Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria



Thursday 1st of April 2005 and it looks like we're ready to leave around 5 o'clock in the morning and I have to upload my web page before leaving for Russia.

After my 15 minutes on the bike and my shower I uploaded my page. Captain had sent an e-mail to me just to check his e-mail. He has sent e-mail but the receiver had never got the mail, or at least the receiver claimed that he never got any e-mail. So now he Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawanted to see if I received his mail.

Well, I will let you know how it turned out next time. I'm off to bed. Well, there was nothing from Captain in my inbox, so we can assume that there is something wrong with his equipment.

When I came on my morning watch we were still in the Finnish archipelago. It was a little foggy but we had sunshine. We left the pilot at Utö 5 minutes before 9 o'clock. We had just left the pilot at Utö when we ran in to dense fog.

Captain came to the bridge and he asked if I scold the 2nd Officer when I relieved him in the morning. I was surprised, well, maybe not.
- No
Maybe it's my voice and I'm grumpy in the morning. When he signed on I forgot to tell him about my morning mood when he signed on. I use to warn them and I tell them to tell me - Piss off old timer! - When I'm grumpy in the morning, but I'm aware of my mood. Usually it's OK after a cup of tea. Maybe it's my voice making me sound angry. But it happened before.

Back in the days warning! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st I remember Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st a few years ago when I called a girl on the phone. And she asked if I were drunk every time.
- No I'm not drunk!
But it was annoying hearing it all the time. I called her one time and it was someone else answering the phone.
- Hello, can I speak with Miss Daisy? Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
They just hang up the phone on me. Later she told me that they told her that someone drunk and angry had called her.
Well, now imagine the reaction when I'm calling a shipping company asking for job!

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
AB washing on deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer going to adjust the satellite dish

Just after 1 o'clock the fog disappeared and it was great weather with sunshine and not much wind. I can't wait until 4 o'clock when I can take my new shoes on deck for a long walk.

The walking has become like a drug for me. Yesterday when I tried to sleep I went out of bed and started to walk instead. Today I started right after my watch and I continued after dinner. After half an hour I started to feel bad so I went to my cabin. I was sitting in my sofa thinking about watching a video. But after a few minutes I was back on deck.
Now I walked for 5-10 minutes before returning to my cabin. I didn't feel good.

During the afternoon we received e-mail from the agent in Kaliningrad. There are 2 ships before us and they expect us to wait at the anchorage until 3rd of April, I don't mind.

And 1st of April 2005 goes down the history books as the first time using my digital camera for work on a ship. Bosun came to the bridge and told me we had a leak in the pipr trunk. I was on watch and I could not go to have a look. But I gave him my camera and he went to take a picture.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaking flange in the pipe trunk

It was a leaking flange and our Bosun could not reach the flange to tight the bolts. I looked at the picture and we asked the Engineers to weld a socket on an extension and our Bosun could tight the nuts. Digital camera, very handy.

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Friday 2nd of April 2005
and we were anchored at Baltiysk anchorage when I came on my morning watch. It was gorgeous weather with sunshine and no wind. It was like a beautiful summer morning and our AB could continue washing deck. Well, I had a little agony even though the weather was beautiful and I had my tea. I skipped the 15 minutes on the bike yesterday. You remember that I felt a little ill and I was busy looking for my camera.

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

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

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
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
AB washing on deck

After my walking I put my camera in the Galley while eating my salad and, well, we have more than one prankster onboard. Someone hide my camera at the dinner. I suspect 1 guy, Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriabut no names mentioned.

I needed my camera because Captain had been on the bridge during the night and he had dropped chocolate everywhere on the bridge. I found the chocolate when he left the bridge and I called him on the phone.
- You forgot your chocolate on the bridge.
I found chocolate in my cabin as well. They try all the tricks to get me to eat. Well, self-discipline® and will power® is my mark of identification.

Later on the Cook called me and told me that he found the camera. He was Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriasurprised that I didn't found it. The camera was hanging just outside the galley.

Later in the afternoon I could hear Baltiysk Traffic call M/T Stenberg. They asked her to be at the pilot station at 16:00. Hmm, I took the picture quarter past 4 or something, it was more likely that she picked up the pilot at 16:30.

Well, what do I care? I enjoyed my constitutional in the sunshine. I was walking in shorts and a jumper. When I got of my watch it was 19°C in the sun. I was walking and banging the rubber club until 5 o'clock when it was time for dinner. I had salad and white cabbage.

M/T Stenberg
M/T Stenberg leaving the anchorage

M/T Stenberg
M/T Stenberg leaving the anchorage

M/T Stenberg
M/T Stenberg leaving the anchorage

Our Cook, Captain and I were the last people sitting and eating and talking. (1 AB returned a little later for more ice cream) We discussed my diet and I'm allowed to eat meat 1 day a week. In my contract it says Sundays. Our Cook informed us that we will have spare ribs tomorrow and today we had fillet of beef. We agreed on that it was better that I had the fillet. I ate the fillet and I have to skip the meat tomorrow.

We also agreed that I and the Cook will have a meeting Fridays and decide if I'm going to eat on Saturday or Sunday. It's depending on the menu.

Migratory birds. Bird of passage
Migratory birds returning to Europe from Africa.
I took the picture while walking on deck.

I continued my constitutional after dinner. Around 18:50 I had to go and change my shorts for pants. It was getting a little cold. Our superstructure covered the deck from the sun. And the lower the sun came the more of the deck was coming under shadow. At the end the whole deck was in the shadow.

I walked until 19:40 when it was time for my shower.

When I came to my cabin I found chocolate on my door. Seriously, does anyone fall for this? Hmm, Schweizernötmaybe in Farmerville. They are obviously getting desperate as they have realised that I'm serious with my diet and that there won't be any money coming from me for the satellite dish.

Well, during my night watch I was busy entertaining Captain on the bridge. When he left I changed the logo on all our cargo documents.

We received e-mail from Fortum yesterday with instruction to change the logo. They sent a new NESTE logo instead of Fortum's logo

I killed time while changing the logo and it was soon time to be relieved by 2nd Officer so I could go down to the bike. I will not miss it today, but it's very very boring to use the bike.

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Saturday 3rd of April 2005
and another hole in my belt when I got dressed in the morning. When I came on my watch we were alongside jetty #3. Immigration and the agent left when I came on my watch. Surveyor came onboard and we completed all the paper work.
I asked when we should start to load. The Surveyor told me that we should start to load on jetty #4 when Stenberg has left. We were ready to shift jetty at 12:00 but Stenberg had to wait for a ship leaving Kaliningrad.

We shifted jetty between 12:30 and 12:50. I was working in my shorts on deck, 18°C in the sun. First time working on deck in shorts this year. We started to load 20 minutes past 1 o'clock in the afternoon

Captain recorded Goa beach for me during that afternoon and I watched the video after dinner and Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stthus I had only time for walking between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon. I washed my clothes and watched the video before my night watch.

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Sunday 4th of April 2005
and this day will go to the history as a success full day in the history of my diet. Well, I don't know if successful is the right word, maybe joyful is a better word.

It started in the morning when the Immigration and our Agent came onboard. The Agent told me M/T Stenbergthat the Immigration Officer thought that I was getting smaller.

I was on deck doing my constitutional after dinner. I had been kicking arse since 05:40 in the morning so I went to bed after dinner. I could not sleep so I got up and got dressed. Lo and behold, I was on my last hole in the belt. I really enjoyed my constitutional on deck in sunshine.

There were plenty birds on deck as well. They are returning from Africa and they don't mind a free ride the last distance.

Captain was on the bridge pressing 2 “ KING SIZE ” “ Family pack ” chocolate bars on the window. He's trying to tempt me. I'm on the last hole in my belt! Good luck trying to tempt me! I continued my constitutional and Captain got bored.

Hmm, what to say? But we all remember who started this “ chocolate in the window ” business. We remember my clementine and Schweizernöt in the window last time I was on board. So please, trying to be funny, most welcome. But please try to come up with something new!

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

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

I was plunging down the catwalk when I saw Captain skidding on deck with his sandals. I thought that he was going to settle the matter and start to walk with me on deck. He has told me for “ several ” days now that he will walk with me.
But he only came to tell me that he ordered new cameras for him and next Captain and Chief Engineer. Yeah-yeah, now it will be dangerous onboard with all the cameras.

Well, anyway, I wished I had my camera with me when I saw him skidding down the deck. Hmm, it's the well known Murphy's Law. When I have my camera there is nothing going on.

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

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

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

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Sun is setting over the Baltic Sea

I was walking until 19:30 when I took a shower. I was just in time to relieve 2nd Officer on the bridge at 2000. We were outside Lithuania and Latvia bound for Finland when I relieved him.

Well, we had left Kaliningrad at 10:45 in the morning and we left the pilot in Baltiysk at 13:40. It's very nice to be able to go straight from the bridge to deck without having to stop in the change room for winter cloths.

Our Cook was on the bridge on the way out from Kaliningrad. He wanted me to take some pictures of him so he could send them to his girlfriend. Our Cook came back on the night watch and he brought his USB memory and I put the picture on his memory for him. Now he will send the pictures to his girl friend. And well, I don't know. But maybe she will be impressed.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pictures for his girlfriend
Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal in the back

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pictures for his girlfriend
Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal in the back

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pictures for his girlfriend

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Monday 5th of April 2005
and the sun was shining when I came on my morning watch. Wind was blowing force 5 - 6 from South and the horizon was hazy. Yesterday Bosun told me that they promised rain for today on the forecast, but so far it looks promising. Captain came for morning coffee. I could hardly recognize him in his khaki dress.
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st- What the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Now you must be in the bottom of your suitcase.
- Yeah, I will do my laundry today, he said.

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB washing outside the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB washing outside the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB washing outside the bridge

I sent an e-mail to our agent in Porvoo. I asked him if he could get a pre paid GSM SIM card for me. It would be much cheaper to upload my web page with a Finnish SIM card. I will try it and if it Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadoesn't work its 40€ so never mind. I can use it to call Sweden if there isn't any GPRS service on the card.

I also took the opportunity to order a 1 GB memory card to my camera, Captain ordered 3 cameras with 1 GB memory cards and I didn’t want to be the guy with the smallest memory card. Yesterday we agreed that our Cook should bring (lunch) salad for me on the bridge. The plan was for me to never have to go to the mess room and I would never have to see any temptations and he arrived with a plate of salad at 11:30.

A little salad in the middle of the day and I won't be so hungry when I'm going off my watch. I gave up oatmeal 2 days ago. Now I only eat a piece of black bread in the morning with my tea and thus saving hundreds of calories.

We reached the ice in the last TSS (South of Helsinki) before changing course to Porvoo. But it was only loose ice and the archipelago was almost free from ice.

After the coffee break at 3 o'clock we held a fire drill and we started with our fire drill just when we reached the ice. We held a SMPEP (Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan) drill after the fire drill. We must have a SMPEP drill every month and this time it was about leaking hull and release of toxic gas.

We also went through the rescue of person from a tank. We went forward to check out our portable winch designed to hoist and lower our portable emergency FRAMO pump in to the tanks. It's a tripod standing over the hole to the tank and can be used to hoist an injured person from the tank. Well, anyway, when we were up front on the ship I took the opportunity to take a picture of the guys. You can see the ice in the back.

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

I was a little delayed for my walk. After the drill we had a lifeboat muster and ISM meeting on Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriathe bridge. And of course, I forgot to take a picture of all the guys together on the bridge.

I was walking until dinner, I was late for dinner and Captain was already eating when I came in to the mess room. I had stopped outside the window trying to get some Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stpictures of him eating.

Well, it was not any success trying to take a picture through the window.

I went out to continue my constitutional Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st after diner but I gave up after 20 minutes. It was too cold and it started to blow. From spring Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriato winter over night over night.

I just saw 2nd Officer and the AB preparing our anchor on the fo’c's’le before going to my cabin. So of course I went forward to get a few pictures before leaving deck. We had received order to drop anchor at arrival as our jetty was occupied. I don't mind waiting at the anchorage for a while.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stMaybe get a chance to do some paper work while waiting at the anchorage. There is alway sa little something to do.

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the fo'c's'le preparing for anchoring

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the fo'c's'le preparing for anchoring

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the fo'c's'le preparing for anchoring

I spent the evening watching video and when I came on my night watch we were waiting at the anchorage. I had just prepared my tea when Captain came on the bridge.
- Do you want to start fasting? Beginning next Monday? He asked.
- Do you think you can handle the pressure? I asked.
- Yeah-yeah! I did it once back in the nineties, he said.
Well, I knew that something was coming. He has been interested since he started to notice the success with my diet. Now he's signing off soon and he's desperate. I use to tell him that next time he's signing on I will not be biggest onboard.

Well, finally alone and I could concentrate a little on my web page. While writing I could hear Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stsomeone in the stairs to the bridge. I looked in the direction and I could see our Cook sneaking on me.
- Please! You sound like an elephant coming.

He looked disappointed, he was convinced that he was sneaking on me without making any sounds and that he could take me by surprise.


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Tuesday 6th of April 2005
and we were alongside jetty 2 in Porvoo discharging when I came on my morning watch. They had hoisted the anchor while I was sleeping and they started to discharge at 07:00. We completed discharging at 15:00 and we left Porvoo at 15:35. It was sunshine and I was looking forward to my constitutional. But first I had to disconnect the automatic from the ballast ejector. Tomorrow we will have a look at the ejector and I hope we can get it to work.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain wants me to take a picture of a ship next to us in Porvoo

When I came out on deck for my constitutional it was very windy and cold. It was not possible to walk on deck so I went back in to the exercise bike. My constitutional was a setback today and my prepaid SIM card turned out to be a set back and disappointment. 5,99€/ MB with GPRS and I can as well use my Swedish SIM card. But it was only 28 cent/ minute in the evening to call Sweden and that's cheap.

I also gave up milk in my tea today. Many a mickle makes a muckle!

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Wednesday 7th of April 2005
and it was gloomy and grey when I came on my morning watch Strong winds from the south. There was also a little haze in the horizon.

Well, gloomy and grey, but that was nothing comparing to Captain when he came on the bridge. Our Cook told him that Malmö beat (I forgot the name of the team) with 11 to 2 in ice hockey. Captain got off.
- Blah-blah.... real team... this and that.... blah-blah
- I thought Malmö was out. But now they have the chance to stay in the top division, I said.
- Next game they have to play against Oskarshamn, Captain tried.
- Fer bips sake! Oskarshamn!!?? They are so bad, the only reason they are playing is so all the team have a sure win, our Cook said.
- But Malmö is playing an away match, Captain tried desperately.
- It doesn't matter where they play when playing against Oskarshamn. No need to get dressed, they can play on the parking lot outside the rink, I said.

Our Bosun came up with the ejector to starboards ballast pump. There are 2 non return valves on the ejector. Both the valves were full of iron filings and chips, most likely from when cutting the air pipe.

We changed the non return valves and I went down in the DB while Bosun was on deck
Captain trying.
A good try, but what is it?
A waste of time and effort
fitting the ejector. I needed to be in the tank guiding the ejector to the suction pipe.

We were busy in the ballast tank while Captain played around with my camera on the bridge.

I suspected that he was playing mischiefs with my camera, so when I came on the bridge I checked the pictures first thing.

When I saw the picture I asked him if it wasn't a waste of money to buy a new camera. I understand that it's hard to take a picture when I'm chasing him and wrestling with him. But now he was all alone and still the picture is beyond recognition.

After my watch I connected the automatic to the ballast pumps again and then I changed an oxygen sensor in our pipe tunnel. Today the weather was no good so second day with no walking.

We arrived to Baltiysk anchorage 23:30 and we dropped our anchor. It was blowing but it was not cold so the winter is gone for sure now.

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Thursday 8th of April 2005
and Captain called me 5 minutes before 8 in the morning. I took a quick shower and went to the bridge. 2nd Officer had been on the fo’c's’le doing the mooring when it was time to call me.

We had all fast at jetty #4 07:55 and it was just for me to drink tea and wait for immigration when I came on the bridge. Immigration and our Agent came onboard at 09:50 and we had free pratique at 10:20.
Paper work and tank inspection was ready 11:10 and we started to load at 11:25. While waiting I took a picture of Kaliningrad Port Oil Base.

Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
Captain

Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
Chief Engineer

Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
Kaliningrad Port Oil Base and we are staying at jetty #4
Click HERE for bigger picture

Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
At jetty #3 behind us we can see Fryken load.

This is how it looks in the beginning of April. I will take a new on in May so we can see the difference. Now it's a little gloomy, maybe it will look better if we add some light green.

I was relieved by 2nd Officer at 16:00 and I went down in our pipe tunnel to make the last adjustment on the oxygen sensor I changed yesterday. It had been raining all day long but it had stopped to rain so I could do my walking on deck.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Officer takes over in the CCR

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook and AB on poop deck

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

At 5 o'clock I had my dinner, salad only. Our Cook made semlor and it was the first time Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriain my life that I didn't eat any and I was pestered for the whole meal. I escaped from the mess room out to deck and my constitutional. I walked for 2 hours before taking my shower.

Our Cook was on deck talking with the AB. I ran in to them on poop deck and I took a picture before continuing my walk.

I relieved 2nd Officer at 20:00 and we were soon to finish loading. The water level in the canal was -23 cm and I could load to a draft of 7,77m. Usually we can load to 8m at jetty #4, but the last times it had been minus water.

Captain came to the bridge and asked if I should join him fasting on Sunday.
- Now I know where the missing Semla is, I said.
They suspected me for sneaking in to the mess room and eat Semla before my watch. Captain was full of semlor and agony and now he wanted to start fasting.

We completed loading at 21:40 and now we only wait for the paper work.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal, Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
The Canal is full of oil

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal, Kaliningrad Port Oil Base
The Canal is full of oil
We're lucky that they have put oil booms around the ship to protect us from the oil

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Friday 9th of April 2005
and the weather was gloomy and grey when I came on my morning watch. Temperature about +6°.

Bosun and I just got started checking our SAAB radar with our UTI when Captain called.
- Our Cook is asking if he should throw away all the salad tomorrow.
- What ???!!!!!
- Yeah, are you going to start the fasting with me tomorrow? I'm starting tomorrow.
- Well, I'll be darn!

Immigration and our Agent came onboard at 09:35 and we left Kaliningrad 10:35. All the way out Captain was talking about his fasting.
- Result this and that......blah-blah.....go ashore and buy suspenders......next Friday....blah-blah....kick arse....the real thing......blah-blah....
I had to listen to this all way. But the best part was when he took my lemon. I have lemon in my water because lemon shrinks up the stomach ventricle and makes you full quicker.
Well, Captain got it all wrong. He mixed a cup of water with lemon and said to me:
- Lemon + water and the trousers will soon fall off!
What to say?

Today it's the opening game on the Swedish top league, Helsingborg - Halmstad, I think.

Well, tomorrow it's Malmö - Göteborg IF playing. It's only the Cook and me supporting Malmö onboard. The rest of the crew is supporting Göteborg IF.

At dinner I asked our Chief Engineer what he thought about the game tomorrow.
- Göteborg IF will win....blah-blah best team in Sweden......blah-blah...yackety-yak...
- I don't thinks so. They will play against the Swedish champions, I said.

Well, he asked if I wanted to place a bet. He wanted to bet 700 $ that Göteborg IF would beat Malmö
- Yes, I said.
- Hmmm... well...blah-blah...I don't want to take your money..blah-blah....

Our Cook was on the bridge when I came on my night watch. He told me that Helsingborg beat Halmstad with 2 to nil. I'm sure the Skåne flag was flying proud in the sky when Helsingborg beat Halmstad. I'm also sure the Skåne flag will be flying proudly in the sky when Malmö beat Göteborg IF tomorrow.

Well, tonight its Frölunda against Färjestaden in the ice hockey final. They play best out of seven and this is the fourth game in the final.

Well, the whole crew supports Frölunda so I have to support the other team. They have a player from Skåne and he is chosen best player in Sweden every year. So maybe the Skåne flag will be flying proudly in the sky tonight again.

Sunset over Baltic sea
Sunset over Baltic sea.

Sunset over Baltic sea
Sunset over Baltic sea.
M/T Sotka in the horizon. On the way to Kaliningrad.

I was enjoying the sun set when the phone rang on the bridge. I answered the phone with a:
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria- 2 to zip !

Yes, the obvious answer as Helsingborg had been kicking arse with Halmstad, 2 to NIL. Captain bellowed FRÖLUNDA!! in my ear and I slammed the phone down and rushed down the stairs. Captain was hiding outside my cabin.
- I knew you should come! He screamed drooling schweizernöt all over the place.
- What the bip!? Aren't you starting fastening tomorrow?

He asked if I had my camera manual and if he could borrow it. They had ordered the same camera and he wanted to study the camera in advance.
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st- Good thinking! I said. We remember you're last photos.

I returned to the bridge and I took a few pictures of the beautiful sun set. We meet M/T Sotka on her way to Kaliningrad to load crude oil. Our agent told us that there are 2 ships coming in after Sotka and maybe we have to wait at the anchorage next time in Kaliningrad.

 

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Saturday 10th of April 2005
and today it's the day Malmö FF will play their first game for this year. First game in the Swedish league, they been kicking a•• in Europe ever since they became Swedish champions last year.

It was foggy when I came on my morning watch and we had 20 minutes to go to the first TSS in Gulf of Finland. I had time to make tea and to eat my (one) piece of black bread before reporting to Aladdin's adventure on board M/T AstoriaTallinn Traffic on the VHF radio.

After my watch I went to the galley. Our Cook and I made a bottle of salad dressing and then I was off to deck for my constitutional. We arrived to Porvoo pilot around 17:30.

It was gloomy and grey but the ice was gone, except inside the archipelago. It was a little cold so I returned to my cabin between 6 and 6 thirty.

After my shower I tried to find a network. We were close to shore so I managed to send and receive e-mails. I got the good news from TICKET, the travel agency I used last time.

I don't know if I told you the story about my last business class ticket. I bought a business class ticket and I checked in at the business class cue. The girl asked if I had the frequent flyer card.
- I lost it, but I will take my ticket to the airline and claim my miles, I said.
After check in I directed my steps towards the business lounge. I introduced my ticket at the entrance and the girl asked if I had a gold card.
- No! I have lost my card.
- You need a gold card or a business class ticket to use our lounge.
- I have a business class ticket! I said.
- This is a monkey class ticket, she said.
- What the bipping bip!!?? This is a bipping business class ticket.
The kicked me out from the business lounge and I had never been so ashamed before in my life. But now they are giving me 9000 Swedish Scooby Doo dollars back.

Well, at 22:00 I called Helsinki VTS on the VHF and I ordered pilot for 04:00. I will hopefully be asleep by then and we will have left Porvoo behind when I'm coming on my morning watch

But before sleep I will upload my web page and send reply on the e-mails. But you can look forward to next update when we return to Finland next time. Good night!

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Sunday 11th of April 2005
and we had left Porvoo behind when I came on my morning watch. But where is the spring? Must have disappeared on the way to Finland from Russia.

I had been on my watch for a little more than 1 hour when it started to blow force 8-9 from SW. It started with sleet but after a while it became a real blizzard. I hope it's the last blizzard for this year. At least the last one I will have to experience.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Snow and sleet in Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Snow and sleet in Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Snow and sleet in Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Snow and sleet in Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Sun is shining when we're leaving Gulf of Finland

Well, the sky turned blue and we got sunshine in the afternoon. But the wind was still blowing force 8 from SW so no walking this afternoon.
I spent the time until dinner browsing through some computer magazines and at 5 o'clock it was time for salad. Captain was disappointed.
- You said that you were start fasting today!

Hmm, I was so hungry at 5 o'clock I had to eat my salad. I had planned for tomato juice only, but there are less calories in the salad.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 12th of April 2005
and we anchored at Baltiysk roads at 11:15. It was very nice weather with blue sky and no wind. During the morning there was a little haze.
One day it's winter and the next it's summer.
Well, this is normal this time of the year and in a few weeks we have forgot all about the winter. Everything will get light green and its shorts and T-shirt on deck.

I was hoping to do some paper work on the bridge during the afternoon. But Captain had registered a domain name so we had to spend the whole afternoon writing HTML and design his page.
Our Cook came by.
- What are you doing? He asked.
He decided that he wanted to have a web page as well. He registered a domain name after dinner. He paid 300$ for the name and web space and he told me to do one page for him as well.

Captain came to the bridge on my night watch as well, now it is web pages 24/7. I was lucky to get my 2,5 hours walking on deck in the afternoon. We worked with his page until 23:30. I will scrutinize their pages carefully before putting any links on my page.

During my night watch our Cook came to visit us while working with Captains web page.
- Oh! Is that a new shirt? He asked.
- No, it's not a new shirt. It was too small to before but now I can use it, I said.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 13th of April 2005
and we were still anchored at Baltiysk anchorage when I came on my morning watch. So let's see if we're going inside today. Almost 9°C 8 o'clock in the morning and no wind. Nice, even though it's gloomy and grey.

Our Cook came to the bridge with his CD collection. I browsed through his records but I could find nothing of interest.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stNever mind, I'm having 200 hours of music on my extern hard drive. I use shuffle play on my media player and I have a nice mix. I only have to hear every song once a month and I never have to get bored with the music.

But, let me come back on the “never getting tired” statement when I'm signing off in a few months. But I guess that I will be more bored with the ship than the music by then.

Well, after lunch (our Cook brought salad to the bridge) I saw a big, I mean a huge bumble-bee on the bridge. The first for this year, maybe he slept on the ship during the winter.

Finally at 14:15 Baltiysk Traffic called me and asked us to be under way in 1 hour.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB heaving up the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB disconnecting the anchor winch

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Taking down the anchor ball

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Taking down the anchor ball

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal going towards Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal going towards Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the Kaliningradskiy Morskoy Kanal going towards Kaliningrad

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 14th of April 2005
and we were just to complete loading when I came on my morning watch. We completed loading at 09:25 and around 11:20 Immigration and our Agent came onboard. We had just finished all the cargo documents and we had outward clearance at 11:45. Our pilot came onboard at the same time. I asked if he wanted coffee before going down on deck.
- Yes, please, he said.
- 2 minutes, I just started the coffee machine, I said.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB on the fo'c's'le when we're leaving Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB on the fo'c's'le when we're leaving Kaliningrad
PLEASE! Observe my training apparatus

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
My training apparatus

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB on the fo'c's'le when we're leaving Kaliningrad

When I returned to the bridge after departure I asked if he got his coffee.
- Yes, he said.
After 1 hour I asked if he wanted more coffee.
- I'm waiting, he said.
Hmm, so he never got his coffee before, but he said yes when I asked him. Well, I served him some coffee.

The weather was stunning, no wind and sunshine. 22°C at noon, needless to say, I used shorts on deck at departure. We see how it is in Finland, but I think it will take a few weeks before I can wash and pack my fur hat and muffler.

Captain and our Cook are chasing me all day long. It is web page and video all the time. Captain wants to make a video of the equipment on the bridge. Maybe something for my web ship? Keep an eye out for updates!

At 15:00 we left the pilot at Baltiysk. Today it was nice weather and the pilot boat were waiting at the head of the break water. The enjoyed the sunshine and watched the people fishing with fishing rods from the breakwater. Otherwise they pick up the pilot very early.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pilot is ready to leave us

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pilot boat at Baltiysk

I walked on deck between 4 and 5 o'clock and at 5 o'clock it was salad time. Captain was eating again, he gave up after 4 days fasting. He told our Cook on the bridge that it would be fun to play Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriamischief with Aladdin at the dinner table again.

After dinner I continued my constitutional for one and a half hour. At 7 o'clock I returned to my cabin and my computer. I'm under a lot of pressure from our Cook and Captain.
- Web page this and that!
But I got time for my own web page between the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriashower and my night watch.

Captain came to the bridge just after 8 o'clock. He was beaming of joy and I was surprised.
- What the bip?

- You should be sad after eating all those pancakes for dinner, I said.
- Not to talk about all the soup and bread, I continued.

He was dancing while warbling. What the foock!! Well, I remembered that he's signing off in Porvoo tomorrow, but I suspect the joy is coming from eating.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook has failed with Captain's diet

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 15th of April 2005
and half of the month April is gone. We had 2 hours to go to the first TSS in Gulf of Finland when I came on my morning watch. We were West of Saaremaa in Estonia. No wind and overcast, but I could see the sun trying to break through the clouds in East.

During the afternoon I ordered 4 external hard drives from our Agent in Porvoo. They will hopefully be delivered to us next time in Porvoo. 2-3 days needed because they don't keep them in stock. ETA Porvoo pilot 19:15 so we will arrive just when I'm coming on my night watch. We will get a new Captain tonight, our old passenger and he will bring new shoes for me.

We had all fast at jetty #2 in Porvoo at 20:40 and we started to discharge at 21:50. We had to wait because we were using our deck crane to lift onboard stores. Nowadays we are not allowed to use our deck crane while loading or discharging.
Thus we had a stop between 23:25 and 23:45 for provision as well. But we were up and running when I was relieved at midnight by 2nd Officer. The last thing I did on my watch was call Helsinki VTS on VHF ch 13 and order pilot for 06:00.

Well, we will have to split the month of April 2005 in to a second part or it will take millions of years to download the page. So click HERE for more about diets and losing weight.


       
                  

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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