Thursday 1st of March 2007 and we were steaming on a Northerly course towards SABINE Pilot station when I came on my morning watch. Fog and mist, gloomy and grey and I were worrying about the grit blastering
I started a Diet Drink in my cabin and I continued sucking on the can at the bridge while steaming North.
- Hmm, maybe our Australian deck hand on Rainbow Warrior was right when she thought I had an ORAL FIXATION.
When I'm not sucking on my Diet Drink can there is a fag in my mouth, maybe it's time to seek professional help when I'm coming home.
At 0830 we had dropped our anchor and I spent 1 hour in my office before taking my 2 hours power nap. We had planned to launch our MOB boat after lunch and our 3rd Officer came to pick me up in the mess room. The MOB was soon seaborne and I could return to my paper work.
The sun was shining and the grit blaster was up and running, she will soon look Swedish on deck. I spent
the afternoon with my tank cleaning plan listening to music in my office.
Our Electrician and Engine Cadet were busy fixing our SAAB radars. They had been working on them in the dry dock, but as everything else the shipyard had done this was not properly done.
Every now and then they were in my office and our Electrician just couldn't sit still when he heard my music. When we saw some of his moves we just had to give him the prize “Oldest Hip Hopper onboard” .
Movie night and there are new guys in charge in the movie department. Our 1st Engineer and Engine Cadet picked the movie and our Electrician left after 4 minutes and I left 27 seconds later.
Friday 2nd of March 2007 and we were still at Sabine anchorage when I came on my morning watch. I was happy for their choice of movie yesterday, I was in bed at 9 o'clock and it was kind of OK to wake up at 0340.
Our 2nd Officer told me that the ship we were waiting for had entered port 30 minutes before I came to the bridge. Well, I hope that we can get one more day at the anchorage, I'm in a hurry no where.
I was on the bridge with my computer when Captain came.
- Is it your computer? He asked.
- We have a wireless PC card you can try.
I installed the card and I had internet connection, but we are to far away from shore to get any good connection. But I managed to update my virus protection. when we are getting inside I hope I can get a good connection.
The signal is very weak but I will upload my web page during my power nap and if you can read this you know it was a success.
Well, I managed to upload my page during my power nap even though the internet is coming and going. When I came down for lunch, I was late, I told 1 st Engineer that he could tell his wife that updates were now available.
- Ah, this is why you didn't have any lunch, he said.
- No, it's because of my diet.
Saturday 3rd of March 2007 and we were still anchored when I came on my morning watch. They change our berthing prospects all the time and the last message from yesterday were saying in the afternoon today.
The only exciting stuff happened during my watch was when Captain and 1st Engineer came for coffee on the bridge. Latest news, we will go inside between 1600 and 1800 and I have to be up all night again.
I went to bed so I could get a few hours of sleep so I could stay up all night. experience from the oil terminals in US is that hours can pass by just waiting. Well, I had nothing for my power nap, when I woke up at 12 we had our anchor up and our Pilot came onboard not long after.
We expect to arrive around 1630 and I hope I can get to sleep even though I had my power nap in the morning. Maybe we can go ashore tonight to see the sights.
I got e-mail from my LIFE COACH, my computer bag had been sent back to his parents. I gave my laptop to J and I asked my LIFE COACH to bring the bag to Sweden when he went on his business trip. He would send the bag to J when he arrived to Sweden. J had been down my neck on how hard it was to carry around the laptop without a bag from the day he got the computer.
Well, needless to say, my LIFE COACH was not very impressed, neither was I. How can he miss to pick up the parcel at the post office.
We had all fast at Dock 5 just before 5 o'clock and I did the paper work with the Loading Master when he came onboard at 1720. Diet or not, but I had time for a quick dinner when the Loading Master left.
I had time to crack a few jokes at the dinner table before the Surveyor arrived at 1810. We started right off with the papers and our 1st Engineer came in to my office with a milkshake.
- What the...?! The company has no money and you just walk around drinking milkshakes! I said.
- What about me and the Surveyor? I asked.
Our 1st Engineer disappeared to the galley and I chased him with my camera. He was drinking his milkshake from a wine glass, but it don't take an advanced degree in rocket science to figure out what I suggested.
Our 1st Engineer was soon back in the office with two milkshakes. One for the Surveyor in a wine glass and one for me in my bucket, just enough to last me for a few minutes.
Well, we were soon finished with the paper work and we just waited for shore to be ready to start load our line displacement. We started just before 8 o'clock and at 2030 we stopped for sampling and line displacement.
Well, while loading the line displacement I was off to the smoking room with my bucket. We got a new Chief Engineer and 3rd Officer onboard. Now we are 4 Officers onboard and I don't have to go up for my watch at 4 o'clock in the morning any more. Good, I will spend my days in the office listening to music.
Well, I was back in my cabin at 2130 and I got connected to the internet and I listened to Swedish Radio while writing a little on my web page. They will call me 1 hour before completion and I hope I can get some sleep even though I had my power nap.
Sunday 4th of March 2007 and they knocked on my door (our telephones are still not working) 10 minutes before 6 o'clock.
- 1 hour until loading is completed.
I took a shower and a fag before going to the CCR and our new 3rd Officer. I finished my Diet Drink and I had time to pour a bucket of tea before we completed loading at 0650.
Our Surveyor came onboard and the first thing he asked for was a milkshake. I told him that our 1st Engineer were busy in the engine room. we did the calculation and we came up 180 Bbls short from our nomination of MAX 50000 Bbls and we started to load again at 0840.
10 minutes later they stopped loading and we had our 50000 Bbls onboard. B/L 50038 and S/F 50450 Bbls something. We had the paper work ready at 10 o'clock and pilot was ordered for 1130.
At 0925 the Immigration came onboard and our Chief Engineer could sign off before we left for the anchorage.
On the way to the anchorage we passed M/T Tosca, she is discharging Naphtha, and I took a few pictures. Never know if I end up on this ship and then a picture can come in handy.
We will drop our anchor in a trench while waiting for EXXONMOBILE will be ready to deliver our Gasoline. Our Captain told me that there were plenty crocodiles in the trench and I asked our Pilot.
- Mr. Pilot! Our Captain promised that I will see crocodiles at the anchorage. What do you think about that?
Well, the crocodiles are hibernating and I was disappointed. Well, maybe next time when it's a little warmer.
When our 3rd Officer came to the bridge I left for my office. We will load 2 different parcels of Gasoline and I did two cargo planning's. I don't know which parcel they will start with so I did two planning's to be prepared. I will not sit and waste any time alongside if I can go ashore.
Well, I was off for 90 minutes of beauty sleep and when I woke up I returned to my office and my paper work. While I was in my office our Deck Cadet used my computer for the internet.
We had a nice dinner and some kind of cake with a bucket of tea in the day room. We talked about the good old times and when my tea bucket was empty I returned to my cabin. We decided to watch a movie at 8 o'clock and I had time to listen to the news on the internet until 8 o'clock.
Monday 5th of March 2007 and I woke up at 7. Very nice with 3 watch keeping Officers, I can stay in bed.
We were still anchored in the trench, the Crocodile trench. When I looked out my window I could only see trees so it's almost like being anchored in the woods.
It was a beautiful day, like a very beautiful spring day in Skåne. After my shower I enjoyed a Diet Drink while paying some bills on internet. I tried to call AMEX but I failed. I checked my internet banking and it doesn't seem like the auto debit to AMEX had been working the last two months. So I will have to pay them as soon as I know how much I owe them.
Well, I expect a 3000 US bill, and well, I had have fun for the money.
When I came to my office I discussed today's work with Bosun and then I checked my e-mail. Our Captain had sent some pictures of an Alligator they saw here last time.
- Well, he promised me crocodiles and I got it.
There were plenty picture and I picked two to put on my web page for you to see, always a little excitement when you visit www.aladdin.st. But of course, the real thing is the best.
I have only seen one live crocodile in my life (except zoo) and that was in Guyana when we almost hit one with the taxi 4 o'clock in the morning. In the middle of the town!
Well, while checking my e-mail Captain and Chief Engineer came by my office. Our Captain had a cloth with TANKER Maritimes logo around his head.
- What the ....??!! Are you going to play tennis?
- I found a box of them in my office and I don't know what they are for.
Soon we were wearing the cloth, different style and now when the hair net is out of fashion this is the new thing. I hope Seinfeld was right when he said:
- And the next thing to catch on is baldness!
I spent the morning with my cargo planning and after the coffee break we launched our lifeboat. We started to prepare the MOB boat and then we lifted the lifeboat in to the water. We didn't launch it by free fall, it's better to use the crane to launch the lifeboat. No wet pants in the boat.
It was a beautiful morning and people were fighting for the few seats in the MOB boat that would bring the crew to the lifeboat.
Well, when the lifeboat were floating aft of us we choose 6 people for the MOB boat. 4 to drive the lifeboat and one Engineer and a 3rd Officer to drive the MOB boat while the rest took the lifeboat for a tour. Both the MOB and Lifeboat engines needs some exercise.
I took a picture of the crew before they left with the MOB boat and sure as hell the rest of the crew wanted to be on a picture as well. So they posed in front of our tank cleaning heater house on deck.
I also sent our Engine Cadet in the MOB boat, it will be a good experience for him to see the guys kick behind. He will soon come to work on a ship and he need to see as much as possible while onboard.
They were exercising the boats for about 20 minutes while I was drinking Diet Drinks in my office with our 1st Engineer. I called them back to the ship at 1140, soon time for lunch and we don't want a hungry and grumpy crew around.
We were on poop deck watching them coming back when our Electrician pointed on the other side of the river.
- HEY! A crocodile!
- NO, I think it's a bird, I answered.
- Well, maybe a little bit too big to be a bird, I said.
I called the MOB boat on the radio.
- Hey! Can you go check out the other side of the river.
I also gave them some advice on the way over:
- Maybe it's a crocodile so make sure you have plenty sausages with you.
I gave them directions on the radio while they were hissing over there just to find an old log in the water.
Disappointment, but we hadn't really expected to see any crocodiles this time of the year. While they were on the way back the crew in the lifeboat connected the wire to the crane and the boat were stand-by to get onboard again.
This was the only drama we experienced during the test of our boats. AB connecting the wire sling lost his helmet. luckily enough we had a rescue boat on the scene and I had soon directed our MOB boat to the scene. No plastic in the nature.
It might be just a wee bit too much to digest for the crocodiles and we can imagine when the helmet is coming out at the other end of the crocodile.
We had recovered the MOB boat in time for lunch and we planned to recover the lifeboat after lunch. During the lunch our 1st Engineer was pestering me for not being in the office 8 o'clock in the morning.
- I don't have any alarm clock, I said.
On the way back to my cabin after lunch I got a alarm clock of our 1st Engineer and no more excuses not to be in the office at 8.
Our pilot came onboard and just before 4 o'clock we started to heavy up our anchor. I could hear them on the radio from the shower and I was soon on the bridge.
- DARN! This is no good time for arriving. I want to go ashore.
- They don't have any product and we will start tomorrow, Captain said.
Good, I can go ashore tonight. 1700 FL and 1730 AF and Loading Master were off just before 6 o'clock and transportation to shore was arranged for.
There is only one TAXI company allowed in to the terminal and our Fitter had already called her to come pick us up at 6 o'clock. The cars must be insured for 2, 5 million dollars if they should be allowed inside and this company is the only ones with an insurance covering 2, 5 million. At CHEVRON they demand an insurance covering 4 millions and there is no TAXI service available.
Well, it's American and if there is an accident we can sue them for millions. We left the ship just after 6 and someone had told me that this was the best place to go ashore at.
- It's only 30 minutes to the shopping center.
When we should agree about the pickup time to return to the ship I said to the driver that we would be there at 7 and a few hours would be enough for us.
- 7 o'clock! How can we be there at 7 when it takes 30 minutes to the gate? She asked.
- Well, you better be careful because you will end up getting a parking ticket if you don't step on it, I said.
- Here is 10 miles/h, and before it was only 5, she said.
If she gets caught speeding 2 times she will be banned from the terminal and she will lose her business. It's 100 US per round trip so it seems to be good business.
When we came to the gate they told us that our Agent had sent a crew list so the security would not let us out. Our security guard asked our driver to call our Agent and after 20 minutes of waiting we were allowed to leave the terminal.
I don't remember how long time it took us to get to the shopping mall, but it was a boring ride. Beaumont must be one of the most boring places in the world.
- What the BIP are people doing around here when they want to let their hair down? I asked the drive.
- Oh, there is Cracker Street, it�s open on Fridays and Saturdays.
10 minutes later we passed Cracker street and there was a cinema and a hamburger restaurant. WOW! Obviously a good night spot
When we arrived to the mall we agreed that she should pick us up at Wal-Mart at 10 o'clock. Wal-Mart is not very far away from the mall. We did the mall in 5 minutes and our 1st Engineer and I moved on to Best Buy and I bought Windows Vista™, Office 2007 and Norton Internet Security™. This program did set me back several hundred dollars.
At Best Buy we meet our 2nd Officer and we walked to Wal-Mart together. A brisk walk and after 10 minutes we were at Wal-Mart and I bought plenty trousers and two computer magazines. A pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals ended up in our shopping cart as well.
We didn't found any almond paste for our Semlor. But we found almonds and icing sugar so I guess we are ready to make our own almond paste.
Tuesday 6th of March 2007 and I was called for just after 2 o'clock in the morning.
- Loading Master is onboard!
- Motherfånker! I just got to bed.
Well, I finished the paper work and the Surveyor told me that the Surveyor would be onboard in a jiff. I was hoping for us to start load soon so I could return to mybed. I had not had any sleep since I woke up 7 o'clock yesterday morning.
When the Surveyor came he told me that they might start at 0430 or 5.
- They have a shift change ashore at 4, he told me.
Well, we started at 1005 with the first parcel and the second parcel was up and running just before 11 o'clock and I was in bed at 12. I put my alarm watch to 3 o'clock, I don't want to sleep all day long. Then it will be impossible to sleep tonight.
When I woke up our computer wiz was installing the internet and I could connect in my cabin. But it was poor signal. He brought the connections but not the pliers required to get them on the cable, impressive.
Chief engineer and Captain were busy all day long with the computer wiz and when he left it was too late for them to go ashore.
- DARN, I had ordered special textile glue for my new trousers that I bought yesterday.
I only found shorts in camouflage design and this is nothing I want to go around in. So I bought black trousers and I will cut off the legs and I will fold the legs with glue. Saving time not using needle and thread.
Wednesday 7th of March 2007 and DARN! Now they called me at 0440.
- We will complete the first parcel in 1 hour!
After a hot shower I started a Diet Drink and a fag at my desk and I was, well, if not brisk at least awake when I stepped in to the CCR at 5. We completed first parcel 5 minutes after 6 and the second parcel at 0755.
Our two Surveyors came onboard not long after completion and they had to take 80 samples before sending them to the lab for analyse. They expect 4-8 hours for the lab test.
- At least, I think it will take longer, our Surveyor told me.
Good news, our Captain and Chief engineer went ashore and I hope they return with the glue for my new trousers.When they left I told them:
- Good you are leaving! Raggmunk for lunch and there will be more for us.
Captain and Chief Engineer had found my glue and I found the textile glue on my office. They also bought a pair of pliers for our connections. Well, we discovered that our computer wiz had bought the wrong routers and still no internet. Well, on the bridge we have the internet and I get signal in my cabin at times. Hmm, maybe next time our COMPUTER EXPERT will manage to get his act together, impressive!
At 1500 we were released from EXXON and Pilot was ordered for 1600, nice to leave and we expect about 2 days to TUXPAN.
Thursday 8th of March 2007 and I had to discharge our SLOP to get rid of the SLOP water. We have about 214m3 in our port SLOP tank.
When I was in the CCR preparing for the discharge our 1st Engineer stopped by. He had several cameras with him.
- What the BIP are you going to do with all the cameras?
- Our Electrician is using ear protections in the engine room. This had never happened before.
We decided to start making our Semlor after lunch. We managed to discharge our SLOP and 14 litres of oil through our ODME and when we were ready I had 85m3 left in the tank. about 31m3 of oil and the rest of it is water.
After lunch our 1st Engineer and I went to the galley. Our 1st Engineer brought the almonds and stuff we bought in Beaumont. So, almond paste is the most important ingredient in the Semla and thus we started with the almond paste.
700g of almonds that we need to blanch in order to get the skin off. Then we put the blanched and peeled almonds in a food processor. According to the recipe we could choose to add water, milk or cream. Well, really no choice and we made the obvious choice.
We prepared 350g icing sugar and 350g granulated sugar in a pan and when the almond and cream were processed to a paste we added the sugar mix.
We tasted the almond paste and it was excellent and we were happy over the result. None of us had done almond paste before and there were a lot of fun and games in the galley when we tasted the almond paste.
- Like the one you buy in the shop. Almost like Marzipan.
Our 1st Engineer really got carried away.
- Let's whip the cream!
- HEY! I think we should make the buns before the whipping cream.
The buns will be the hard part without real yeast and if we fail with the buns we will have a lot of whipped cream and almond paste.
Our Electrician is playing hard to get
Our Electrician came in to the galley wondering what we were doing. He caught sight of the almond paste and he asked:.
- What's that? Is it mashed potatoes?
- Yeah, try, I said.
- Oh, it's sweet!
- What!!?? We must have mixed the sugar and salt, I said to our 1st Engineer
Well, when the Electrician left we started with the dough for the buns and we were lucky that our 1st Engineer has a past as a Baker man. He has been working tree months in a bakery.
Our 1st Engineer had the goal to be ready with our Semlor for the 3 o'clock coffee, but I told him that they would still be warm by then and the whipped cream would melt. We had them out of the own 20 minutes before the coffee break and they have to cool down for some times. 5 o'clock is a more realistic goal for our Semlor to be ready.
A fire drill were planned to take place at 1515. We drilled our smoke divers and they had to run around on the ship until they were running out of air in the BA sets.
Our smoke divers are in good condition so they didn't use very much air. Well, until I asked them to bring up a few 25kg bags of blaster grits from under the fo'c's'le. Then the air disappeared quickly from the air bottles so now they know how the low air warning whistle sounds like.
When the drill were completed I went to Captain's and Chief Engineers office and I was meet by the by now familiar sight.
- I expect nothing less than a place on the rostrum at the next winter Olympics, I told our Chief Engineer.
- Yeah, with all the hours your putting in to the bobsleigh training you must be well prepared.
We discussed if we should take onboard a Riding Squad or a few extra ABs for the grit blasting of the deck. I guess there will be more opportunities to discuss the matter. But I think it's better to bring on a few extra ABs for the job. When we had finished our Chief Engineer's fags I returned to my cabin for a few words on my web page.
At dinner I prepared our buns with almond paste and whipped cream. Our Cook were busy taking notes, he wanted to know how we did so he can prepare Semlor in the future.
- My diet! What about my diet?
When we finished our dinner we moved in to the day room with a dish full of freshly made Semlor. Well, I managed to eat two before I was feeling like a Boa constrictor that just had swallowed a sheep.
We didn't manage to eat all the Semlor, but as our 1st Engineer said:
- We will finish them tonight when we see the movie.
After finishing my two Semlor I had to roll back to my cabin. We had decided to meet in the day room at 8 for a movie. Well, this movie was an all time low and no one complained when I fast forwarded the movie every now and then.
One thing is for sure, this movie doesn't have the Aladdin's “ Good Movie Guarantee ”
Friday 9th of March 2007 and I woke up at 0720 and that gave me time for a shower, Diet Drink and a fag (I don't remember, but it might have been 2) before going down to the mess room.
Well, we have all noticed how light-hearted and happy-go-lucky I am about my smoking, but for sure, it will be a totally different tune when I'm about to die full of cancer.
We dropped our anchor in TUXPAN at 4 o'clock and we had just dropped our anchor when they told us that the Pilot would be onboard at 1700. Well, 1 hour at the anchorage and I had expected (hopping for) a few days so we could catch up with the painting on deck.
Immigration, Agent and our new 1st Engineer arrived with the pilot boat and when we had FREE PRATIQUE next boat came with the mooring gang, Surveyors and Loading Master.
Our Surveyors left us at 8 and it will take a few hours to analyse the cargo samples before we can start to discharge.
Saturday 10th of March 2007 and finally at 0020 they came onboard to connect our cargo hose. Our 1st Engineer took our new 1st Engineer to the engine room and they started our IG and we started to discharge at 0110 and at 0130 I was in my cabin.
I lit up a fag after brushing my teethes I took a nico patch from the box I bought in Panama (long time ago) and, well, I have used 2 of them already. But that was a long time ago. 15mg/15 horas as it say on the box.
- Hmm, is this enough?
I checked the box I bought in Beaumont “ Patch, 21mg delivered over 24 hours ”, that's more like it. I attached the patch on my arm while dip in to the instruction booklet. There is 10 steps to follow for SUCCESS, I just paid attention to STEP #9: Have plenty low-calorie snacks available.
I skipped STEP #8: Throw away any remaining cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters the night before your quit day.
I finished my last cigarettes right there at my desk while reading the booklet. According to the booklet I'm in the ACTION STAGE:
On the day you quit smoking, you are in the ACTION STAGE. It's time to set your plan in motion
First parcel was up and running and I finally went to bed. I expected at least 6 hours of sleep, but a combination of heavy behind kickin' in the CCR and my failure to fall a sleep made it a mere 3 hours sleep.
At 6 o'clock they knocked on my door.
- 1 Hour until we are completed the first parcel.
At 0720 we completed our first parcel and they told us it would be 10-15 minutes before we could start our second parcel. Well, 1 hour 5 minutes later we could start discharge our second parcel.
Our Bosun where stand-by in the CCR, I had called him when we completed our first parcel.
- Bosun! Come to the CCR! Now you have to start practice with the cargo equipment in the CCR.
I want him to relieve our 3rd Officer in August and it's good to take every opportunity to familiarize him with the CCR and the computer screens.
If we drill him thoroughly I can sleep good when he is on watch in the CCR as a 3rd Officer.
Well, I was in bed not long after that we had started the 2nd parcel. I put my alarm on 1140 so I had time for a shower before lunch.
Well, we expected to complete the last parcel at 1515 + time for stripping and I spent the time chasing the crew on deck while waiting. Our crew is painting on deck and the ships looks better by the day.
- Soon time to take down the Panama flag, I told our Bosun.
When I'm not busy annoying the crew on deck I keep myself busy chasing our Cook. I gave him my last fags when I gave up smoking. I took 4 fags from him for the coffee break. When I came to the day room our Chief Engineer said:
- They look strange, your Nico pads!
- Yeah, and they works beyond all expectation, I said.
We started the last parcel at 1637 and when Bosun had topped off the tanks one by one to 95% it was time for dinner.
Sunday 11th of March 2007 and they woke me up at 0110 for the 1 hour notice. I took a shower before going down to the CCR were the 2nd Officer was busy.
After completion it was the same endless paperwork as last time. How do you know that you have ended up in a Scooby country? In the amount of stamps they requires on the paper. Loading in Sweden, no stamps, they are more concerned about a quick operation.
100 copies with wet stamp and your about to turn bananas. All this papers is all for nothing, just a waste of our resources.
Well, we were of the buoy around 4 in the morning and I started the tank cleaning at 0535. It's a 2 hours operation and I expect to be ready just in time for breakfast.
Our 1st Engineer were in the Engine room with our new 1st Engineer and he called me on the radio at 7.
- Can I leave the engine room?
- Go ahead, I'm soon finished so I see you for breakfast, I said.
- OK, Good, then I will make Skånsk äggakaka for breakfast!
- Sounds like a plan!
Luckily enough I had my camera with me and I sneaked up on him in the galley. Now you can see what it looks like when a Skåning makes a Skånsk äggakaka.
When I came in to the galley our Cook came running with a pack of fags.
- No, I have a nico chew, I said pointing to my mouth.
- Is it good? He asked.
I didn't know what to answer, but I gave him two nico chews with the words: Careful, don't get sick.
I was off to bed and my alarm went off at 1140.
- Hmm, really no reason to get up when I can't enjoy a fag and a Diet Drink.
So I felt a sleep again. I woke up at 1220 and I dashed off to lunch.
After lunch I asked our Cook about the nico chew.
- I have not tried them yet.
- Well, tomorrow we will give up, I said.
- I can't tomorrow, I have one more pack, he said.
He came up with the idea that we should take 10 fags each and tomorrow we would start.
- It's a 100 dollar bet, he said.
- OK, I said.
I went to the CCR and he came and gave me 10 fags.
Well, when I came down for dinner our Cook asked me if I had any more fags. I said that I didn't have any and I asked our Electrician for a pack. He was back in 0,3 with a fresh pack and I gave 10 cig to our Cook.
- I only want five!
- Fåck! That leaves me with 15, I said.
We dropped anchor outside Pajaritos or Coatzacoalcos or whatever they call the place. We will load full cargo of Naphtha for the US. But we have not received any voyage orders yet so we don't know where we are discharging.
Monday 12th of March 2007 and I woke up by myself at 0740, a shower and I was off to the dayroom. The first guy I ran in to was our Cook, well, it was more like he was running in to me. He caught sight of me when I passed the galley.
- HEY! He screamed while running towards me with two fags.
He gave me one and said:
- We can have one each, never mind.
I told him about the 100 dollars and left. He looked disappointed when he returned with the fags to the galley.
When Captain and Chief Engineer came to the mess room they told me that I looked gloomy and grey, maybe because I gave up smoking. Well, we decided to have an oil spill drill at 1300 and I killed the time to lunch by taking an inventory of our oil spill equipment. Well, I stopped by at the kitchen every now and then to check up on our Cook's smoking. I saw the two fags from the morning and we decided to smoke them to get them out of our way. From there on it only went downhill, every time I checked our Cook's pocket there were less and less cigarettes in his pack.
- Why the hell do you carry around your fags when you gave up smoking?
Well, when we finished our oil spill drill they boys continued painting on deck. I was busy throwing old samples, I emptied the bottles in our drip dray and I ended up with 5 big plastic bags of empty glass bottles.
When I was getting in to get more bags for the bottles I ran in to our Bosun. He gave me a package.
- It's from the boys!
I'm sitting in my cabin enjoying a Diet Drink while writing this on my web page. I came to think of when I did a clean install of Windows Vista™ a few days ago. I lost the videos I got from our Webbie on Rainbow Warrior and luckily enough I never made any back up of the videos so I will never have to watch them.
Well, where were we? Oh yeah, the gift. It was a pair of white jeans they bought last time ashore. I got dressed in white trousers for dinner and the response were overwhelming.
- You look dashing!
I stopped by at our pool on the way to the dinner, just to find our Engineers there, having a good time. I was soon off to the galley and I checked our Cook's cigarettes.
- What the BIP!!?? A new package! You gave up, now you owe me several hundreds of dollars.
Well, he managed to bribe me with 10 fags, cheap. Well, it's Monday and for once I can look between my fingers.
Tuesday 13th of March 2007 and my alarm went off around 0730. I was in the shower 3 seconds after starting my day with a nico chew.
I made a bucket of tea first thing when I came to the day room. We were sitting eating breakfast and our 1st Engineer told me that I had forgot the bread when I was only eating cheese for breakfast.
- Well, it's my diet. No carbohydrates.
After the coffee break I went to see our Chief Engineer. Our rubber roller on the gangway is broken and I need to order a new one. When I came to Captain's and Chief Engineer's office they were busy assembling a set of drawers they bought at IKEA in Poland.
I had checked for a drawing in my office and it was drawing #F57. When I came to their office the Chief Engineer said:
- I found the drawing for you. I have ordered the roller.
- Good, I said while admiring the work with the set of drawers.
After lunch I took a power nap, we expect to go inside tonight and you never know how much time you have to spend waiting. At dinner we got Pilot confirmed for 2200 and I had time for a few words on my web page and a few seconds with my language course.
I was in my cabin when I could hear them start heaving up the anchor at 2100. I was off for a shower before going to the bridge with a fresh white shirt on.
Coming to the bridge it was the same pandamonium as you could expect in a Scooby country. Port control:
- Slow slow, two ship on the way out and one is going in before you!
Coatzocoalco Pilot, with our engine stopped:
- Full ahead, you are the first ship to receive the pilot.
A few minutes later Port control was on the radio:
- Stop engine, plenty ship before you!
Impressive, this is normal here, but in Sweden they would have been embaressed. Well, at least at some places, I think.
Pilot onboard at 2155 and we were the first ship to enter the port. When approaching the port we could see the beach front with restaurants and stuff. Well, no time for me to go ashore. We had first line ashore at 2325 and all fast at 2355.
Wednesday 14th of March 2007 and we had Immigration onboard at 0110 and FREE PRATIQUE at 0120. Surveyor and Loading Master could come onboard when we had FREE PRATIQUE and we could start the paper work. 0300 we started to load and I was in bed at 4.
I was out of bed just after 10 o'clock. A quick shower and I was in the CCR to check out our rate. Around 5000 Bbls/h and we expect to be ready Friday afternoon.
- We will have a vetting, our 3rd Officer told me.
This was something new, decided to have a vetting with one day notice. Well, just bring it on. I went to the Captain's office and he confirmed that we will have a PMI Inspector onboard on Friday morning.
We were not many people for dinner, most of the crew had gone ashore for a night on town and I spent the evening in my cabin watching DVD.
Thursday 15th of March 2007 and my alarm clock went of at 0720. I was sitting at my desk for two minutes just stareing out in the blue before going for my shower.
- A fag or a nico chew? Fresh out of bed and already plenty decicions to make.
I made a bucket of tea before sitting down at the breakfast table. I took the oppertunity to pester they guys that went ashore yesterday.
At 11 o'clock our Agent's driver came to pick up our off signing 1st Engineer for transport to the Immigration and the airport.
I called AMEX and I got my 3000 dollar bill confirmed. I told them that I would send the money first thing when we arrive to the US and she sounded happy on the phone.
I was enjoying my lunch (Raggmunk) when our Surveyor came for paper work. He told me that it would take about 30 minutes and then he would call me for a signature. I had planned to do our Seagull ECDIS course after lunch but now I decided to enjoy a Diet Drink in my cabin while waiting for the Surveyor to be ready.
There were only 3 Diet Drinks left in the fridge. I opened my last case of Diet Drinks and I filled up my fridge.
I didn't have time to finish my Diet Drink, after 10 minutes our Surveyor were ready. When the Surveyor left I started the ECDIS course on our training computer and I finished the Seagull ECDIS course during the afternoon and I printed the result. The paper went through our laminating machine and ipsi-wipsi-wu I had a nice ECDIS certificate. It will look, I don't know about impressive, but at least nice when we have our vetting in Nederland.
Well, I got it confirmed that I will join M/T Balero when I sign off here and I will rejoin Barcarolle when I sign off Balero in July.
After dinner we made the move for our day room.
- Blah-blah, when I was sailing backwards with a colourful hat ...........
- You should have seen me back in the 20's, blah-blah, no sleep and hard work......
I asked the Engine Cadet why he didn't went ashore.
- Boring to go alone and blah-blah.......
- I bet it will sound a wee bit different when your back home in Farmerville. Then you will sit in the pub and tell everyone how you did Mexico.
Well, Captain told me there was Wal-Mart here and I decided to go ashore. I went for a shower and I got dressed in my Hip Hop outfit. I had to wear a boiler suit to the gate in order to get back in on the terminal. My plan was to leave the boiler suit at the gate and done it when I came back.
We took the 15 minutes' walk to the gate, I was wearing my boiler suit and it was hot. We all remembered the PEMEX dressing code. several time they sent back the crew to the ship to dress properly. The problem s not to go in to town but to come back in to the terminal looking like a scavenger.
I asked the guard if I could leave my boiler suit in the gate and he showed me a dressing room. I left the boiler suit in the dressing room and I asked for TAXI.
- No taxi, auto bus.
Well, we walked to the highway and there was a bus arriving at the same time as we did. We had no clue where the bus was bound for, but it looked like it was going in the right direction.
We paid the ticket man 10 woody dollars for the ticket. At first I was a little confused, there was a guy walking around on the bus with a guitar and I thought it was the guy collecting money for the ride.
No AC in the bus or TAXI. Open windows and whenever we passed a Mexican we could hear them singing all by themselves. Hmm, I don't know if the Latinos are especially musical or just raving mad, well, I have to ask J about that.
We got off the bus at the first stop and we stopped a four wheeler.
- Wal-Mart?!! Costa how mucho?
- Ugh??!! Oh??!!
- Super marketa?!
We took off with smoking and screaming tyres. We were never sure if the driver understood where to go until 20 minutes later when we arrived to a big shopping mall. When we left the TAXI he shook our hands and we were also sure that we had paid him enough.
We walked around the mall looking in the shops. We ended up at a big fashion shop with a bar in the middle, a very good idea. We sat down talking about the good old time while sipping on a Diet Drink.
Well, we were soon growing tired of the place and we took a TAXI to the beach. We walked along the beach front and we made one stop for a Diet Drink. At this bar they had a big blue Tequila bottle and I decided to look for a shop where I could by a few bottle like that.
When we finished our drinks we walked towards the town and after 15 minutes we reached a SOXXO or whatever the name is, but it's a Mexican equivalent to 7/11. I managed to ask for Tequila in my home made Spanish.
- We don't have any Tequila, but try 5 minutes walk up the road.
- Gracia, I said and we left
Well, we reached the place after a few minutes, but this place was more like, yeah, you know. A place where they sell shoots in plastic cups to local winos.
We continued to walk for another 20 minutes and when we reached the port area we were about to turn the corner to the area with the more dubious places. Just before turning I saw a Supermarket and I went over and asked for Tequila.
- No, we don't have any, they said looking at me like I was going to rob the place.
I reached for my paper where I had written down the name on the Tequila at the bar and now they understood that I was a serious young man.
I had two girls helping me choose Tequila, they had the Tequila in the blue bottled, but a different shape. they had the big bottle, same brand but a white bottle.
I bought four bottles and they wanted to put them in plastic bags. As a former member of Greenpeace and a guy caring for our environment I told them that I could use the bag I got at the shopping center. Not a wise move as it turned out later.
Well, we made a pit stop at the first bar we passed. I asked for a Diet Drink. Hmm, they only had the regular and I ordered water. On the other places we had been able to talk, but here the music was too loud.
Before soon I realised what kind of place we had ended up at. And this place is a place where the whole idea is to have the customers dead drunk in the dark with loud music. For sure being dead drunk would have made the girls look better, but not good. I was on a mineral water and I could not help feeling sorry for the poor bastard waking up next to one of them. Well, I suppose it will be even worse for the poor bastard's wife waiting at home
Well, sitting there sober in the noise, impossible to talk and we left when we finished the drinks. I went for a TAXI.
- 30 dollar to PEMEX terminal, the driver tried.
- I give you 10, I said.
- OK, he said.
When I came back to the gate the guard let me pass and I went to the dressing room to get my boiler suit. I'm sure the guard were under the impression that I was going to wear the darn thing when walking back to the ship. Nope, I just put it in my bag that had lost the handles due to the heavy Tequila bottles. I took it under my arm and walked to the ship.
Well, I was back onboard 2330 ready for tomorrows vetting inspection.
Friday 16th of March 2007 and my alarm went off at 0720. I must have been
Vet1 noun a veterinary surgeon.
verb (vetted, vetting) make a careful and critical examination of (something): proposals for vetting large takeover bids.
•(often be vetted) Brit. investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness.
Vet a veteran.
exhausted from carry all the Tequila yesterday because I felt a sleep again and I woke up at 0740. A quick shower and I were ready for the vetting.
Our Vetting Inspector came onboard around 9 o'clock and at 11 o'clock I had him in my office. We went through the paper work and then I took him on a guided tour on deck. He seemed happy when we finished at 12 o'clock, just in time for lunch.
I was in my cabin, fresh out of the shower, enjoying a Diet Drink at 1345 when I could hear on the radio that the Vetting Inspector left us. Now I can walk on deck without boiler suit again and it's just about time to go check out the progress on the work on deck.
At 1655 we resumed loading, cargo operation had been stopped since 0105 in the morning. They had no more cargo for us and they had filled up the shore tank during the day.
I watched a stupid DVD in my cabin and when I went to bed I could see the rain through my window. Typical, we have been waiting for rain for weeks to clean off the salt from deck. Now we have filled all out fresh water tanks so we can clean and prepare the deck for the spray painter.
Well, I hope we can spray a layer before arrival to the US and next Vetting inspection.
Saturday 17th of March 2007 and they woke me up at 0650. I took a shower and I went to the CCR to finish our loading.
Paper work and calculations and we could leave Coatzacoalcos at 1235. It was nice even though it was in the middle of the lunch.
We got rid of all our garbage and all of our 52 empty drums in Coatza so I was pretty happy. We also had plenty fresh water for our water blaster and now we can wash deck and spray paint STB side (weather permitted).
We store Caustic in drums on top of our tank cleaning house on deck. We use the Caustic to clean the tanks and now the crew started to move our Caustic drums in order to be able to blaster the top of our tank cleaning house. I was watching them from my cabin while sippin' on a Diet Drink listening to good music.
Moving drums with caustic
Sunday 18th of March 2007 and it was time to discharge our SLOP. I spent most of the day trying to get our ODME to work, but calibration failure every time I started the ODME and a 7 minutes calibration. I gave up at 2 o'clock.
Washing deck was not possible due to our trim and this day will go to the history as a SHITTY day. I was in a bad mood all day long. Fåck, its one step forward and two steps back.
Now there are new rules in effect regarding garbage bins, it's no longer allowed to use plastic garbage bins and we only have three metal bins. When we had cut our plastic and wooden bins in to small pieces the whole poop deck were full of trash and no bins.
At 1015 we held a fire drill and lifeboat muster together with a pre arrival meeting, unbelievable how much stuff they come up with. We also got safety matches, it's no longer allowed with lighters onboard.
At 1515 we held a safety meeting in our conference room and, well, my bad mood didn't become any better. I decided not to worry about the maintenance on deck, as I said, its one step forward and two steps back. You are in a good mood when there is one day of uninterrupted action on deck, well, most of the day there is always coming up something and the painting and blasting falls behind.
Now I understand why she looks like she does on deck and I decided not to let it affect me anymore. It will never be finished anyway and when there is someone cancelling all these jobs on the shipyard it means that there is someone wants it to be this way.
Monday 19th of March 2007 and we dropped anchor at Sabine anchorage at 1150. First they told us that we would enter at arrival and I told the guys on deck to return the grit blasting equipment so we could use all energy to get the ship ready for tomorrows vetting.
What a surprise, a little later they changed their mind and we dropped anchor to wait for outbound traffic. I prepared myself with a power nap after lunch and I woke up 20 minutes before 3 o'clock when they announced that we would advance ship time with 1 hour in the PA system.
I spent the evening on internet and it was time to go on the bridge at 2120. We had all fast in Nederland at 2225.
Tuesday 20th of March 2007 and I was in my cabin waiting for the cargo analyse to be ready. We got a new 2nd Officer and an extra Fitter onboard. Our Deck Cadet and 2nd Officer will leave us tonight.
Our 1st Engineer was in my office during the paper work, they are going to take bunker here and there is some paper work for the engine department as well. At 0150 the cargo analyse were ready and at 0200 we started to discharge our line displacement. After the line displacement we topped off our tanks one by one to 95% and I could return to my cabin at 5 o'clock.
I was in bed not long after 5 o'clock and not long after in knocked on my door.
- IG pressure is disappearing from the tanks.
Problem with the IG and we had to stop discharging for a few minutes, but our Electrician had soon fixed the problem and I could return to my cabin and I was a sleep at 7.
At 10 o'clock it was time to wake up to the PA system again:
- Immigration onboard!
10 minutes later it knocked on my door and I was the last one to see the Immigration Officer. Later on Captain told me that the Immigration Officer had asked him if he had seen my ear rings.
- Do you know how many it is?
- NO! Captain said.
- Do you think its 9?
After my business with the Immigration I could not fall asleep again, I went up and I took the last Diet Drink from my fridge. I have not ordered any new Diet Drinks, I will give up the darn thing.
After lunch our Vetting Inspector went to the bridge with our 2nd Officer and 3rd Officer and I was in the CCR with our new 2nd Officer. He has been on the ship before so he knows his way around the CCR.
When the Vetting Inspector was ready on the bridge he came to see me. I spent time with the Vetting Inspector in the afternoon, checking deck and the CCR and our paper work.
Well, I was happy when I left the Vetting Inspector to our Chief Engineer for a tour in the engine room.
- Be nice to him, he is a nice guy, I said to our Chief Engineer.
After dinner I went to the Crew's dayroom to see how it's going for our Cook giving' up smoking. As no surprise, at least not to me, he was busy smoking.
Smokin' or no smokin', he was in a good mood and the music was blasting high on the Richter scale.
I don't know, it might be the nico kick he got out of all the smokin', but I was lucky that I had my camera easy accessible in
my pocket. I shoot a whole series of the ghastliness.
I had not spend a lot of time in bed lately so I went to bed after dinner, well first I spent a little time on internet and at 7 I was in bed. They called me at 2230 and we finished discharging and the paper work
Our pilot was ordered for 0130, first our Agent wanted to order pilot for 0100 but he thought we would need some more time for the paper work so he changed it to 0130.
Wednesday 21st of March 2007 and I waited with our Agents in my office for the cargo hose to be disconnected so we could finish the time log. At 0040 the hose were disconnected and at 0045 I was in my cabin listening to Swedish radio on the internet. First I listened to the news and our pilot is ordered for 0130 so I had time to listen to P3 Hip hop as well.
We left Nederland, TX at 0155 and we had planned to do the tank cleaning on the way out. Well, we need 3 power packs for the cleaning and then we don't have the extra emergency power required if something happening while on the river. No one can put it like J:
- SAFETY FIRST!
We decided to wait for a few hours and I was in bed at 4.
It's about 5 hours between Sabine Pilot and Houston Pilot and we expect to be there around 10 o'clock. First they said that we would drop anchor until the 23rd and then we would go alongside in the afternoon. Then it was 0500 on the 23rd again. A few days at the anchorage will be good.
We dropped anchor at 10 o'clock and at 12 o'clock the tank cleaning were ready, just in time for lunch. I must admit that I went back to bed at 1330 and I woke up at 3 o'clock.
When I came on deck the crew was busy kickin' behinds. One of the ABs were water blasting on top of Starboard Slop tank. He will get off the worst rust before we start with the grit blaster. Saving times and grits.
The crew had been cleaning deck during my power nap and now the spray painting was in full swing.
I day at the anchor and the ship will look good. I went to the galley to check out what our Cook was up to. It was gambol
and lark as usual and I asked what he was making for dinner.
At the dinner Captain told me that we had received news from our Agent, we will go inside 2100 tonight.
The ship ahead of us had tendered Notice of Readiness without being around and they had searched the ship all day long without finding it. So now we are going inside instead. As I said when they had to tow a ship back out from the Kiel Canal. The Captain had lied about the draft to be able to pass the Canal:
- The last idiot is not born yet.
I returned to my cabin after dinner and I checked my fridge just to make sure there was no Diet drink left. I could see a top of a can under the freezer.
- Ha ha
Well, it was easy not to laugh when I pulled out the can just to discover that it was Tonic water.
Thursday 22nd of March 2007 and we had all fast at Kinder Morgan Dock #2 at 0300. Our SGS Surveyor came onboard and we spent almost 3 hours waiting for the Saybolt Surveyor. I was in my cabin at 0830 when we completed the paper work and line displacement.
I woke up 2 o'clock and a few cases of Diet Drinks were the first thing I ran in to in the stairs down to the mess room.
- What the BIP is this? I asked Mess man.
- We just received provision, he said.
- Who the BIP ordered Diet Drinks? I just gave up Diet Drinks, I said.
I turned around and went to Captain's office.
- SABOTAGE! There are 20 cases of Diet Drinks down there, I said.
- You always carry a Diet Drink can in your hand so I thought we needed more, he said.
When I left the office I could see a box of Snickers almonds WHAT THE.....! MY DIET!
Friday 23rd of March 2007 and we completed loading at 0205. We got 2 Surveyors onboard, one from SGS and one from Saybolt.
I recognized the Saybolt Surveyor from last time in Houston. When he left he said that he wanted us back soon.
- Barcarolle is a nice ship.
He turned around and he told the SGS Surveyor:
- I like that guy so we want them back soon.
We left Houston at 4 o'clock and I was in my cabin just before 5. When I woke up just before 11 we were on out way to Sabine anchorage. Last time in Beaumont I installed Windows Vista and now I installed XP again. As usually I did it without reading HP's upgrading information. I need to flash the BIOS and a lot of stuff. My soundcard and
some other device doesn't work the way they should.
I had made a short video of me opening my last Diet Drink and I know J wants to see the darn thing. So what to do? Install XP all over again and make the video before flashing my BIOS.
But now it's not my last Diet Drink anymore, I got a few cases of the Captain.
- Hmm, as Captain said:
- You are always having a can in your hand.
Well, your getting old and you are changing, not necessarily for the better. Back in the days it was always a bottle of vodka and a entertainment center.
Like I said to the Captain when I saw the box of Snickers Almonds:
- This is the stuff, peanuts is not that good for chocolate.
Well, it all started in Nepal when I was trekking the Himalaya. We were flying up and down the mountains with the Hip Hop on full blast, one of the sharpas was carrying my entertainment center. That was the only thing a brought, my entertainment center, my weekend bag and a pair of new Dr Marten shoes. Not a wise move to wear new Dr Marten in Himalaya, we can imagine the pain.
There was nothing but rice and water to eat. One day we passed through one of those stone age villages. There was a lady selling Snickers and I bought one (or maybe it was a few).
- Oh my God! It tasted good.
Well, after that I always like a Snicker or two.
Well, where were we? Sometimes I get a little carried away. Yea, my last diet
Drink video, just for J. I hope he appreciates my efforts.
Well, when I came out on deck the guys were busy painting on deck. We spray painted the deck and the last part turned a little pink due to mist. They completed the painting when we got the news that we were going inside to Houston, just to finish the painting. It was a wee bit late in the evening and the wet paint was soon covered with dew.
We don't know when we get a new opportunity. Red deck paint turns a little white if the fresh coating gets wet.
Well, they covered the pink part in a jiff and our bollards and leads were also painted black. Ballast vents and washing machine covers were painted blue and the lines to our washing machines was painted green.
During the afternoon I filled ballast. We only have 3 feet clearance to the lowest bridge in the river so I filled 2100 tons of ballast and now it should be at least 7 feet's clearance, I hope!
We dropped our anchor at 1330 and the only news is that we will go inside at 0001, where the BIP do they come up with a time like that?
When we left Houston our Agent told me that we might go inside tonight.
- HEY! I'm not interested in all this meaningless information. They can't even say what day we are going inside and so far the information we have received has all been drivel, I said.
After dinner I went to my cabin for a few Diet Drinks and a few words on my web page. I had planned to watch a DVD but all the video making and writing took longer than expected and before soon it was time for my power nap.
I was in our 1st Engineer's cabin talking with him about India, backpackers and our bright future. When I came back to my cabin I decided to watch a DVD and then go to bed. If I can sleep until 0740 tomorrow it will be like a long morning in bed. The first full night of sleep for many days now.
Saturday 24th of March 2007 and we were still anchored when I woke up, I will not say what time I woke up. 0001, well, I knew it. But we soon got a message saying that we would go in at 1500. First the Pilot said 1530 and then they changed it to 1500.
We had all fast at EXXONMOBILE at 2030 and according to rumours we would start to load in a jiff.
- When will we start? I asked.
- Oh, very quick! As soon as the hoses are connected!
2235 we had the hose and vapour return connected and I and the Surveyor were expected some heavy duty arse kickin'.
- Oh problem with the pressure. Problem this and that.
Last time we were instructed to have maximum 80mbar of IG pressure in our tanks. I released the pressure to 70 before arrival and still they have problems.
Sunday 25th of March 2007 and our Surveyor took a nap in our day room when I came down at 0210. Finally we started to load at 0220 and I was in my cabin 3 o'clock, but I didn't manage to fall asleep until after 5 o'clock.
When I woke up I took a shower and I went to my office. I stopped in the CCR and we had kept an average rate of approximately 7800 Bbls/h. I was in my office when our Agent came onboard. He stopped outside my office holding up a big white cardboard box.
- HEY! I BROUGHT DONUTS!
- YOO! GET OFF THE SHIP! I'M ON DIET!
- I bring them to Captain, he said.
- Don't bring this shit anymore! I said.
Well, every time in the US our Agent brings a box of donuts. It's like in Denmark were they bring Danish and fresh baked rolls. I went, well, I have forgotten where I went but when I was back in my office 10 minutes later the box was on my desk.
Luckily enough I don't like donuts so my diet don't suffer. The last remark was not for J, but for all the beautiful single girls out there!
After lunch I printed our MASP, planned maintenance work and the rest of the afternoon I calibrated our gas detectors.
I did a little work with our MASP computer program and I'm starting to get the hang of it now. When I was looking for our 1st Engineer in the engine room he came running.
- You're a Hacker, please come help me!
Me Hacker??!! Well, I was lucky that I just came from the MASP program in my office because he needed help with this program.
During the afternoon they had kept an average loading rate of 4800Bbls/h and with this rate we expect to be ready with the first parcel 0700 tomorrow morning, until then:
Monday 26th of March 2007 and they woke me up at 6 o'clock, 1 hour until we complete loading the first parcel. I was in the CCR in 2 steps with a Diet Drink in my hand (But first I had time for a shower)
We completed loading at 0700 and not long after Captain and Chief Engineer passed the CCR on the way to the mess room. Captain handed me my new iPod. They were ashore yesterday and I asked him to buy an iPod for me. An 80 GB, 380 US and it was almost half the price of hat I paid for my last 60 GB iPod.
We started 2nd parcel at 0740 and I were soon in the mess room drinking tea telling Cock-and-Bull stories for Captain and Chief Engineer. I did paper work until the coffee break and at the coffee break our new Electrician said that he wanted to go ashore to buy a new SIM card to his phone.
Our 1st Engineer was also going ashore buying cables to his computer so he could connect it to the entertainment center in his cabin. He copied 30 GB of music from me yesterday and now he wants to enjoy the music to the full.
- We will leave at 1 o'clock, are you coming with us?
- I don't know, I said.
- Well, you have to show me what cables I need, 1st Engineer said.
- OK, we see at 1, I said.
I took a quick power nap before lunch. I intended to get 1 hour in bed, but I was 20 minutes late for lunch. At lunch I decided to go ashore with the guys. After lunch I went to my cabin for a Diet Drink and a shower. We were ready at 1 o'clock when our ride arrived to the jetty.
We were 7 of the crew going ashore, 3rd Officer, Bosun, 1 Motorman and 1 AB, 1st Engineer and Electrician. I was happy that my diet had really kicked in even though it was a big van.
Same procedure as last time, we took the 10 miles/h ride to the gate for the security check (Looking at our shore pass)
This time our Agent had manage to send the crew list to the gate so we were through in 2 minutes and we arrived to BEST BUY some 15-20 minutes later.
But God, what's wrong with this town? Beaumont looks like a ghost town and I'm sure that I would have been a drug addict or a full blown alcoholic if I would have lived there for more than 1 week. Absolutely nothing to do, except CROCKER STREET. The hottest night spot in town according to rumours, 1 cinema and a hamburger bar.
At BEST BUY I bought a radio transmitter to my iPod and our 1st Engineer bought cables and a new mouse. Well, our 1st engineer was also looking for a pair of trousers and GANDER (or whatever the Scooby Doo shop is called) was next door. We didn't found any trousers for him and we walked to Wal-Mart
On the way to Wal-Mart we passed a store and we looked in.
- Just trash, our 1st Engineer said.
- Yeah, look at the people coming out! No bags, and look how they are dressed. If they turn down the place there is nothing for us.
We also stopped at a book shop and I found a few PHOTOSHOP magazines, but when I walked towards the counter I regret my decision and I went back with the magazines. Computer magazines are like my language courses, I have plenty but I never read them. I have material for PHOTOSHOP to last me for years and I realized that I don't need any more.
Wal-Mart, hmm, there was nothing we were interested in, except vitamins. I bought 2 jars of B-12. Should do wonders for your hangover. Well, anyway, so I have heard.
- It's almost like I want to get drunk just to try them, I said to our 1st Engineer.
We ran in to our Bosun at Wal-Mart and I gave him my BAG with vitamins. Our 1st Engineer and I left for another shop that we had passed on the way. Well, they didn't had anything he liked and we walked back to Wal-Mart were they would pick us up at 5 o'clock. On the way we passed a KFC and we stopped to ask for a milkshake.
- No we don't have milkshake.
- Do you have ice cream? 1st Engineer asked. (Don't blame me for not leaving the place)
Well, after a few minutes agonizing over the decision STAY OR GO we ordered 2 SNACKERS. Chicken burger, looked delicious on the menu and we choose 2 bottles of water to go with our SNACKERS. When we got the wrappings of the darn thing it was down to a dry bun with something on it.
- How do they manage to make something so small looking so big and delicious on picture? I asked the staff.
- Eating this made it a waste of money buying all the vitamins. We're back on square 1, our 1st Engineer said.
When we came back to Wal-Mart our crew had finished the shopping and now they were busy calling home to the Philippines.
Our ride was 45 minutes late and our 1st Engineer and I gave the driver a hard time. I decided to never use the service again, Motherfånker!
We were back onboard 10 minutes after 6 o'clock and I went to the CCR to check out our rate. 5000 Bbls/h and we expect to be ready around 2 o'clock in the morning.
Well, to complete loading at 2 o'clock and I expect a wakeup call 1 o'clock in the morning, I'm better of trying to get some sleep. Before going to bed I unpacked all my vitamins and now I'm ready to start my new life. I think this is what I have missed, ginseng, Garlic and OMEGA-3 and all the other stuff that keeps me young, good looking and healthy.
Tuesday 27th of March 2007 and they called me at 0115 for 1 hour notice. I was very happy that I managed to get to sleep early yesterday. I was in the CCR in 2 steps, but first a shower and a hand full of different vitamin pills.
We completed loading of our last parcel at 0225 and we finished calculations 0350. They were pulling plenty samples and they were ready 0540. It uses to take 6 hours for EXXONMOBILE to finish the paper work and to release the ship. In the morning the Canal is occupied by inbound ships so we expect to leave in the afternoon.
Well, Pilot ordered for 1700 and later on they changed it to 1500 and I have time for a Diet Drink and a few words on my web page before we are leaving, bound for new adventures in Mexico.
Wednesday 28th of March 2007 and it was time to discharge SLOP again. We had left US behind and I started to ask our Engineers for an extra auxiliary engine so I could start a power pack. Then I had to ask our Electrician to start our IG plant.
The first one I ran in to in the engine room was one of our Mess men, he was carrying drinking water.
- Good morning Boss! I said.
- Good morning Chief! He answered.
Our Chief Engineer and 1st Engineer were in the ECR and I asked for power for one power pack. They had an extra auxiliary engine up and running in no time and our Electrician started the IG and I could start my SLOP business.
We started to discharge at 0915 and we were ready at 11 o'clock and I had time for some paper work before lunch.
It was nice weather even though we had some water spray coming on deck from port side. The crew was busy on deck with the water and grit blaster. It's going slowly forward, one day of work on deck and then 3 days in port when we can't work on deck.
3 weeks at the anchorage with this crew would do wonders to deck, I wish for at least 1 week even though the boredom would kill me. When I came onboard they told me that we were always waiting at some anchorage. Well, so far I haven't seen any of that.
Our Chief Engineer invited us to his cabin for a cold drink before dinner.
- At 5 o'clock, I have 1 Diet Drink left
Well, at 5 o'clock I finished my last paper work and I had to take a shower before drinking his last Diet Drink, it's impossible to enjoy it full out dirty and stinky.
In the evening our 1st Engineer and I watched a movie, an all time low. Or as the 1st Engineer said:
- It can't get any worse than this.
It was a Canadian movie, CRAZY and we found use for the FWD button every now and then. What a waste of time, and I got to bed way too late.
Thursday 29th of March 2007 and we had the sea coming in from port side with some water spray over the forward part of the tank deck.
- SHIT! We need to paint!
It looked like the sun would break through the clouds at times, but it remained gloomy and grey. Well, the guys could blaster and chip on the aft deck
ETA to TUXPAN in the afternoon, but still no berthing prospects. I hope for a full night at anchor so the guys can was the deck and superstructure. It's gets dirty very quickly and in order to make the paint looks good longer we need to clean at least once every fortnight and I take the opportunities when we are anchored.
Well, during the afternoon we had sunshine and the guys were busy with paint brushes and rollers. But still no news or berthing prospects when we were dropping our anchor at 1625.
Friday 30th of March 2007 and it was gloomy and grey outside when I looked out my windows from my Cabin. I was fresh out of the shower and I was in my fridge under the window to grab a quick Diet Drink before going to the mess room.
Well, the sun broke through the clouds and the guys could start work with our paint work on deck. At 10 o'clock 2 Surveyors came onboard.
Good idea! We are saving time, otherwise we have to wait for 6 to 7 hours for the analyse before we can start discharge the cargo. It's easy to understand the benefits of having done the analyse at arrival to the buoy if we arrive 1 o'clock in the morning. Now I don't have to wait for any analyse all night long, we start to kick ass right on and I can go to bed.
Saturday 31st of March 2007 and our Pilot should be onboard at 0030. When I came to the bridge at 0025 I found out that our Pilot been onboard since 2354.
We had all fast at 0116 and we commenced discharging of the MTBE at 0320. I was really happy that I didn't have to sit wait for analyse, ullageing and stuff for 7 hours, I was in bed at 4 o'clock.
20 minutes before 10 o'clock they knocked on my door, 1 hour to go with the first parcel. We commenced discharging 2nd parcel, the big gasoline parcel, at 1140.
Well, discharge rate was far less than expected, we reached 9Bar at the manifold with 3 pumps on 70% and we expect to complete discharging 2nd parcel around 4 o'clock tomorrow morning.
The guys are painting on deck while we are moored at the SPM buoy and I finished the crews working hours for the month so they can get their salary. I was busy until dinner and as always when working with the working hour program I was furious. This must be the worst working hour program I ever used, and the worst part is that it's a Swedish program. I had expected more.
Yet another month and another grey hair.
- Hmm, grey hair is better than no hair.
Well, anyway, we swing right over to April in the year of our Lord 2007
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
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.
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!
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!