Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria



Saturday 16th of April 2005 and the phone was ringing on the bridge 5 minutes past midnight. I was on the bridge telling cock-and-bull stories to our 2nd Officer. It was Captain saying goodbye. He's leaving at 6 o'clock tomorrow morning.
- I'm going to bed now. See ya in 4 weeks.
The door to his cabin was open when I came down from the bridge. He was living in the owner's cabin now when the new Captain is onboard.
- Hmm, where can he be?
Well, don't expect a million in prize if you guess the galley, because there he was eating when I came down.

We were just about to leave the pilot when I came on my morning watch. I relieved 2nd Officer on a deck enlightened by the sun. Well, I had not been on the bridge long before the fog came over us. Captain relieved me in the afternoon so I could go down an install our new oxygen amplifier to Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriathe gas monitoring system in our pipe tunnel. We got provision and stores at arrival to Porvoo yesterday so I got a new amplifier.

I took the opportunity to check the flange to our slop line while in the pipe tunnel. There was a leak a few voyages ago.

We needed to tight the bolts, but as you can see it's impossible to reach the flange between all the pipes.

We asked the Engineers to make extensions for our tools. They welded a wrench on one lever and they welded a socket wrench on one pipe for our power-wrench (nut driver). It worked out beautiful.

Well, anyway, I went down to the pipe tunnel (Now I was happy for my background in the picked forces were we was running around the steeplechase course every day) and I connected the new amplifier. I returned to the bridge and zero adjusted the sensor. Then it was back to the tunnel to connect the last wire. Now the sensor is connected and I have to let it rest until tomorrow before I can adjust it.

I can't wait until we need to change the gasket in one of the flanges, dry dock!?

pipe tunnel
Entrance to pipe tunnel.

Pipe tunnel
Steeplechase course

Well, after my watch I took my walk on deck and I was banging with the rubber club (my exercise apparatus) every time passing the fo’c's’le.

Our Cook came on the bridge during my night watch and we discussed his web page. We were also talking about semlor and I showed him a picture of me eating semlor 1967 or 68 1987 or 88. I'm not sure about the year, but it was way back. I updated my semle page with the picture of me.

Eating semla
Semla back in the days.

Well, the fog disappeared just before 22:00 with the increasing wind. It started to blow from North during the evening. I enjoyed my tea while listening to music. I walked around the bridge in my new ECCO sandals that Captain brought from Sweden.

They are very comfortable so I asked him to bay 2 more pairs next time he's going home.
- It is last year's model. That's way they were so cheap, 55$, half price.
He promised to call his wife tomorrow to see if she could find more shoes before they were running out of stock. Good shoes are always nice to have

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Sunday 17th of April 2005
and it was fog and rain when I came on my morning watch. I'm sick'n tired of the fog now. But at 9 o'clock the fog and rain was gone. We dropped our anchor Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaon Baltiysk roads at 10:35.

I spent the day drinking tea on the bridge and at 13:45 they called us and asked us to be under way in one hour.

I did the last adjustment on the oxygen sensor I had worked with yesterday after my watch. Well, when I came on my night watch we had just got “Free pratique” and Surveyor had started to dip the tanks for OBQ. This time we had 71,593m³ in our tanks. Last time we had 168,75m³.

Do you remember when we loaded the
OBQ = Onboard quantity.
When loading we are dipping our tanks with a rod to see how many cm of cargo there is on the bottom.

ROB = Rest onboard.
When discharging we are dipping the tanks to se how much cargo there is left after stripping.
Zaikinskaya crude oil instead of the Zagorskoyecrude oil in March? After that voyage we had have plenty OBQ when dipping before loading.

We had 113m³ ROB and next time I went out on deck when they Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadipped our tanks. The bottom was covered in a thick layer of black grease and wax.

It's not possible to pump this sediment and it's very annoying with a big OBQ. Is it because of poor stripping or are the pumps in poor condition? Well, I think we can disregard those options. We stripped the tank last time and unless we have forgotten how to do it over the last 5 days it should be pretty much the same every time. Hmm, maybe Captain is chasing you with a giant semla while stripping.

But what's coming through the cargo arm? I don't know! But sometimes you wonder. Maybe they empty a shore tank when loading and you get all that sediment with the cargo. Next time discharging plenty OBQ and next time loading it's from full shore tanks. This oil is solving the sediment and no ROB when discharging.

I remember some 10 years ago when I just finished loading. I told the Surveyor that I should just go and check the tanks before we did the calculation. I don't remember why I wanted to go for a check or what I should check
- It's not necessarily to do that, he said.
- I want to check, I said.
I saw some small black stuff in the cargo in one of the tanks.
- What's that? I asked.
- Maybe from the tank cleaning, he said.
- Hey Baby!! It’s not from the cleaning, I said.
Oil and water doesn't turn black, it turns white.

When we discharged we found the bottoms in 4 tanks covered with dirt. Maybe 20-30cm of black stuff. They had cleaned the shore tank and emptied it to our ship.
They knew it all the times, bastards! But they had to pay for the cleaning and our delay. But they try all the tricks and they always blame the ship.

You never know what you're getting in your tank when you're loading. I had discharged gas oil from Estonia when I found the bottom covered with grease and wax. Heavy duty tank cleaning had to be done in bad weather. Yeah, I remember falling on deck during the cleaning. When we were ready I took a shower and when I came out from the shower I caught sight of my underwear.
- What! Did I poo in my pants?
But it was blood and a big hole from the dog to a Butterworth hatch on deck.

We started to load at 20:25. ETC? What do I know? With a loading rate between 0 and 2400m³/h it's a little hard to predict any time of completion.

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Monday 18th of April 2005
and the first thing I had to when coming to my cabin after my watch was to take a picture of the new sandals our Captain brought for me. It was not my intention to Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriamake any one green of envy when I published the pictures of the shoes and clock our Cook brought for me.

But our new Captain became green when he saw the picture on my web page.
- Why don't you put pictures of the shoes I bought? They are much better.

Well, that's why I couldn't go straight to bed after my watch at midnight. I kept my self busy taking pictures for a few minutes and then I jumped in to my bed.

I had just time to make tea when coming on my morning watch before the Surveyor came onboard with the density and his paper. He went ashore quarter to nine in the morning and the Shipper came onboard with the cargo documents 30 minutes later.

I took a picture of Captain signing the cargo documents.
- Wait until we're getting our cameras!
- Then we will take pictures of you!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Signing the cargo documents

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
The Shipper watching Captain signing the cargo documents

Yeah-yeah blah-blah, we see when and if they getting their cameras. Now I have heard about their new cameras both sideways and long ways but so far I haven't seen any action. I brought my camera and now everyone have a Canon camera on order.

Well, Captain called his wife when the Shipper went ashore. He ordered 2 pair of ECCO sandals for me. He also gave her the address for my web page so she can follow our adventures on the internet. We left Kaliningrad 10:40. It was gloomy and grey, but it was warm outside so I could be on deck with my shorts.

On the way to Baltiysk from Kaliningrad the IG pressure sensor in slop tank starboard gave up. So now I know what to do after my watch. The pressure sensor is fitted in the SAAB tank radar. I will try to clean it, but I don't think it help. It's very hard to clean, it's a hole, maybe 2mm. It's easy to break the sensor as well.
If I can't clean the sensor I will order a new.

Well, we left the pilot at 13:30 and when we came outside we changed course to North and Finland. Now the fo’c’s’le was covered in water spray from the northerly wind and I thought about postponing my SAAB radar romp until tomorrow.

Never mind a little water spray. I got a pipe-cleaner of our Chief Engineer and I went forward to our SAAB radar. First thing to do is to remove the stainless cover. The pressure sensor is easy to take off. Well, that is for cleaning, but to change sensor is another story.

SAAB Tank radar on board M/T Astoria
Picture is from SAAB's manual

SAAB Tank radar on board M/T Astoria
SAAB radar on deck

SAAB Tank radar on board M/T Astoria
SAAB radar on deck

SAAB Tank radar on board M/T Astoria
SAAB radar under the cover

SAAB Tank radar on board M/T Astoria
SAAB radar under the cover

When changing the sensor you need to disconnect 4 wires. Everything is built for easy access, except, yes you guessed it. The connection block drives you crazy. The connection box is sitting under the electronic box. I changed these sensors many times on CT Star and every time I lost my temper.

I took off the sensor and I went to the bridge to zero adjust the sensor on the computer screen. I reassembled the sensor and the cover and it was working again. For how long?

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Painting on deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Painting on deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Painting on deck

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

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Tuesday 19th of April 2005
and the IG sensor in slop tank was out of order again. I ordered a new one first thing after putting on the tea kettle. At 10 o'clock I reported that we entered the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn Traffic on the VHF.

During the afternoon the wind decreased from near gale force 7 to force 2 from East. The sun was shining from a blue sky and I was looking forward to my constitutional at 16:00.

It was very cold in the wind, the spring is at least a few weeks behind here in Finland. We got e-mail informing us that we had to drop anchor at arrival. Jetty #2 was occupied by M/T Saxaren until midnight. ETA Porvoo pilot around 19:30 so we will drop anchor on my night watch.

When I came on my watch we could hear M/T Saxaren order her pilot for 23:00. So we only have to stay anchored for 2-3 hours. At 20:35 we had anchored and I saw ice on the fore mast when we dropped the anchor. End of April and ice.

 It was freezing cold and it was very nice to come inside after arrival a few minutes before midnight. I was lucky that I kept my winter clothes, I was just about to throw them away. But I thought that they could be good to have if I'm still onboard in the autumn.

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Wednesday 20th of April 2005
and I uploaded my web page first thing after going off my watch at midnight. I will upload more next time in Finland. I have to order more refill card to my phone. I'm not sure about my Swedish subscription. If I'm not paying the bill today they will send the bill to the public de recouvrement force for recouvrement. Then they will cancel my subscription.

But we see what happens. Now I say “Good night! Over and out.

We were almost ready with the discharging when I came on my morning watch. At 09:25 we completed and we left Porvoo at 09:50. It was sunshine when we left Porvoo but it started to snow at lunch time. But this time all the ice was gone.
Well, last time there were only a few pieces of ice in the archipelago.

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

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

Our remote draft reading forward is out of order and I need to go down in the forward cofferdam after my watch. Captain and I spent the whole day yesterday looking for the forward draft sensor. But we could not find any construction drawing from the shipyard with the draft reading equipment on.

But Captain found 2 small air pipes in the void space around our slop tanks. 1 continued forward and 1 pipe went down in the forward cofferdam. So 1 is for measuring the ballast water in the FP and the other one is for draft reading. Now I have to check if the pipe to the draft reading is blocked.

To measure levels in the ballast tanks and to read our draft we use air and measure the resistance. To put SAAB tank radar in the ballast tanks would be very expensive.

I will not go in to details, but we need dry and clean instrument air to be blown through the instrument sitting in the cabinet out to the tanks to be measured. The air is blown through small air pipes. A constant flow meter keep the air flow constant, about 0,5 lit/ minute.

When the water level increases in the water ballast tanks a greater volume of air is required to maintain a constant airflow. Hmm, yeah-yeah, we get the picture already!

I went down in the cofferdam after my watch. I soon found the non-return valve at the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaend of the air pipe. Captain went down to disconnect the pipe and I went to the engine room. 1 AB on deck had to be a radio link to me in the engine room via 2nd Officer on the bridge.

I needed to be in the engine room blowing air through the pipe and Captain had to see if the air was coming through.

But the walkie talkie could not reach from the bottom of the cofferdam to the engine room. So we needed the AB on deck and 2nd Officer on the bridge as a radio link. But we could not close the valve to the water pipe. It had not been moved for 6 years. Well, tomorrow we will go down with a wheel spanner and some grease.

The wind from North increased during the afternoon and evening and the ship started to roll slightly for the sea. Well, I can't complain, we have not had bad weather since I came onboard. Hmm, not what I can remember anyway.

LevelDatic
Constant flow meter from the instruction book

LevelDatic
Cabinet where the constant flow meters are sitting. We have 4 of these cabinets onboard. The air is coming in to the cabinet and the pressure reduced in a reducing valve before going through the constant flow meter

LevelDatic
We can see the meter to draft forward is showing 0 and the other meter is showing 0,5 lit/min

LevelDatic
The small pipe coming in is about 1cm in diameter. The non-return valve prevents the water in the tank to be measured to go back to the air pipe

When I came on my night watch the ship was rolling. Not bad, but I didn't had my tea, I felt that I would not enjoy my tea running around holding on to your cup all the time, That's the worst thing with rolling, you have to hold on to everything.
But the wind decreased during my watch and I'm hoping to wake up to a beautiful day tomorrow.

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Thursday 21st of April 2005
and it was blowing force 5-6 when I came on my morning watch. When we dropped our anchor at 13:30 outside Baltiysk it was sun shine and nice weather.

Wind force 4 and I was looking forward to my constitutional after my watch. At 14:00 Baltiysk Aladdin's adventure on board M/T AstoriaTraffic called us and asked us to have our anchor up in 1 hour.

Our anchor was up at 14:45. We rigged the pilot ladder and I went down to the ECR. I should purge the air pipe to forward draft reading. I arrived in the middle of the coffee rest. But there were no cookies.

After my watch I changed the IG pressure sensor from slop tank stb to 6 stb. Now we have to see if the IG pressure is working in slop tank.

If it does and the pressure reading doesn't work in 6 stb we know that the pressure sensor is kaput. When I was ready I walked on deck until just after 18:00 when we arrived to jetty #4 in Kaliningrad.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Coffee break in the ECR

Before my night watch I had time to copy some music to our Cook's flash memory. I recorded my old LP's to MP3 and he would like to have Ronny Åström. I also gave him some Kung Tung and Peps. A quick shower and it was time to go to the bridge for my watch.

When I came on my watch at 20:00 we had started to load. We had all fast at 18:55 and we had free pratique 19:10. Tank inspection and paper work with the Surveyor was ready at 19:10 as well. What happened here since last time?

I heard that they had called from Immigrations head office in Moscow and asked them to speed up the process. Heads had been rolling here in Kaliningrad.

Otherwise no one is allowed to come onboard before we have free pratique. This time Loading Master was running, yes, running over the gangway immediately when the gang way was ashore. He was on the bridge before you could say Jack Robinson. He was half dead when he came on the bridge. Our Surveyor came a few minutes later.
Paper work and tank inspection was ready in 15 minutes and we started to load 19:55. Hmm, almost 1 hour to start load. Well, he was running all for nothing. The loading rate was low, I think because there was a ship behind us on jetty #3 and she was loading crude as well.

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Friday 22nd of April 2005
and I found out that there had been a stop for one and a half hour during the early morning. We had just resumed loading when I came on my morning watch. At 09:20 there was another 30 minutes stop and at 10:35 we completed loading.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer watching girls on the jetty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer watching girls on the jetty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
After lunch there was time for some bobsleigh training Preparing for the winter Olympic and after all the training we expect a medalYet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st


I had just poured my first cup of tea when our Cook and Captain came to the bridge. They were pestering me on the bridge during my morning tea. Well, maybe it was me doing the pestering. But Captain was happy when I was irking our Cook and he said:
- It's nice to be back onboard where I can have a social life, Captain said.

Hmm, our Chief Engineer asked me if I felt like taking a walk.
- We can walk up to the small village and be back before dinner, he said.

It was nice to come off the ship and the weather was nice. We could see flowers and green leaves. We could see the budding, some small bushes had green leaves already

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
A bus at the village

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
A bus at the village

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer in the village

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer in the village

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer in the village

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer in the village

Flower
Flower
Spring flowers.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer when we walk back to the ship

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Loading crude oil at Kaliningrad Port Oil Base - Click HERE for bigger picture

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We are back on board

We were back on the ship just in time for dinner. Our agent called us after dinner. He told us that he will be onboard at 20:30 with the Immigration Officers. Maybe we can leave Kaliningrad Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaaround 9 o'clock tonight. In the summer time we can leave late when it's daylight until late.

I borrowed Captain's hair trimmer and I got myself a nice haircut. Captain had to do the last trimming because I had missed some spots.

Agent and Immigration came onboard at 20:25 and the pilot came onboard at 20:45. This pilot is the guy that bought Margaron and he asked me to come over next time we're in Kaliningrad and give the new Chief Officer some pointers.

Well, we were ready to leave, but now we had to wait for a barge coming up the Canal. When we could leave at 21:25 we had lost the last daylight.
But as the pilot said:
- It's full moon!
Seems like it's possible to stretch the “ only in daylight ” rule a little.

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Saturday 23rd of April 2005
and I had been on my morning watch for about one hour when our Cook came up with a box of potato starch to the bridge.
- I found some potato starch for the Captain, he said.
And he continued:
- Potato starch is a very good substitute for bedsore ointment.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook is concerned about Captain's well being and he brings potato starch

Captain was sleeping , but later on when he came to the bridge I gave him the box.
- It doesn't say that it's good for bedsore, he said.
- No but our Cook said he had treated many Captains, I said.
- It's an old household remedy according to our Cook, I said.
- I have no experience from bedsore so I don't know, I said.
But I trust our Cook, he have many years of experience from all kind of things.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
I give the potato starch to Captain when he come on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
I give the potato starch to Captain when he come on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
I give the potato starch to Captain when he come on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
I give the potato starch to Captain when he come on the bridge

Well, while sitting on the ship we're dreaming about coming home. At home we're busy having a Dagens ris, besviken licensbetalaregood time, hmm, if not busy decorating condominiums.

Well, oh yeah, I read the news paper and they have a page were people can write and give praise or blame to peoples or companies.

I caught sight of a item criticising the Swedish broadcasting corporation for sending children's programme 8 o'clock on Friday and Saturday evenings. “ Then there will be nothing for the grown-ups to watch ” Well, throw out the TV and get a life!

I was busy with Captain all day long. He likes to be up to mischiefs. I make a note about his behavious in our calendar every day about his Almanacka, Kalendiarum, Lediberg kalendarium. Kalender, calendarbehaviour. Then it's easy to go back and show him how he has behaved in the past.

After lunch our Cook brought his computer to the bridge. He needed help with some program. So I worked with his computer while he was sleeping. I'm a little disappointed with him. He should be working with his web page. But I think the work has come to a standstill. Surprised? Well, I think this could be an interesting web page, our Cook have been a ship owner, manager for the world famous pop group Spotnicks and much more. But we're working on his page.

When he came to get his computer our Captain asked about his USB memory. Our Cook explained the benefits with a USB memory in a very pedagogical and educational way for our Captain.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Computer problem

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
The Golden boys

I got e-mail from our Agent in Porvoo and our external hard drives were not yet available. Maybe Need for help. Computer problemwe get them next time arriving to Porvoo.

I saw a note from our Cook outside my cabin when I Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stcame out from my cabin on my way to my night watch. Computer help again, he could not find the music I gave him the other day. We sorted out the problem and I could be on my watch in time to relieve 2nd Officer.

On the way to the bridge I ran in to our 2nd Engineer. He wanted to upload a video to my computer from his phone. Captain was already on the bridge when we arrived to the bridge with screaming and smoking shoe soles.

I took a picture of the gang and then we could upload 1st Engineer's movie. I will not go in to details because I have visitors on this page that are delicate to their nature. But it was an eyesore, pure ghastliness.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Sun is setting and Tärnvåg is passing us

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Sunday 24th of April 2005
and we were anchored when I came on my morning watch. Sunshine, blue sky and a sea looking like a mirror. 26°C on the thermometer, well at a second glance it was 2.6°C. It's easy to get carried away.

I wasn't surprised when our Cook came to the bridge with his computer.
- I don't know where all my music is, he complained.
We found his music in a jiff. I asked about the mouse (again). He doesn't have a mouse to his laptop. He uses the built in joystick or whatever they call it and it's annoying to work with.
- It's on my list of purchases. I will buy it first thing when I'm coming home together with new ECCO shoes.

He was impressed by the ECCO sandals. Yesterday Captain told me that his wife had got 2 more pairs for me. Last year's model and half price. Hmm, last year’s model, sandals??!! I don't understand, but I'm happy to pay 40€ instead of 90€.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
At Porvoo anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
At Porvoo anchorage

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
At Porvoo anchorage

Well, ass has to be kicked and we started to heave our anchor at 13:30 and the anchor was up 10 minutes later. At 14:15 we had all fast at jetty #4 in Porvoo.

We started discharging at 14:45 and we expect to leave Porvoo around midnight. I was relieved by 2nd Officer at 16:00 and I went ashore for a walk. I took pictures of Omega af Donsö at jetty #5 and I will update my ship picture page next time in Porvoo.

I was back just in time for my salad at 17:00 and after dinner Captain and I went ashore for a walk again. It was nice weather but a little cold in the wind. But we enjoyed walking around looking at the ships in the port.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ships at Neste's refinery in Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ships at Neste's refinery in Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're going ashore for a walk

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ships at Neste's refinery in Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ashore for a constitutional

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Omega Af Donsö leaving Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're watching Omega Af Donsö leaving Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're watching Omega Af Donsö leaving Porvoo

When we came back I had just time for a shower and to upload my web page before my evening watch. But next time in Porvoo I will upload more of the junk. Stay cool!

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Monday 25th of April 2005
and we had about 2 hours to go before we were out of Gulf of Finland when I came on my morning watch.
It was very nice weather so I was looking forward to my constitutional.

Well, there wasn't very much happening on the 25th of April except the usual drivel from Captain Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria and our Cook. There are 4 people onboard that have ordered the new camera from Sweden.

Of course, they are inspired by me. But so far I'm the only one with a camera as their cameras haven't arrived yet. I sent an e-mail to the shop and asked about an IPOD 40 GB.

We got answer in the afternoon that he would investigate the price for a 40GB IPOD. He also wrote that he got 1 (out of 4 cameras) camera. Captain and our Cook are nagging about their new cameras every day.
- Hey!!!! I'm sick'n tired of your cameras already before they have come onboard, I said.
- But 99% of the pictures will be of you, Captain said.
- I'm not worried. I'm long gone when they deliver your cameras in October. And when our Cook has learnt how to use his camera in December he has forgot all about me.

No, I'm not worried about their cameras. But I can imagine the horror when they run around with their cameras. I will lose my scotopic in all the flashes when they take pictures.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Lo and behold, our Cook on deck

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

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

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

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook is getting rid of food waste

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook is getting rid of food waste

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Playing golf in the day room

The time turns quickly when you're enjoying yourself. I was in my cabin writing on my web page when they called me at 1940, time to relieve 2nd Officer.
I got dressed and I went to the bridge to relieve 2nd Officer.

AB delivered soccer results to me on the bridge. Helsingborg - Elfsborg 3 - 0. Yesterday Skåne flagMalmö FF beat Gävle with 3 - 0 as well. Elfsborg is a team from Gothenburg and our AB on the 12-4 watch is supporting them. He's always talking about soccer, but today he has been quiet. I will interview him when he comes to the bridge at midnight.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Always something going on and time passing quickly

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Always something going on and time passing quickly

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Tuesday 26th of April 2005
and I was off to my bed after driving the AB around the bend about the soccer. When I came on my morning watch we were alongside jetty #4 in Kaliningrad and we had just started to load. Immigration and our Agent came just after 8 o'clock. This is the first Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriatime we started to load before the Immigration had been onboard.

It was a very beautiful day with sunshine and blue sky. I was relieved by 2nd Officer at 16:00 and I went straight ashore.

It's nice in the spring and summer time, it's just to go as you are. No need to change and get dressed in winter clothing.

Our Agent had arranged a TAXI for me and the driver was waiting outside the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stgate when I came 16:12. Hmm, what the foock is wrong with the trains in this country? We had been driving for 3 minutes when we came to a railroad crossing.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Russian train

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Russian train

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Waiting for the train again

We all remember last time when we went ashore. The train passing the crossing until we were ready to throw us self in front of the engine. This train had stopped in the middle of the road. Then while we were waiting it moved a little forward and then a little backward. I was jumping up and down in the car impatiently, yes, you got it right. Jumping up and down!

When I jumped in to the taxi I was pleasantly surprised. I'm used to be shot in to the car with a canon. But now after my diet I just slide in to the car, ample room for jumping up and down.

I had planned for something to eat in Kaliningrad. No one around to fine me if eating. But the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadriver had no change to my 500 Rubel bill when we arrived to the market.

We went in to the meat hall for changing and the smell made me sick. I lost my appetite and I rushed out of there. I bought some socks at the market and then I went away looking for a mouse and USB hub for our Cook. On the way I stopped and bought some CD's.

I found the mouse for our Cook, but I was in to all the computer shops I could find but no USB hub. He has to buy one when he comes home.

I returned to the ship just after 7 o'clock and I was heading straight for the refrigerator. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stOur Cook had prepared a salad for me. After the salad I showed Captain my new sneakers. I bought 2 pair for my walking on deck.

Loading was ready when I came on my night watch and we just waited for the cargo documents. They came onboard at 20:05 and we spent the evening watching TV as the Pilot will come onboard tomorrow morning. No night time navigation, at least today.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 27th of April 2005
and it was gloomy and grey when I relieved 2nd Officer on the bridge in the morning. But the sun was soon shining and at departure 10:40 I was on deck in shorts. Otherwise Wednesday 27th of April was pretty uneventful and the lack of action drove me up the wall. Let's hope for a more exciting day tomorrow.

Well, one thing of epoch-making importance happened during my night watch. I was sitting talking Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stwith the AB about giving up snus.
- I'm saving about 170€ or 200 US$ or 1500 Scooby dollars per month not using snus, I said.

I decided to call my bank tomorrow to buy me a unit trust. I will have them to auto deduct the 170€ or 200 US$ or the 1500 Scooby dollar per month. I will never see the money and I will see how much it is in 25 years. It's never mind if there is any growth in the unit trust.
It's better than to spitting out the money on the street which I have done for more than 25 years already. It's better to have a little something in the autumn of my life than to be toothless due to using snus. Hmm, it's strange that you have to get old before you get wise.

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 28th of April 2005
and we had about 45 minutes to the first TSS in the Gulf of Finland when I came on my morning watch.

We passed M/T Stenstraum during the night and she was 2 NM behind me when I came on the bridge. Our agent told us yesterday that there is congestion in Porvoo. We can only discharge at jetty #4 as they are repairing jetty #2. So we have to drop anchor at arrival, but we will arrive before M/T Stenstraum so no need to wait for her, 1 ship less to wait for. First arrive first served as they do it.

A grey morning became a sunny midday and the weather was very nice. I will be on deck in 2 steps after my watch. Well, first I will go to the engine room and weigh myself first.

They have a scale in the engine room they use to weight barrels, gas bottles and elephants with. So I decided to try it out and if it doesn't work I can go ashore in Porvoo and get my weight on a truck scale. But I'm confident that the scale will handle the weight.

I don't notice it myself because the stomach is getting smaller proportional to the rest of the body. You're on diet for 3 weeks and you, well you notice the difference off course, but the crew coming onboard after a few weeks home see the difference. Like our new AB and 1st Engineer. They hardly recognised me when coming back onboard.

Or like yesterday, I was on deck walking and there was something annoying me. It was my underwear, way too big now. Good news, soon the whole crew can wear my underwear. One pair is enough to fit the whole crew.

I didn't have to wait until after my watch to weight myself. After lunch Chief Engineer called me on the bridge.
- We have rigged the scale in the workshop.
- I'm down in 20 seconds!

When I came down in the ECR the whole engine crew were waiting for me in the work shop. They had a bet going on about how much I had lost.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
They had built a scale for me

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
They had built a scale for me

I had lost about 15kg since 28th of March and I'm closing in on 100kg. well, it's not like I can sign off tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But we're going quickly in the right direction.


After my watch I was on deck for my constitutional. It was cold but I could see some of the migratory birds on deck. We have seen them in Kaliningrad for a month, well, actually they have disappeared down there by now. Now they are in Finland and that is a sign as good as any that the spring is coming (slowly).

We dropped our anchor at 19:15 and the latest news is that we're going inside at 03:00 in the morning. Well, this morning it was 08:00 then 05:00 and now it was 03:00.
When we had dropped our anchor 2nd Officer and Motorman launched our MOB boat and drove off signing Bosun to the jetty and the waiting taxi.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Preparing the MOB boat for the crew change

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Preparing the MOB boat for the crew change

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Preparing the Pilot ladder

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pilot boat is coming

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pilot boat is coming

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Taking ashore off signing Bosun with the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Taking ashore off signing Bosun with the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and 2nd Officer is back with the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and 2nd Officer is back with the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and 2nd Officer coming back on board

When they returned with the MOB boat I joined them and we took off to take some pictures of our ship. Pop by my updated site with ship pictures.

I wrote a little on my web page on my night watch and I left with motorman in our MOB boat at 21:40. New Bosun should arrive at 22:00. We had to wait for a few minutes before he arrived with the taxi. When he saw me he shouted:
- Hey! You have almost disappeared!

We returned to the ship at 22:30 and our new Bosun delivered Lip balm and 2 pair of ECCO sandals for me. I had time to upload my web page before going off my watch at midnight. I was straight to bed for a much needed power nap after an eventful day.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman driving the MOB boat when we are picking up the new Bosun

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On signing Bosun

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On signing Bosun on board and we're going back to Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On signing Bosun on board and we're going back to Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and Bosun

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We are back at Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We are back at Astoria

+++++++++++++++
Friday 29th of April 2005
and discharging were in full swing when I came on my morning watch. I had my tea and I called our agent and asked what time he had planned to come on board. I asked him to but refill card for 40€for my SIM card.

Now I have spent 120€ on refill card. They told me it should cost 33 cent/ minute daytime and 28cent/ minute night time to call Sweden. That means about 6 hours of blah-blah. I got an SMS yesterday that my refill card was empty again. What the bipping bip!? I just filled up my card with 40€ and now I'm running out of money again.

I got my refill cards and mail when the agent came onboard. I reset my time counter on the phone and filled up my card with 40€ again. Now I will monitor the costs closely.

But there was good news as well. I got it confirmed that the IRS is giving me 7000 US$ back and I got 1300 US$ from my travel agent. My friend told me the good news when I called him a few weeks ago and I asked him to get a new passport.
- I'm taking you to New York when I'm signing off!


I haven't been there for a few years and it could be nice to spend a weekend there doing some heavy drinking. Only party and don't be surprised if the concrete hat is coming on. Hangover force 9,7 on the return flight.

Things will get funky when the Boogie Boys are coming to town. My friend is a student and he needs some fun. Not many exciting things are going on in Kalmar. Well, anyway, we left Porvoo at 14:25 and a gloomy day became a sunny evening.

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 30th of April 2005
and I thought it was summer when I came on my morning watch. The sea was like a mirror and the sunshine was bright. This is the kind of days we like. Yesterday I had to use sun screens until almost 10 o'clock on my night watch. Well, it's Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaabout 2 months to the longest day of the year. Midnight sun and stuff.

I had my morning tea and listened to good music. Captain came to the bridge and before soon we were busy blah-blah and the time flew away.

While bragging for each other we could see the engine crew working on the fo’c’s’le. This is the first real sign of spring, forget everything I have told you before about birds, flowers and budding trees.

A bird can be lost and a flower can come up after 5 minutes of sun shine just to be meet by frost and die the first night. But one thing is for sure, when the Engineers are on deck there is no chance to run in to sudden frost.

I wanted to perpetuate the moment so I went forward to the fo’c’s’le. On the way down I meet our Cook. He was on the way to the bridge with my salad.
- I'm in a hurry. I have to immortalize when our engine crew is working on deck. I see you later, I said and rushed out on deck.
I meet Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer half way to the fo'c's'le.
- Hey Hey! Where are you going? I'm on my way forward to take pictures of you for internet.
- You have to come back in the afternoon they said.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer on deck

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

Hmm, I missed the chance, but I went forward and I got a picture of Motorman and Bosun. They were pumping hydraulic oil from barrels to the oil tank for the winches forward. They had found a little water in the hydraulic oil and the need to change the oil.

I got my picture and I returned to the bridge and my salad + rye bread. Our Cook brought a newspaper to me this morning and there was an article about diet. They said that you should eat rye bread and at least 500 g fruit and vegetables every day. So now our Cook bring rye bread with the salad. I will also change my slice of bark bread in the morning for a slice of rye bread.

Both Captain and our Cook are interested in birds. Captain had brought a book over all the birds in Europe. There are pictures and information about the birds. It's a good idea to have this book on the bridge. In the Canal to Kaliningrad there are plenty birds. Eagles and stuff

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our ornithologist looking in a bird book

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

I was sitting and watching out over the sea. When all of the sudden I saw waves. It was like a torpedo coming at us. I almost wet my pants and Bosun called me on the radio. Russian navy have many submarine exercises in the area and you never know when a stray torpedo is coming at you. But I could see that it was a grey seal when it came closer. A grey seal looks clumsy and hardly moves ashore. But it can swim like a dolphin and they are very quick.

We have ETA to Baltiysk pilot station 17:35. We received e-mail from our agent yesterday saying that pilot was arranged for 04:00 in the morning of 1st of May.
But now we got e-mail asking if we could be at the pilot station at 17:00. If we can arrive before 17:00 we can go inside today.

We got pilot at 17:35 and we had all fast at jetty #4 20:40. I managed to get a picture of M/T Marina, former Margaron at arrival. One of the AB's asked me to take a picture of her last time.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
In the duty mess

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Getting dressed for arrival to Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ready for arrival to Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
EX Margaron in Kaliningrad

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

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Kaliningrad

We started to load at 21:25. But M/T Equinox was loading on jetty #3 so we expect a slow rate until she is ready. But it looks like we can leave tomorrow morning again.

30th of April 2005 will go to the history as the first day with a real first sign of spring in the year of our Lord 2005. Tomorrow, and a new month starts again, and you will never have to see this page again thanks to the idea of having each month on a new page. Don't worry, you will learn to appreciate that you don't have to download all the old crap when we are changing month.

That's it for April 2005. Not very much exciting happened. I bought a trust found and I got 5 pair of shoes, and when the next Captain is coming in the middle of May he will bring yet another pair of ECCO sandals. So let's leave the month of April behind and swing over to May 2005.


       
                  

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? NJET PROBLEMA! 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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