the pipe. I managed to get almost all the way down and then it was too small.
1 of the AB went down in DB 6 port and then to DB 6 starboard. But he could not find any leaks on the ballast line. We finished the job at 17:20 and then we went in for Kålpudding. While eating I heard 2nd Officer on the radio at 17:25 when they resumed loading.

We completed loading at 20:30 and the Surveyor came on board for sampling. He got 1 ullage report and he left the ship at 21:00.
- I'm back in 2 hours with the paper, he said.

I went down to the dayroom to watch the news about the earthquake in Asia. Freak waves had it the coastline around the Indian Ocean.
2nd Officer was watching the TV and I invited Captain, AB and Motorman.
- Come to the dayroom! We are watching the news!
Motorman came with the biggest piece of cake I had ever seen and it turned out to be a nice evening, I better off taking the opportunity to see people when I can leave the bridge.

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man with the biggest piece of cake I have ever seen

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man with the biggest piece of cake I have ever seen

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motor Man with the biggest piece of cake I have ever seen

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
All the excitement made the older generation sleepy

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
The cake wasn't enough

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
The cake wasn't enough

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
The cake wasn't enough

At 11 o'clock I had to leave the “ Happening ” in the dayroom. I expected the Surveyor to come on board at 11 but he came after midnight. I put my stamp on his paper and I was off to bed and my Linguaphone course. Hope I can do a chapter or two before falling asleep, if I can fall asleep. I'm feed up rolling around in my bed hour after hour not being able to sleep.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 28th of December 2004
and when I came on my morning watch there was nothing to do except waiting for the immigration and the agent. They told us that we would leave at 9 o'clock in the morning. We waited until 09:30 before the immigration and agent came on board and the pilot came on board at 09:45.

We left Kaliningrad at 10:25 and we're looking forward to an exciting passage of the Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal this gloomy and grey day. Yeah, since I came on board we had had only 2 days with sunshine.

When the AB on the 12-4 watch came on his watch in the afternoon he told me “ once ” again about his girlfriend being on my web site.
- She said it was mostly about your stomach, he said.
- ???!!!!???!!!???!!
I understood nothing.
- I'm not mentioning anything about any stomach, I said.

At 13:25 we left the pilot in Baltiysk and 15 minutes later we started our sea passage.

AB on watch (the AB with the GF saying my web page was about my stomach) came up on the bridge 3 o'clock in the afternoon. This is coffee time and he started to make coffee on the bridge.
- Do you want some coffee? He asked.
- Are you trying to take the rise out of me? It's only gossipmongers drinking coffee. Have you ever seen a lumberjack drinking coffee? If you see a lumberjack in the woods he's drinking tea or hot chocolate, I said.
Captain came to the bridge and then it was drivel for the rest of my watch. Well, I'm glad that we have a good crew on board. Most of the time we can joke around and have fun. But it's soon time for us to leave the ship, now we are 5 substitutes on board.

We left Russia behind and we lost network coverage. I'm worried about my friend. He's building a house in Phuket and I have not heard from him after that the big wave hit the coast of Phuket.
I got a SMS from my other friend. He was going to Phuket for diving Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st, yes, it was the guy sending the breath taking picture of the fish to me. He landed in Phuket just after tsunami had hit the coast of Phuket.

At 5 o'clock I went down to the mess room for dinner. Captain and Motorman arrived to the mess room just after me and we were eating alone. At the dinner (spinach and salmon) I only eat spinach because I don't like fried salmon, even if there are plenty Omega 3. That's a good thing with being on a diet. If you don't like the food it's just to say that you're on a diet. Well, what does this have to do with anything? Nothing, I just got carried away again.

Hmm, at the dinner we discussed a little bit of this and that. We ended up with the subject of how they change names on different positions. A cleaner became a “ room keeper ” and then a “ Cleaning technician ”. A Chief Engineer is a “ Technical Manager ” today.
I asked Motorman what they called him now a day’s.
- Do they call you a “ Driftkucku ”?
A driftkucku is a laughing-stock. But you can't translate driftkucku to laughing stock here. It's like watching a movie with subtitles, they can't translate everything correct and we miss some points. It's better to watch movies without the subtitles and to read books in the original language. Well, now I got carried away again.
Captain was crying of laughter.
- Spiteful remark comes easy from your mouth, he said laughing.
And yes, as you guessed, a Chief Officer is now a day’s an underpaid Chief Officer.

After dinner I bought some Marabou Schweizernöt chocolate that I could bring to the bridge on my night watch. Our Motorman use to spend the nights on the bridge and he loves chocolate, especially Marabou Schweizernöt. Yeah, that must be the best chocolate in the world

Motorman came to the bridge just before 10 o'clock and we were talking about soccer and Skåne. I had the Schweizernöt lying next to the log book. I asked him if he shouldn't open the chocolate. I was flabbergasted by his answer.
- No, I'm well-mannered and I wait for you to open the chocolate.

Well-mannered, just listen to this! Well, I never heard so much crap before! He was sitting in the chair on the bridge and we talked about party and stuff. I told him that I would come and visit him. 20 minutes before midnight I asked him about the chocolate again.

He moved around in the chair. Looking at the chocolate, raising from the chair and started to walk up and down the bridge. He passed the chocolate and he could not keep away from the Schweizernöt anymore and he throw himself over the chocolate. 5 minutes later 250 gram Schweizernöt was gone. Talk about a chipper.

I told him that this must be some kind of a freak record.
- I'm chocked, it takes me 2-3 hours to finish a chocolate bar like that, I said.
Hmm, they didn't believe me and they were just laughing.

Aladdin's adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motorman and my Marabou Schweizernöt

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
He was back in the seat trying to convince me that he didn't wanted any Marabou Schweizernöt

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
He could not sit down for long

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
First picture taken at 22:43 and the last picture 9 minutes' later at 22:52

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 29th of December 2004
and the first thing I did when coming on my morning watch was to make a pot of tea. I asked 2nd Officer to bring a bottle of water and some clementines from the mess room when he returned to his cabin after breakfast.

It was a nice morning with no wind and a sea looking like a mirror. It started to get day light around 9 o'clock in the morning and it looks like it will be a nice day. Gloomy and grey, but that's normal for this time of the year. At 10 o'clock the sun started to shine through the clouds and as Captain said:
- I'm surprised! This time of the year and so beautiful weather.
- Yeah, and it should be 20 °C warmer, I said.

Our engine department should transfer sludge and they had Motorman to watch the sludge Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004hose on deck. It was cold and he was freezing. I thought that I should pep him up a little.
I decorated the window on the bridge with a clementine and the remaining Schweizernöt. I had expected a tear of joy or two. He was drooling on deck but the expected cry of joy failed to come. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

He wasn't beaming of joy out there in the cold weather on deck. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st I can't say that he became any happier when he saw me Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stmunching on clementines enjoying myself on the bridge, wearing just a t-shirt and shorts.
But I never said that life was fair!

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Never let the guys on deck forget what we're doing on the bridge

At 11:25 the pilot came on board at Utö. The weather promised a nice passage of the Finish archipelago to Naantali with sunshine.
There were snow on the small islands, but we could not see any ice.

We asked the pilot if he wanted some lunch and I called the AB to bring some lunch to the bridge. The pilot was munching on the Swedish Pytt I panna and he liked it. I don't know if they have Pytt I panna in Finland, but our Cook is from Finland and he knows how to do Swedish Pytt I panna. Well, this was a lot of Pytt I panna and nothing about my stomach.

On the way in to Naantali we met M/S Finneagle and when she came closer I could see that she was from Sweden. So I took some pictures of her for my web page with ship pictures.
But don't rush away visiting my ship photo site now. This Brinkster.com has been nothing but a disappointment. When I'm coming home I will get a new domain if I can come up with a good name. Suggestions are welcome!!!!!!!!! I will give you the new name ASAP so don't worry.

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Waiting for Utö Pilot

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Utö Pilot boat is coming

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Utö Pilot boat is coming

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Utö Pilot boat is coming

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
AB on watch bringing food for the pilot

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
AB stand-by to drop the anchor in Naantali

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
AB stand-by to drop the anchor in Naantali

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Naantali anchorage

We dropped anchor outside Naantali at 15:10. There is a ship on our jetty and we will go alongside tomorrow. When I returned to the bridge after dropping the anchor I sent my e-mail and there were 33 e-mails in the inbox.
Many e-mails from Sue and she attached pictures of herself. I was very happy.

When I came on my night watch we were at the anchorage. Now they changed our berthing prospects from earliest lunch to 6 o'clock in the morning and now it was “ maybe ” at 8 o'clock in the morning. Not long after that 2nd Officer left the bridge our Motorman came to the bridge. He had been going around in a tizzy all day long since he saw the Schweizernöt and the clementine in the window. After a few minutes joking around on the bridge with Captain and the AB on 12-4 watch he attacked the Schweizernöt.

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Evening on the bridge

Aladdin’s adventure with Marabou Schweizernöt on board M/T Astoria 2004
Marabou Schweizernöt under attack AGAIN


The Schweizernöt

I was ready with my camera and I took a video of the ghastliness. I must warn you!! This video can cause offence and you watch at own risk. I recommend that you should at least be 18 years old or have your parents next to you.

Our Motorman told me a story. It was someone in his family, I don't remember who, had a new girl friend/ boyfriend. He/she should be introduced to the family and his grandmother had made 1000s of waffles plus of course whipped cream and jam.

According to the tradition the guest takes food first. The newest family member was shy and took a quarter of a waffle. As soon as his/ her quarter of a waffle was on his/ her plate the rest thrust their forks in to the pile of waffles and 1000 waffles was gone in a jiff.


Happy New Year 2005
Before leaving Finland I want to wish you all a Happy New Year 2005. I don't know where we will be on New Year ’s Eve. But one thing is for sure, I will be working.

My last New Year ’s Eve at home was 1999. Everyone had such a great expectations for the New Years Eve 1999, but it turned out like an ordinary new years eve with the entailed hangover. I would have been better off on the ship.



+++++++++++++++
Thursday 30th of December 2004
and it was raining and blowing when I came on my morning watch. While drinking my tea I heard on the radio that it was blowing storm around Finland. We had booked pilot for 10:30.

Quarter to 9 our agent called and told me that he had ordered pilot for us to 10:30. At 09:40 Turku pilot called me on the VHF and said that pilot will be on board in 40 minutes. Hmm, at 10:15 pilot came on board and he told us that we had to wait until 11 o'clock. At 10:45 Fortum called and told us that the Russian tanker was still discharging at our jetty. They expected it to take another 30 minutes. At 12 o'clock I called the AB on the radio.
- Can you please bring a plate of our Cook's fresh made meatballs to the bridge? Captain is hungry so hurry up!

We discovered that the AB only brought 1 fork to the meatballs. Bad luck for the Captain because I was quicker than him to get the fork. Our AB told me that he got e-mail from his girl friend. She had read about herself on my page and she was happy and in high spirits according to the AB.

At 12:45 our anchor was up and at 13:55 we had all fast at jetty #3 in Naantali. It was raining and blowing so it was nice to come to the bridge again. We did the paper work and we started to discharge at 14:30. When I came on my night watch I was looking for the phone numbers to the brother of my friend in Phuket. We have a CD-rom with all the Swedish phone numbers. I called the first number and asked if they knew Mr X.
- Yes, I do! Is it Aladdin? We meet in Lund many years ago!
He told me that my friend was OK and that the water had reached his house. But he had been asleep and not noticed anything.

Guess who came to the bridge during the night. There had been chock waves on the internet after uploading the video yesterday.
There had been immediate reactions and Motorman got messages saying:
- Din glupske jävel!

Hmm, we were laughing. We spent a few hours talking about this and that. The time passed quickly and soon 2nd Officer came to relieve me. The last thing Motorman said before going to sleep was:
- Tomorrow it's New Years Eve and there will be more candy in the dayroom.
I ordered pilot for 03:00 and its storm warning. I hope its nice weather when we come outside. Rolling around on a ship is not very nice.

+++++++++++++++
Friday 31st of December 2004
and we had left the pilot behind at Utö when I came on my morning watch. It was dark and the ship was rolling a little due to swell. It was blowing force 5-6 from WSW. But no storm as expected, nice.
The sea was black the horizon was dark orange and the sky was dark blue. The forecast looked good and around 09:30 the sun came up on a blue sky without clouds.

The wind decreased during the afternoon and we had a nice afternoon in the sunshine. The weather Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.streminded me of Skåne Flag of Skåne and I could not help it, but there was a tear rolling down my cheek.

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motorman having lunch

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Engineers having lunch

After my watch I went down to my cabin. I was very tired and I felt asleep. I woke up at 17:20 when Motorman called me on the phone.
- Aladdin! We are sitting here eating our dinner!
Well, so far I have had heard Motorman telling me every day:
- Nice when you sign off.....blah-blah-blah.......more food for us.......blah-blah-blah...nice and quiet on board.......blah-blah-blah...
Yeah- yeah, blah-blah, now we know this is all bosh. We know how boring it is when I'm not in the mess room. Or as I told the motorman:
- When I'm not here the mess room is empty 17:05 and who are you going to call then? No one to play mischief with on the bridge during the night.

I got some fillet and salad for dinner and I finished with a Camembert cheese between 2 toasts. Our Chief Engineer tried to take a picture of my sandwich with my camera. He didn't know how the camera was working so he never got any picture. He managed to get 3 videos because the camera Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004was in video mode. But I deleted the videos as they were no good.

After dinner we move in to the dayroom and the candy. Our Chief engineer told us stories. Something about cheese doodles and an X-rated video.

There was another story about a grandmother and learning about the life as well. But I can't translate them to you, hmm, I don't think I want to translate them either.

We ate (some of) the chocolate and we talked about the good old days and as usually the time passed quickly. It was soon time to go on my night watch. It was a very nice evening with a full moon being reflected in the sea.

Our Motorman went down to get a shrimp cocktail and he asked the AB and me if we wanted some. I said no but the AB wanted a shrimp cocktail. Motorman had promised to bring candy to the bridge, but luckily enough he didn't bring any. Tomorrow it’s a new year and a new diet and I can as well start tonight.

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motorman preparing for 12 o'clock

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain preparing for 12 o'clock

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain and Motorman preparing for 12 o'clock

9
Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Captain preparing for 12 o'clock

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Motorman preparing for 12 o'clock

Aladdin’s adventure on board M/T Astoria 2004
Chief Engineer and Motorman

At 12 o'clock we had our toast for the New Year. I and Motorman made our New Year resolution, nothing but salad and pure meat to eat.

Well, I was soon off to my cabin and my bed. I hope I can fall asleep quickly. I never fall asleep until 3-4 o'clock in the morning and then I'm not a sunray when coming on my morning watch. But by then it will be January 2005. So click the link to follow the adventure with Astoria


                  

OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                  

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