Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria



Thursday 10th of March 2005 and we were onboard just before 3 o'clock in the afternoon. When we came onboard we could see that the forward part of the ship was covered in ice. There had Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stbeen strong winds on the journey from Russia to Finland and during the night the temp goes down to -20°C.

There was a CDI inspection in full swing when I came up on the bridge. But I had time to talk with the Chief Officer before they left at 16:00 with a taxi for the airport. Hmm, Captain was on the bridge smoking! What a disappointment!
- What the foock! You told me that you had stopped smoking
- I will stop smoking again, he said.

After dinner I went to my cabin. I tried to sleep but I failed, I was tired after a full day in airplanes. I took a shower and then I uploaded the latest updates on my web page and sent e-mail. Pilot was ordered for 20:30 so I had my “Panta longas” on when I came on my watch at 20:00. When I came on the bridge Captain gave me the video “Super size me”.
- I just finished the video. It was very good, he said.
- What's it about? I asked.
It turned out to be a video about a guy only eating hamburgers. Captain thought that the video would help me losing weight. We completed discharging at 20:20 and we left Porvoo at 21:00.
We meet 3 vessels with ice breaker assistance outside Kalbådagrund L/H and they were bound for Porvoo. The Gulf of Finland was covered with ice, maybe 10 - 20 cm thick. But we didn't have any problem. Captain called me on the bridge around 23:00.
- Tomorrow its Kålpudding for dinner and salmon for lunch, he said.
- What do I care?
I could hear that he had his mouth full of food. He was calling from the galley.

+++++++++++++++
Friday 11th of March 2005
and it was daylight when I came on the bridge 10 minutes before 8 o'clock in the morning. Well, when I signed off it was dark 8 o'clock in the morning. The spring is Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriacoming our way now, nice!

Hmm, Captain came on the bridge telling me that he gave up smoking last time on board.
- For 10 minutes? I asked.
- I will give up smoking again
- Yeah-yeah, blah-blah!
Well, I'm happy to have given up Scalemy nicotine addiction. Now I will be “Kick ass” serious with my diet. I will starve myself and I will get a string and measure my waist every Saturday. Reports will be uploaded here on aladdin.st, so make sure to check in for the latest developments.

I was told that it was better to measure the waist than to weight yourself. Let's see what's happens, but it's bye-bye Porky. I have decided to walk on deck every day for 1 hour. But when I came on deck today is was snowing and blowing so I went back in again.

I managed to get a few pictures of our deck covered with ice before going in again. I also got a video of our AB on the 12-4 watch removing ice from deck.

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

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

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


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
M/T Astoria covered in ice

It's a hard job to remove the ice, and it's a very important job as well. There can be several hundred tons of ice on deck and then we can't load as much as we want. So we want to remove as much ice as possible before reaching loading port.

Well, today the temp was above 0 so the ice is melting away slowly.

During the night before I came onboard the ABs had been very busy removing ice on deck with hot water. They melted the ice with hot water so they could walk on deck. The mooring winches were also covered with thick ice. You can see the ice on the pictures below, and you can see that the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadeck is cleaned from ice.

Well, I hope the weather gets better so I can start walking on deck. I need the exercise, during my night watch I prepared a string and marked my size with 11/3 as in 11th of March. It showed 3.52m. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
Hold your horses! I'm kidding! But check in here every Saturday for the result, I will measure once a week.

Our Bosun brought a basket with water and fresh fruit for me. Now I have enough for a few days. After my watch I finished the video “Super size me”

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 12th of March 2005
and we were at Baltiysk anchorage when I came on my watch at 08:00. Temperature just over + 2°C and the sun tried to break through the grey clouds covering the sky. But it was mostly gloomy and grey.

At 11:40 Baltiysk Traffic called us and asked us to have the anchor up in 1 hour. Well, we had our anchor up in time, but we had to wait 1 hour for the pilot.
While waiting on deck we could see the melt water coming on deck from the ice. It was nice weather but a little windy. It was sunshine but one hour later it started to snow again.

The pilot boarded us just inside Baltiysk breakwater at 13:50. M/T Stenberg was berthed on jetty #4. She had missed the outgoing convoy in the afternoon, so she had to wait for the morning convoy tomorrow.

Well, anyway, we had to go and start loading at jetty #3 and when M/T Stenberg is leaving we will shift to berth #4. We can load to draft 7,7m at berth #3 and to 8m at berth #4.

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

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 13th of March 2005
and we were still loading when I came on my morning watch. We stopped loading at 10:05 and M/T Stenberg left berth #4 around 10:45 and we had all fast at berth #4 at 11:15 and we started to load at 11:40.

It was a nice day with sunshine and I planned to take the biggest club I could find onboard and go on deck cleaning deck from ice. It's a very good exercise. I'm still stiff after yesterdays exercise with the club on deck. Well we completed loading at 14:50 and at 15:40 our Surveyor was ready with the samples.
- I will return in 2 hours with the paper and the density of the cargo, he said.
Yeah-yeah, blah-blah. We see about that, we have heard this 2 hour story before.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and Bosun in the TV room

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Bosun in the TV room

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Bosun in the TV room

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Bosun in the TV room

Well, time to burn calories and I took my MiniDisc and I went to the fo’c’s’le after my watch. I was working on the ice with the club while listening to some good music. It's a heavy job removing the ice and when I felt that I had burnt enough of calories I went to my cabin and a shower.
For dinner it was white cabbage salad, out Cook had made a cubic meter for me. So now it's only white cabbage until sign off day.
When I came onboard Captain asked when I wanted to sign off.
- When I'm at 100kg, I said.
- So you will be onboard until Alang in India?
- No! I estimate my time onboard to be between 2 weeks and 6 months, I said.

I spent my night watch watching TV with Bosun in the dayroom. We missed the afternoon convoy and we will leave tomorrow morning.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Here are some nice pictures of our fo’c’s’le that our Bosun took the day before I signed on. He had burnt a CD with the pictures to Captain and there were some nice pictures so I copied the CD. Our Bosun wanted me to put them on the internet.

So now you can see how they cleared deck with hot water as well. No end to the excitement on aladdin.st. Please note our flag line! It's thick with ice and you can imagine the weight on this small line. Thanks to Hasse for pictures.


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our fo'c's'le is covered with ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our fo'c's'le is covered with ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our fo'c's'le is covered with ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our fo'c's'le is covered with ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our fo'c's'le is covered with ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun removing the ice with hot water

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun removing the ice with hot water

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun removing the ice with hot water

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun removing the ice with hot water

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun removing the ice with hot water

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Fo'c's'le is covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Fo'c's'le is covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Fo'c's'le is covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Fo'c's'le is covered in ice

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

© Hasse Bosun.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 14th of March 2005
and we had planned to go down in DB 6 stb to check for a leak. We were waiting for the convoy to leave Kaliningrad. So we had time to do this before departure. When 2nd Officer called me I took a shower and then I went to the bridge to get a gas meter. We need to check the atmosphere in the tank before entering.

When I came down in the duty mess 2nd Officer told me that they removed the hatch during the night. They had discovered that the hatch had not been correct replaced last time it had been open. Well, anyway, they suspected that the hatch had been replaced poorly. Well, during 24 hours alongside the berth there had been no leaks. We replaced the hatch and we will see at arrival to Porvoo if there had been any leaks.

Immigration and the Agent came onboard just before 10 o'clock and we had outbound clearance at 10:10 and at 10:30 pilot was on the bridge and we left at 10 minutes before 11 o'clock.

On the way down the canal it was snowing and sunshine in turns. There was a blizzard passing us with 0 visibility. But there were more sunshine and spring is on the way. I also saw a fox today for the first time in my life. I can't remember ever seeing a fox before. We left the canal behind around 2 o'clock and the ship started to roll when we changed to northerly course due to sea coming from west.

Well, guess who told me that it was the last day smoking today. He would finish his cigarettes today and tonight he should use a nicotine plaster.
- I can give you one of my “strong” ones, I said.
- Yeah! Great! I will use it during the night.
Let's see what's happen tomorrow.

Or 2nd Officer found out that it was leaking in through our overboard valves in the ballast system. When it's cold we keep them open to avoid them freezing in closed position. We have the tank radar screens on the bridge and she could see the water coming in slowly in DB 6 stb.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 15th of March 2005
and it was sunshine and almost no wind when I came on my morning watch. The temperature was -4°. We where about 15 NM SW of Kopu Poolsaar in Estonia and we reached the first TSS and entered Gulf of Finland twenty minutes past 9 o'clock in the morning. I reached the ice at 10:10 just after leaving the TSS. It was just loose pancake ice so no problem. I could see seals lying around on the ice enjoying the sun. At Hanko TSS, 2nd TSS when entering Gulf of Finland the ice was getting thicker. We passed close to 1 seal and I took a picture. I thought the seal would be afraid when we passed, but the seal stayed on the ice.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Reaching the ice in the Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Reaching the ice in the Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Reaching the ice in the Gulf of Finland

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Passing a seal

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun on the bridge taking pictures

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun taking pictures

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Approaching Morgenstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Passing another seal

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
And yet another seal
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
And yet another seal


M/S Morgenstond III entered the TSS at the same time as we. But we were a little quicker than her. After a couple of hours they called us on the Radio:
- Astoria! What's your destination?

First I had to ask what ship was calling me so there wouldn't be any misunderstandings.
- Porvoo, I said.
- We're bound for Kotka. You're quicker than us so we pass astern of you.
She wanted us to pass her and break the ice for her. Well, very good I didn't have to think about her any more. When we passed her she just steered after us in open water.

We reached Porkkala TSS (TSS just south of Porkkala lighthouse. This TSS is situated SW of Helsinki.) The 3rd TSS in Gulf of Finland at 1540 and it was time to call 2nd Officer so I could go on my watch below. Captain was on the bridge smoking.
It was the same story again:
- Today it's my last day smoking!!!
- Again? I said. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
- You didn't give me any plaster yesterday, he said.
- What! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

I asked him to surprise me this time, but honestly, I think we will see him smoking tomorrow again. After my watch I went to the fo’c’s’le again. I took the big club and I started with the ice again. Good exercise and it was very nice outside in the sun.

When I came on my night watch we had the pilot onboard and we tendered notice of readiness at 20:10. I went down on deck, - 7°C and it was no joy coming outside. I was in a hurry back in at 20:45 when we had all fast at jetty #2 in Porvoo.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Approaching Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Approaching Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Approaching Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're passing Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're passing Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We clear the way for Morgonstond III

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We clear the way for Morgonstond III

Our new 2nd Officer and Bosun were waiting on the jetty when we arrived.

We started to discharge at 21:40 and at 22:15 we had full discharge rate. After my watch I was down in my cabin to upload my web page before going to sleep.

I gave Captain a nicotine plaster and now we will see tomorrow how it turns out. You make sure to come back to aladdin.st for the latest updates. I will upload the updates next time in Finland.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 16th of March 2005
and we had just left our jetty when I came on watch. Captain wasn't smoking when I came on the bridge, a good sign, but let's see what's happens during the day. But he complained about the plaster, yeah-yeah, blah-blah. 2nd Officer was still on deck when I came on the bridge and he came up to the bridge just after 8 o'clock.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaving our jetty and M/T Tervi behind in Porvoo

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaving Fortum's refinery and Porvoo behind

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaving Fortum's refinery and Porvoo behind

It was -10°C so I was happy that I didn't had to go straight from my bed/ hot shower out on deck. But otherwise it was a very beautiful morning, sunshine and not much wind.

Tärnvåg was loading at #4 (I think) and I got a few pictures of her. So keep an eye out on my Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaship photo site for updates!

I went down on deck to help our AB rig the pilot ladder 15 minutes before 9 o'clock. I stopped in the kitchen on the way out for the latest updates.
- I made a barrel of salad for you, our Cook said.
- Very good!

We are kicking ass with my diet and I feel very good after a few days with salad only. I'm walking on, well, it's more like I'm hovering above deck. Next Monday I will stop using salt as well.

----- NAVTEX MESSAGE -----
UC36
160905 UTC MAR
BALTIC SEA ICE REPORT
BAY OF BOTHNIA:
IN NORTHERN ARCHIPELAGOS 40-60 CM FAST
ICE, IN SOUTHERN 20-30 CM. AT SEA
NORTHEAST OF A LINE FALKENS GRUND -
FARSTAGRUNDEN - RAAHE 25-45 CM
CONSOLIDATED DRIFT ICE WITH HEAVY
RIDGES. OTHERWISE SEA AREA COVERED BY
10-25 CM FAIRLY LEVEL ICE WITH SOME
MINOR RIDGES AND HEAVIER FLOES. OFF
SWEDISH COAST NORSTROMSGRUND -
SKELLEFTEA THIN LEVEL ICE. IN BIGHT OF
SKELLEFTEA OTHERWISE RAFTED 15-30 CM
DRIFT ICE WITH RIDGES AND SOME HEAVIER
FLOES. BJUROKLUBB AND SOUTHWARDS 15-30
CM CONSOLIDATED DRIFT ICE WITH SOME
THICKER ICE AND MINOR RIDGES. OFF
FINNISH COAST A LEAD COVERED BY NEW ICE.
THE QUARK:
IN THE ARCHIPELAGOS 20-40 CM FAST ICE.
AT SEA NORTHEAST OF NORDVALEN 10-25 CM
CONSOLIDATED DRIFT ICE WITH HEAVY
RIDGES. SOUTHWEST OF NORDVALEN ON
SWEDISH SIDE NEW ICE OR THIN LEVEL ICE.
FURTHER EAST CLOSE 10-20 CM DRIFT ICE
WITH SOME THICKER FLOES.
SEA OF BOTHNIA:
IN INNER ARCHIPELAGOS 10-35 CM FAST
ICE, ON ANGERMANELVEN 20-40 CM ICE. ON
SWEDISH SIDE NORTH OF LATITUDE 62-50N
CLOSE 5-20 CM DRIFT ICE, ON FINNISH SIDE
EAST OF LONGITUDE 20E THIN ICE AND NEW
ICE. IN BIGHT OF GAVLE 10-25 CM FROZEN
SHUGA TO EGGERSUND, ELSE AT SEA TO
FINNGRUNDEN MAINLY CLOSE 10-15 CM DRIFT
ICE. IN SOUTHMOST PART BROKEN ICE OR
NEW ICE. AT SEA IN CENTRAL PART MOSTLY OPEN WATER.
SEA OF ALAND:
NORTHERN PART NEW ICE OR RAFTED THIN ICE
ARCHIPELAGO SEA:
COVERED BY 10-25 CM FAST ICE.
LAKE MALAREN:
COVERED BY 15-30 CM FAST ICE.
BALTIC:
IN THE ARCHIPELAGOS 10-20 CM FAST ICE.
AT SEA EAST OF LINE BOGSKAR - TAHUNA
THIN LEVEL ICE OR NEW ICE. IN NORTHERN
KALMARSUND THIN CLOSE ICE, PARTLY
RAFTED. SOUTH OF KALMAR OPEN DRIFT ICE.
IN BLEKINGE ARCHIPELAGO 10-15 CM FAST
ICE
LAKE VANERN:
IN ARCHIPELAGOES 20-35 CM FAST ICE. IN
VANERSBORGSVIKEN AND KINNEVIKEN 15-30 CM
COMPACTED DRIFT ICE WITH A JAMMED BRASH
BARRIERAT GALLE UDDE, ELSE IN SOUTHERN
PARTS OF DALBOSJON AND LURO ARCHIPELAGO
NEW ICE OR THIN LEVEL ICE.
GULF OF FINLAND:
IN EASTERN ARCHIPELAGOS 30-50 CM FAST
ICE, IN WESTERN 10-25 CM. IN AREA SESKAR
- HOGLAND 20-40 CM CONSOLIDATED DRIFT
ICE WITH HEAVY RIDGES. FURTHER WESTWARDS
IN CENTRAL PARTS PAST PORKKALA 10-20 CM
CONSOLIDATED DRIFT ICE. WESTWARDS TO A
LINE BOGSKAR - TAHKUNA 5-15 CM LEVEL ICE
OR NEW ICE
GULF OF RIGA:
IN PARNU BAY AND MOONSUND 20-40 CM FAST
ICE. AT SEA AS WELL AS IN IRBEN STRAIT
10-25 CM VERY CLOSE ICE WITH SOME RIDGES
NNNN





I returned to the bridge when the Pilot was off and the sun disappeared and a beautiful morning had turned gloomy and grey. Not exactly what we were wishing for
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Pilot boat come to pick up our Pilot

We steered a WSW course through ice. I passed a Finnish ice breaker at Porkkala light house TSS. She was standby to help ships getting stuck in the ice. We didn't need any help, we passed her in 15 - 16 knots with ice spurting around our bow. Well, Morgenstond III called for icebreaker assistance yesterday.

Captain told me the story:
We remember Morgonstond III from yesterday, she followed my track in the ice. But when we changed course Morgonstond III kept her course. She could not keep her speed when we didn't break the ice for her any more. Our Captain could soon hear Morgonstond III calling Helsinki VTS:
- We need icebreaker assistance.
- Why?
- We're only making 9 knots and we're using extra fuel oil in the ice.
- Call us for icebreaker assistance when you're stuck!
- I'm the Captain and I want assistance now!

Well, like they gave a s••t. They will send him an expensive icebreaker just because he's the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stCaptain and that he's burning extra fuel oil. He can be Captain on the bridge as much as he wants. Oh! You're the Captain! We're coming Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.ston the motherfoocking double! Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

Well, our Captain thought that I should put the story on my web page.
- Now there you have a little something for your web page when you couldn't write that I was smoking this morning, he said.

Passing a ship in the Gulf of Finland

The sun came back again in the afternoon and when I got of my watch it was -3°C and sunshine. We also had 3 ships behind that I had passed and now they followed us through the ice.

After my watch I went down to the engine room. We got spare parts for our ballast tank measurement system. I had to go down and familiarize myself with the equipment.

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 17th of March 2005
and it was poor visibility when I came on my morning watch. Gloomy and grey isn't my favourite weather.
I got myself some oatmeal and tea and it was just to sit and watch in to the fog. I called Baltiysk Traffic at 11 o'clock to give them 2 hour notice. I asked if they knew anything.
- Pilot at 15:00, they said.
We decided to wait outside the approach channel to Baltiysk.
- No use to drop the anchor for 1 hour, Captain said.
We were waiting for Baltiysk Traffic to give us 1 hour notice for the pilot. At 15:00 they started to call the ships around us. They asked them to be at the pilot boarding area in 1 hour.

I called them and asked about us. We were told to wait because poor visibility in the Canal in Kaliningrad. At 15:25 they called us and asked us to be at the pilot boarding area in 1 hour.
- You are # 10 in the convoy after the vessel “Blah-blahblasky
5 minutes later they called again.
- Be at the pilot boarding area in 30 minutes. You will be #1 in the convoy.

Just outside the breakwaters they called us and asked us to drop our anchor. Poor visibility in the Canal. Puh hvor er jeg træt!

Today it's the second day without any smoke for Captain. Well, what I have been able to see anyway. And I think we're too old for a smoke on the sly, no needs to lie for each other.
- Yeah-yeah, I gave up smoking! Blah-blah!


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain is not smoking...

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
... but he is eating cookies

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Chief Engineer is on the bridge smoking

At 8 o'clock I went for my night watch on the bridge and we were still anchored and I spent time reading a new pamphlet from Fortum. Plenty of Fortum's DO'S & DON’TS.
And I found it quite interesting to read. When we got it in Porvoo last time I asked Captain what it was for bullbip (before reading it) they sent to the ship.

Don't be surprised if you will find something from this pamphlet on my web page in the future. Hmm, maybe it's better to read the papers before complaining next time receiving new info onboard. But maybe it's of no interest any longer and no one remembers it 2 weeks later. Today's shipping is paper and paper.

I remember reading the magazine from Deck Officer Union last year. They should have an election and the members should elect one representative. The candidates were introduced in the magazine. We're talking vote-catching and electoral pledges.
- Everyone voting for me will get candy
And one came up with:
- We should have the same cachet as Captain's of the airliners and salaries beyond comprehension
But one of them had a well thought-out idea, he wanted to cut all the unnecessary paper work. I should have given my vote to him, but I'm not a member and I could not vote.

The boredom was just about to kill me when it was time to call my reliever. I was soon in my bed reading a computer magazine for a few minutes before sleeping.

+++++++++++++++
Friday 18th of March 2005
and we were still at the anchorage when I came on my morning watch. It was gloomy and grey weather with fog, rain and snow. At 14:15 Baltiysk Traffic called me and asked us to be under way in 1 hour. I called our engine department and asked them to have the engine ready in 30 minutes.

Our anchor was up at 15:00 and 2 minutes after they called us on the VHF:
- You have to wait for 1 hour more.
Yeah-yeah what to say? But at 16:00 we had the pilot onboard and I was down in the pipe tunnel. I had to remove an electrical box from our gas measuring system in the pipe tunnel. We had worked with the O&sub2; detector during the morning. Bosun and I was in the pipe tunnel, well, just the fact that we needed to be 2 persons to calibrate and adjust the gas measurement system tells us what kind of system it is. It's not the good one!
First step was to adjust the volt to 40 mV, but we could only lower it from 190 to 94 and then it became 190 mV again.

I called the company who delivered the system and they thought it was the potentiometer in the electric box that was out of order. Thus I had to go down in the tunnel to remove the box so I could see if there was something wrong with it. I also needed a number so we could order the right box. This number should be on the box.
- How much is it for the box? 2-3€? I asked on the phone.
The box cost 500€ (price from last year). - What the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Unbelievable, this box can't cost much more than 2 € to make.

When I came on the bridge for my night watch we were waiting for the Agent and Immigration. I Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadid some paper work (filed old check lists and documents, all papers should be kept onboard for an eternity) and the Immigration and Agent came on board at 20:40 and at 20:55 we had free pratique and the Surveyor and Loading Master could come onboard.

When I did the paperwork with the Surveyor he told me that this crude oil was very light with a density of 0,78 - 0,79.
- But it's still the Zagorskoye crude we are loading? I asked.
The Surveyor made a few calls and he told me that we were loading Zaikinskaya crude.

According to our voyage order we should load Zagorskoye crude and Captain had to call Fortum to confirm the new orders. Everything was OK and we started to load at 22:15.

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 19th of March 2005
and I was called for at 04:00. I had just felt asleep when 2nd Officer called.
- I can't discharge the ballast.
There had been problem to discharge the ballast every winter since the ship was new. I went to the bridge and I tried to discharge our ballast. I tried to discharge the ballast but there were much left when we were ready with the loading. It was not possible to strip 4 of the ballast tanks.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

We completed loading at 08:40 and I put my men to open the hatch to DB 6 stb. There is a leaking valve to DB 5 stb in DB 6. So we had planned to remove the valve and repair it. There is not ample space in the DB and this valve was sitting close to the bulkhead between 5 & 6 DB. Our Bosun and 1 AB were working with it for a few hours. The bolts had been there for 5 years and it was impossible to remove the nuts. There was no space to use a nut splitter so we have to order new bolts and cut the old one. Well, anyway, the old one can't be used again. It should have been stainless steel.

It was nice when it was 16:00 and I could go to bed.
- Now we have to eat dinner together, Captain said.
- I have been up since 04:00, I said.
Well, I can write a few words in my web page and then go for dinner (salad). Our pilot left us at 15:25, a little earlier than usually due to swell in Baltiysk and the weather is bad outside. Where is the spring?

When coming on my night watch we had headwind force 8 and we could see that the water spray on the fo’c’s’le was turning to ice.

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 20th of March 2005
and our fo’c’s’le was covered in ice when I came on my morning watch. There were still some water coming on deck, but when we changed course to NE we got the sea
----- NAVTEX MESSAGE -----
UB23
201130 UTC MAR
BALTIC SEA ICING WARNING
ICING WARNING
CENTRAL BALTIC AND NORTHERN BALTIC:
LIGHT ICING.
SEA OF AALAND AND SEA OF BOTHNIA:
IN ICE FREE PARTS LIGHT ICING.
NNNN
more from the side.

At 11 o'clock the sun started to shine through the clouds and the temp rose to above zero. At 1 o'clock I called Helsinki VTS on the phone. I wanted to know what way to go to avoid the worst ice and save fuel and time.
- Go on the north side of Gulf Of Finland, they said.
Traffic separation is not working now due to ice, otherwise you keep on the south side when Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaentering and the north side when leaving Gulf of Finland.

I enjoyed the afternoon with my tea on the bridge. Sun was shining and I had a good time. Captain called me and told me that it was Goa beach on the TV.

It's a TV show on Swedish TV and they send all the episodes from the week on Sunday afternoon without interruption. Well, for commercials off course.
- Are you recording it? I asked.
- No but I can do if you like!
With satellite TV we don't have to miss anything. 10 minutes before 2 o'clock Captain came to the bridge, he got a chocolate bar and returned to his cabin.
- Where are you going with that chocolate?
- I'm taking it back to the slop chest. It's too hot on the bridge for the chocolate.
After my watch I passed his cabin and I could see him in front of the TV with chocolate wrappings all over the cabin. After dinner I got the video tape from Captain.
- Now you can watch video until your watch at 20:00, he said.
- Then I need some chocolate!
- No no!
- You were eating chocolate when you watched Goa beach this afternoon. I want to enjoy the video and you're the expert in enjoying TV.

I turned on the video and opened my chocolate and enjoyed myself in the sofa. Well, it didn't take long before my phone rang.
- We can't get hot water on deck, 2nd Officer said.
Our AB's were out on deck removing ice with hot water. They started after dinner when we Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriareached the ice in Gulf of Finland. No more water spray on deck and we could start the work.

Hmm, they got hot water on deck and I was back in my cabin at 7 o'clock, 1 hour to go to my night watch.

But the important thing was that we had hot water on deck so we can remove the ice from deck. Engine department and Captain were engaged, well, more or less the whole crew were engaged.

I took a shower and then I continued on the video. At 19:48 2nd Officer called me. I want him to wake me up 20 minutes before my watch so I can take a shower. 10 minutes is not enough for a hot shower.
----- NAVTEX MESSAGE -----
UA39
200825 UTC MAR
ESTONIA NAV WARN 023
GULF OF FINLAND.
DUE TO HARSH ICE CONDITIONS IN ESTONIAN
WATERS ARE
POSITIONS OF BUOYS UNRELIABLE.
NNNN
- It's quarter to 8, he said.
- Quarter to 8!!!??? It's 10 to! I said
- Don't be so fussy!!!!

And at 19:49 Captain called. No chance to watch the video. Well, never mind, my cosy watch below was already down the drain and I had given up the idea.
- What are you doing? I asked.
- I'm waiting for you to come on the bridge with diet Coke.
- I'm on the way!

I took my last 2 diet cokes and went to the bridge and I arrived in time just before 8 o'clock. It was almost ice free in the north part of Gulf of Finland. I guess all the ice had blown down to Estonia. At 9 o'clock the ABs were ready with the hot water on deck. It was nice to be relieved at midnight and I was down in my cabin in a jiff.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
They come to take over the watch


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
They come to take over the watch


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
They come to take over the watch


+++++++++++++++
Monday 21st of March 2005
and we were lying in the ice outside Fortum's refinery in Porvoo when I came on my morning watch.

When I came on the bridge 2nd Officer told me that they expected us to go inside at 13:00. We're waiting for Dicksi to discharge her cargo before we can come alongside on her jetty.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
No need to drop the anchor in the ice


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and Captain on the bridge


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Waiting for Dicksi to leave


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB preparing the manifold


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


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Is he smoking on the bridge?


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB ready for arrival on the fo'c's'le


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB ready for arrival on the fo'c's'le


We're just lying in the ice, no need to drop the anchor in 30 cm thick ice. Well, this gives me time to write a little something on my web page. Maybe I can upload my page this time in Finland, otherwise I had planned to do it next time due to lack of time.

So a few hours waiting it's very good. I also had time to call TecMarine and order bolts for our ballast valves. will be delivered today ( I hope). Otherwise arriving on a Sunday leaving early on Monday would not have given us any time to get it onboard.

At 11 o'clock I could hear M/T Dicksi giving 3 hour notice to Helsinki VTS for the pilot. So we will get our pilot at 14:00 as well.

Our Pilot boarding us in the ice

We meet M/T Dicksi on the way to our jetty

We had all fast at jetty #2 at 15:00. I did the paperwork with Loading Master and we were ready at 15:25. We were going to bunker lubrication oil and they could not connect the cargo arm before we completed bunkering the lubrication oil.

Our provision was waiting for us on the jetty at arrival and after my watch I went down to the slop chest. Captain had ordered 6 cases of Diet Coke for me and they had arrived with the provision. I got 3 cases and returned to my cabin and Goa Beach.
I think the provision had been on the jetty for a while because my Diet Coke was ice cold. Yummy!!! We also got a new Captain on board at arrival. This Captain has been home sick for a long time. Now he's going to stay onboard for 1-2 weeks training with our Captain.

We also got Earl Grey tea and white cabbage from the ship chandler. We're out of white cabbage so I could not have my white cabbage today. Well, our Cook will make a new barrel with cabbage for tomorrow.

When I came on my night watch the discharging was in full swing. When I got of my watch at midnight we had about 1 hour to go with the discharging. I had ordered pilot for 0130.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 22nd of March 2005
and it was sunshine and no wind when I came on my morning watch. Very nice, blue sky and +3°C and the crew are happy.

I started my watch with tea and oatmeal while discharging ballast from DB 6 stb & DB 2 port. Our ABs Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawere going down in ballast tank 6 stb to change the ballast valve.

I discharged 6 stb tank as you can understand and I compensated the list and trim with 2 port.

If this wasn't enough I had to discharge 5 stb and 3 port as well. They were going to change the valve to 5 stb and this valve is sitting in 6 stb.

5 stb need to be empty because when the valve is removed all the ballast will go in to 6 stb. And 3 port is to compensate the list.
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st Yeah-yeah, enough already, we got the picture!!!!

Well, our training Captain came on the bridge for a cup of coffee.
- Coffee!!!??? Then you have to go to the women's section. Here we drink tea! I said.

He didn't accept the offer. Well, suit yourself. We talked about this and that and Captain came Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaon the bridge after a while. We talked about the good old days when our Chief Engineer came sneaking with a Schweizeröt.

He tried to hide the chocolate in his back pocket.
- Hey! Stay there and look out of the window so I can get a picture full of feeling, I said.
- Yeah, like this? He asked.

I got the picture of the chocolate and we we're screaming of laughter when he realized that I wanted a picture of his back pocket.

He was threatening me. I will kick you a•• if you don't have some chocolate. I got scared and took Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriasome (a small piece). Captain did throw himself over my camera and took some pictures of me Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaeating a small piece of chocolate. Now we can watch one of the rare occasions when I indulge in some extravaganza.

I found out that Captain had his birthday today when Bosun came to the bridge and said congratulations!
- For what? I asked.
- We won a million on the horses.
- Pull me backwards, I said.
Aladdin's adventure on board M/T AstoriaWell, it turned out to be Captains birthday and I expect cake later on. Nothing that is very good for my diet and I'm not looking forward to the cake.

After my watch I went down in the engine room to see the work proceeding with our ballast valve. Our 2nd Engineer was working with the valve in the workshop and the ABs will put it back tomorrow morning.

It was still a little light when I came on my evening watch. Nice, not long ago it was pitch-dark when coming on watch both in the morning and evening. The days are getting longer by the day.

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Still some ice on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bill & Bull on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer with the ballast valve

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer with the ballast valve

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Dinner and we have one extra guest

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Have some cake

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Never time to relax

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 23th of March 2005
and we were at the Baltiysk anchorage when I came on my morning watch. Believe me or not, but the thermometer was showing 9,5 °C at 8 o'clock in the morning. This is for sure the first spring day of the year 2005.
Yesterday was a very fine but I wasn't sure if I could call it the first spring day. Hmm, maybe I will pick up the pilot in shorts today.

I was on the bridge enjoying the sunshine when the phone rang at the cargo control area of thePranks bridge. I rushed there but after 2 signals they hang up and it started to ring at the centre console. I rushed there and they hang up after 2 signals and then it started to ring on starboards bridge wing.
- OK! I get the picture!
Our Captain is a real prankster. He spent hours scaring the seagulls on the fo'c's'le. The seagull is sitting on the gunwale and they are dropping their loads (if you know what I mean ) on deck and on the gunwale. Destroying the paint work and as Captain said:
- When you're leaning on the gunwale you're getting dirty.
- You never see me lean on anything. Straight back® is my distinctive mark, I said.
When the seagull landed he hoot with our horn forward and the seagull got scared away. When he gave up (several hours later) I didn't knew if it was because of boredom or if he got hungry.

Chief engineer came to the bridge asking about the noise. After a few minutes he left for our horn in the aft mast. The horn had been repaired and he needed to adjust a thingamabob or a doodah. While he climbing down I took the opportunity to go outside (in shorts and T-shirt) to get a photo.

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


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer coming down again


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer coming down again


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Officer is calling home


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


Captain and the passenger spent the morning on the bridge drinking coffee and pestering me. Our Captain told the story from last time I was onboard. He told 1 of the girls from the Russian authorities that I was a sports man.
- A pizza & hamburger sports man, she said.
Captain felt of his chair laughing and he cannot forget about it.
- Why don't you write about the pizza & hamburger sportsman episode on your web page?

At 14:55 Baltiysk Traffic called me on VHF channel 74.
- Astoria! Be under way in 1 hour. You are no 3 in the convoy.
We had our anchor up at 1545 and we steered towards Baltiysk. Pilot will board us outside the breakwater today. Just outside the Baltiysk breakwater there was a Russian navy ship getting engine breakdown just ahead of us. We had to change course for this ship.
Baltiysk
Russian navy with engine breakdown. Pilot boat on the way to us.

Pilot boarded us just after 16:00, but then I was off my watch but I was on the bridge
Baltiysk

former Pillau until 1946. The city with a population of
26 000 (1995) was built as a Swedish fortification after the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf's landing 1626 and was Swedish until 1635.
Kaliningrad, former Köningsberg until 1946.

Kaliningrad
recording a video of the pilot boarding us outside the breakwater.

Can't say that I got any excited watching the video so I won't bother uploading the darn thing.

We had just arrived and had all fast at jetty #4 in Kaliningrad when I came on my night watch. 2nd Officer, Captain and our passenger was sitting on the bridge.
- Here he comes! We been waiting for you, the passenger said.
- Are you bored? It's no fun around when I'm not around, I said.
Well, now they are 2 and they toughen up, when alone it's a different story.

They were sitting in the lounge suite on the bridge when I came on the bridge.
- Ah, your busy training for the winter Olympics! I said
- Training what?
- For the bobsleigh race in the next winter Olympics!
- What do you mean?
- Looks like you're training for the bobsleigh when you're sitting in the chair

I told them that they could use a fan to make the training more realistic. The fan will give a rush of air, same as the rush caused by a fast-moving body.
- Watch out so you're not getting speed-blinded!
After all the practice we expect nothing less than a place on the winners' stand next winter Olympic. We keep our fingers crossed.

Training for bobsleigh and we expect nothing less than a place on the winner's stand next winter Olympic.

+++++++++++++++
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stThursday 24th of March 2005
(Maundy Thursday) and we were still loading when I came on my morning watch. The weather was gloomy and grey, but the temperature was showing +4°C so it was OK. Fog was in the air. The sun is gone but as long as the temp is above zero we're going the right way. Easter starts today or tomorrow, I'm not real sure about these religious holidays. Well, they call it Maundy Thursday so there is something special with this day.

Water level in the canal was -8cm so we could only load to draft 7,92m. We completed loading at 09:05 and 12 o'clock is deadline to get with the outbound convoy. Well, I know where they can put their rules and regulations.

Last time they came onboard just after 12 o'clock ( we were busy throwing abusive remarks at each other in the mess room) with the cargo documents and we left at 1245. So I don't have too much confidence in their rules. Sometimes navigation is prohibited in the dark and next time it's allowed to enter the canal in the dark.

The Surveyor came on board at 12:10, typical, we were busy eating salad and throwing abusive remarks at each other in the mess room. Paper work was completed 12:40 and the canal was covered in dense fog.
- I don't think that we will leave in this fog, Captain said.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer on the bridge waiting for departure


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
He is not drinking Diet Coke


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
He is not drinking Diet Coke


Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our passenger truing to alleviate the boredom


Captain & the passenger spent the afternoon on the bridge and I can as well tell you that the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawaste paper basket on the bridge was full of empty coke cans. Otherwise I will be pestered by the Captain next time he's back on the ship. After spending his holiday on my web page.
- You never wrote about the empty cans!

Captain took a picture of the cans.
- You can put the picture of all the empty cans on internet, he said.
But when I checked my camera there were no picture.
- I think you pressed the wrong button! There is nothing, I said.

He didn't bought that, he don't think that I dare to put the picture on the internet.
- You erased the picture, he said
Well, I took a picture of our wastebasket myself.
- You see, I have nothing to hide, I said.

Well, we spent the afternoon talking about the good old days. Was it better back in the days or was it because we were younger?

I had to listen to stories told with verve and spirit and I didn't believe half of it. Things were soon to get worse. Our passenger was pulling down his trousers and Captain and I were chocked.
- HEY HEY!!! WHO ASKED FOR THIS? TAKE THEM BACK ON!!!
Well, I don't know what to say.

Later in the afternoon our agent called us and told us that the canal was closed due to fog and Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriathat we would leave tomorrow morning. (weather permitted)

After my watch I was busy writing on my web page and I was 5 minutes late for dinner. Captain asked where I had been.
- I have been in an emergency meeting with my web hotel. If I should publish all the crap I need to buy more space on my web hotel.

Well, the company should be lucky to have good ABs on the ship. While the Officers are busy larking about the ABs are working hard.

Today Bosun and our new AB got the ballast valve up from DB 6 port and down in the engine work Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriashop. Our 2nd Engineer repaired the valve and it's ready to put back tomorrow.

We spent the evening watching TV in the dayroom. And as our Chief Engineer and the passenger had finished all the pancakes I bought a bag of toffee (JUMBO family size with a new design) and a Schweizernöt chocolate bar. Hmm, after the first toffee agony stroke me and I passed the bag to our passenger.
- Let the bag circulate, I said.
Even though it was a very big bag (JUMBO family size with a new design) I never saw the bag again.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Watching TV in the day room
And our passenger shows off his ability to do 2 things at the same time
Watch TV and training for the winter Olympic bobsleigh race at the same time


+++++++++++++++
Friday 25th of March 2005
Good Friday) and on the way to the bridge I could see that it was still foggy. Maybe we have to stay here for 1 more night. I don't mind.

At 09:30 we called the AB on the 12-4 watch, it was time to put back the ballast valve in DB 6 port. 2nd Engineer had repaired the valve last night and now the valve was ready to put back.

I measured the tank for gas and there was nothing to worry about. Bosun and AB went down in the tank just after 9 o'clock. 1 AB was standby at the tank opening. I cannot hear the guys in the tank on my radio when I'm on the bridge or in the engine room.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB going down the ballast tank

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB going down the ballast tank

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB going down the ballast tank

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB stand-by at the tank entrance

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman and Chief Engineer drinking coffee in the ECR
LOOK AT OUR CHIEF ENGINEER!
Someone told him that Frölunda would win the ice hockey tonight and he choking himself on the coffee

I have to turn on the hydraulic oil to the valve when the hydraulic pipes are reconnected to the valve. I do this in the engine room and then I have to go to the CCR on the bridge to Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaopen and close the valve on the computer screen. I can operate the valve from the engine room, but I prefer to do it from the bridge.

Well, before going to the engine room the AB showed me a little something he had painted. He proudly pointed at the door:
- I did this drawing and text!
Well, soon there are so many warnings on the Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadoor that you can't see the door.

I went to the engine room and I was talking to the engine crew while I was waiting for the call from deck.

I got the call and I turned on the hydraulic pressure and then I got to the bridge. I opened and closed the valve and it was working.

Well, Bill & Bull was on the bridge pestering me. Big surprise! I Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriahad a diet coke and we talked about diet and stuff. We realized that we had to be serious if I was going to reach my goal.

We worked out a plan, I had to pay 150$ every time they caught me eating. Salad and fruit was allowed.
- We start today, Captain said.
- No way! We start on Monday.

It's better to start after Easter. Monday is a good day to start. I have time to prepare myself mentally.

Captain disappeared from the bridge and he came back with a contract for me to sign. I signed the darn thing and when I came down for lunch the whole ship knew about the deal. Our Cook said that he could hide me while eating Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria for a few bucks.

But more important, he also said:
- We have to have Fläskpannkaka on Sunday before starting on Monday, he said.

We spent the night watching ice hockey in the dayroom. Frölunda - Djurgården 3 - 4. Yeah, the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stonly interesting with this game was the players from Skåne. Otherwise it was a totally uninteresting and boring game.

We had many guys on board from Göteborg and they Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stwere obviously hoping for Frölunda to win. Of course, in vain, but they are used by now. At least they must be used to it now after all these years without winning anything.

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


+++++++++++++++
Saturday 26th of March 2005
(Easter Eve) and it was still foggy when I came on my morning watch. I was a little disappointed, 1 night is OK, but now it started to get boring here at jetty #4 in
A tangled heap of wires
Kaliningrad and I want to leave now.

I was in the engine room taking pictures of a connection to our ballast pumps. During the winter we by-pass the auto ejector to the ballast pumps. I don't know if we have someone to connect the auto ejector when this Chief Engineer is going home. I took a few pictures of the connection so I can do it myself.

Bosun and I changed one O2 sensor in the pipe tunnel before lunch. While eating our Easter lunch and telling stale jokes the sun broke through the fog.

At 13:10 the pilot came onboard followed by the agent and Immigration Officers a few minutes later. Paper work was done in a jiff and we left Kaliningrad at 14:10. And it was very nice weather when we left Kaliningrad.

I spent the rest of my watch doing paper work on the bridge. At departure I Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaprepared a fender and a big rubber club on the fo’c’s’le. I was inspired by the ice clubbing and I had thought of this. Now, by simple means only and I had made myself a KICK ASS training apparatus and I was looking forward to go out in the sunshine to do some heavy duty exercise.

After my watch I went forward and I started to bang the fender with the big rubber club. I was banging for almost 1 hour and I had to stop because of aches in my hands. Well, I have to start slowly.

After dinner I went to my cabin and my web page. The ache in my hands got worse, but it was nice at the same time. It feels good to have done the exercise. Tomorrow I skip the club and I will exercise on the training bike instead.

I have to rest my hands tomorrow and on Monday it will be heavy duty banging again. I have to start with the bike tomorrow. Rumour say that Captain is writing a new amended contract and that sitting on the bike is included. I have to get real serious if I want to leave the ship. But I think I will be down on 100kg in a jiff.

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 27th of March 2005
Easter day) and I was a little tired when they called me at 07:40. During the night they had changed to day light saving time (summer time) and at 02:00 the clock became 03:00 and 1 hour less to sleep for me.

It was gorgeous weather, the sea looked like a mirror and the sun was shining from a blue sky. Seems like the gorgeous weather enticed Bill & Bull out of the office. Bill & Bull (if you haven't Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriafigured it out yet, Bill & Bull is Captain and the passenger) spent the morning on the bridge. And believe me , I have heard much in my days. But where do they come up with all their stories?

After lunch, fläskpannkaka, I was sitting on the bridge enjoying the weather and music. I thought Bird of passage, migratory birdI could hear the chirping of birds on the bridge. I was looking around and I found a small bird.
The bird was flying around the bridge until it found the door and disappeared. I was glad that he found his way out so I didn't have to chase him with a towel in order to save him. AND NO MATTER WHAT, TRY TO AVOID TOUCHING BIRDS. THEY HAVE ALL KINDS OF DISEASES! WASH YOUR HANDS!!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Full activity on the bridge

I called Turku pilot at 15:00 and gave them 1 hour notice and they told me to prepare the pilot ladder on starboard side 1,5 meter above the water.
We passed through some loose ice on the way in to Utö. We could see plenty grey seals on the ice. But there wasn't much ice outside the archipelago and inside the archipelago it was mostly loose ice.

After my watch I went to my cabin for a quick nap. I was a little tired after loosing 1 hour of sleep last night. 10 minutes before 5 o'clock I took a shower before dinner.

I bought a last chocolate bar and I went to my cabin. I started a video and when I went to the Contractbridge to get a bottle of water Captain gave me the new “improved” contract. I'm not allowed to use salt and I must use the training bicycle every day.

Well, in short, I'm allowed to eat bip all or it cost me 150$ that I have to pay to the leisure fund. The crew are already looking for a gyro stabilized satellite dish to buy for all the money they expect to get from me, they will be so disappointed

When I came on my night watch I had to go straight on deck. We had our first line ashore at jetty #3 in Naantali at 20:10.

We started to discharge at 21:05.

First we should discharge a 300 ton line displacement. Then we had to stop so they could change shore tank. At 22:00 we stopped and at 22:15 we resumed discharging.

They had to lift the roof on the shore tank, so 2 hours with maximum 500 m³/h. The roof is floating on the oil so they don't have to let any gases out of the tank. See my web ship section. Well, the shore tank was empty so we had to start slowly until the roof was floating.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 28th of March 2005
Easter Monday) and I was down in our exercise room first thing when 2nd Officer had relieved me at midnight. 15 minutes on the bike and a shower before sleeping.
15 minutes on the bike every day is in my amended contract. So I will do the bicycle after midnight and banging with the rubber club in the afternoon.
After 15 minutes on the bike I took a shower and I went to sleep. I had a very good sleep and slept until 07:40 when 2nd Officer called.

The weather was a little gloomy and grey when I came on my morning watch but the sun started to shine a few hours later. We completed discharging at 11 o'clock and we left Naantali at forty-five minutes later. On the way out to the pilot station we saw so many grey seals that it's not worth mention any grey seals again. I saw more seals today then I have done during my whole life.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Seals relaxing on the remaining ice outside Utö

We left the pilot at Utö at 15:20 in sunshine and the sea was like a mirror. I was relieved by 2nd Officer and I was off to the fo'c's'le and my giant rubber club.
After my night watch it will be the bike again. They didn't believe that I was on the bike after my watch at midnight.
- You have to be on the bike at 16:00 or it will cost you 150$, Captain said.
- I'm there at midnight and I can wake you up if you don't believe me.
Our passenger wanted me to call him at 2355 so he could check me in the exercise room.

Well, for dinner just a little salad and from now on its only 1 case of diet coke per month. That's good, I hope I can learn to be economical with my coke and to things in general. Until now I just bought new stuff whenever I felt like it and I have never been saving.
Less than a can a day, maybe I should give up diet drinks and it will be interesting to see if I can have the case for a full month.

Next time in Naantali 1 AB, Our Cook and Chief Engineer will leave the ship together with our passenger. Our passenger will come back as Captain 15th of April. I hope he brings 2 pair of boxing gloves so we can start boxing . We have a sack and a pair of gloves onboard. But Yo!!! Now we're talking boring, it's as exciting as using the training bike.

Real boxing is more fun and you can quit when you're tired, then you will get hit.

I also called the Cook coming next time and he will buy a watch and a pair of training shoes for me. Now I have to use my old sandals

I spent the afternoon in my cabin writing on my web page and at 20:00 it was time to go on the bridge again. The sun was still shining and the sea was like a mirror, gorgeous.
At 23:55 I called our passenger so he can meet me in the exercise room 0003.

+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 29th of March 2005
and no more Easter until 2006, nice. Well, anyway, I meet our passenger outside my cabin.
- I go to bed again, he said.
- But hey! You should check me on the bike, I said.
He went back to his cabin and I went down to the exercise room all by lonesome. It was nice to be back in bed after the bike and shower and I felt asleep like a baby.

When I came on my morning watch the sun was shining. The weather was nice even though it was blowing force 4 from the east. I enjoyed the morning with tea and oatmeal.

Our passenger told me that it was time for the bike at 16:00.
- At 16:00 it's time for my rubber club and I will walk backward and forward between the fo’c’s’le and the bridge, I said.
- I can relieve you now if you want to walk, he said.
I went down and I changed my cloths and I started run forward to the fo’c’s’le and back, up the stairs to the bridge and down and to the fo’c’s’le again. After 25 minutes I returned to the bridge.
It was time to drop our anchor at Baltiysk anchorage.

At 11:40 we dropped our anchor and I could enjoy the afternoon on the bridge. The bridge was full of small birds and chirping. One of the birds started to eat my fruit. I saved what I could, but he had started to pick on 2 apples and 1 pear. When the bird was ready I throw the fruit in the sea. Well, I have to write it even if there are representatives from the company reading this, I'm not going to take any chance with the bird flu.

Blåmes, Blue tit
Blåmes, Blue tit
Blåmes, Blue tit
A Blue tit eating my fruit on the bridge

Blåmes, Blue tit

Blåmes, Blue tit

Blåmes, Blue tit
Trying to catch the bird

Blåmes, Blue tit
I got the bird

Blåmes, Blue tit
Letting the bird out

Our passenger spent the afternoon trying to catch the birds on the bridge. He managed to catch one of them. While he chased one there was one Blue tit flying in on the bridge and he hit the window in full force. He felt down on the windowsill unconscious. Our passenger thought he was dead, but he woke up after a minute. We put him on deck and he was scatterbrained for a while.

At 15:00 they called us from Baltiysk Traffic and asked us to take the pilot in 1 hour. We had our anchor up at 15:40 and I was relieved by 2nd Officer before the pilot came onboard. I was relieved on deck while waiting for the pilot.

After my watch I was walking and banging with the club for an hour before eating my salad.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ville, Valle och Viktor on the bridge

Captain had recorded “ Goa beach ” for me yesterday so I spent 1 hour in front of the video. I had time to write a little something on my web page and send my e-mail before my night watch.

I was hungry (after all the exercise today) so I went down and got me some fruit before going to the bridge. When I came on the bridge we were waiting for the Immigration Officers and our Agent. They arrived at 20:35 and at 21:20 we had free pratique. We started to load at 10 o'clock and the ballast pumping was in full swing already.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 30th of March 2005
and exercise bike and blah-blah-blah, we know the story already. 2nd Officer called me at 06:40. Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
- We're soon ready with the loading.
I went to the bridge and we completed loading at 07:25 and we left Kaliningrad at 11:50. The weather was nice with sunshine, it was a little cold and the temperature had been below zero during the night.

After my watch it was time for my walking again. 1 hour of exercise in the stairs and the rubber club. I will soon be handsome and slender.
Last time onboard I was thinking about a liposuction. It would be nice to walk in through the basement one day and to walk out through the main entrance the day after as a he-man. It would have cost me around 10 000$ but as our motorman said:
- It would look strange with a stomach like a washboard and an ass like a, well, 2,1 meter between the back pockets on your trousers.

I agree with him and now its kick ass exercise every day with only fruit and salad. Our passenger told me that he will give up snus when I'm on 100 kg.

Well, at arrival to Naantali our Chief Engineer, 1 AB, our Cook and passenger will go home. No more Chief Engineer coming to the bridge with fruit on my night watch. It's always nice with a pear and a chat.

But Captain will still be running around on the bridge. He came on the bridge 10 minutes after 8 o'clock in the evening.
- I'm recording the science magazine (Club Goa) for you, he said.
- Hey hey! Where are you going now?! I shouted.
He opened the cupboard under the tea machine and took a Schweizernöt. It was not one of the small ones either. It was a KING SIZE family pack. He disappeared down the stairs.
- Hey hey! Where are you going now?! I shouted.
- I'm going down to fine tune your recording.

Later in the night I heard M/T Prospero on the VHF and I called her on the VHF. I spoke a little with the Chief Officer. He's known from TV as he gave up smoking on a TV show.
He asked about my diet and I told him that I was on a fruit and vegetables “only” diet with a lot of exercise.
- I feel like a new person, I said.
He asked about my “Oatmeal Surprise” and I told him that it's a cup in the morning and one for lunch. I told him that together with the exercise it's a success.

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 31st of March 2005
and it was gorgeous weather when I came on my morning watch. In the shadows on deck there was still a little frost. But the frost was gone before soon. I slept like a log all night. Even though I drank a big Thermos (our passenger calls it a tanker) with tea on my night watch yesterday. At midnight it was 15 minutes on the bike and a hot shower. I felt asleep when I hit the pillow and slept until 07:40 when 2nd Officer called me.

Before I started my diet I could wake up 2 times during the night to do a wee-wee. And this was even though I didn't drink any tea on my night watch.

Same procedure as all days, Ville, Valle & Viktor came to drink coffee on the bridge. I can't remember ever hearing any worse cock-and-bull stories.
- Blah-blah-bla! This and that... Blah-blah-bla!
We arrived to Utö pilot station at 12:25. No ice at Utö and it was only loose ice on the way in to Naantali. On many places it was open water.
The thermometer was showing +13°C in the sun. So in 2 weeks the ice will be gone.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Only loose ice remaining

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Only loose ice remaining

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Arriving to Naantali on a beautiful spring afternoon
AB and Bosun on deck

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Arriving to Naantali on a beautiful spring afternoon
AB on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Fortum's refinery in Naantali

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Arriving to Naantali on a beautiful spring afternoon
2nd Officer and AB on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Arriving to Naantali on a beautiful spring afternoon

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Arriving to Naantali on a beautiful spring afternoon

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and AB on the jetty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Mooring operation on the fo'c's'le - PLEASE! Observe my training apparatus

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Mooring operation on the fo'c's'le - PLEASE! Observe my training apparatus

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Mooring operation on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Mooring operation on the fo'c's'le

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Mooring operation on the POOP deck

I was relieved by 2nd Officer on the bridge at 16:00 and I was down on deck for my walk. We were to arrive to Naantali around 16:15. At arrival our new AB and Chief Engineer was waiting on the jetty. They were surprised to see me walking up and down on deck.
- Are you exercising?
It was very nice to walk on deck today, maybe I will do it before my watch tonight again if I get my new shoes. Our Cook is arriving to the airport at 18:15, delayed. All planes have been delayed due to fog in Sweden.

Well, anyway, I have to see if I can get my shoes before going on my watch tonight. I went to bed at 18:30, but in vain, the deck called me. I went up and I got dressed. I asked for the new Cook and they said that he was onboard. I could not find him.

It was 18:50 and his plane should land in Turku at 18:15. No way could he have made it onboard I thought, they trying to pull my leg.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Time for dinner

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain eating pancakes like there is no tomorrow

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Officer starting the discharging

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Our Cook brings my new training shoes and clock to the bridge

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

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain pestering me on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain pestering me on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Captain pestering me on the bridge

I started to walk up and down the deck. I meet our new Engine Apprentice. He should arrive with the Cook. So I was obviously asking him:
- How long have you been onboard? I asked.
- 30 minutes.
Hmm, the Cook was onboard and they hadn't been pulling my leg. Well, last night walking with my big boots. Tomorrow it will be my new training shoes on deck.
I continued my walking, it was a very nice evening and I didn't feel like stop walking. But I had to go for a shower so I could relieve 2nd Officer on the bridge.
On the way from deck to my cabin I stopped in the mess for some fruit. I filled my trousers with fruit and I went to my cabin.

On the way I meet our new Cook and he told me that he brought the stuff for me.
- I bring it to the bridge later on, he said.

He brought the stuff to the bridge later in the evening. I was satisfied with the shoes. They looked a little small, but they were fine. I hope it is nice walking weather tomorrow.

Well, it looks like we will be ready to leave Naantali 05:00 tomorrow morning.
Well, March passed by pretty quickly and tomorrow it's 1st of April and we start a new page Of course, there will be much about the diet and exercise in the month of April 2005 so hang on!


       
                  

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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