Tuesday 1st of January 2008 and I want to start with wishing you a very happy new year I don't know about you, but I'm very happy to have survived yet another Christmas holiday and I can't say that I'm looking forward to the next Christmas holiday
I really hope the immigration will come onboard early this morning so I have time for a visit to the SUPER Wal-Mart. But of course, the best would be to give up the diet drinks and only drink water and tea.
Well, it's 1130 and no sign of the immigration, very poor. Well, while waiting I killed 10 minutes doing cargo planning and calculation for Lake Charles. We will load 200,000 Bbls and then we will proceed to Galveston lightering area to lift 100,000 Bbls from a ship.
At 1 o'clock the immigration came.
- How many rings you have in your ear? The immigration Officer asked.
- Yeah-yeah blah-blah. Where were you yesterday when we wanted to go ashore?
Anyway, 15 minutes later we ordered our ride to SUPER Wal-Mart and I will buy the last stuff for my cabin. It's not only the deck that has been upgraded, my cabin as well. When I moved in first time the cabin was full of debris. An old floor fan, looked like it was built in Germany 1967. Looked sturdy, but the grey colour didn't improve the looks of my cabin very much. Iron board and extension cords, and we already know about the cracked pots on the windowsill. Well, the overall impression was, hmm, at least to say shitty.
Well, at 1330 we left the ship with a cart for the diet drinks. I left the cart at the gate so it was just to load it when we came back. After waiting for Bosun a few minutes we left quarter to 2 and we arrived to Wal-Mart 10 minutes later.
The first thing a ran in to was a crate of SLIM FAST. Looks like Wal-Mart is trying to cash in on all New Year's resolutions.
We had an agreement with the driver to pick us up after 1 hour so we had to rush. I started with a few Chap stick and then it was straight to the DVD department. Flowers for my cabin and then the diet drink department.
My shopping cart was full to the extent that I had Chap sticks falling out all the way to the cashier. I didn't want to spoil my good mood so I didn't bother thinking about coming back to the ship and get all the stuff onboard.
Well, getting the stuff back onboard was no problem with the help of the cart and the crew. Well, I popped a diet drink open and I had a pull first thing. When we get out of here and things calm down I will put up my new stuff on the walls in my cabin. OK, I ripped down a MAP over GSM network cover in Poland after the first pull of my diet drink. This map had annoyed me since day one and now it's gone.
Already before getting my stuff up on the wall it has been a major improvement in my cabin. If deck looks good the cabin has to look good as well.
We completed discharging at 1735 and when I was on my way down to the CCR I saw our stores arriving at the gate. I was looking out my window and the truck with our blaster grits arrived together with another truck with stores to the gate.
We are not allowed to take onboard the stuff until we are ready with the discharging and the cargo arms are disconnected.
At 1900 the cargo arms were disconnected and we could start taking on the stores. My shoes arrived and I also got 27 rolls of snus. So it's a total of 33 rolls of snus here in Point Comfort. My fridge is full and I have a big box in the kitchen fridge as well.
Too much snus is a nice problem to solve, I even ordered 8 more rolls this morning. Actually snus is the #1 on my priority list, diet drink #2. Tank deck is coming in on # 193 or something like that, just below upgrading my cabin on the priority list.
- Hmm, maybe I should move diet drinks to #1 on the list.
I have been grumpy and moody the last few days and I didn't realise until today when I came in to 1st Engineers cabin.
- Yeah, I know you're in a good mood now when you got your diet drinks, he said to me.
I heard more than one alarm signal going off. Our Pilot told me he was addicted to diet drinks.
- BLAH! BULL ....! I replied.
Think if I am addicted to diet drinks. Well, bring it on. It's nothing compare to my addiction to snus and my eating disturbance and I have been fighting obesity all my life. So bring it on!
I don't know exactly how moody I will be when I run out of snus, so I keep it as #1 on my priority list.
We were ready with the stores around midnight and Pilot was onboard 10 minutes after midnight and we could leave.
Wednesday 2nd of January 2008 and my GOOD MORNING look out of my window didn't made be any happier. Strong winds, the sea was white and when I got on deck I was almost blowing overboard. But we had to do tank cleaning, well, for me it's no problem. I'm sitting on my arse in the CCR screaming in the radio. But the crew has to be on deck freezing.
We were ready just before 11 and I could check a little of my stuff I got yesterday. But after lunch it was time for a conference in my cabin. Lo and behold, I was busy until 1530, well, almost 1600. But I need it, I expect to be up all night. If I'm lucky we have started loading at 0300.
Before closing my door for the conference our Mess man delivered some diet drinks to me and when I was ready with the conference I discovered 7 cases of diet drinks outside my door.
We arrived to the Pilot station in the middle of the dinner and we could see the pilot boat from the mess room. I missed it, but the Electrician saw the boat coming. Yeah, I had my mind on more important things than the pilot. We expect to arrive to the jetty around 2300 or so. Better than I thought, so I really hope we are loading at 0300. But you never know.
My shoes finally arrived
And the crew is green of envy
Well, the internet kicked in around 2000 when we were steaming up the river to Lake Charles. I uploaded my latest to the internet before shifting to my sofa. I got a new REGION FREE DVD player yesterday and now I want to try it.
I was in my cabin when they called me at 2200.
- We need you on the bridge in 30 minutes!
I was sitting in my sofa enjoying a diet drink when they called 10 minutes later.
- We are at the jetty!
What the.... Well, luckily enough I had had my shower already so I just grabbed a diet drink and I left for the bridge. I arrived right in the action on the bridge and no time for Frolics and Larks with Captain.
We had all fast at 2320 and the first people coming onboard was the Port Facility Security Officer and someone calling himself Port Captain. I finished with the Security Officer in 5 minutes and then I did the paper work with the Port Captain. I was friendly until he asked for a cabin.
- I'm staying onboard to assist, but I have no responsibility.
- FOR WHAT!!?? I asked.
He told me that this was normal procedure.
- Well, this is new for me, I said.
But we know the type. The oil company put a Pollution Prevention Officer (Nice title) onboard. The oil company can say that they are taking the safety serious and one unemployed old timer has a job.
- I'm an expert in moving oil rigs, building tankers, Inspecting a lot of stuff and I can fly the space shuttle.
- So what the hell are you doing here working for peanuts?
Well, a position with a nice title but you do nothing. So in order to keep appearance you have to run around telling people obvious things.
- Gasoline is dangerous!
- Oh, yeah!
- They will load the cargo via the manifold!
- Oh, yeah!
- When you discharge the cargo you need to use the cargo pumps!
- Oh, yeah!
- It's cold to walk barefooted in snow!
- You really know it all!
Thursday 3rd of January 2008 and I woke up at 1015. I could have been sleeping for a few hours more. I went to bed at 4, but I didn't felt asleep until around 5. We should start loading around 3 o'clock this morning, but there was problem ashore.
At 4 o'clock I called the terminal and they told me that they had called in an expert from TEXAS.
- He will arrive 0730, closer to 8, they told me.
I was off to bed and our Surveyors left the ship. Our Pollution Prevention Officer stayed onboard. Well, anyway, I had time for tea and at 1145 they started the loading.
We stopped for a line displacement at 1220 and when we resumed loading I lost it with the Pollution Prevention Officer. I just had it with his help. 2nd Officer asked me if they needed to take a manifold sample when we resumed loading.
- NO! The Pollution Prevention Officer said sitting in the corner.
I did my snap with the finger and pointed at him (Yeah, the very same that drove J crazy. His son picked up the snap from me and he did it every second minute and it drove J up the wall) and I said.
- Now I had it! I'm the Chief Officer and I'm in charge!
He was looking grumpy after that, but who cares? He avoided me for the rest of the day and I was happy about it.
Friday 4th of January 2008 and I could sleep until my alarm went off at 0730. I had told the CCR to call me 2 hours before completion. I expected to be called at 7, but I got 30 minutes of bonus sleep.
SNICKERS were the first thing I was running in to when I opened my door.
- I WILL SOON LOOK LIKE A ZEPPELIN!!
We completed loading at 0925 and the Pollution Prevention Officer went to the manifold. He told the AB to close the manifold. The AB at the manifold called me on the radio.
- The Pollution Prevention Officer told me to close the manifold
I really had it with him by now.
- Manifold shall be kept open. You only touch the manifold on my word!
What the BIP is this! Very dangerous to have a guy running around telling the AB to close the manifold. But our crew is awake and they call me when strange things happen. The Pollution Prevention Officer had complained to Captain yesterday. He didn't got the attention he thought he deserved.
- I feel neglected, he said.
Well, I think you get more attention than you deserve when you tell people to close the manifold when it should be open. Very dangerous and none of his business.
Well-well, paper work was ready at 1230 and we will get the Pilot at 1500, earliest. Well, after lunch we got the new Pilot boarding time: 2200.
I spent the afternoon with paper work (Exploring my nostrils and writing e-mails) and I organised some of the stores we received in Point Comfort. I have ordered gloves for the crew, special gloves to protect them from vibrations while chipping rust. Expensive? Yes, but when the crew are chipping 10 to 12 hours a day you needs the real thing. The normal 1US working gloves protect you from F all, well, maybe from dirt. But now we have the best stuff in the universe between their hands and the task at hand. See the label on your right hand side.
Our 1st Engineer brought me 3 new walkie talkies and we went to my store outside my cabin. He needed new ear protectors and, well, we ended up in my cabin drinking a diet drink.
I told him that I was a little concerned about being addicted to diet drinks.
- Yeah, I see your point, he said pointing to my diet drinks.
He took a seat on my diet drinks and we solved a few of the world's problem before returning to the store. I gave him a few face shields as well. Can as well take the opportunity to get rid of some stuff when I have the 1st Engineer in my store.
Well, waiting for the Pilot and the crew can paint and wash on deck. The house is looking terrible, full of soot, carbon, salt and sulphur. Will be nice to get it clean again.
Saturday 5th of January 2008 and my alarm woke me up at 0730. I was dead tired, I don't know what time I felt asleep. But at 2 o'clock I turned on my light and I started to read.
I went to bed at 2230 something. We were lucky, Pilot was onboard around 8 o'clock and we could leave at 2055, 1 hour early. I was very tired after the missing sleep previous night, but it was impossible to fall asleep.
- Hmm, maybe it's all the diet drinks.
Well, anyway, the weather was nice so the workday forecast calls for HEAVY METAL THUNDER. All crew was chipping on deck with their new BATTLE-TESTED vibration reducing work gloves. Maybe they will finish today even though our 2 extra ABs signed off in Lake Charles. So 2 gays less on deck and I really hope the new gloves keeps what the promise: The design ensure that you can push on 'til punch out - No matter how high the sparks of progress fly.
Well, they were expensive, but our “kick a” crew needs the best. And you can be sure that the sparks of progress flies high on Barcarolle.
Well, I was on deck with Bosun checking our messengers, we need 2 forward and 2 aft when we get alongside the ship at the lightering area.
Latest news is that the transfer will take place 6th or 7th so we have to drop the anchor and wait.
When we were on deck we approached the lightering area and I went to the bridge to experience some of the excitements. I brought a bottle of diet drink and my best mood even though it was hard. I had just inspected our pool area and all the new paint is a dirty from our funnel. What's the BIPPING point trying to keep the ship looking good?
Galveston Lightering Area
M/T Sinbad anchored
At 1530 we dropped our anchor about 2 NM South of M/T Sinbad. Now we wait for the service boat to bring fenders, hoses, Mooring Master and a lot of other stuff. The only thing I hope for is that it will be a quick operation so we can leave this experience behind us.
I spent the evening watching DVD. I really have to start with my language course, it's soon time to sign off and the agony gets worse by the day. When I signed on I had my goals sat high. Study every day and only to eat salad.
- Hmm, the original plan was to stay onboard for 3 month.
But it's not too late. I will sign off in 4 months and it's like signing on today and I will start tomorrow and when deck and the house is ready I will be fluent and I can sign off.
While watching DVD the crew, well, they always come by to watch my flowers.
- Can I have a flower for my cabin?
Well, I told them that I spent 150 US on my cabin and that I will give the receipt to the Captain. If the company want deck to look good they cannot have the accommodation look like a old PanamaGreek ship.
Over the years we have grew used to pictures of my cabin when I sign on a new ship. But when I signed on this ship I could not put any pictures on the net. As mentioned before, the cabin looked like a garbage dumpster and I was embarrassed to put the pictures on the net. You would have thought:
- This time Aladdin really made it to a real PanamaGreek.
But now it's OK and I have nothing to hide in my cabin. It's not like home, but anyhow, nothing is like home. I'm thinking of J when he told me that he only envies me for two things. One of them was my home and the second one was NOT my good looks.
When I went to bed I was happy that I had managed to spend an evening watching DVD without eating any chocolate. My cabin is full of SNICKERS and chocolate. Just before returning to my cabin I ran in to our new OS (Promoted Deck Boy).
- Aladdin! I have some chocolate for you.
- I WILL SOON LOOK LIKE A ZEPPELIN!!
Sunday 6th of January 2008 and I woke up way before the time my alarm was set to go off. 0630, and I took a hot shower and I enjoyed a cold diet drink before going for my tea.
It was a beautiful morning and I'm back in my shorts. The crew are chipping and deck will be ready today. Well, except the painting. We received the hard top in Point Comfort, but not the primer and barrier.
We spent the afternoon with drills and we were ready at 4 o'clock. We held fire, spill and medical drills. Believe it or not, but we also held a garbage drill. Yeah, you heard it right, garbage drill. There is no end to the stupid thing they come up with. I found 25 buckets (Imaginary waste paper basket) and 25 garbage bags. I threw a empty diet drink can in each of the buckets. (Imaginary waste paper basket)
- Now empty the bucket (Imaginary waste paper basket) in the bag!
Now the whole crew knows how to empty a waste paper basket and the drill was finished and I was in my sofa 13 seconds later.
Monday 7th of January 2008 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day. But nothing stopping our crew, I can see them chipping on the fo'c's'le from my window.
At 11 they came and told me it was a Alco test on the bridge. The whole crew had to go take the Alco test. Well, we lost several minutes of valuable deck work for this nonsense.
I spent the afternoon testing and checking our new gas detector. I ordered a new gas detector and we got it in Point Comfort. This detector brought us smack in to the 21st century. Now I don't have to carry around 100 different detectors when I measure for gas, 1 is enough. Seriously, 1 had been enough for the last 15 years. As I said, when deck is upgraded we need to upgrade our accommodation and the other equipment as well.
I remember when I signed on Marimba, they were taking ashore all the gas detectors for service. So all the equipment was in the CCR ready to take ashore and this was the first thing I caught sight off when coming onboard.
-Whoa whoa! What is this? Do I dare using this equipment without getting arrested for receiving, this stuff must have been stolen from the historical museum!
There was 2 SERVOMEX and few GAS SCOPE and some other old shit. All very good equipment, back in the 60's. You need a fork lift to get the SERVOMEX to deck. I was told that all the Chief Officers and Captains before me had been use less and they had destroyed the new STATE OF THE ART equipment they had had before I came.
- They don't know how to use the equipment! We bought so much HIGH END gas detectors and they have all been destroyed by incompetence. He said.
I received this information and instantly there were a few questions that sprang to mind:
1. Why do they only have useless people to come work on this ship? Am I the only one wanting to come here? What's wrong with me to come here?
2. Why did they only destroyed the new TOP OF THE LINE equipment and not the old shit?
3. With a history of only incompetent Chief Officers and Captains onboard, shouldn't someone make sure that incompetent personnel knew how to handle the new TOP OF THE LINE equipment?
4. Who did the gas measurements before coming to the dry dock? Coming to dry dock with gas in the tanks is nothing you wish for. Terrible accidents can happen and someone has to be responsible.
5. Is this just another example of: ONLY I CAN but the only thing I do is to tell whenever I get a chance.
Well, anyway, Barcarolles assembly of machinery is up to date, at least when it comes to gas detectors.
The afternoon slowly turned in to dinner time and it's another day coming to an end. Before dinner I went to my cabin to get my iPod so I can take my constitutional after dinner.
I have not had any POWER WALK for quite some time now.
Tuesday 8th of January 2008 and I had been up for over 1 hour when I had my GOOD MORNING look out the window. It was gloomy and grey, but I could see the crew chipping far away on the fo'c's'le. Seems like yesterday they were on deck just in front of the house chipping.
My 2 best guys painting the deck crane with the white paint we received in Point Comfort so the crane will soon look good.
I was in Captain's office before lunch. He told me that the supply vessel was busy with another STS (Ship To Ship) operation and they expect to be here around midnight. Otherwise we have to wait until Friday due to the weather.
-Well, take away the weather part and it's exactly the same they said yesterday, I said.
I'm not very impressed by the line up for this STS. First it was 6 or 7th and now no one knows. I know for sure we lost valuable time with the chipping hammers on deck. I told the crew to finish work at 1720.
- The operation might start at midnight and we need to sleep.
Well, I slept all afternoon to prepare myself for the middle of the night action. From midnight to at least lunch time when I had expected to be able to go for a few hours sleep. Well, at dinner I found out that the STS operation had been postponed.
- The supply boat has to attend a few STS operations up at SABINE, Captain said.
- No end to the guess work, I replied.
Well, maybe we will be finished chipping the fo'c's'le before we start the STS.
Wednesday 9th of January 2008 and I woke up to a windy day. I was dead tired, my preparation (sleep) for the middle of the night adventure back fired big time.
All I got out from the middle of the night adventure was a long sleepless night tossing and turning. The night was stretched like a rubber band, 3 o'clock and no sleep. 4 o'clock and no sleep.
So when I finally fell asleep it was time to wake up. I was not in my best mood when I got out of bed and for sure, the weather didn't add anything to improve my mood.
Yet another uneventful and boring day is coming to an end. I was on deck with Captain checking deck and we agreed that we could consider deck ready. Fo'c's'le is almost chipped and we will only grit blast it when we get our BARRIER.
I didn't bring my camera, what a shame. Captain was in a good mood after inspecting deck and he was dancing in my office (always good music blasting high). And, well, a picture on his best moves would have been nice to have on my web page.
- BIP! I forgot my camera!
He was just laughing, but he looked relieved while performing his dance floor moves. But he was in a good mood. He had put his good name in the “Get the ship back in order” project.
- It has become a matter of prestige, he told me when we were a few months in to the project. He had been worried that we wouldn't be able to finish the project. When he came onboard last time he was a wee bit disappointed.
- Aladdin! You're not allowed to sign off until the ship is ready.
Well, from 6th of February 2007 the crew has not only managed to finish the mid section of deck. This is the section Captain been worried sleepless about.
- Do you think we will be ready? Do you think it's possible to do it?
Well, not only the mid section is ready, the whole deck is ready. The fo'c's'le is almost ready. The deck crane and our provision cranes are ready. C-deck, B-deck around the provision cranes, nitrogen tank and deck, swimming pool and back of the superstructure is also ready. When tank deck is painted I will order a big cake for the crew, the true heroes.
Well, I will eat noting of the cake. Our 3rd Engineer came to my cabin to copy some pictures and we looked at some old stuff. I was looking good on the old pictures, so it was salad for dinner and a 90 minutes POWER WALK.
Thursday 10th of January 2008 and well, it was yet another gloomy and grey morning. But I could see the crew on the fo'c's'le from my window.
The boredom is getting serious, nothing to do but wait. I was in my office and I had managed to spend 90 minutes doin' not much without jumping overboard when Captain called.
- We will heave anchor at 10 and go to Houston to bunker fresh water
I could not believe my luck, just when I was about to jump overboard I was saved by some action.
- Very good! I will be on the bridge with a cold diet drink in a jiff, I said.
When I got to the bridge the trip to Houston was cancelled.
- We will heave anchor and be under way at 1145. The supply boat is on the way with fenders and cargo hose.
I left the bridge and I went to the fo'c's'le to tell the guys to stop chipping.
- The supply boat will arrive at 1145 and we prepare heaving lines and messengers, I told them.
At 1125 we had our anchor up and the supply boat started to put the Yokohama fenders on M/T Sinbad and I really lost my temper when the thunder storm passed us. We have been waiting for 5 days at the anchorage and just when it's time to start kick A the rain starts. It was a very heavy rain and Sinbad and the supply boat disappeared in the rain.
Deck became full of water in less than a minute and we had to open our scupper plugs. I was swearing over the bad luck and I returned to my office with my camera. This is the reason I don't have all the exciting pictures I know you're expecting.
Mooring Master was onboard at 1258 and we lifted onboard fenders, wires and cargo hose. I expected a full day and full night with work so I was very happy when the Mooring Master told me that we were MAYBE commencing the operation tomorrow.
- Expecting bad weather and daylight operation.
- Very good, I said.
I could hear on the Mooring Master's English that he was from Norway so I swapped from English to Swedish. Mooring Master will stay onboard during the night so we had to listen to Norwegian Cock-and-bull stories for dinner. Nice with guests.
Friday 11th of January 2008 and after my GOOD MORNING look out of my window I didn't expect any action in the STS department during the day. It was windy even though the sun was shining.
I was down for my tea when I heard the Mooring Master calling Sinbad on the VHF in the CCR. 0845 we should start heaving the anchor. I was on the bridge with Captain just after 8 and I told him that I was going down to my cabin to get dressed in a white shirt (Have a fag and a diet drink) before we started the operation.
Captain have heard me saying that I will go for a hot shower and get changed so I'm ready and looking good for upcoming excitements. But now we're low on fresh water so I only told him that I would change cloths. I left the bridge and he was screaming “Have a shower as well” after me. OK, I'm fresh out of the shower, but what the heck? I can have one more shower, no problem.
I was on the bridge just after 0830. One AB on the wheel, Mooring Master, Captain and me (with a diet drink) and we were ready for action after several days of doin' nothing at the anchorage.
At 0852 the anchor was up and at 0906 the whole operation started with us proceeding towards M/T Sinbad.
Captain was using snus like I never had seen before. Yesterday he told me that this operation required a box of snus.
- What snus do you like? I have General, Röda Lacket, Grov, Göteborgs Rapè, Göteborgs Prima Fin and Ettan:
- General, Röda Lacket or Grov, he said.
I went down to my cabin and I was soon back in his office with a box of Grov. I also brought a diet drink so we could do the STS check lists.
Approaching M/T Sinbad
The wind disappeared quickly while approaching Sinbad and the weather was pretty good and improving by the minute while approaching Sindbad.
At 1018 we had the first line on the way to Sinbad and at 1112 all lines was made fast. The lifted the Mexican Surveyor onboard with a basked. He told me that he had been onboard Sinbad for 10 days waiting. While we did the tank gauging and calculation Sinbad dropped her anchor.
Chief Officer on Sinbad sent over his check lists for me to fill up and sign. Double checklists and I only filled up 1 set. One STS check list copied from the STS book and one from OSG, exactly the same but different headers. The Chief Officer called me on the radio and asked why I hadn't signed all his check lists.
- First of all you have 2 of the same check lists and then it was meant that we should have done this over the radio.
Well, that's shipping of today. Only check lists and for everything. Captain sent me article he found in TradeWinds a few months ago.
Lightering, Loading or discharging. It's the same story every time. I'm coming around the corner, skidding in to my office (Always in a hurry).
BOX-TICKERS A SAFETY RISK
Rule-bound crews can't think for themselves, P&I club says as claims rise.
Seafarers are now either unable to follow basic procedures or are so
trained to follow procedures they are unable to deal with an emergency, a P&I club warns today.
The lack of experienced crews means relatively minor incidents develop into "unnecessarily major claims", because basic procedures are not followed or commonsense applied, according to the North of England club.
“The shortage of experienced seafarers we've been forecasting is now a
reality,” says Rodney Eccleston, the club's managing director.
“There are simply not enough good people out there to run the world's much bigger fleet or to provide the necessary support and experience from ashore.”
But at the same time training is so focused on following procedures that when an incident occurs for which there are no procedures, "crews do not have the training, initiative or experience to think independently".
Eccleston also claims in the recent booming freight markets the amount of sea time needed to gain qualifications has been significantly reduced.
The P&I chief urges shipowners to re-invest their profits: “Now it is pay-back time - not in terms of increased wages, but through investing in the future.”
The Newcastle-based club believes the answer to the recruitment problem lies not in simply providing training places and financial incentives.
“The challenge is to attract professional people of the right calibre who will have a sense of pride and responsibility in their work.”
Classification society DNV earlier this year attributed a rise in accidents over the last five years to a reduction in the general level of experience, as ships were crewed with more new recruits, retention rates declined and people were promoted faster.
The most recent manpower study by the International Shipping Federation and Bimco in December 2005 put the officer shortfall then at 10,000 and forecast it would rise to 27,000 by 2015.
The Philippines, the world's biggest supplier of seafarers, hopes to cash in on the shortage and increase the $2bn its sea-based workers send home each year.
But there are fears not enough Filipinos can be trained to meet the soaring demand while China, once seen as a potential rival in the labour market, is struggling to meet its own crewing needs.
- HEY! What's the music? The Surveyor asked as soon as he caught sight of me.
We started loading at 1345 and I had asked for 12000 bbls/h as maximum rate. First hour I estimate the rate to about 21000 Bbls/h. There is really no good way to get a good rate while at the sea. The ship is rolling and there is heavy swell in the tanks. So the tank radar shows everything between 60000 Bbls/h to a discharge rate of 10000 Bbls/h.
So I use the good old PV valve trick to estimate the rate. We are allowed to load approx 5300 Bbls/h in each tank. Not because of the cargo pipes but due to the PV valves. They allow 5300 Bbls of vapours to escape the tank per hour. We load 3 tanks so I ask for 12000 just to be on the safe side.
But 12000 per hour and we would have to sit here all night and I want out of here as quick as possible. The crew and especially I tend to get a wee bit grumpy if we have to work during the night.
Well, I open 3 PV valves, we are loading 3 tanks and the pressure rises in the tank. I open all the IG valves to all 8 Center tanks and I open one more P/V valve. The pressure is steady and thus I know that the loading rate is 4 x 5300 bbls/h. After one hour they reduce the rate, I can see it on the tank pressure. The IG pressure goes down and I close 1 PV valve, now the pressure goes up, very slow and I know that the rate will be just above 3 x 5300 Bbls/h.
I was kickin' ass in the CCR until 5 o'clock when 3rd Officer relieved me so I could go for dinner. Sinbad stripped tanks and stuff so we were not ready until 1945, but the average rate had been something around 17000 Bbls/h and we were ready way before expected.
Everyone was happy about the chance to get away early, especially the Captain. He was dancing along in a happy and carefree way trolling a note or two whenever I saw him. Our Norwegian Mooring Master was very happy. He told me that he had expected at least 18 hours for the whole operation. Counting from 9 o'clock when we had our anchor up and that would have meant 3 o'clock in the morning. Use your imagination (If you need) to try to figure out how many happy faces you would have seen by that time.
- Yeah, but now you're not on a Panama ship, I said.
Captain was just laughing when he heard our conversation. Well, I was in bed just after 2300 very pleased with my day and the whole operation.
Saturday 12th of January 2008 and I woke up to a bonus upload. After leaving the lightering area we proceeded towards Galveston to get FW from a barge. I woke up at 0755 dead tired, no sleep during the night, second night without sleep. I was so tired when I went to bed yesterday, but it was impossible to fall asleep.
Well, when I woke up we were bunkering FW and they expected us to be ready around 12. When I had finished the paper work in my office I went for a cold diet drink in my cabin. I turned on my computer and I discovered that there was internet connection.
Captain, yeah, what can I say. He was in my office checking out the data of the computer I was going to order from Sweden. A HP laptop with a 20,1 inch screen. Yeah, I bought my 22 inch SAMSUNG screen in Beaumont and now it's impossible to go back to a 17 or even worse a 15 inch screen.
Well, anyway, when Captain left I asked if he had the key to the slop chest (Hoping that he would say no)
- What you want? A box of SNICKERS?
- Well, I don't ......
I ended up with a box of SNICKERS and the agony came over me before I reached my cabin. I took a few SNICKERS and I went on deck, I'm better off handing out the SNICKERS to the crew instead of eating them.
According to the latest position list Marimba should arrive to Galveston today. For repairs, what a surprise, she's going from dry dock to repair. When will they get this ship back in order. Captain and I was looking for her on the bridge, but we could not find her. Neither with the AIS nor with the binoculars.
It was a beautiful day and the chipping was in full swing on the fo'c's'le.
At 1145 we started to heave up our anchor and I was soon in the mess room having my lunch. I dozed off after lunch and I woke up just in time for the coffee break. But please! Don't tell the company. Why would they send me thousands of dollars every month just to sleep.
Well, it was time for the New Year's Party. We have been in port more or less since the 31st of December when we arrived to Point Comfort. And we have had no provisions since the 1st of January. Well, anyway, this was the first Saturday at sea and our Cook prepared a good meal.
Any pictures? No, just hit the back button and check out the Christmas party. It ended up with Karaoke, really popular with the Asian crews. I was soon in bed, full after too much eating. But tomorrow we will start kick ass with the diet, for sure!
Sunday 13th of January 2008 and I didn't got out of bed until almost 8 o'clock. Third night of no sleep and my nose was running. Well, I was awake lying in my bed waiting for the alarm to go off. I turned on the light and I discovered that the clock was almost 8. The alarm didn't go off at 0730 and I checked my alarm clock. Obviously I had not pulled the alarm button to its full extent.
IT was a sunny day with strong tail wind so on deck it was very nice. Painting and chipping in full swing, the same every day and I'm, well, what is there for me to do? Paperwork.
It was sushi for lunch and it's the first time I have sushi on a ship. I can't say I like sushi, but it was OK. Actually it was so good our Chief Engineer had a few plates and he never eats fish.
Well, sushi, it's different and none of us had had it on a ship before. Only at restaurants, and at least me, I'm only in it for the sake when eating sushi. And it happened more than one time that I can't remember how we got out of the restaurant after eating sushi. And I don't blame it on the sushi.
It was time for our drills after the coffee break in the afternoon. Bomb search and I had hidden 2 bombs. 1 bomb on deck and 1 bomb in the steering engine.
When we were ready with the drill I returned to my cabin and a diet drink. I had spent most of the day with my running nose.
I had been in my cabin for about 20 seconds when a few from the engine crew paid me a visit. I offered them diet drinks and we had a good time telling stories from the seven seas. All this while I was blowing my nose every now and then.
Monday 14th of January 2008 and we were anchored in TUXPAN when I woke up. Well, there were 5 ships waiting at the anchorage, all of them Swedish and Danish companies. Bolero arrived to the anchorage around 9 o'clock something.
Yet another very slow day has come to an end.
Well, let me try to remember some of the excitement I have experienced during the day. I found out that one single SNICKERS almond bar contained 230 calories. So I took my last SNICKERS and I handed them to the crew during the coffee break. The crew thinks the sun shines from my behind and I don't have to eat them and destroy my diet. This is what we call a win win situation. I win 2 times.
I printed and signed our Notice of Readiness, exciting and I killed another 33 seconds (20 seconds waiting for the printer) and suddenly it was time for lunch. We checked the wire to STB provision crane and I checked out the chipping on the fo'c's'le and suddenly it was time for a coffee break.
After the coffee break everything slowed down until dinner time. Our new Chief Engineer came onboard with the Immigration and our Agent, just in time for dinner. Our new Chief Engineer had been onboard for 5 minutes when he came skidding in to my cabin. When he came around the doorpost he wailed in agony. He didn't recognize me after my KICK A diet.
- AH! It's you, I thought we got a new Filipino (Filipinos are usually elfin, well, in comparison anyway) Chief Officer onboard.
Our salad is finished and we will not get new until Pajaritos. But I managed to keep it light for dinner and I was off for my POWER WALK on deck. While on deck the drizzle started and after 10 minutes 3rd Officer came on the catwalk on the way forward.
- Where are you going? I asked.
- I'm going to slack the chain to 9 shackles in the water.
We expect rough weather during the night and Captain told me that they were going to close the port tonight. Well, I'm in no hurry anywhere.
Tuesday 15th of January 2008 and it was a gorgeous morning. The sun was shining to the sound of the chipping machines when I came on deck. We had the anchor up just before 8 o'clock because they needed to do a test run. The engine department had pulled a piston yesterday and today a one hour trail was required.
At 9 we were anchored again and 10 minutes later PEMEX called us and told us that we will have the pilot at 12. And it's the same story every time here, it's all guesswork. At 1230 the pilot called us and asked us to heave up our anchor.
- ??!!?? We have had the anchor up for over 1 hour. The mooring gang is onboard and we expected the pilot to be onboard at 12.
At 1315 our pilot came onboard and he asked what time we had had our anchor up.
- 1135, I said.
He looked surprised. He had expected us to come straight from the anchorage. Captain told him that we were ordered to be at the pilot station at 12.
- PEMEX! Our Pilot said.
Yeah, PEMEX, first we had order to discharge 200,000 Bbls and then it was 300,000 Bbls. We had all fast at the buoy at 1412 and I was in my office waiting for Loading Master when a NON ENGLISH speaking guy came in with a paper saying that we should discharge 280,000 Bbls. Later on it was 150,000 Bbls and the last I heard was 200,000 Bbls. I really didn't know how much we were going to discharge when I went to bed.
Wednesday 16th of January 2008 and they called me at 0630.
- We have stopped discharging and I have given the 1 hour notice to the engine, 3rd Officer told me.
- I'll be right down. I'm just having a quick shower, I said.
We left the SPM at 0742 and we dropped anchor 1 hour later. No one knows when we're going to discharge the rest of the cargo, surprised? I'm not, but at least we managed to discharge about 160,000 Bbls before they stopped us.
Thursday 17th of January 2008 and we were still anchored when I woke up. Well, GOOD MORNING look out of the window, morning tae and paper work. We ordered cleaning chemicals and I send the purchase order for my new computer. I had one of the AB to sand the top of our plastic drums so we can mark them with paint and now everything is prepared for our new cleaning chemicals to arrive.
Finally it was lunch, it's amazing how slow the time can turn when you're bored senseless. I scolded our 1st Engineer during lunch. We had an agreement that he should kick my behind every time I was eating something unhealthy.
- Maybe I should try the fresh bread with some orange marmalade, I said.
Captain was the only one rebuking me. I told Captain that this was the spirit we're looking for and I turned to the 1st Engineer.
- HEY! You're the one that should reprove me! We had a deal!
I rose from the table and I shoved my arse (Sexy, 2.2m between the pockets) up in his face screaming:
- KICK IT!
I told him that he and our Cook were deficient.
- What's so hard with keeping your eyes out? Our Cook owes me millions! We had an agreement that he had to pay me 100 US every time I eat, I said.
Our Chief Engineer (Mr SNICKERS) was just laughing.
- What are you laughing about? Bringing SNICKERS when I just had managed to persuade the crew to eat all my SNICKERS.
- You could have given away those SNICKERS as well, 1st Engineer said.
They really got me goin'. I turned around gaping at him in disbelieve.
- It was a gift! I could see that our Chief Engineer wanted to hug me when he came onboard. But as a He-man he cannot run around and display his emotions like that. So he gave me the SNICKERS instead. Imagine his feelings if he finds his SNICKERS in the crew's mess room.
After lunch I followed Captain and the Chief Engineer to our diet drink store ( For now all the diet drinks is in my cabin)
- Is this the same key as the one you use for the “BAD THINGS” store? I asked.
I was relieved when Captain said no.
- I can put yet another day of a success full diet, I thought.
We were about to leave when Captain asked if I should have any SNICKERS.
- But it was not the same key, I said with a voice filled with disappointment. Well, honestly, there was a trace of hope as well.
I ended up with a new box of SNICKERS and PRINGLES, Darn!
- I will soon look like a Zeppelin!
After lunch it was time to pressure test the heating coils in SLOP tank STB. Our Bosun and our former Deck Boy, now an OS (Yeah, I told you so a few months ago. An upcoming star in the company) had prepared the pressure test kit during the morning.
Pressure test the heating coils
I managed to keep myself busy until the coffee break with the pressure test and after the coffee break it was some job planning with Captain and the Chief Engineer. We always comes up with new ideas for the ship and tomorrow morning I will start with our latest ideas. Well, actually, I will kick start it during the night. Our ABs on watch will have a little something to do during tedious night hours.
I had to spend the night in my cabin. Our Mess men were doing something with the floor outside my cabin. So I cannot walk on the floor and I'm stuck in my TV sofa.
- Eating or not eating my PRINGLES?
I made up my mind that it was better not to eat the PRINGLES and that I should give away the PRINGLES to our Mess men.
That's when I discovered that they were gone. What the ...??!! Well, there is nothing to do but.... No no, I don't want another walk down that avenue again. I popped my head through the doorway and I screamed.
- YOO!! Come here!
When he came I handed him one tube of PRINGLES and I kept one to myself.
After giving him the PRINGLES it was impossible to get rid of him. He was standing in my doorway munching on the potato chips asking for diet drinks.
I had to give him two diet drinks before I was left alone with my web page. I wrote a few words before I pitch camp in my sofa with a DVD movie. Movie, well, it's a TV series. 24 hours and I bought 5 seasons in Mexico and the sixth season in Point Comfort. Now I have two more DVDs to watch and then I will arrange a lucky draw for the crew. The event is planned to go down on Saturday, and maybe, I say maybe the darn thing will be broadcasted live.
First prize: My computer bag stuffed with SURPRISES
Second prize: 6 seasons of 24 Hours (36 DVDs + extra material)
Friday 18th of January 2008 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day. Never mind, there was excitements in the air. You could feel the growing expectations for tomorrows LUCKY DRAW in the air. I kept the crew updated on the white board.
Hold on to your hat!
One day left!
After my morning tea I went to my office (0825, Captain and Chief Engineer kept me busy with old tales from the 7 seas in the day room).
Well, anyway, I started to check e-mails and I received confirmation on the order of my new computer. My LIFE COACH keeps me on tenterhooks. Is this the day he will write me something nice and encouraging?
No, not today! But it's nice to hear from him anyway.
Well, I kept myself and Bosun busy until lunch with our oil spill equipment. And after my meal (I spent 5 minutes in the mess room to avoid the second and third plate) I went to my cabin for some language studies.
At 1 o'clock I stuffed my pockets with SNICKERS and I went on deck to hunt down the crew. No reason for them to be on a diet when I fail so hard with my.
Thanks to my, well, hmm, very success full diet I'm able to move like a cat and no one notice me sneaking around with SNICKERS and my camera. I climbed up on the fo'c's'le in stealth mode. My first prey was an AB busy chipping starboard anchor winch. A approached from behind with a SNICKERS in my hand. I was just about to push it down his back pocket when I remembered my camera.
I pulled out my camera from my pocket, still no sign of that the victim had noticed me. I took a picture and I put the chocolate bar in his back pocket.
He never saw it coming
My next quarry was not far away and as soon as I had stuffed my first SNICKERS in the empty back pocket I left as unnoticed as I had come. Next quarry was an AB as well, busy chipping and totally unaware of what he had coming.
My third prey was one of our OS, I used the same technique and he never saw the SNICKERS coming his way.
Well, I'm working under the epithet, “The Invisible Man” and....
- Hmm, if that isn't proof enough of the success of my FAT TO FLAT IN A JIFF diet I don't know what.
Well, I can't help it, but Miami Beach springs to mindand this is maybe the explanation we're looking for. An invisible Aladdin is a missing Aladdin. And while they were looking for me “EVERYWHERE” I was kickin' back in my hotel room.
I received millions of e-mails from the ship asking where I was but no phone number to the Agent. Well, anyway, if they looked everywhere they could have taken the extra minute to check out my hotel.
OK, never mind the triple slimming effect, XL to S, fat release and calorie burning my next victim proved to be a wee bit more difficult than I had thought. Our former Deck Boy was chipping under the winch and a little acrobatics was required.
Former Deck Boy totally unaware of what's coming
I left the fo'c's'le with empty pockets. All my SNICKERS ..........
- Whoa whoa!!! We had it by now about the SNICKERS
- Yeah but....
- Isn't there anything else happening on that ship?
- No, as you understand (four letter word) all is happening here.
Nothing much to write home about. It's humdrum to the extent that a 22 years old Chief Officer has to run around making a fool of himself on deck with his camera and SNICKERS just to get something to put down on his web page.
Saturday 19th of January 2008 and the anticipation was thick in the air. I ran in to our 3rd Engineer after my morning tea. He had seen the white board, now saying:
Hold on to your hat!
10 hours left!
- I want to join the lucky draw! PLEASE!
At the coffee break our Cook was busy preparing for the lucky draw and I could sense the suspense in the crew's mess room while we had our coffee break.
I went to see Captain and Chief Engineer before lunch. And while I was telling them that I had found the brackets for our zinc anodes our Chief Engineer disappeared. He came back with a new bag of SNICKERS.
- What the...!!?
- You finished the other bag so here is a new one.
I was struck dumb, but I left the bag behind when I left to update the whiteboard.
6 hours left!
I'm so excited I'm wetting my pants!
We held a safety meeting in the afternoon and after that it was pretty much time for dinner. I had time for a diet drink and I was in the mess room a few minutes before dinner time. I finished the dinner pretty quick and I went to the crew's dayroom. It was time for the:
The crew was waiting for me and they turned bananas when I told them that I had added a 3rd and 4th prize.
First prize: My computer bag stuffed with SURPRISES
Second prize: 6 seasons of 24 Hours (36 DVDs + extra material)
Third prize: A hug
Fourth prize: A case of beer
We decided that our Engine Cadet would draw the winners. Well, he had to shake the tickets out of a jar with a slot that our Cook had made. It looked like a piggy bank.
We checked the radio link to the bridge and we informed 3rd Officer on watch about the “Good news”, 2 new prizes.
When we were ready with all the formalities our Engine Cadet could shake the first ticket out of the jar (Piggy bank). The winner of the first prize was our EX Deck Boy.
He looked a little disappointed, I think he wanted to win the third or maybe the second prize. But he lightened up after finding the surprises in the bag. He got right off with the business selling all the stuff to the rest of the crew.
Well, it seems to me like the crew wanted to win the second prize. 6 seasons of 24 hours and I can't understand it. I suffered through all 6 seasons and I can't say that I was very impressed.
But I admit that there have been a few heights. The first one was when our hero's wife died in the first season. It was enough to see her on the screen to make me hit the FFW button. I was about to throw away the remaining 4 seasons. I realised that she was not to be seen any more and I could start season 2.
I wasn't crying when his daughter disappeared from the series either. Well, anyway, our Mess man won the DVD package and he was dancing in joy. I took the DVDs and we could continue with the most important prize, the HUG.
The suspense was just about to kill the crew when our Engine Cadet managed to shake out the ticket with the name of the winner of the 3rd prize. I'll be damned, our Cook.
- I want my hug now! He said.
Our Cook was the lucky one, it turned out that our Mess man was fronting for our Cook. So our Cook won 2 prizes and well, fourth prize, a case of beer. Well, no one could care less about the LUCKY DRAW when the TOP prizes were out of reach. Consolation prize? Yeah why not? I really wanted to comfort the rest of the crew. I told them that I could give them all a hug as a consolation prize, but then it wouldn't be fair to our Cook.
And seriously, how would it look if I was running around hugging the crew? Sexual harassment, jealousy and never ending problems.
- Hmm, maybe a GROUP HUG is the solution?
Or maybe I should pick up on my idea from Rainbow Warrior with the hug zone. When you need a hug you just go stay in the hug zone and the next person passing will give you a hug. But again, imagine staying in the HUG ZONE and no one wants to hug you. Embarrassing to be stuck there for weeks on public display.
- Look, there's the guy no one wants to hug!
Well, I'm out of here! I started a movie, the American psycho, and it was, well, not that good. So I stopped the movie to write a few words on my web page. Now I will finish the movie in FFW.
BREAKER BREAKER!!!!! I'm sorry, but I had to fire up my HTML editor again. I was just about to swing myself over to the sofa and the remote to the DVD.
- I still have some SNICKERS. Maybe I should finish them with the movie.
- Aja baja Fläsk Pelle!
Bad idea! I called the bridge, this is one of the privileges you have as Chief Officer. To call and disturb the 3rd Officer when he's sitting on the bridge exploring his nostrils dreaming of home and stuff.
- Where is the watch man? Send him to my cabin!
After 43 seconds I have the AB on watch in my door way and I can unload my SNICKERS to him. I was very happy that I found the strength to leave Chief Engineers SNICKERS behind earlier today. As mentioned before, it would
have been very hard to give away his gift. Eating those and I would have swollen up beyond recognition.
Well, anyway, tomorrow I will have a serious talk with the guys in my mess room.
- This will be my last meal with you if you don't help me out with my diet.
- Hmm, even better. I will ask our Cook to serve me 10 minutes before the meals.
Of course, only health food and I don't have to hang around being social with the rest of the guys. Sitting around cracking jokes usually means both a second and a third plate of food. No problem if it was only the vegetables. But you know.....
Sunday 20th of January 2008 and we were still anchored when my alarm went off 5 minutes after 8. What the...??!! It's the second time now, the alarm is set to go off at 0730. A few days ago it went off at 0755 and now 0805 so I guess it's time to buy a new alarm clock.
The wind is almost gone, but there is some swell and we are rolling. It started last night and I had my jug of water sliding all over my bed side table.
I got in to my shower and I was in Captains office 10 minutes later to give him the book I finished last night. I bought 6 books in Beaumont last time and now it's soon time again.
Our Cook signed on together with me in Port Everglades and the other day I told him that we will sign off together in May.
- I will go home in April! He answered.
Well, April, May or even December 2011. It's up to him now and I explained how things were working around here while I was preparing my morning tea.
- When do you want to go home? I asked.
- In April!
- Well, listen up! We're not going home until we're looking good, I said.
- Yeah, now it's up to you!
- From now on I will eat alone and only oatmeal surprise and vegetables. If we stay to the plan we will be off the ship end of April!
Monday 21st of January 2008 and it's getting boring at TUXPAN anchorage. I guess I have to try surviving yet another day at the anchorage. We are going to the buoy after Bolero and she went to the buoy around 11. So early tomorrow morning is what I hope for so we can finally see some action.
While I was doing (four letter word) all our 3rd Officer was around checking all our Life jackets and Survival suits. In order to alleviate my boredom I followed him with my camera. Popular move, yeah right!
Do you remember a few years ago, when I told you about the Captain complaining about his salary? Yeah, he was complaining about his salary.
- Chief Officer is making more than the Captain
I told him that if he wanted to earn more he had to work more.
- You are going at the same hourly rate as a professional soccer player. Why don't you work more than 1 hour per month?
Well, he got a wee bit grumpy.
- Hmm, I'm afraid the same goes for me now.
We have spent the last month, mostly anchored and I have finished all my paper work and I'm bored to death. Today I was almost all the way up to Captains office to ask him to send me home. But deck is not ready and I hope something is happening tomorrow. Seriously, I'm used to action all the time and we are happy if we get 1 or 2 days at anchor.
Our next voyage is for Pajaritos so I have lined up the work for the deck crew. We must plan so we can use every day as efficient as possible in order to get our deck ready. Well, it's ready only the spraying left. But there is a poop deck to do as well.
But now Pajaritos is cancelled and it looks like we're going to Beaumont. Let's get out of here, we are very low on fresh water and we need to get out so we can make water. They turn off the water during the day and they will turn it on at 6 again. So I ask the deck crew to stop working at 6 and go take a shower.
- At 7 we close the water again.
After dinner, I ate together with the rest of the gang. They had earned my trust after my late lunch. I was supposed to eat 10-15 minutes before the rest of the guys, but today I was late. I had finished my broccoli and instead of leaving the table I was eyeing the fresh bread. It was like the bread was calling me
- C'mon, take a bite.
Captain reacted forcefully and quick.
So when I was in Captain's and Chief Engineer's office before dinner I told them that I would see them at dinner.
- What!!?? You're not eating alone? Both of them said flabbergasted.
- No, you were all keeping a good eye out during the lunch and now I can trust you.
Well, anyway, After dinner I had time for a 1 hour constitutional before returning to my cabin and a hot shower. I also spent the extra 2 minutes to get a shave. Important to look good, always.
Before going to my cabin and the shower I checked my e-mail. There was an e-mail from my friend working as a Chief Officer in Broström.
Broström tells me that I make more money here than in Laurin. Is that true?
Well, I think I get the picture here. My friend is like me, he has been onboard the ship for 9 months or so. He is always ready to sign on and willing to help when they are short of Chief Officers. One thing is for sure, when it's time to sign on he never come up with stupid things like:
- I'm sorry! I cannot go, I have to do my laundry that day.
- I'm sorry! I cannot go, I have to get a new hair cut the very same day.
- No! I cannot sign on 2 days earlier. Never mind that the Chief Officer onboard broke his back falling down a tank.
No, you will never hear something like that from us. Well maybe if:
- No, I cannot go I just lost my arms and 1 leg. I'm very sorry!
Last time I was on Barcarolle the company asked if I knew some Chief Officers. I don't like to recommend people, you can end up in deep shit. But I knew a few Chief Officer that I know I can recommend without problem so I asked them if they wanted to start in Laurin.
Obviously I told them to stay where they were after the Marimba incident. I have already told Laurin that I will leave in April/ May.
As I told our Chief Engineer:
- I will not stay in Laurin making a fool out of myself! I will finish tank & poop deck.
The deck is ready, almost, and this had been impossible 1 year ago. No one really believed that it could be done, but I had faith in the deck crew.
Salary? Yeah, I replied to my friend's e-mail and I told him that he could put 200 US more than me in his pocket for every month onboard.
OK, my shower. I had to take the shower before 7. Still time to enjoy a diet drink relaxing a bit after my POWER WALK. I'm in a good mood now when I'm eating healthy. I'm full of energy and, OK, I made a few moves in the mess room. Captain got scared and ducked in his chair when I was shadow boxing my way through the mess room.
- WHAT THE ....!!?? He screamed.
- This is moves we're only used to see former 1st Engineer perform, he continued. He was kickin' and hitting everything he passed.
Well, when I was back in my cabin I discovered that our 1st Engineer had forgotten his coffin nails in my cabin. We had had a diet drink and a fag in my cabin during the afternoon.
- HEY! You forgot something. I gave up smoking long time ago (Like 2 or 3 minutes)
Tuesday 22nd of January 2008 and it was a beautiful morning. Sunshine and the sea were like a mirror. I could see the crew chipping on deck from my window.
- That's the spirit I thought for myself.
I was in a good mood due to the fact that we we're going to the buoy soon. Well, it turned out that we were not going to SPM #1 after Bolero in the morning. We were bound for SPM #2 and the ship discharging at that buoy had an ETC around 1700. Well, I have to try to survive yet another day with diet drinks. No water.
No water and you can imagine how happy I was when we got our pilot at 1815. WE ARE GOING TO THE BUOY and we can soon be out of here making water.
I was also my old self on the bridge playing mischiefs with the Captain and helmsman. Something to do and I can feel that I make myself useful. I mean, it sounds like a dream with a job description like:
Chief Officer's duty is to:
Walk around scratch his arse all day long
Drink tea and diet drinks, as many as he can.
When required he shall growl at the crew to speed up process
As Chief Officer you shall never miss an opportunity to moan about your heavy work load. Especially when there is a representative from the company within hearing distance.
Sounds like a dream. Well, believe me, it's not. OK, the diet drink part is not that bad. But it's boring to the extent that I was 3 seconds from stepping in to Captain's office and ask to be sent home earlier in the afternoon.
Well, my usual luck. We started discharging at 2200 and everything was running smooth until AB on deck called us. 2CT drop valve is open.
- What the...!!??
I don't mind the action, but problem is noting I wish for. Well, we tried to close the valve with the hand pump and the motherf@nker refused to close. I'm pretty sure we could have spent the whole night on deck with this valve. But we're in a hurry and we need to get the pump up and running.
- Blind the motherf@nker! I said.
We can check this valve after the tank cleaning tomorrow but right now we need to get the pump started.
Wednesday 23rd of January 2008 and I woke up at 0740 when our 3rd Officer called from the CCR.
- We are ready in 1 hour.
My first thought was that my alarm clock had failed to wake me up at 0730.
- DARN! It has to be a quick shower, I thought while SWINGING myself out of the bed and in to the shower with a quick stop in my dayroom for snus.
Soon after leaving the SPM we started yet another wound in the good environment, tank cleaning. We are loading gasoline and we have just discharged gasoline. But we will run the IG plant for a few hours, 3 power pack and the auxiliary engines. It will be the same when we will discharge the tank washing water in to the sea. IG plant for a few hours, power pack and the auxiliary engines. Then we have the wear and tear of our equipment and lost working hours on deck.
We are going green!
We're thinking about the next generation
The environment is very important to us
Not only did we have to use our equipment. We had a leak on the hydraulic pipe to one of the tank cleaning pumps. Saw dust, rags, oil and more lost working hours on deck. So, all in all it had been a good day for the ocean and the air.
Remember, every second breath you take comes from the ocean!
Our Electrician repaired our high level alarms during the afternoon. Almost all the light bulbs were busted and 2 fuses to the alarm on deck. But now it's back in good working order and we're ready for the upcoming vetting inspection in Beaumont.
Vetting inspection and our US Coast Guard something expires in February so we expect a Coast Guard inspection as well.
The Coast Guard is always asking to see a fire drill, just to see that the crew respond quickly and to make sure the crew knew what to do. Well, anyway, that means that we have to prepare and the best way is to have a fire drill. At 1515 our fire alarm went off.
Fire in the galley and we had to smoke diver team attacking the fire. One team coming in from A-deck and one team coming in from poop deck.
We will do the same thing tomorrow and hopefully it will work out well when and if the Coast Guard is onboard to see the drill.
I went to see Captain and the Chief Officer at their office after my constitutional. The first thing I saw was the bag of SNICKERS on Captain's desk.
- Captain confiscated the SNICKERS, our Chief Engineer informed.
- Yeah, otherwise he will just give it to you, Captain said.
- That's the spirit we're looking for! I said.
A few minutes later Captain asked for snus. He was really ingratiating himself and he came over with the bag of SNICKERS and his voice was smooth when he said:
- I give you the SNICKERS?
- What the...!!?? I give you snus if YOU KEEP the SNICKERS, I said.
I don't know what the (four letter word) happened, but I ended up with the SNICKERS in my cabin. Well, the bag looks like a nice pillow in the sofa. Actually, I planned to go up to give Captain the SNICKERS while writing this. But I think I swing over to my sofa instead.
Thursday 24th of January 2008 and my alarm clock woke me up at 0720, you never know what time this sucker goes off.
Well, I was tired and that the same every morning, no matter when the alarm goes off. But today I blame it on the SNICKERS.
I was in a pretty good mood, I had paper work to do and no time to sit down relax. I went a tour on deck with our Bosun to see that everything was OK for the vetting inspection
Our AC had broken down so it was a pretty hot day in the accommodation. Our 1st Engineer worked on the problem and I ran in to him in the stairs.
- I'm on my way to turn on the AC, he said.
This was a pleasant surprise, I was prepared for a few days without AC. They had told me that it was a broken belt and that we had no spares.
- OK, when then AC is on its diet drink time in my office.
It had been a hot day, but the afternoon turned gloomy and grey. Strong wind and when I was on deck there was water spraying over deck. OK, water spray or not, it was time for the second fire drill so we are prepared for the Coast Guard Inspection. Same as yesterday, fire in the galley.
Our fire brigades are always alert and we had TEAM 1 and 2 dressed in a jiff. I'm head of TEAM 2, Green (with radio) and Red smoke diver and I ordered them down on A-deck.
- Green Smoke diver! Come down on A-deck, stb side and outside accommodation.
I had had two of the crew to prepare two hoses outside the accommodation on a-deck. TEAM 2 came flying down ( I was lucky to get a picture) the ladders and they were ready to enter the accommodation to fight the fire.
TEAM 1 & 2 meet in the galley
Yeah, we were incredibly lucky, I was there with my camera
Friday 25th of January 2008 and we were anchored when I woke up at 0805. Yeah, my darn alarm clock.
I woke up on my blanket. When I was enjoying a DVD in my sofa yesterday the ship started to roll due to the increasing wind. When I went to bed I discovered that my mug of water had felt down my bed. My madras was soaked in water and I had to cover it with a blanket. Well, my pillows and quilt was wet as well and it took me some time before I could fall to sleep.
Well, we had dropped the anchor at 0630 and we had it up again at 10 o'clock and we were on the way again. We will stop in Port Arthur on the way to Beaumont for bunker, provision and stores.
We had first line ashore at 1310 and all fast at 1500. 2 hours for the mooring and it must be some kind of record. We were not very impressed by the boatmen and I told Captain.
- In Sweden we have SAMHAL. In US they let them all down to the dock to drag mooring ropes.
Well, I never saw something like this before, 1 guy holding the heaving line while 4 guys stare out in the blue with open mouths. Believe me, I never seen anything slower or a listless performance. The crew on the fo'c's'le had to run aft getting new heaving lines every now and then.
- What the BIP is going on at the fo'c's'le? I asked on the radio.
- The boat men are very sluggish, 2nd Officer said.
Our Agent and Immigration was onboard at 1510 and not long after I had Captain on the radio.
- There is a parcel and a letter for you.
I knew what it was and I can't say that I was in a hurry to pick up the parcel. Of course it was snus, 8 rolls. Captain was very impatient when I came to his office. He was hovering over me asking about the parcel. SwedishMatch always send some tasters in their parcels and last time I gave Captain the boxes with SILVER lids.
- Do you think there are any boxes with gold today? He asked.
- Oh! There is a magazine! I said while walking toward his sofa.
I sat down starting to browse through the magazine. Captain was hovering all over me while eyeing my parcel.
- Ah! This is an old magazine, I said.
I opened my letter slowly and Captain was jumping up and down but I kept him on tenterhooks. Finally I attended my parcel and Captain took a dive down the box.
- Whoa whoa! Now you must admit that you're a fully fledged user, I said.
- Do you want a ETTAN?
- Do you have GROV or General?
- I gave him a box if GENERAL and he was very happy.
Well, out stores and provision arrived at 1700 and we were busy for a few hours to get it onboard. We had also a bunker barge on starboard side and I expected us to leave around midnight. 3 hours to EXXON in Beaumont and I was facing a full night without sleep. So I was very happy when our Chief Engineer told me that we would stay all night long.
- Our lub oil will not come until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.
I could not believe my luck, my already good mood improved. I received e-mail from my teacher so I was already in a good mood.
Saturday 26th of January 2008 and we were still in Port Arthur when I woke up. We were waiting for the lub oil and it should arrive at 9, but showed up 1 hour late.
Pilot was onboard at 1205 and we left some 30 minutes later and we expect it to take 3 to 4 hours to Beaumont and the waiting Shell Vetting Inspector
I can't help it, but I passed out on top off my bed after departure. I didn't woke up until almost “coffee break” time. I had a shower, well, first a diet drink and a fag. Then I went on deck to make a last check before the arrival and the vetting inspection.
OK, honestly, when I came out from the shower I called the bridge. I asked them to give me a 30 minutes' notice before I had to be on the bridge assisting to get us alongside. I lit my coffin nail and they called.
- 30 minutes to go!
OK, I took a quick rush out on deck and it looked good. I grabbed a diet drink and I went to the bridge. A gloomy and grey morning had turned in to a beautiful afternoon and we enjoyed the weather on the bridge wing while the crew were busy with the mooring lines.
We had all fast at 1655 and gangway down at 1710. The Vetting Inspector was onboard after a few minutes.
- Hello Boss! Whenever you want to look on deck I'm ready, I greeted him.
- Yeah, I want to finish deck before it gets dark, he said.
We were on deck when the Surveyor and Loading Master came onboard. We ran in to them when they came off the gangway. Our Loading Master recognised me.
- Hello Chief! Looking good! You're losing weight! He said smiling.
- Heart warming, the best thing anyone had said to me in a long time, I said.
Well, actually, our Agent said the same thing back in Port Arthur.
- You just go in to my office, all papers is ready. I will be with you when I'm ready with the Vetting Inspector, I said.
When we were ready our Inspector went down the engine room and I could attend the Loading Master and Surveyor. I had just finished the Loading Master when the Vetting Inspector came back.
- I'm ready for your papers, he said.
I had filled the table with binders. It's the same stuff they want to see all the time so I can as well prepare everything. And we worked our way through the 2 first binders while I was doing the paper work with the Surveyor. After two binders things got out of hand. Suddenly our Vetting Inspector wanted to take us down the memory lane. The Surveyor got involved and there was notin' stopping them. When I had heard enough about their adventure on the seven seas I rose from the table.
- CAN WE FINISH THE BINDERS AND THE PAPER WORK!!??
- I'm ready.
- HAVE YOU CHECKED THIS BINDER? I asked shoving one of the binders up his face.
- No, you haven't! I said and I started to show him the exciting content
7 seconds later I repeted the whole thing.
- Here we have the log of gas test of the ballast tanks, I said holding the binder up under his nose.
I worked my way through all the binders and we finished the whole thing in an hour or so (10 minutes of looking in the binders, the rest was talking about the good old times) and at 2020 we started to load.
Our Vetting Inspector left just after midnight and we didn't get any complaints, well, a few. But this is how the ship is built and there is nothing to do about it.
Sunday 27th of January 2008 and our 3rd Officer called me at 0755. I turned off my alarm when I went to bed expecting us to be ready around 8 and thus they should have called me at 7. No need for the alarm.
Well, I had my shower and I went down to the CCR, about 1 hour to go and I went for my morning tea. Our Captain and Chief Engineer were in the day room drinking coffee. They were in a good mood after the vetting yesterday and I joined them with my tea.
We finished 1st Parcel at 0925 and we started the 2nd parcel at 0945, they are really trying to break records here. Well, I made it in time for the coffee break and I also managed to pass the time until lunch without getting bored senseless. We have a new Mess Man, he joined the ship in Port Arthur together with a new 1st Engineer, AB, Motorman and the Electrician.
So now it's SIR this and that all the time in the Mess room.
- HEY! Don't give me the SIR bullshit. You can call me DIRTY A**HOLE as long as you keep track on my diet! I bellowed at him.
I laid out my diet plan for him and I explained all the DO's and DON'Ts for him. I didn't miss to inform him that he has to pay me 50 US every time I'm eating something that will slow down the FAT TO FLAT thing I'm in to now.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT! BE ATTENTIVE OR YOU WILL LEAVE THE SHIP WITH LESS MONEY THAN YOU HAD WHEN YOU JOINED!
I called a taxi after lunch and I was told that they would be here at 1500.
- If we can come any earlier we will call, they girl said.
I read a book while waiting and at quarter to two our 2nd Officer called on the radio.
- They will pick you up in 30 minutes!
Good, I had time for a quick diet drink while I was watching me boys painting on deck. It was a sunny afternoon and the fresh paint looked really good.
I went on deck after 30 minutes to be stand-by when my driver came and I took the opportunity to encourage the crew to spur them to surpass each other with the painting work on deck.
- YOU BETTER BE READY IN A JIFF OR ELSE...
My driver was late, she had been waiting outside the gate for 30 minutes.
- There was a train going back and forth and it took 30 minutes before I could pass the track, she said.
- Don't get me started, I said with Kaliningrad fresh in mind.
Night action in Kaliningrad
We were about to pass a track in Kaliningrad when the train came. It was exciting for 3 minutes, but when the train came back again it was easy NOT to laugh.
And believe me, after one hour in the TAXI watching the train pass back and forth we were on the brink to insanity. Motherf@nker, just when we thought the train was gone we could see the darn thing coming back in the other direction.
- What the .....!!??
Well, I know everything about waiting for some train passing so I understood my driver when she arrived a little late. But we were soon off for the shopping mall.
I bought 10 books and then I took a walk to the Office Depot and bought some ink for our stamps. I got a shopping list from our Captain and Chief Engineer and I went to Wal-Mart to buy the last stuff. A Thermometer and an automatic blood pressure machine.
I also bought some socks and I called the TAXI. I was walking around with a feeling of having forgotten something all the time, but I could not remember what. When I was outside I meet our 1st Engineer and I remembered that I needed an alarm clock. I went back in and I found a 5 dollar alarm clock and I got rid of my last coins.
Monday 28th of January 2008 and I never got a chance to test my new alarm clock. 3rd Officer called me at 6 o'clock and it was time to go down to the CCR to complete the loading operation.
We finished loading at 0635 and now we have to wait 6 - 8 hours to be cleared from EXXON so we can shift to CHEVRON to load the MTBE.
Our off signers are leaving at 0930 but they are all up and running even though it's very early. At 8 o'clock our off signing Mess Man came to disturb me when I was calculating the cargo with the Surveyor.
- Good Buy, I'm leaving!
- Where the BIP are you going? They will not pick you up until 0930.
- I will wait on the dock.
- For 1 and a half hour? Are you crazy?
Our Surveyor was ready with the ullageing at 0755 and they started to take samples. They had to pull 120 samples and it took them 2 hours.
I was ready with the calculation after 5 minutes and I joined Captain and Chief Engineer in the day room while one of the Surveyors did his calculation.
I saw when the Agent came on the jetty. I can't say I was very happy when I saw that he was carrying two packages with Doughnuts. What the....??!!
- Didn't we give him strict orders to NOT bring any Doughnuts? I asked Captain.
Well, I can forget about any moral support from the Chief Engineer and Captain with the Doughnuts. They were very excited when the Agent came with the Doughnuts.
They were so excited so they came early for the coffee and I tried my best to defend myself against the temptation. It worked very well for, well, a rough estimation, 17 seconds. And I really don't like Doughnuts.
I could not believe it when I saw myself reaching for the second Doughnut (covered in chocolate) and the whole coffee break turned in to a disaster. DARN! Same story every time.
Captain with the Doughnuts
Captain told me that we could expect to leave the jetty SOON. Yesterday the Agent had told him that EXXON had speeded up things so we should be able to (four letter word) off out of here in no time.
- Good, we can be out of here at 12 to 1300, I said.
At 1230 I had heard nothing about the Pilot and I had seen nothing of our Surveyors and samples.
- I will be onboard at 1130 with the samples, was the last thing he told me when he left just after 10 o'clock.
So, I decided to take a quick nap. (I really wanted to test my new alarm clock and now I got the chance) I jumped to bed and I grabbed the alarm clock to change the alarm to 1430. I discovered that the clock had stopped at 0905, exactly the same time as yesterday evening. Well, I guess there is no problem if I go to bed after 5 minutes after nine and I want the alarm to go off before 5 minutes after 5. Well, I have already thrown my old clock in the garbage so I put all my faith in the new clock.
At 1345 2nd Officer called me.
- Samples onboard!
I missed the chance to test the alarm but when I came back to my cabin the alarm was on. So I guess it works, at least when you want the alarm to go off at 1430.
When the Surveyor had left I went to the Mess room and I found Nutella and I could not stop myself. I scolded Captain and Chief Engineer for the second time today, they had failed BIG TIME to keep an eye out.
- I will never develop a V-shaped torso if you continue to disappoint me like this!
Well, Pilot ordered for 1630 so the express clearance turned in to nothing more than hot air. Surprised?
At 1500 we found out that we had been cleared at 1410 and the Pilot came onboard at 1630. So we will have all fast at CHEVRON around 1900 and if we start load at 2100 I can sleep without being disturbed during the night.
Our Pilot recognised me when he meets me outside my office.
- Chief! How long will you stay onboard?
- Until I look good!
We were soon on the bridge and I could open my diet drink. I took a pull and I went straight for the bridge wing and I started to pester our Pilot and Captain. But I had to give up after a few minutes, a beautiful morning had turned in to a cold afternoon and I went inside to terrorise the AB at the wheel instead.
After departure I went for a shower, we have about one hour to CHEVRON's terminal. I was soon back on the bridge. I stepped in on the bridge full of vim and vigour and with a diet drink in my hand.
- Hello! Porky is back! Did you miss me?
On the way to the bridge I stopped by at our Chief Engineer's door. I taped my ZIPPO, flints and gasoline on his door. I'm going serious this time.
Well, we had first line ashore at 1825 and we had all fast at CHEVRON Dock 1 @ 1900. I had time for a quick bowl of salad before the Loading Master came onboard at 1945. The rest of the crew had had the dinner, but I, Captain and Chief Engineer had not been eating so we were alone in the mess room. I told them that it was desirable that they started to get serious with my diet.
They left for coffee and when I came to the galley 1 minute later I could hear Captain and Chief Engineer raising hell in the galley. They were lambasting our Cook. The Cook was in tears when Captain and Chief Engineer took turns screaming at him.
- Now you shape up! Nothin' but salad for Porky!
- You know he's allergic to food! Food makes him swell up like a balloon!
- Never leave Nutella in the fridge again!
Our Cook looked devastated and I felt sorry for him. Well, I felt a little bad. I'm partly (Very little) responsible for the diet going out of hand.
- OK, forget about the past. We start all over again, I intervened.
I went to do the paper work with the Loading Master and when we were ready I went to Captain and Chief Engineer's office. Our Chief Engineer was busy playing with his new lighter.
- A small token of my appreciation! Keep up the good work keeping an eye on my diet, I said.
We started to load at 2125 and I was off to my cabin at 2245. I finished a diet drink while writing a few word on my web page. I also wrote a few word to my teacher. I told her all about how busy I was studying for hours every day. Well, I think I have to go look for my books.
- Where did I put my darn books?
Tuesday 29th of January 2008 and I finally got the chance to test my alarm clock. It went off at 0730, 3 minutes before they called from the CCR to tell me that we had 1 hour to go.
We completed loading at 0845 and I hope we can be out of here before 12. It was time for our 1st Engineer to sign off and at 9 o'clock the car came to pick him up.
I had time for a last hug before we started with the paper work. Our 1st Engineer appreciated that I took the time for the hug.
We completed all the paper work at 1055 and pilot is ordered for 1230. Good, we will soon be out of here.
I told our Cook that we will have our lunch at 1145.
- Just so we have the time to eat before departure, I informed him.
I was on my way to the mess room for my lunch when we had a ship passing us. I don't know if it was due to the strong wind or a miss judgement from the Pilot. But she came very close at a speed of 7 knots and she broke our spring lines and she ripped the rail under the gangway to pieces. Instead of lunch I had to run on deck, another big ship was approaching and we're better off having control over our mooring lines. When our spring lines broke after the first ship there was slack in all the other mooring lines.
Wednesday 30th of January 2008 and I could hear my alarm clock go off at 0740 from the shower. OK, I threw away the instructions without reading them, but to set the alarm to go off at 0730 should be pretty straight forward. But for 5 dollars you can't expect an atomic clock. I will fine tune the darn thing and I'm looking forward to the suspense tomorrow morning.
My GOOD MORNING look out of the window gave me mixed feelings. Bad weather, but the wind came from behind and the crew was setting up the grit blaster.
I was down for my morning tea and Captain and Chief Engineer was already in the mess room having breakfast. There is always a half grapefruit on my place in the morning and, well, I don't like grapefruit.
- Have some grapefruit! It's good for the diet, our Chief Engineer suggested.
- I stick to my “Oatmeal Surprise”
I did not even add the honey to the “Oatmeal Surprise” and I felt pretty healthy when I left for the CCR. Time to discharge SLOP.
I used one of the OS and the rest of the crew was grit blasting and removing a tank cleaning pipe that needs to be welded.
We had no luck with the SLOP and we decided to postpone it to the afternoon. PPM range exceeded and maybe if we let the SLOP rest for a few hours we can discharge it. But the ship is rolling due to heavy seas from behind so we have to see.
While we were busy going nowhere with the SLOP our crew had dismantled the tank cleaning pipe and they carried it back to the poop deck on the way to lunch. Much job for 30 seconds of welding. It was only a very small hole in the pipe. Enough for a small needle, but we cannot have leaks on the pipes. The ship might be mistaken for a rust bucket flying dubious flag.
Tank cleaning pipe on the way to poop deck
Well, after lunch we had to move the grit blaster to the fo'c's'le due to spray on deck. But I was still in a good mood. Three e-mails from my teacher during our stay in Beaumont is enough to keep me on cloud nine for a long time.
We gave the SLOP a new try after the coffee break in the afternoon, but we were soon giving up. Well, it was soon time for dinner anyway and now our Captain and Chief Engineer really gives me a hard time at the meals. Captain is even rummaging my salad bowl to forage for forbidden calories.
- Now you can't blame us if the diet fails, our Chief Engineer said.
- Do you want a bet? I asked.
Well, most of the day turned to shit. The crew was working a full day with the tank cleaning pipe and SLOP. What a waste of money! Not to talk about the environment, tank cleaning between gasoline and gasoline/ MTBE. New experiences, not necessarily any good experience. Interesting to see how different companies have adopted different approach to things.
Thursday 31st of January 2008 and my alarm went off at 0730. The fine tuning did it. But I just turned off the alarm and felt asleep again. I woke up 10 minutes later and I leaped right in to the shower.
The morning was gloomy and grey, but it looked like it could be a nice day. I was in a good mood when I went for breakfast.
- Have some grapefruit! It's good for the diet, our Chief Engineer suggested.
- What's so good with Grapefruit?
- I don't know. But it's good.
- There is not much vitamin C in Grapefruit, Captain said.
- But it's something good with it, our Chief Engineer said.
- This Grapefruit was not as sour as they use to be, Captain continued.
- Yeah, it doesn't taste good but there is something good with it. But I don't know what, our Chief Engineer said.
- OK! ENOUGH ALREADY! I EAT THE DARN THING!
After breakfast I finished the deck crews working hours and I went to check out the grit blasting on the fo'c's'le. By now the sun was shining and the wind was gone so I expected a full day of grit blasting on the fo'c's'le. But we ran in to dense fog just before reaching TUXPAN anchorage and it was like putting a damp blanket over deck.
But there is nothing stoppin' the crew at the grit blaster. Same yesterday when the sea was blowing over deck, we just moved the grit blaster to the fo'c's'le and continue. When they stop blasting in the evening the spots they started with in the morning is all black.
Harsh environment, but seriously, if we want perfect conditions we should take the ship to a garage. If we only work on deck at sunny days we would still have been at square 1.
When we got our blasting grits in Point Comfort they had managed to damage many of the bags. We had to store the grits in empty drums on deck. And believe me, we don't need an eyesore like that on deck when coming to port.
But now deck is empty and all drums are gone. Bosun been busy most of the day with these drums and now we're back to order. But there is always something else to do and tomorrow they will be busy again.
Yes, time turns fast and we have reached the end of yet another month and we swing right over to February 2008.
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. 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!
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.
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? 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.
Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.
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