Rewritten onboard M/T Ternvik June/ July 2011
M/T Asian Progress
I took this photo on Singapore roads when I signed on 28th of April 1998.
HOME PORT: Singapore
VESSEL TYPE: CRUDE OIL TANKER
HULL TYPE: SINGLE HULL
GROSS TONNAGE: 145.600 tons
SUMMER DWT: 261.068 tons
BUILDER: SASEBO HEAVY INDUSTRIES TOKYO - JAPAN
SPEED: 15,5 knots
BOW TO BRIDGE: 274,75 m
BREADTH EXTREME: 56,00 m
BREADTH MOULDED: 56,00 m
DEPTH: 29,40 m
DRAUGHT: 19,27 m
FREEBOARD: 10.120,0 mm
KEEL TO MASTHEAD: 66,50 m
LENGTH B/W PERPENDICULARS: 315,00 m
LENGTH OVERALL: 324,00 m
NET TONNAGE: 85.527 tons
DEADWEIGHT: 261.068 tons
DISPLACEMENT (LIGHTSHIP): 32.724 tons
DISPLACEMENT (SUMMER): 293.792 tons
DISPLACEMENT (TROPICAL): 300.483 tons
DISPLACEMENT (WINTER): 287.094 tons
DRAFT (LIGHTSHIP): 2,54 m
DRAFT (SUMMER): 19,52 m
DRAFT (TROPICAL): 19,93 m
DRAFT (WINTER): 19,12 m
TPC IMMERSION (SUMMER DRAFT): 164,68 tons
BALLAST: 104.603 m3
BUNKER: 15300 tons
DATE OF ORDER: 1987 Jan 01
FIRST MOVEMENT: 1987 Dec 16
KEEL LAID: 1987 May 20
LAUNCH DATE: 1987 Sep 09
YARD NUMBER: S363
Sunday 26th of April 1998 and I arrived to Singapore after one of my worst flights ever. Non-stop
from Frankfurt and no aisle seat available. 14 or 15 hours and I was on the verge of going crazy on the flight.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
(株式会社商船三井 Kabushiki-gaisha Shōsen Mitsui?) is a Japanese transport company headquartered in Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo. The company's main area of operations is international shipping. Its alligator logo can be seen on containers in ports around the world.
Founded as a key part of the Mitsui zaibatsu (family-owned conglomerate) during the early industrialization of Japan, the company is now independent of the zaibatsu, but remains part of the Mitsui keiretsu (group of aligned companies).
International Energy Transport Co., Ltd. (45%) is a subsidiary to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
International Energy Transport's Agent was at the airport to pick me up for transportation to my hotel. M/T Asian Progress is expected on Tuesday morning so I will have 1 and a half night on the hotel. Pick up time early Tuesday morning for transportation to the ship.
I checked in to my hotel, it was very nice to relax in my room with a hot shower after the horror flight. And I was in a very good mood, I could go out and enjoy myself and I could spend the next day in my room relaxing. I took a taxi to Pokka Cafe on Orchard Road. Of course, they recognised me as soon as I stepped inside.
- Aladdin, are you here to see (I have forgotten her name)?
Well, obviously it was one of the girls that had cross-examined me last time when I was here with the Norwegian Engineer. I really don't remember her name, maybe Ann or something like that.
I was only drinking milk shake last time at Pokka Cafe, but as I had no watch to take care of during the night I ordered Tiger beer. And if I remember it right I had a cassette with me so the music were soon blasting high. The Manager asked if I wanted to join them for a club with live music when they closed Pokka Cafe.
- Sounds like a brilliant idea!
When they closed we took the Managers car to a place with live music and we ordered plenty Tiger beer. The staff from Pokka Cafe was really nice and they refused to let me pay for the beers. And, well, I always feel uncomfortable letting other people pay my beers.
I don't remember what kind of music they played but it was a nice place and with a never ending flood of beer coming our way we were getting pretty drunk.
When they closed they drove me back to my hotel. Back then Singapore closed very early, today it is a different story, everything open all night.
Back at my hotel we decided to have a few more of the Tiger beers before they drove back home. I don't know how the DUI law is in Singapore.
But I remember suggesting a taxi when I left the place. A bad idea according to my friends.
- No, we drive you
- Well, where the do I live?
Monday 27th of April 1998 and I had planned to stay in my room the whole day. But I discovered the biggest key ring that I had ever seen. Must be the manager's keys so I had to take a taxi to Pokka Cafe to return the keys. And at Pokka I could as well have a milk shake.
Tuesday 28th of April 1998 and I received my wakeup call very early. 4 or 5 o'clock and I was picked up for transportation to the ship. They drove me to a jetty and a waiting speed boat.
I was the only on signer, but there were provision onboard so I would be delivered with the provision and the off signer would take the boat back to Singapore. I had time to read the Strait Times on my way to the anchorage, took quite a while to get there. When we left Singapore it was dark and when we arrived to the ship it was daylight. Doesn't say anything, but anyway.
It was quite a shock coming onboard. Whessoe meters on deck and it was steel deck in the accommodation. OK, Whessoe meters, but she was built 1987 and SAAB radar was available.
But I had never been on a ship with steel deck in the accommodation before. Well, never mind as long as the mess rooms and cabins had something on deck. Linoleum or whatever, no need to be wood.
I just had time to put my bags in my cabin and it was time for my watch at 12 o'clock. I had an hour with the off signers on the bridge before he left the ship on the speed boat.
We left Singapore in the afternoon, bound for Ash Shihr terminal in Yemen to lift a parcel of crude oil for Korea. There is no million to be won if you can guess if it was South or North.
Asian Progress transported crude from the Persian Gulf to Korea. Ulsan and Busan were the places we discharged at while I was onboard. And don't ask me where we went first, hmm, those names confuses me. But I will try to find out on the internet. If I can find a good map I will recognise the places. One place, the first place, was a Hyndai city, reminded me of Eastern Europe were all the city consists of grey houses, huge blocks, for the workers.
We had a radar log book, yes, one of those useless logbooks they have on the ships. Performance: Good watch after watch. Well, this was the first time I ever found the use for one of those books, one of our radars was good for nothing. Could not even see another super tanker on the radar until it was within a mile or two.
I wrote poor performance and they had to send a Technician, I think he came onboard in the Persian Gulf or in Singapore and after that the radar worked beautifully and it felt much better being on the bridge. Not so fun coming down Malacca Strait in the rain with ZERO visibility and a radar that is as good as no radar at all.
We had a Pilipino crew onboard. Croatian Captain and Chief Engineer, but the Chief Engineer was born in Bosnia. Very important were they were born back then when they had the trouble in Yugoslavia.
2 Cadets from Monte Negro, not very popular with the Croatians as Monte Negro was together with Yugoslavia, or Serbia as it was named then. 2nd Engineer from Croatia and I was the only Swedish guy onboard and the only West European together with our Chief Officer from England.
When we had loaded the first parcel at the Ash Shihr terminal in Yemen we continued to the Persian Gulf. We loaded a parcel at one of the numerous oil terminals in the Persian Gulf and the last parcel we loaded in Oman near Muscat. We left Oman for Busan in Korea via the Strait of Malacca.
Yes, I have checked up Korea on the internet and I'm almost certain that we went to Busan or as I called it Pusan at our
first visit to Korea. I checked the internet for a map of Pusan and, darn, it is a big city.
(Officially Busan Metropolitan City), formerly spelled Pusan (Korean pronunciation: [pusan]) is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world. The city is located on the south easternmost tip of the Korean peninsula. The most densely built up areas of the city are situated in a number of narrow valleys between the Nakdong River and Suyeong River, with mountains separating some of the districts. Administratively, it is designated as a Metropolitan City. The Busan metropolitan area is divided into 15 major administrative districts and a single county.
Busan was the host city of the 2002 Asian Games and APEC 2005 Korea. It was also one of the host cities for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and is a center for international conventions in Korea. On November 14, 2005, the city officially announced its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.
Busan is home to the world's largest department store, the Shinsegae Centum City and is pursuing a large number of multi-skyscraper projects, including the 110-floor, 510m-supertall Lotte Super Tower, which is slated to become the world's third tallest building in 2013, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan.
I remember spending a very long time going to the city from the Seaman's Club.
And when I'm looking at the pictures from the Internet I don't recognise anything.
But of course, Korea and a lot have happened in the last 13 years. Hell, isn't it like they went from the Stone Age to one of the most modern countries in the world the last 50 years?
But my first impression of Korea was that the city of Pusan was built around a big industry and all people were living in giant numbered concrete blocks.
We passed Singapore and Captain and I were looking down on deck watching Bosun working at the port side manifold. And this is for all of you that thinks' that wearing a helmet on deck is nothing but nonsense.
Suddenly something felt from the sky and hit deck 2 meters from our Bosun. He shat his pants, and Captain and I almost shat our pants.
- What the ??!!
Turned out is was a flying dog, quite big, so I don't think the helmet would have helped our Bosun. We feed it and the dog was hanging upside down outside the accommodation recovering. The dog disappeared in Korea and my guess is that someone took it ashore and ate it. Flying dog is a delicates in Korea.
Well, different countries different traditions. They eat much strange stuff in Sweden as well.
I was in Rotterdam for an interview before I joined the ship. And they told me that I had to take off my ear rings. They called the ship from the company.
- What about his ear rings, has he removed his ear rings?
- Never mind his ear rings as long as he do his job, Captain said.
We had the Engine Control Room and the Cargo Control Room on the bridge. Our Croatian 2nd Engineer were playing music and I was playing music.
- Do you have a war going on? Captain asked.
- A best music onboard M/T Asian Progress? Yes, and I'm the winner! My music is much better!
I remember coming up in the East side of Taiwan. We had left Philippines behind and we were steaming East of Taiwan towards Korea and as soon as we were in the East China Sea after passing Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands the ocean were full of fishing boats.
I have never seen something like this before, there must have been a million of those small fishing boats. The radar was full of echoes and trying to plot something were a waste of time. A sharp look out were requested and I came pretty close to some of those boats. And it looked like some of the boats were abandoned. Most likely the guys were under the canvas eating their dinner or if they were sleeping.
My first time ever in Korea so of course I wanted to go ashore in Pusan. We had a launch service ashore and I went for a walk around the city. I remember seeing one, yes ONE, beautiful girl in the town. She was working at a department store and I was asking for directions. She spoke exactly nada English, but she was gorgeous.
I was looking for a tennis racket. I had bought a a tennis ball with rubber band. A so called "tennis trainer" in Sweden before leaving for Singapore and my plan was to use the tennis trainer on deck. And I played on deck, it was fun for about 10 minutes. And obviously the crew found it interesting because deck was full of people watching me playing. After 30 minutes it wasn't all that fun anymore and I put my tennis racket in my bag. I still have the racket at home. Sometimes I leave it by accident at my entrance door. So when I have visitors they ask if I play tennis.
- Yes, I'm a sporty kind of gay. I can reply.
It kind of gives me a better image, Aladdin, the sporty guy.
Well, anyway, I was asking Miss Gorgeous for the Tennis Racket department.
Yes, she understood f@ck all and she was just gaping at me. I'm usually doing fine with my home made Italian, French and Spanish. But homemade Korean, I had no clue how Korean sounded. So I started to play air tennis in front of her and I think she got the picture.
Well, anyway, I got my tennis racket and I still have it (2011) and it has never been used since I signed off M/T Asian Progress. But I have no clue where my tennis trainer is.
The whole of Pusan reminded me of East Germany. Grey apartment blocks with big numbers on them. And there must have been living many people in the town because there were these apartment blocks for as long as I could see. I had finished my shopping and I was about to return to the Seaman's club and I remember walking down one of the streets.
I heard clapeti clapeti behind me, sounded like someone was running after me in wooden shoes.
I turned around and I saw 2 or 3 girls running after me. Non of them as beautiful as the girl in the department store. They stopped and they were blushing.
And then they turned around and ran back. Well, I guess they are not spoiled with handsome guys in town. I returned to the Seaman's club and I had a diet drink before returning to the boat.
Yes, I visited 2 cities in Korea and I only saw one beautiful girl so I was mighty surprised to discover that 80% of the girls in Seoul were very beautiful when I was there 2009. The girls in Thailand say that all the Korean girls have done plastic surgery.
- You're just jealous, I use to tell them.
But, hmm, maybe they are right. 1998 and there wasn't a beautiful girl around and then 2009 there were beautiful girls where ever I looked. We completed discharging and we left Korea behind bound for the Persian Gulf and Qatar and some other terminal to load for Korea again.
We got a new Captain and 2nd Engineer in Korea. Where do they fint their crew? We had a Japanese Superintendent onboard every time we discharged in Korea. He complained that they could not find people.
Well, I don't know what to say. We had the ECR on the bridge and the Engineers left the light on during the night. I turned off the light and our 2nd Engineer was on duty coming on the bridge stepping out in the dark from the elevator. He started to complain about the light.
- This is no safety! We can't have the light off!
I could not believe my ears, Bozo is coming on the bridge, on duty, straight from the bar stinking like a brewery talking about safety. Is this guy for real? I had many discussions with this guy about obvious things.
One day I found him in the office, sitting in the chair with an oily boiler suit. Now you think that it shouldn't be necessary to explain to grown up why they shouldn't sit in a chair in dirty clothes.
No, I had to explain this for Farmer John and our Chief Officer came running.
- Aladdin, take it easy. No doubt that you would win both a physical and mental fight with this guy. He can't help it.
Well, he was spending the time drinking in the bar with Captain and the Chief Engineer, every night. And listen to them mad me sick. The Norwegian Captain was complaining about the prvious Croatian Captain. How useless he was. What the ? The Croatian Captain knew what he was doing, a totally different story with the Norwegian guy.
We left Korea and Captain was on the bridge while I did paper work in the office.
- No worries, I have done this for 50 years. I know what I'm doing!
Yes, this was the first time I heard him say that, and every time I heard it after that he was about to f@ck up. I heard them calling him on the VHF radio. Then I heard several calls and then the VTS called us and told him that he had to give way for ships coming from starboard side.
We stopped for provision and bunker every time passing Singapore on the way back to Persian Gulf. When I came on my watch we had just dropped the anchor and there was a terrible commotion on the VHF. I heard them talking about M/T Asian Progress.
- Asian Progress, Singapore VTS calling
It went on and on and the Captain was just standing there looking out in the blue. He was what we call paralysed. And the VTS continued to call us.
- Asian Progress, Singapore VTS calling. Why have you dropped you anchor in the TSS.
- Asian Progress, Singapore VTS calling. Why have you dropped you anchor in the TSS.
- Asian Progress, Singapore VTS calling. Heave up you anchor immediately. You're anchored in the TSS!! Heave up you anchor immediately!!
I had to point at a place for Captain.
- Look, there is plenty space to drop the anchor
When he finally reacted we heave up the anchor and we spent most of my watch waiting for him to take decision on where to drop the anchor.
I send fax to the Swedish church in Singapore so they could send Swedish newspaper to our Agent in Singapore and he brought them onboard to me. Very good service. They also sent newspaper in English for our Pilipino crew. So I was grateful to the Swedish Seaman's church for the service and I could read the latest news from Skåne.
I had brought a few books from Sweden and we had a few books onboard. Otherwise there wasn't much to do. I was mostly working with the computer and our safety equipment. So I managed to keep myself busy.
I was also walking 4-5 hours on deck every evening.
I had a Walkman® so I was listening to my Linguaphone Thai course for 50 minutes. I was trying to learn Thai. Then it was 1,5 hours of music and then I listened to 50 minutes of Thai and I finished with 1,5 hours of music again. I managed to do this every day for quite a long time. But in the Persian Gulf, sometimes it was so hot I had to give up after an hour or so.
I had given up snus a few months before I signed on, so I hadn't had any nicotine for a long time. I gave up just before I went to Vietnam for a weekend of heavy partying. I managed to stay away from snus and cigarettes for a few months without any problem. The only problem was the first morning.
I was at the bank and I realised that I was grumpy and irritated. I was wondering what was going on until I realized that I hadn't had any snus. When I had done my business at the bank I went out and bought a box of nicotine chewing gum first thing. When the box was empty I had no problem with the snus.
- Hmm, until I started this running around on deck like a track horse. It was not very exciting walking around so I ended up in the crew's dayroom on my way out on deck. It started with a borrowed cigarette and I reached the point where I had borrowed so many cigarettes that I had to buy a few cartons. Well, I was hooked again. I offered Sparky 100$ every time he caught me smoking.
YI don't know, but when Sparky came on the bridge on my watches for a chat I hide my cigarette in my hand or behind my back. There was smoke coming from all over me. But he didn't see anything. This bet turned out to be a failure, pretty much the same as all my DIET bets during the years. When I signed off I was on 2 packs a day.
So first thing coming home was to buy snus. Much better than smoking.
We were bound for Ju'aymah in Saudi Arabia. We got the Pilot onboard and obviously our Captain had forgotten the anchor incident in Singapore even though it only happened 2 weeks before arrival to Saudi Arabi. The first thing he told the Pilot was that his service wasn't required.
- I have been here for 30 years and I know the place
And he didn't forget to inform the Pilot that it was Scandinavians that had built the VTS area with the radar stations in Ju'aymah
Well, we came to the buoy and the bar team was sitting in the mess room having breakfast. One hydraulic hose to our deck crane broke and the crane was out of order.
The Loading Master was screaming. Several ships waiting to get to the buoy to start loading so a ship with no crane to lift onboard the cargo hose is nothing they wished for.
They were about to kick us from the buoy when our hero, the Filipino 3rd Engineer fixed the crane, all this while the BAR team was in the mess room.
- What can we do?
- Yeah, that's the spirit.
Yes, I was on deck with the Pilots waiting for the helicopter and when we left I don't know if it was the VTS or the helicopter pilot that called the Pilot on the radio to warn him about us almost going aground. The Pilot asked me to tell the Captain to stay away from shallow water the reply was:
- I know where we are!!
The Pilot sounded a wee bit more worried the second time he asked me to cal Captain on the bridge. The helicopter was hovering over deck and we almost got him in the mast when suddenly Captain realise where he is and put rudder hard to starboard. 18 meters draft and running up on a coral reef with 2 meters water over it, don't require too much imagination to realise what would have happened.
Well, of course, this incident was forgotten the day after, far away from land and back in the bar.
Approaching Singapore Strait, I'm on watch and I'm steaming along the TSS SSE bound West of Singapore. Captain came on the bridge.
- Come 1° to starboard.
Not a word about taking over or anything.
- AY AY, 1° to starboard and I note that you are taking over in the log book.
Well, Captain turned around. This was obviously not the reaction he had expected coming to the bridge pretending to be on top off things changing course 1° to starboard. Pathetic, especially from a guy going from failure to failure
But you must agree, it is a very simple way to give the impression that you know what you're doing and that you're in charge. Yes, the real expert. No names mentioned, but we were driving a small boat in Sweden. One of the guys had his son with him in the boat. Of course, the son wanted to drive and he did so excellent. But the father was always giving pointless pointers.
- Reduce the speed a notch.
- A little more to Starboard
- Increase the speed a tenth of a notch.
- Change just a little more than nothing to Port!
I told his son that he was doing just fine.
- Don't listen to him. He just feel useless sitting there doing nothing.
Well, back to Singapore Strait, Captain was in charge and they told me later on that he had had a full discharge in his underwear. I didn't feel sorry for him, but for the guys hiring him. We had passed Singapore and the VTS called us on the radio.
- Asian Progress, what's you intention?
- Asian Progress, where are you going?
- Then he must have crapped his pants because it started to smell and he disappeared from the bridge and I never saw him again.
- You're joking??!! You should have been on the bridge when he dropped the anchor in the TSS on the way from Korea last time, I said.
We arrived to Ulsan, Korea and when we started to discharge we had problem to get down the oxygen content in the IG. And I tell you, we were lucky to have a nice Chief Officer onboard. Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer were standing there telling the Chief Officer that he was useless.
- You don't know how to start the discharging. STUPID!
I was angry and I had to leave because I was about to jump the 2nd Engineer. Luckily enough we had got a new Chief Engineer onboard in the morning.
Our new Chief Engineer went down to the engine room and he found a leak on the IG plant and the problem was solved. I don't think the 2nd and Chief Engineer were ever embarrassed. Sitting in
the bar talking. “I did this, I did that I saved this ship and that ship” But no action at all when required.
Korean pronunciation: [ul.s͈an]), officially the Ulsan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's seventh largest metropolis with a population of over 1.1 million. It is located in the south-east of the country, neighbouring Busan to the south and facing Gyeongju to the north and the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east.
Ulsan is the industrial powerhouse of South Korea, forming the heart of the Ulsan Industrial District, which is home to the world's largest automobile assembly plant operated by Hyundai Motor, the world's largest shipyard operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries and the world's largest oil refinery owned by SK Energy. In 2008, Ulsan had a GDP per capita of $63,817, the highest by far in South Korea.
New Chief Engineer and I thought I was back on a Swedish ship. They were kickin' arse in the engine department. And the 2nd Engineer was very sad, no more sitting in the bar and I even saw this guy working.
He was complaining, he came to me and said that he was going to look for a new job. I could not believe my ears.
- Good, if you find a job we can celebrate here.
It was nice to get a Chief Engineer onboard and things started to work.
we had a Safety Superintendent from the office in Japan when we discharged in Korea. He was always coming onboard at arrival. He was a nice guy and we had a good time cracking jokes. I always told him that they should have invested in Swedish HIGH QUALITY equipment onboard instead of the cheaper Asian stuff. I asked why they didn't install SAAB radar instead of Whessoe Meters
We had problem with overheated bearings on the shaft between the cargo pump and the engine
driving the pump in the engine room.
Writing this and I discover that Esselte isn't Swedish anymore
Esselte is privately held company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. It is a holding company, specializing in office products. It owns several companies, including Pendaflex, Leitz, Oxford, Xyron, Rapid, and an operating company also called Esselte
The name Esselte is derived from the original thirteen graphics companies in Sweden that joined together in 1913 to form SLT (Sveriges Litografiska Tryckerier), later renamed Esselte (reflecting the pronunciation of the abbreviation).
In November 2005, Esselte sold Dymo to Newell Rubbermaid, for $730 Million USD
In December 2005, Gary J. Brooks was named President and CEO of Esselte
In March 2010, Esselte acquired Isaberg Rapid AB, Sweden. One of the world's leading companies in stapling.
In July 2010, Esselte acquired Ampad, manufacturer of branded and private label office and stationery products.
- They should have bought Swedish SKF bearings
- They are so expensive.
- But it is Swedish quality. All important stuff on this ship is Swedish inventions, Propeller, refrigerator etc
Our Superintendent pointed at a paper puncher on the table.
- What about that, also made in Sweden?
- Is it a good quality paper puncher? I asked
- Of course, if it is onboard our ships.
I turned the darn paper puncher upside down, lo and behold. Esselte and thus Swedish
- Yes, it is Swedish I said.
We had very fun and he was always calling me Super Swede. He sent me letter when I was back home in Bangkok, and they were addressed to SUPER SWEDE
We had a launch service that brought us from the ship to a jetty where we could get in to town. There were around 8 of us going ashore and I was looking forward to see Ulsan.
Coming to new places is always exciting. So of course I wanted to go ashore have a look. And back then when I was a young guy I liked to party so I would not have mind to have a few beers. But this was not possible, but coming ashore shopping is not so bad. And it is for free and I will never have to spend any money going to see Ulsan as a tourist.
What do I remember form our visit to Ulsan? Well, I remember that our Motorman was buying a ring for his sweetheart.
And he was proudly showing us the ring when he came out from the Knick-Knack shop. He was beaming of joy when he came out from the shop. Showing everyone the ring.
- Look, I got it in a very nice box!!
- How much for the ring?
- About 2$
- What will your girlfriend say when you bring home garbage like that?
Well, nothing would let him down. His girlfriend would think it was a very expensive ring and he was hopping to get married soon.
I was a wee bit more doubtful. I didn't believed any girl would rush in to any marriage over a 2$ ring.
It might look like a million dollar ring to us, but for a girl a 2$ ring looks like a 1$ ring. Well, anyway, I wished him good luck with the girl and his ring. I remember M/T Asian Progress as the ship where I started with this pen pal stuff.
The crew brought me magazines with page after page of girls looking for pen pals. I had a few girls writing letters to me, and it was fun. for 2 or 3 letters then I was running out of stuff to write about and, well, the periods between my replies got longer and longer and, yes, I'm not having any more pen pals.
Yes, this was one of the reasons for me to start with my web page back in 2001/ 2002. I received letters and I just had to reply: Check out my web page! Yes, wasn't that a clever plan?
I could practically have millions of beautiful girls writing to me and I would only have to write once, on my web page. Well,
a good idea is never as good as it sounds and this wasn't working for very long.
Johann (Hans) Hölzel (19 February 1957 – 6 February 1998), better known by his stage name Falco, was an Austrian pop and rock musician and rapper.
He had several international hits: "Der Kommissar", "Rock Me Amadeus", "Vienna Calling", "Jeanny", "The Sound of Musik", "Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2)" and posthumously, "Out Of The Dark".
He is the first and only artist to date whose principal language was German to score a number-one hit in the United States with "Rock Me Amadeus". His estate claims he has sold 40 million albums and 20 million singles to date, which makes him one of the best selling Austrian singers ever.
Falco died of severe injuries received from a collision with a bus in his Mitsubishi Montero on the road linking the towns of Villa Montellano and Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic on 6 February 1998, just two weeks before his 41st birthday. It was initially reported that the autopsy showed high blood levels of alcohol and cocaine, however this was later dismissed.
At the time of his death, he was planning a comeback. He was buried in the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in Vienna, Austria.
I also remember buying 2 CDs with Falco in Ulsan. I had for sure not expected to run in to any Falco CD in Korea.
I mean, when was he popular, back in the 80's and here we are in 1998 when I thought Falco was forgotten. Of course I knew "Rock Me Amadeus" and "Der Kommissar". But that was pretty much it, so I bought the CD's to check out the other songs. And I was not disappointed, the CD Out of the dark (In to the light) is excellent. But the Falco 3, well, there are few good songs, but nothing very special.
I was walking a few hours on deck everyday with my Walkman® and our Bosun told me that the music was the reason for me to look so young.
-Not my constitutional??!!
- No, it is the music that keeps you young!
And I think our Bosun was on to something there. Instead of getting tinnitus, yes, all the warnings about using the Walkman®.
And I was using my Walkman® everyday. And believe me, I had it on full blast back then playing my cassettes. Obviously I was looking younger by the day instead of getting tinnitus and I didn't complain.
But I have had one incident with my Walkman. I was crossing a street in Go:teborg and I didn't hear the tram coming down Avenyn in full speed. People were weaving and screaming and I discovered the tram in the very last second. Yes, after an experience like that it is hard to look cool and just continue your walk pretending like nothing had happened.
Well, anyway, today no one knows what a SONY Walkman® was and the generation using cassettes is soon dead and gone.
I also remember going back to the ship, we had to climb several boats to reach our launch. And as we had not been drinking it was no problem.
I also remember our Engine Cadet and his shoes. He went on and on about how this was the latest fashion all the way back onboard.
- Latest fashion??!! Where and when? East Germany 1978?
Nice to be ashore for a while, but it is also nice to be back onboard. Almost like coming home and working on a ship is almost like travelling the world with your home.
Can you think of a better way of seeing the world? No hotel and coming home every night!
Back onboard and I was straight on my watch, in port midnight to 06:00. Well, 6 hours of cracking jokes with the Chief Officer and the Japanese Superintendent. Our Superintendent asked me if I wanted to have a future in their company.
- I want to see you here again!
- Well, I won't set for in any company that have this Captain on the pay roll.
Our Chief Officer and I had discovered some telex that the Captain had sent to the office and we went furious. I showed the telex for the Superintendent.
- This is 100% bullshit
The company called Captain and asked why I didn't want to come back.
- He is not satisfied with the salary.
Well, this is how it works, the company calls the Captain for information and they never bother checking up the facts. I have personally been next to Captains when they have been on the phone with the office.
- I have done this and I have done that!
I can't say that I was shocked, but every time I was thinking “When the f@ck did you do all this?” Well, I don't think they know how it works on a ship at the office. Well, anyway, we received a TELEX, and that's how I know they had called the Captain.
We pay good salaries and Aladdin was informed about his salary before joining the ship. Yes, I was informed and I never complained about the salary.
But if they would have bothered calling me I would have told them that I won't work with people running things from the bar. Especially when they try to play smart and pretending that they ar eon top of things when they don't have a f@cking clue. Yes, happened several times that I have left ships under these circumstances and I'm always the TROUBLE MAKER. Not the useless drunks.
After discharging last time in Korea we had a BBQ on the poop deck. It was nice with a break from the ordinary day to day life onboard. And I could take the opportunity to let the crew talk me in to eating some BBQ.
Yes, always the same story. I'm on diet and the crew force me to eat.
- Have some chicken!
- No thanks, I'm on diet!
- Have a sausage!
- No thanks, I'm on diet!
- Have some BBQ filet!
- No thanks, I'm on diet!
- Have some meat! Healthy!
- No thanks, I'm on diet!
It went on and on and they didn't give up until I had some food and when they had got me started there was nothing stopping me. Pretty much like an alcoholic that you give a beer, start and there is no stopping until everything has turned in to a disaster.
And this time was no difference, I remember being so full after all the BBQ that I could hardly getting on the bridge for my watch at midnight.
But I remember it as a nice evening and the crew enjoyed themself and that was the most important. And our Cook had prepared good food. And BBQ is kind of good for the diet.
Arriving to Singapore and we dropped our anchor so we could bunker and take onboard stores.
Newspapers from the Swedish Seaman's Church and CDs. I ordered CDs via e-mail to our Agent in Singapore and they were delivered with the stores.
Most of the CDs I ordered never came and the receipt was marked “Banned in Singapore” after the title. Well, I got
a few CDs and I remember ordering Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood. This CD was not banned and I was playing the CD on the bridge. Our OS liked the CD and he asked if he could buy the CD.
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
Nancy Sandra Sinatra (born June 8, 1940) is an American singer and actress. She is the daughter of singer/actor Frank Sinatra, and remains best known for her 1966 signature hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”
Lee Hazlewood (July 9, 1929 – August 4, 2007), born Barton Lee Hazlewood was an American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late fifties and singer Nancy Sinatra in the sixties.
Hazlewood had a distinctive baritone voice that added an ominous resonance to his music. Hazlewood's collaborations with Nancy Sinatra as well as his solo output in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been praised as an essential contribution to a sound often described as “Cowboy Psychedelia” or “Saccharine Underground”
I also got a package from a friend in Sweden, a cassette with latest P3 Club and socks?
There were also a bag or two of Kim's Sprøde Flæskesvære and I ripped open the bag first thing. Not good for the diet, but they are really tasty and a bag of Kim's Sprøde Flæskesvære never last very long.
And I loaded my Walkman® with the cassette with P3 Club for my next constitutional. First time I ever heard Petter.
We had the usual trouble with the bunker boat, always trying with their tricks. We order 2000MT fuel oil and when they stopped the pumps on the bunker boat we had only received 1950 MT. 50 MT is missing and they can sell the missing 50 tons and make a good profit. A few ships a week and they make allot of money.
I remember one time bunkering in Singapore. We had ordered gas oil for Master Cody, we arrived to Singapore running the engine on the fumes. We needed all the bunkers we could get onboard to be able to reach India with our tow. 20 tons was missing and we really needed the 20 tons to make it to India. I asked them to deliver the last 20 tons.
- Sorry Sir but we don't have any more. You have received everything you ordered.
I got pissed off.
- Hey, I'm not in a good mood and you better deliver the last bunker.
Ipsi wipsi wu and they found the last gas oil. They try all the tricks.
On my last trip on Asian Progress we loaded crude in the Persian Gulf for Malaysia. This trip was for Statoil so we had a German vetting Inspector for Statoil joining us in Fyjayrah and he left us in Mina Saqr on the West coast of UAE where a speed boat came to pick him up He was satisfied with the ship so we could proceed to load port. We had to wait at the anchorage for a few days before we could start loading.
Well, this was my last loading with this ship and I was to sign off when arriving to discharge port in Malaysia. So you can imagine that every day waiting at the anchorage was a pain in the behind and it was very nice when we started to heave up our anchor.
A quick loading and I think it's about 2 weeks to Malaysia from the Persian Gulf. Soon home again. During the waiting at the anchorage there had been time to paint the funnel. Better take the opportunity when the boys can work without the smoke coming out from the funnel.
Malaysia, we should discharge crude oil at a SBM in Sungai Udang. A brand new terminal,
not even marked in the chart. But I remember that we got a position and some kind of map/ description via mail or fax.
is a small town in Malacca, Malaysia. It is situated within the parliamentary constituency of Tangga Batu. The Petronas oil refinery is located there.
In 1997, Sungai Udang started to rapidly develop. Before that, it was full of wild vegetation and rubber trees. In 2008, the road was expanded. Currently, the only shopping centre there is the Family store, which has existed for over a decade. Now, it is one of the busiest places in Sungai Udang. Pasar malam (Night Market) in Sungai Udang- Peruna Garden is on every Thursday.
Having a Petronas oil refinery, Sungai Udang has managed to attract many visitors and foreign workers.
And I remember that we had to drop our anchor at arrival. I remember it as they had a leak on their pipeline so we could not discharge. They were cleaning up the oil spill and we had to wait at the anchorage.
Back then there were only a SPM buoy, but when I searched the internet for information about the oil spill I see that there is a jetty at Sungai Udang today.
I remember it as jungle back then. No information about the oil spill, but I found out that Statoil was one of the owners back then and that explains why we were loading crude oil for Statoil.
We were not the first ship discharging at Sungai Udang, but there had not been many ships before us at the terminal.
After 5 months onboard M/T Asian Progress it was time to sign off in Malaysia. While waiting at the anchorage for them to be ready to receive our cargo there was a boat to pick us up.
I signed off with 3rd Officer and 3rd Engineer, or if they were Cadets. I think they had been promoted from Cadets on the last trip. And we can see our OS, now promoted to AB smiling. I gave him my darn Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood CD.
- How much?
- This is a gift.
We can also see my tennis racket on deck ready to be lowered to the launch. And I don't think I have ever had the darn tennis racket out of the bag since I left M/T Asian Progress.
The boat took us to Melaka and the immigration. They asked me if I wanted to come back after 2 months at home. Well, I already had a new job at Ferm Ship Management in Sweden (Today Ferm is Broström ship management) and my next ship was M/T Stena Barbados. But first some holiday back home in FUNKY TOWN
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