Sunday 1st of October 2006 and life was no laugh when I woke up. The hangover was pushing a full force 10. I was glad that I woke up on a hotel and that I had a little time to deal with my agony before returning to the repair jetty and the ship.
Breakfast was served until 12 o'clock so I took the time to totter down to the restaurant where I had a few cups of tea. I filled a plate with sliced peppers, I need all the vitamins a can get. I don't have my vitamins with me, but I took 6 or 7 vitamin pills before I left the ship yesterday.
I can't say if the extra vitamin boost before leaving the ship did anything to alleviate my hangover, but it felt good and important when I took them yesterday.
Well, searching my pockets didn't pep me up, I found a souvenir from the Dutch police. It was not one of those cheap souvenirs, I had to pay 75€ for my souvenir. We were drinking a few ambers at a beer garden and I asked for the dunny.
- Just go out and to the left.
I was soon back to ask for the direction again.
- Just go out and to the left.
- No no, there is no dunny out there, I said.
After asking for the fourth time I gave up. I went out and to the left.
- Ahh, there is a wall!
I was ready and I turned around and there were two police girls.
- I could not find the dunny, I said.
-It's there, they said and pointed at a metal wall.
I could not believe my eyes, I thought it was some kind of art or something by a hash smoking artist. For sure didn't look very good at the middle of the Stadhuisplein.
- You're kidding! I said.
- You have to come with us to the station.
- Can't we settle it here?
I had to walk with them to the station and I gave them 75€ and I was on the way again. Well, I wish I was back in Bribe city. When the police stop you its just to shake their hand with a bill in it and ask:
- Have you had your lunch yet?
For sure I didn't feel very brisk when I steeped to the desk and asked to check out.
- I had one Diet Drink and a potato chips from the mini bar, I said.
I got my bill and I asked for a TAXI.
- It will come in a few minutes.
I waited and waited and they had to call the TAXI three times before the TAXI arrived.
I had not been in the TAXI for 5 minutes when the driver drove me up the wall. I just wanted him to stop so I could get out and throw my self in front of one of the trams.
- How much does that car cost in Sweden? He asked while pointing at a car.
- This car cost so and so much, he continued pointing at yet another car.
- Who cares? I asked.
- Where are we going? He asked for the 23rd time.
- Where are the Police? Can't they come and save me?
Monday 2nd of October 2006 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day. Raining and blowing and I can't say that the enthusiasm was bubbling in the blood. The Danish Serviceman from Danfoss had left yesterday and he had fixed all the valves in our cargo and ballast system. So I kept my self busy testing the valves with a stop watch. I found a problem with one of the valves in the ballast system and luckily enough our Electrician could fix it.
Our electrician has been onboard for about two weeks now and he will leave after the repair jetty. He is not a part of the crew so he has been hired from a Swedish company. Well, it's a nice guy and he's quick to crack a joke so he is contributing, not only with his electrical skill he is also contributing to the social life onboard.
We will get one extra man onboard to night. He will measure something on the top bridge for a new satellite antenna. Tomorrow we will get 3 guys from Sweden. One of them will stay on the ship to put new computer cables onboard, the plan is that we should get internet access 24-7 on the ship and they will remove the server onboard and all ships will be connected to one server in Sweden.
I spent the evening in my cabin philosophizing about the meaning of life until I spotted the Schweizernöt our Fitter gave me yesterday. He signed of today and he gave me a few tins of snus and a Schweizernöt. Well, I turned on a DVD and I opened the chocolate bar. Watching a movie while munching on a Schweizernöt is way better than to meditate over getting old and ugly.
When I finished the movie, yes, I managed to finish the movie without any stop. when the movie was ready I moved in to my bed and I read a few pages in a history book. I got it from our Fitter together with the snus and chocolate.
Tuesday 3rd of October 2006 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day. Not possible for the crew to paint with this constant drizzle. Well, we can find other stuff to do.
Our Superintendent and I were around in the cargo tanks they have completed. We checked the welding for the new supports on the drop lines. When we have inspected and approved the work I can put my best man on the work to paint the welding. We need four layers before we start to load in the tank.
Lo and behold, during the afternoon the sun showed up and we could kick some behinds with the paint. We have to take care of every hour with nice weather now. Autumn is here for sure and now we only expect rain. But I managed to go in shorts until October, that's what I'm aiming for every year. Between 1st of May and 1st if October I don't wear pantalongas. Pantalongas is Spanish for trousers with long legs. I think so anyway.
I was staying at a hotel in Caracas and they were coming with a limo to pick me up. I was up for some evening mischief and I asked the driver to take me to a nice place. Well, they are not famous for speaking English in Venezuela and the driver was only screaming PANTALONGAS all the time. I managed to have a good night out, but that's another story.
Pantalongas or not, we got 3 guys onboard today. They will install internet onboard and they think we will get it next year, they are only waiting for the satellite antenna and we are ready to go. We also got a new Captain and 2nd Officer onboard. The Captain left when I came onboard in Tees and he have been home for 7 weeks, 2nd Officer have been home for 6 weeks and are ready for 6 weeks onboard.
We also have a new Cook and Mess man onboard and I was in the kitchen getting a picture of them.
- I will go and upload my web page tonight and I need I picture of you, I said.
I went to my cabin to get my camera and I returned in a jiff. I returned to my cabin to write about the latest excitement in my life and I will go to the Seaman's club and upload the darn thing after my shower. This might be the last upload for a few days now because I don't know when my next upload will be, but keep your eyes out.
Wednesday 4th of October 2006 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day again. I inspected the last tanks with our Superintendent. Now we are almost finished with the work on deck, only the steam line to go.
Our man from HKF came onboard during the morning. He asked if we wanted to play volleyball on the Seaman's club later on in the evening.
- Nord Carrier is in port and if they stay over night they want to play volleyball. We will go and pick up the crew from Gunilla in Antwerp also, he said.
- We will try to get a team, I said.
- I will be back ay 1245 to pick up Mess man and take her to Botlek stores, he said.
- OK, I will go and charge the battery for my camera, I said.
He will pick up the other crew at 1800 and we will walk to the seaman's club and we will meet there at 1830. I take the opportunity to upload my web page. I meet Motorman and 2nd Engineer at the club yesterday and they had visited my page when I had left.
- We were impressed by your web page, they said when I meet them this morning.
One of our ABs went to the Dentist this morning and when he came back he started to paint the welding in the tanks. I hope we can apply four layers before we leave. But we can't paint the last layer until Friday. One today, one tomorrow morning and 1 tomorrow afternoon and the last one on Friday. We also managed to pressure test our new foam line before the dinner.
I went for a shower after the dinner and we should meet up in the smoke room at 1820 and walk together to the club. Be sure that you can find a report of this big sport event on www.aladdin.st in a few days, and if you're lucky I can go ashore and upload the darn story tomorrow.
When we arrived to the club our man from HKF was waiting for us.
- We are only waiting for the crew from Gunilla. We can put the weight while waiting, he said.
When the people from Gunilla arrived we had to borrow 2 crew members from Nord Carrier to be a full team. There were 9 of us from Bro Jupiter but only 4 wanted to play. Well, our
Mess man was in charge of the scoreboard and our Cook and Electrician supported us with a grunt every now and then.
They told us that we should start with a 5 minutes “warming up” but after 1 minute we gave up. We never became one with the ball and we asked them to start the match right off.
We played 3 sets, or what ever they call and the first team reaching 25 wins. The first match was 2 sets and the second match was 1 set only.
Giving everything for the team
Well, I don't know what to say, our opponents were 18 years old and had 1 extra man on the team. The average age in our team was slightly higher.
- Hmm, not very much, I'm pushing 22 and I was the oldest guy in our team.
For sure we didn't impressed anyone in the first set, and the second set, well, I would be surprised if we impressed anyone in that set. Our referee told us that we had to play one more match, but only 1 set this last match.
Now it was a totally different story, the crowd got noisy, all 3 of them (including our 2 supporters) and we were pretty close to beating the youngsters.
When we were ready we moved in to the bar and I asked our man from HKF if he had planned to come to the ship tomorrow and I asked him if he could buy nico chew for me.
I lit my last cig and I finished my Diet Drink and I said good-bye to the cat in the bar and I returned to the ship. I had a shower and I took my last snus and I attached a nico plaster on my arm. Now it time to start kick serious behind with the stop smoking
Roken is dodelijk
Thursday 5th of October 2006 and it was not nice to look out of the window after my morning shower. Yeah, you guessed it, gloomy and grey.
But when I came out on deck after my morning tea it looked a little brighter and we soon had sunshine. Good, our ABs and Deck Apprentice could continue the painting.
There are plenty painting to do on deck after the change of the steam line. I keep one AB busy during the morning with the second layer of paint on the welding in the tanks.
Our Deck Apprentice, well Deck Apprentice, it's a Deck boy and next time he will be an AB. He was busy chipping the bunker line and the only thing the people from shore are doing is to finish the insulation on the steam line. Deadline is 1700 today and no one believes that they will make it in time. I don't mind staying another evening and I can walk to the Seaman's club for a bonus upload of my web page. But I hope we don't spend the weekend here, last weekend was setting me back 1000€ and I hope we will stay at anchor if we don't get any cargo before the weekend.
It's nice that the workers from shore disappears from the ship, now it's only the guys with the insulation left and I hope they are gone tomorrow. No more people running around asking for this and that. And the deck, the deck is very dirty after all the running around and it will be nice to get it clean again.
Our 2nd Officer on the 4-8 watch is busy correcting charts all day long, so he likes staying alongside. Always plenty work with the charts and publications. The other 2nd Officer is busy on deck, well, sometimes he is interrupted by calls from the crewing department on Stena line.
They asking him about the crew on the different ship, some people want to change from RORO to the tankers and some one is changing from tankers to RORO ship. The girl at the office is new and needs to ask question.
- Send and e-mail to the crewing department. They need a Chief Officer 21st of November, he said.
- Please, don't make me go down that avenue again, I said.
I skipped dinner today, and mostly salad for lunch. I got an e-mail from our Lebanese Doctor She is on training in Switzerland for “ Doctors without borders ” and she will go to some Godforsaken place when she is ready. She had meet one of the Italian Greenpeace activists ( Our by now famous Cuoco de Notte ) and now they want to meet up.
- We can meet in Switzerland the 21st or in Rome the 26th, the choice is yours, she wrote.
Well, I can't make it to the 21st and 26th gives me a few more days with my kick ass diet, I must look good by then, and that's why I skip the dinner. Well, Rome seems like a nice place. Well, I'm off for my shower and then I'm going to upload my web page.
Friday 6th of October 2006 and the weather was not better when I looked out my window today either. I started my day with a bucket of tea and a bun. The bun gave me a little agony and during a discussion with the Cook and Mess man we agreed it was better that I gave them 110€ every time they cought me eating somthing else than vegatables and meat.
Said and done, dinner was strictly meat and salad. I will look dashin when I arrives to Rome.
We were sitting and eating the dinner when the Motorman arrived, he ad been home for 6 weeks and now he is facing a 6 weeks tour of duty before next holiday. We could eat dinner before the pilot arrived. Pilot was ordered for 1800 and we will go to Fawley and load for Port Jerome.
I was happy that we will go to Fawley instead of Antwerp. Antwerp to Port Jerome was the original plan, and its only a little more than 2 hours to the Antwerp Pilot and then 6 hours on the river to the lock, a real killer.
I was in my cabin watching them letting the last lines go at 1830 and I expect to have the pilot onboard for a while when I'm coming on my watch at 2000. Hopefully not more than 30 minutes and then it's just to laugh with tea and music.
I can plan for the trip to Rome, I really looking forward to this one. And maybe it's because of the e-mail yesterday asking for a meeting in Rome I had my strange dream last night. I was dreaming about my Italian bodygyards from Istanbul. I don't know where we were, but I remember us drinking tea ta a hotel or restaurant.
Well, maybe I have to brush up my knowledge of my Italian. I still have my Italian phrase book from Rainbow Warrior and you never know if a phrase or two can come in handy in Rome.
Do you remember the following essential phrases? ( I forgot them long time ago)
Si! Accetto il tuo invito alla cena e il disoteque noche. This means: Yes, I gladly accept your invitation for dinner and disco.
Grazie! Ti penso sei bella ancora. This means: Thank you! I really think you look great too! (This will keep you going during the dinner, embarrassing to sit there and have få.. all to talk about)
Ti amo = I love you! ( A killer on the dance floor)
Hai contanti per me per il taxi? This means: Do you have money for my taxi? (Waking up in the morning without local Scooby Doo Dollars can be a real inconvenience. Ask for a bottle of water as well, you're probably have a hangover force 9,9, she treated you on a evening on the town so you drank like there was no tomorrow)
Hjärta Smärta 90 000
Mi non chiami, chiamero tu. This means: Don't call me, I call you! (Jo du Danne, denna e ju självförklarande. Du kommer ju ihåg när man fick sägaatt man skulle iväg på en Business trip och man skulle vare tillbaka om ungefär en cirka 5 år after allt jävla ringande.)
The above phrases should be enough to keep you going for a while, at least in Italy.
Well, I had no time to study Italian before it was time for my watch. Pilotage was suspended outside due to bad weather and we had to leave the pilot inside the breakers. Well, we left pilot at 2000 and I didn't had to spend time with the pilot.
It was blowing force 8 from WSW and we had the sea from our port quarter. Not much movement, but I didn't bother making any tea. You never know when there is a sea coming that moves the ship so my tea mug falls to the floor. Well, the watch passed by pretty quickly and I was soon off to my bed.
Saturday 7th of October 2006 and when I came on my morning watch the wind had decreased to a force 6-7 and we were about to pass the white cliffs of Dover. We had ETA to Southampton pilot 1500 ship time. I enjoyed my tea and there was even sunshine.
We received e-mail from the agent that the pilot was unable to board us at 1500 due to traffic and they expected the pilot to board us at 1530 st. Well, it was soon 1200 and I went for my lunch, salad. After the paper work I went to bed, I expected a long night with our new 2nd Officer.
I was called for at 1630.
- Hello, it's 1630 and we eat dinner a little earlier today. We expect to be at the jetty at 1715.
We had all fast at 1805 st (1705 lt) and not long after our crew went ashore. No one was representing the deck department ashore, but we don't have time to go ashore. Saturday evening or not.
They wanted us to load 1000m³ segregated from the rest of the cargo because they had loaded high sulphur fuel oil on the pipeline ashore to the previous ship.
- I can load 770m³ in 1 port, if I use both 1 port and starboard we will have 500m³ short to full cargo when we are leaving, I said.
- It's never mind for me, but EXXON have to pay for the empty space in the tanks.
Our Surveyor did the tank inspection and when he returned to the CCR he said:
marvellous causing great wonder; extraordinary
- Someone had done a marvellous job with the tanks!
- Yeah, who's that? I asked.
- You and your lads!
He told EXXON's safety officer that he had never seen tanks that good before and I told him that now he has a great subject to talk about next time on the pub.
Before the Safety Officer left I asked him to sign my Notice of Readiness. I signed the Notice and I told him:
- I will put my nice stamp on it for you as well.
- I have a much bigger stamp than you, he said.
He made me green of envy when he picked up a giant stamp from his pocket.
- It's just because I have a lot more rubbish writen on mine, he said.
2nd Officer filling up the Ship/ Shore check list
After a few hours we they took a decision that it was enough to flush the old line with 770m³ and we could start. But there hade been quite a few people onboard smiling and cracking jokes. Same story every time there is problem ashore. When its problem on the ship its a totally different story, endless problem and nagging and nagging.
At 2110 we started to load and I had our new 2nd Officer in the CCR. He is eager to learn the tricks of the trade and there are no shortcuts if you want to be good.
- Learning with hands on practice, as I told him.
The time turns a wee bit quicker when we are two as well, and I can sneak away for a Diet Drink every now and then when he is in the CCR.
Learning it the hard way
Sunday 8th of October 2006 and I had to stay up even though it was midnight and it was time for my nap. I can not leave the new 2nd Officer all by lonesome in the CCR.
But I hope he will be able to take his own watches at next load port, but we see what happens, as I use to say.
We keep a loading rate on about 1200m³ per hour and we expect to be ready around 10 o'clock, plus a little for slowing down at the end when we top off the last tank. SAFETY FIRST as good 'ol J use to put it.
But I was so confident in our new 2nd Officer that I could run around taking picture of him while he did the loading. He ejected ballast tanks and he was on top of things when the loading operation was in full swing.
I was feeling so confident that I could go to the galley and make me a bucket of Earl Grey tea. I was on a strict salad and meat diet for my up coming meeting in Rome. OK, I had two pieces of chicken, but that is health food. So I got a shock when I came out to do my tea, there was a jar of nutella®.
But I'm proud to say that I left the galley with nothing but my bucket of tea. All this night snacks are a killer for the diet and for sure it doesn't help to optimize the
“ FLAT STOMACH EFFECT ”
“FAT TO FLAT” is the thing I'm working for, and it better go quick. 26th is approaching fast.
Well, finally it was 4 o'clock and I could go to bed when the old 2nd Officer relieved us. I will soon be up again to complete the loading.
I didn't felt asleep until 7 o'clock so I wasn't very brisk when they called me at 0850
- One hour until completion, 2nd Officer said.
I had a very hot shower before I went down to the CCR, I was still tired when I opened my first Diet Drink. Well, we finished loading at 0955 and now its paper work and waiting.
We had not less than 4 Surveyors onboard, one of them was recognising me from Immingham. There was one Indian Surveyor and we went to the smoke room to tell each other stories about the good old time. We cracked a few jokes and it was all laughs until they went ashore with my preliminary ullage report. Now we are only waiting for the final density.
While waiting I could check my e-mail. There was an e-mail from J and he wanted me to come meet him in Singapore beginning of November.
- Of course I will come and meet you when you sign off your first ship, I replied.
I wrote that I will make a reservation on my favourite hotel in Singapore, Swisshotel, former Stamford Plaza. There is a nice night club on the 73rd floor, heluva fun place to be.
First time I stayed there, well, first a word of precaution. This story contains material that might upset delicate people, but remember this happened when I was a young lad.
- Hmm, that's not that long ago.
I was coming in to Mandarin Hotel on Orchard road on afternoon. OK, maybe I looked like a dosser, but they gave me a quick glance and asked:
- Do you know what it cost to live here?
- I'm sure that you will let me know within a few seconds, I replied.
I don't remember if it was 6 or 900 Scooby Dollar, but I checked in. I took a shower, emptied the mini bar and I found it very boring so I went down in the reception and paid my bill and left.
Next time I took the flight to Singapore I boarded my flight with my entertainment center. Well, before soon they asked me to turn of the music. I asked if I could sit in the lavatory. No problem and it are after this flight I found my name with other aviation pioneers. I invented the toilet class. Very good, there was a red alarm button and every time I used that button they brought me a beer.
When we approached Singapore they knocked on the door.
- Sir, we are approaching Singapore. Can you please take your seat?
To make a long story short, they didn't want me at Mandarin Hotel and they called a TAXI. I woke up at a hotel the day after. I didn't have a clue where I was, but I could see that it wasn't the cheapest guesthouse in town. When I came down in the reception I meet and old Canadian (American) couple.
- Where is your music today?
Well, after this I have always stayed at this hotel when in Singapore. Singapore, night life extravaganza, even if it's a wee bit (well, it's a little more than a wee bit) expensive. Always fun and nice people.
Our Surveyor was soon back with the final density and we made the ullage report and he disappeared back ashore.
- Cargo documents will be onboard in about 45 minutes, he said.
I had time for lunch, and even now, only a few hours after I don't remember how the Cook and I managed to get the Spaghetti Carbonara to fall under the group vegetables in the “diet-chart”. It went very quick, but suddenly Spaghetti Carbonara was something of the most healthy you could eat.
Our Cook even made Carbonara the original for me with out mushroom. When he came to the CCR I had asked him what it was for lunch.
- Spaghetti Carbonara, he replied.
I had our Italians and the nightly Carbonara onboard Rainbow Warrior fresh in mind. I was, well, maybe a wee bit cocky when I asked him:
- What's in the Carbonara?
He gave me all the right answers until he said mushrooms.
- Of course there are mushrooms in an original Carbonara, he said.
- No way, I said.
I told him the story of when I ordered a Carbonara at Novotel, I was expecting something extra, But I found mushroom in the Carbonara. I draw the waitress attention to the mushroom. She called the Cook and I pointed at the mushroom.
- There is no mushroom in Carbonara. We can not make up our own recipes and call it what ever we want, I said.
I didn't had to pay and I left for another restaurant.
Our Cook made special the real original Carbonara for me. When I came to the kitchen he told me that he knew that there was no mushroom in the original Carbonara.
At 1345 st the cargo documents came onboard. The Surveyor told me that the pilot was ordered for 1530 and I could leave for my cabin when we were ready with the paper work.
Worth noting is that the Surveyor looked very happy when I took the picture of him with the big stamp.
Before retire to my cabin I went to speak with the new Captain. I told him that the new 2nd officer had looked very capable during the cargo watch. I gave him an evaluation with a golden edge.
I was in my cabin when I could hear us leave jetty 3 in Fawley around 1530 st. I think dead line to make it with the high water in Port Jerome is 2300 and that means arrival at 0200. You don't win a million if you guess that I hope we miss this high water. I prefer to arrive tomorrow afternoon.
But I asked Captain to call me ASAP if we won't make it. If I go to sleep now and sleep until late night I can not sleep again if we have to anchor. Then I will be up all night long and I will be tired tomorrow afternoon at arrival. The best thing is if I can manage to stay up all night long so I can sleep a full night at the anchorage, I will be so brisk so brisk tomorrow morning.
I started a DVD in the afternoon and I gave up after 5 minutes. I moved in to my bed and I felt a sleep.
Monday 9th of October 2006 and I woke up at 0130 by the phone.
- 30 minutes to go, 2nd Officer told me.
I had been sleeping for 8 hours, maybe almost 9 hours. But I needed that after only 2 hours of sleep the last 24 hours. Well, J knows how to express it best: SAFETY FIRST.
I took a shower and I went to the bridge and I could see EXXON's refinery glowing in the dark. We had the first line ashore at 0245 and all fast at 0350. We had done all the paper work at about 0420 and we started to discharge at 0530.
We started with a 200m³ line displacement and we completed the line displacement at 0610. We resumed discharging at 0640 and at 0720 we had topped off all our tanks and we could increase to full speed.
I was off to my cabin, and lo and behold, I managed to connect to the internet with my phone and I could upload my web page. When I came back to the CCR the discharging was in full swing and I relieved 2nd Officer. When our Bosun and Deck boy started to work at 8 o'clock I asked the Deck boy to wash the windows in the CCR.
Our deck boy had been working day time until now, but we decided to put him on watch with the Bosun. Bosun knows everything worth to know on a ship so it's a good opportunity for the Deck boy to learn the tricks of the trade. There are no shortcuts if you want to be good.
Good morning action just outside the CCR
They called from Broström and they told me that we will go out and drop anchor when we are finished here. Then we will go back in and load again for Antwerp 11th of October.
- Can't you try to find something else? Antwerp is the worst place in the world, I said.
He told me that I should be happy, Bro Juno had been anchored for so long they were running out of water and the evaporator was broken down so they could not make any water.
I stripped our SLOP tanks and at 1050 I called our new 2nd Officer. I told him it was about 30 minutes to go until it was time to stripp 1P/S. He was soon in the CCR and he picked up all the tricks on how to intern strip and how to blow the lines.
Our new 2nd Officer had time to eat some Raggmunks before he relieved me at 12 o'clock. Then it was my turn to go eat some nice Raggmunks. I had already made sure with our Cook that it was considered a vegetable. Vegetables is a very big part of the “Diet-chart” in Skåne.
- Excellent Raggmunks, or what do you say Bosun? I asked.
- Raggmunks!!?? Do you call this Raggmunks?
- Yes, it's original Raggmunks from Skåne, I said.
- Bah! The original Raggmunks is from Germany. I will make original Raggmunks for you one day, then you will eat at least 10, he said.
- 10!!?? Are you crazy? Then they better be good.
I could not believe my eyes when he went for a second plate of Raggmunks. I never saw him going for a second plate before. Well, later on in the smoke room I told the Cook that our Bosun was a little grumpy.
- He asked me when we would have Raggmunks, I said.
Bosun was sitting next to the Cook
- I will make Original Raggmunks for you one of those days, he said.
Well, I was off to my cabin and after 2 hours with my web page I went to bed. I had ordered a wake up call for 1630. I took a shower and I was down for dinner. But first I went to the CCR to check on our completion time. We will be ready between 22 and 2300 and we have an opening between 2300 and 0300 with the tide water. After 0300 we can not leave.
Our Cook came to the CCR.
- Go and eat salad, he said.
I found out just how deceptive our Cock was when I should take a slice of tomato. Up comes not only the tomato, there was also a beefsteak attached to the tomato.
- What the BIP is this? Have you hidden the beefsteak under the tomato?
You try to grab the tomato with the fork and you get a big beefsteak at the same time, hmm, doesn't look good for the diet.
Discharging completed at 2200 and I had had the new 2nd Officer in the CCR during my watch. The time turned quick and it was all laughs. We left Port Jerome just after midnight, bound for the anchorage.
Tuesday 10th of October 2006 and we were anchored when I came on my morning watch. It looked to be a sunny day, well, a sunny morning anyway and the boys could paint the last thing on deck. I hope we can finish the paint work we have started before it starts to rain again.
I talked with one of the ABs yesterday and suggested that he should wear a revolver belt ( Hell, I even offered to buy a cowboy hat to go with the belt) styled belt with spray cans with paint of different colours on all the time.
We were drinking Diet Drinks when I broke the idea to him:
- If you see a rust spot you just draw a can with the right color from the belt and make a quick BZZ and the ship looks like new again. Hell, you can even make a name for your self as the fastest spray can slinger onboard.
There was nothing stopping me and after 2 seconds of thoughtful silence I continued:
- When you have made yourself a name as the fastest spray can slinger onboard there will soon be ABs that will challenge you on a duel. YOO! It will soon be impossible to find another rust spot onboard, I said with a smile.
I thought about it and I liked the idea more and more by the second.
Well, I was on the bridge watching the anchor when I could smell that our Cook was frying Falusausage in the galley. I called him.
- I can smell that you are busy frying vegetables, I said.
- You will soon be here, he said.
- Count on it!
When I came on my night watch we were still anchored. I checked my e-mail and there was an e-mail from Laurin. They need a Chief officer on M/T Barcarolle in January and I accepted the offer. This is what I want and now I'm looking forward to a 2 -3 months holiday before my next ship.
There was also e-mail from J and he confirmed signing off date in Singapore. 8th of November I will meet him at the jetty when he comes with the speedboat.
A lot of things to look forward to, but I try to keep my expectations low. Otherwise it's easy to get disappointed. First I will meet the Italian Greenpeace activist and our Lebanese Doctor in Rome, then I will pop right down to Singapore with a quick stop in Funky Town to see our pop star from the Northern Sweden.
If I know this guy right, he is not afraid to come to Singapore for a few days of pure enjoyment and fun.
Hopefully I fly business class and not toilet class, I'm a wee bit to old too fly toilet class with my entertainment centre now.
I wrote an e-mail to my brother, he have 3 Pontiacs ( I think its Pontiac. Well, anyway, some American cars it is) cabriolets and I hope he is home so we can go cruising with loud music.
So well, keeping the expectations low, but I'm excited. Not over excited, then it can end up bad. I was arriving home from Singapore after a few days of heavy partying. No, I was not flying toilet class, I arrived in biz and I had been treated with the white table cloth and flowers all the way. Nice wine and food.
My friend was picking me up at the airport. There was a crowd waiting for me in the city and disco was planned for the night. I rushed through the immigration, not the VIP treatment as J is used to.
I saw my friend and we jumped in to the car and drove off with smoking and screaming tyres.
- Don't you have any luggage?
I had bought a new laptop and I was carry the darn thing (I was looking pretty important)
- Luggage??!! Turn around!
I had to climb over the custom area and go back to the luggage reclaim area to find my luggage.
- How can you be so drunk so you forget to claim your luggage?
- I was not drunk, just overexcited.
After that I had always been careful with the excitement. Excited is good, but not overexcited.
Jaja, Uffe, d dramat kommer du ihåg. Sen blev man ju nästan våldtagen av trollet på vad d där discot hette igen. Gammla goda tiden!
Wednesday 11th of October 2006 and I found the weather to be a gloomy and grey morning when I came on my morning watch. We were still anchored and we had no news about going inside. I hope we go inside at lunch or tomorrow lunch.
I could not check my e-mail because the server onboard was not working again. Well, the computers are down most of the time, and that's even though we had 4 computer people onboard in Rotterdam.
One of them left after one or two nights on the hotel.
- This is nothing for me, he said.
One was talking in the mobile phone telling everyone that this was the best system in the world, refusing to listen to people telling him that it was crap. Well, they can waste unlimited sums of money on this computer system. Well, I don't care, it's not my money.
At 0915 Rouen Pilot called us and told us that the Pilot will board us at 1045. Good, no night work. We started to heave up the anchor at 10 o'clock and at 1050 our Pilot was onboard.
On the way in the sun started to shine, I took down our sun screens on the bridge. But after 5 minutes the sun was gone again. We arrived to Port Jerome at 1230 but we had to wait for our jetty to be free. While waiting there was a ship coming down the river and the ship at our jetty had to wait until this ship had passed.
At 1350 we had all fast and we did the usual paper work. Waiting and waiting, paper work this and that, waiting and waiting. I will miss my sleep again. While waiting I checked my e-mail, well, we will have the BP vetting in Brofjorden.
We will load in Brofjorden after discharging in Antwerp, so a few days more and we will have this BP vetting behind and I will go home soon after the adventure.
Well, finally at 1620 we started to load, they told me that they could give 1000m³/h and we expected to be ready during the morning.
We started to load slowly in cargo tank 5 centre and when we asked them to increase the speed they told us they were on full. Well, completion early morning turned late evening. We will see if they manage to bring up the rate a notch. Well, I'm in no hurry. I wish they can stretch everything long enough so I can sign off in Brofjorden the 22nd of October, convenient with a rented car straight to the door. But I guess I have to stay until Port Jerome next time.
Well well, cykelst�ll. I'm soon off for my watch and I will upload this. Next and last upload will be in Brofjorden.
- Hmm, I think I will call 2nd Officer to cover for me on my watch tonight. I need to sleep.
- Hmm, I like the idea more and more the more I think about it.
Thursday 12th of October 2006 and we were still loading when I came on my morning watch. Average rate just above 600m³/h and it looked like completion around 1600.
After a few hours Captain called. He had received e-mail from the Agent in Antwerp, maximum draft at the jetty in Antwerp was 9,2 meters. Well, we could not load full cargo and the e-mail came in the nick of time. We still had time to stop before we reached maximum draft, a little later and we had to start discharge the cargo.
At 1355 we completed loading and now it was all waiting again. We could not get the final density until they had taken the samples and sent them to the lab for analyse.
We have to start with blowing our lines. The cargo solidifying at 20°C and then it will be like tar and that's nothing we want in our lines.
10 minutes before 4 o'clock they started with the samplings and they were finished at 1640, now I have to wait for the analyse and the final density.
I was running around chasing the ABs.
- She's red lie a fox. All hands on deck painting.
I meet our Bosun/ pump man in the staircase on the way to his cabin.
- Come here! Now you will try some real German sausage.
When we came in to his cabin he opened his fridge. It was full of food, German food, cheeses, sausages and all kind of things. His book shelf was full of German jam and marmalade.
Yesterday I saw him in the galley. He has two big boxes in our Cook's freezer. One box full of German bread, no pumpernickel and one box with sausages and cheese and I don't know all. I was a little disappointed when I couldn't find any pumpernickel.
While waiting I checked our SAAB radars with a UTI. The AB measured the tanks with our Hermetica and I compared the result with the SAAB tank radar. Well, still no final density when we were ready so I went to brush my teeth.
I also got e-mail from Italy. Our Lebanese doctor had asked them to book a tour in the, well, I don't know what it was, but it was some church and something else. Now they wanted to know if I wanted to join the tour, they needed to make an reservation in advance. Well, as I replied, if it's in the afternoon I'm in, but early mornings I will be in bed.
At 1910 2nd Officer called me and he told me that we had the final density and the cargo documents were on the way. I was in the CCR in two steps and we had done the calculation quicker than it takes to say “ final density ”.
We did the cargo calculations and I wrote protests and when we had signed everything I could relax a wee bit. But before relaxing I printed a stability report that I sent to the company. Now the company want a stability report after every departure via e-mail or fax.
Pilot was ordered for 0030 and I had time for a shower before departure, hmm, maybe I can squeeze in a movie after uploading my web page. The plan was to upload in Brofjorden, but our Surveyor wanted to see his picture on the internet.
After 12 hours in the CCR it's nice to enjoy a cold Diet Drink in front of the DVD. I hope I can enjoy a full movie, I'm used to get bored with the movie watching after 20 minutes. But thank good for the fast forward button.
Friday 13th of October 2006 and we had just changed course and entered the TSS South of the Greenwich buoy when I came on my morning watch.
It was a gorgeous morning with sunshine and not much wind to talk about. All boys on deck and things start to fall in to places.
I was off my watch not long after reporting to Gris-Nez traffic and I went for my lunch. I was in a very good mood, delayed with several days and signing off in Brofjorden. Well, when I woke up from my nap they told me that Brofjorden was cancelled, well the rest of my day was ruined.
We dropped anchor at 1735 and now we have to wait for information until Monday. I really hope they stretch this one to the extent that I can sign off on Sunday.
Saturday 14th of October 2006 and we were still anchored when I came on my morning watch. It was a misty morning, but the weather was good enough so all the boys where on deck painting.
Around 10 o'clock Captain came with my money and I'm all set to go.
- I hope we have to wait a few extra days at the anchorage so I can leave in Antwerp, I said.
- I want to have you onboard when we have the BP vetting, he said.
- I really can't care less, I said.
- But you have worked so hard for this, he tried.
- I have done fåck all. It's me boys on deck that have done all the work.
- But you have organised the work!
- I have just been drinking tea and listening to music, I said.
And I added:
- And sometimes I have been running around annoying the boys.
After lunch it was time for a fire drill, abandon ship muster and oil spill drill. At 1300 we assembled at the fire station #1 on the poop deck. And yes, I brought my camera to the crews' enjoyment.
After the fire drill and lifeboat muster we had an oil spill drill on deck. We demonstrated our oil spill pumps for the new 2nd Officer and our deck boy. We filled up an empty drum with water and we pumped the water to our drain tank.
But our pumps will never come to any use in case of oil spill, the cargo will solidify before it reaches the pumps.
When we were finished with the drills I returned to my cabin and a DVD I started to see yesterday. I even tried to sleep a little, but I failed, must be all the Diet Drinks I have been drinking lately.
I went on deck to see how the work was proceeding and she is looking good on deck now. All the old insulation on the tank cleaning pipes is gone. Well, as I said to the boys:
- It looks like new built ship!
Our Mess man and Cook had planned a taco evening in the day room for 1930. here is never any chance to do this otherwise. All the crew is working when we are not anchored and it's a good opportunity to meet and tell cock-and-bull stories to each other.
I ran in to our Mess man in the galley after my inspection of the deck. She was busy preparing snacks.
After the dinner I went to my cabin and I finished the movie and at 1915 I went down to the galley. I helped our Cook and Mess man to carry the food to the day room, but first I kept the Mess man company while she had a smoke in the day room.
I was soon off to my watch so I had two quick Diet Drinks. No one touched the food.
- Why don't you eat? I asked.
It seemed like everyone just waited for someone to start. Well, I had to do it, with just a few minutes to go before my watch I didn't had the time to sit around doing nothing.
I had just taken my first snack when I was hit by the onslaught on the serving dishes.
Well, I'm on diet, I have to look dashing in Rome the 26th Of October. I can imagine our Lebanese Doctors disappointment when she see me arriving to Rome looking like a bag of potatoes. As you understand failure is no option and I will optimize the “ FLAT STOMACH EFFECT ” by cranking up the diet a few notches and I will go “FAT TO FLAT” in a jiff.
Our e-mail is still down, the darn thing broke down yesterday and we have to wait for service until we comes alongside in Antwerp. No contact with the world around us. Hmm, I had a few important e-mails to send. I had to fine tune the Rome set up and I had an important meeting to set up with 2 other guys. Well, I hope the e-mail is up and running in a jiff when we come alongside.
Sunday 15th of October 2006 and it was a hazy morning when I came on my morning watch. But the sun was breaking through the haze. The sun looked like a giant orange hanging on the sky. The boys are out painting on deck with yellow and red paint. The last touch up and she will soon look like a garden on deck.
Click on the PLAY button to listen to more music from France, Prodige namor with Mission - ON FULL BLAST!!
This is the oldest trick in the book, some outstanding colours here and there and the deck look like new. We have small steam valves on deck and just to paint two of the wheels orange changed the whole deck. Those two orange wheels stick in your eye and they make a big deck look good. I can't wait ( I keep my eye on the progress from the bridge) until they finish the yellow and signal red on the manifold, she will look like a cruise ship.
I spent the morning enjoying the sunshine and the sight of the boys working while listening to French Hip Hop and drinking tea. Time turned quick and I was soon relieved by 2nd Officer on the 12-4 watch and I was off for lunch.
After lunch I went to my cabin and I continued another movie I had begun to see. After 10 minutes I moved in to my bed and not long after our Chief engineer called. He needed to fine tune the auxiliary engines and thus he needed me to run a few pumps to get some loads on the generators. We did it earlier this morning but now we needed an extra fine tuning.
When we were ready I moved back to my cabin and I had a Diet Drink. Well, Sunday afternoon and nothing to do. Time turned slowly and I alleviate my boredom by knocking my head in the wall.
I kept my self busy until dinner time and at the dinner Captain came with the idea to play ping pong at 1830. Great!
I played for 30 minutes or something like that, then the pain in my right foot became too much and I gave up. The ankle on my right foot looks like a football.
I returned to my cabin and yet another Diet Drink, I really must stop drink those. It can't be good to drink 5 cans every day. I will start with pure water as soon as my last case is empty.
We were still anchored when I came on my night watch. The wind had increased to a force 6, bit otherwise it was nice weather. I hope we got one more day with sun tomorrow so we can finish the last paint work on deck. After that it's all washing and cleaning of the ship, fun!
Before coming on my watch I had received an SMS from my friend. He had arranged for someone to come and take care of my flowers and trees in my condo once a week. I will save a lot of money and work with this arrangement. Every time I sign off a ship I have to buy trees for a lot of money and when I'm leaving, well, its bye bye to the trees.
- Hmm, to be honest with you, they keep on dying on me even when I'm home.
Yesterday we managed to get our e-mail running for a little while, but the connection broke down before we could get the soccer result. We are waiting for the result between AIK and Helsingborg. Well, I hope we have better luck tomorrow and when we come alongside there will be a service man coming onboard to take a look at the problem.
Monday 16th of October 2006 and we were still anchored when I came on my morning watch. I started the day with 2 bananas and a pot of tea while watching the big orange rising through the haze. The boys are on deck painting and washing and I'm looking forward to yet another day full of kick ass action.
The AB on the 4 - 8 watch started to wash the superstructure in the morning, with the sunshine I hope it will be dry for painting the deck in the afternoon. This ship in incredible, as soon they start the engine everything is black of soot. We need to wash at least once a week, but there is not much time to do it.
Helsingborg - AIK, still no news and I connected to the internet with my phone. 2 - 2, what a disappointment, we had expected much more from Helsingborg. I called the Galley and I told our Cook the result, he was happy about it.
- That's 1 point for Helsingborg, he said.
- But they would have needed 3, I said.
Still no berthing prospects and I'm waiting for our new Deck Apprentice joining us in Antwerp. I got it confirmed that he will join us and I asked Captain to order 60 tins of General snus for me. I already got 8 tins of our Cook, but I'm running alarmingly low.
Just before 12 o'clock our Captain came to the bridge.
- You will sign off in Antwerp, we will not go inside until Thursday, he said.
- Good, I said.
After lunch I went for a nap, but the phone rang not long after I went to bed. We had to do some cargo calculations. Broström want us to see how much balance of Fuel Oil we can load if we load 1000 MT LCB. They also wanted to know the balance of a 2nd grade of Fuel Oil if we loaded 1000 MT LCB and 3000 MT Fuel Oil
I did the calculation and before going to Captains office so we could send it to Broström I went on deck to check the progress with the work. Our manifold starts to look very good. Yellow and red and then we will pain the back in black.
I had a “peptalk” with the guys, and maybe it just my imagination, but it looked like they had put a little bit more “pep” in the work when I left for Captains office. On my way back I ran in to our Cook on deck, he had been watching my “peptalk” and he said: (not without admiration in his voice)
- Look at the guys, they are full of pep. They were even laughing when you talked with them.
When I was finished with our cargo stuff (top priority) I returned to my cabin. I'm not very comfy meeting the Greenpeacers in Rome looking like a bag of potatoes. I took on my shirt, yes, I need a shirt for my constitutional. As mentioned before my new iPod carry case does not pop out as the funkiest accessory around. So I need a shirt with pockets for my iPod. All set and I went out on deck for a brisk walk.
- Lo and behold! Are there much people on the catwalk today or not?
noun a narrow walkway or open
bridge, especially in an
•a platform extending into an
auditorium, along which
models walk to display
clothes in fashion shows.
First I ran in to our Motorman plunging down the catwalk with an empty 25 litres drum. He and our 2nd Engineer are repairing the Emergency Fire pump under the fo'c's'le. I don't know what they are using the empty drums for. But Motorman and 2nd Engineer were busy filling them up with oil and I was busy dodging them on the catwalk.
Dodging them was not the problem, it was that they should talk with me every time I passed them when I had the Hip Hop blasting high on the iPod. But part from that it was very nice walking up and down our catwalk.
I enjoyed the sun and the music and while I roved I searched the deck for work to be done. But the deck looks very good and I'm happy to have three good ABs and a good Deck Apprentice. They will finish the manifold tomorrow and then there is only some small thing to do, no use to start any big operations with the autumn lurking around the corner.
But its strange, end of October and 20°C and flies flying around. I'm on deck in t-shirt and shorts, I can't remember doing that before, well not in Europe anyway. OK, for a short while I have been exposing my self for the public in shorts.
I remember one time in Finland, - 32°C and all the Finnish guys dressed in winter overalls made big eyes when I did tank inspection in shorts and Birkenstock.
When coming down the catwalk I could see 2nd Officer chasing a bird in the CCR with a towel. I prepared my camera, I have two pockets in my shirt. One for the iPod and one for the camera.
I expected plenty excitement so I sneaked up to the
adjective 1 of or relating to an
established set of principles
governing a state: a
• in accordance with or
allowed by such
2 of or relating to someone's
physical or mental condition:
a constitutional weakness.
dated a walk, typically
one taken regularly to
maintain or restore good
window to the CCR, but now the bird and the 2nd Officer were in the office. Well, it was not as exciting as I had expected, but I got a picture of him releasing the happy bird.
I continued my constitutional a wee bit disappointed over the lack of excitement when our 2nd Officer caught the bird. Well, I will soon have my chance again.
I was minding my own business in my track to fitness when I meet our 2nd Officer in the track. He had talked with Stena on the phone and now there is nothing stopping this guy, that's for sure:
- We need a Chief Officers to Stena Primorsk, he said
- You blew it! I'm not available!
- They are kind of desperate, he said.
I can understand that, first they call me and ask, almost threaten me, if I can apply for a job in Stena. Then they don't answer and now on the ship yard they ask again. Not a word since, until today.
- You should have called a few days ago, I said
- Now we need four Chief Officers, he said.
Four Chief Officers! What the BIP are they doing at the office? They ask you to apply for job and no answer and now they call to say they need four Chief Officers, desperately! It's like me sitting on the ship watching a fire without doing anything until its time to abandon the ship. Impressive!
- What's wrong with the company? I asked
I told him that they just missed a 10-12 weeks Chief Officer, none of those wanting to sign off after 2 weeks. Never any visit to a Dentist, old Grandma or “I have booked a time for my laundry ” every time it's time to sign on.
Well, we were still anchored when I cam on my night watch. When Captain came to the bridge I asked him for a case of Diet Drinks.
- Hmm, this takes longer than expected and I'm running low on Diet Drinks.
Tuesday 17th of October 2006 and it looked to be yet another summer day. The sun was shinning bright when I came on my morning watch. What's happening around here? Well, I don't know if I should be worried, for sure not many else are. Driving around in their cars and consuming like there is no tomorrow.
I had the discussion about global warming with a guy not long ago.
- I'm worried about the global warming, he said.
- Well, I'm not worried about the global warning. I'm worried about all the people being worried but continues with the same lifestyle, I said.
It is bizarre with people worried about the global warming while sitting in their car driving around the corner instead of walking when they go to buy a bottle of milk. I imagine sitting there in the car being worried about global warming, but it's the same with smoking and pretty much everything else dangerous. We think we are immortal, nothing will never happen to me.
Well, we are in the shit, consumption is the engine keeping the world going.
My tedious morning watch was soon over and I went for lunch in the mess room. They are waxing the floor in the CCR so this is a no go area and, well, my cabin was the place I went for. I stopped to get a few DVDs in our day room on the way to my cabin.
I started one movie and, well, I was soon in my bed sleeping like a log. I had the strangest dream while cutting Zs.
I dreamt that I was on a ship, there were Italian Greenpeacers and when we came to Copenhagen (now it was Bro Jupiter) there was a floating Smørebrød restaurant moored to our poop deck.
There was an insolent Engineer hiding behind the rest of the engine crew (now we were on a RO-RO ship), all dressed in white Broström boiler suits. Then I woke up.
I spoke with my reliever on my night watch, he had just finished his fire fighting course and he will start a 2 day SAAB radar course tomorrow.
They want me to take this course at the end of November so I will have a cross examination of my reliever when he is coming to relieve me. If it was a good course it can be worth taking it, but if it's a waste of time, well, I don't have to waste my time.
Wednesday 18th of October 2006 and it was gloomy and grey when I came on my morning watch. The drizzle made it impossible to continue with the painting on deck. Nothing else expected this time of the year.
We had to make this rainy day a cleaning and washing day. We also took the opportunity to grease a little. One of the ABs and our Deck boy started with the fire hydrants, a drop of oil makes sure the hydrant will be easy to operate.
Our Mess man had cleaned the floor in the CCR and the ship's office and the floor was like a mirror. Would be a shame to put back dirty carpets on the shinny floor. We don't want any doubt of what flag we fly. Some ships you have to go check the flagpole to make sure it's not the Panama Greek flag hanging from the flagpole.
You can imagine coming onboard a ship and the first thing you see is the Captain
adverb in a literal manner or
usage: In its standard use
literally means 'in a literal
sense, as opposed to a non-
literal or exaggerated sense',
as for example in I told him I
never wanted to see him
again, but I didn't expect him
to take it literally. In recent
years an extended use of
literally (and also literal)
has become very common,
where literally (or literal) is
used deliberately in non-literal
contexts, for added effect, as
in they bought the car and
literally ran it into the
This use can lead to
effects (we were literally
killing ourselves laughing)
and is not acceptable in
standard English, though it
accounts for more than 20
per cent of use in the British National Corpus.
adjective 1 taking words in their usual
or most basic sense without
metaphor or allegory.
2 (of a translation)
representing the exact words
of the original text.
being lifted ashore in the crane dead (literally)drunk. The first thing you would have done is to run to the poop deck and check the flag.
- Lo and behold, it's a Swedish flag! It's not possible.
You expect those things on more dubious flagged ships.
Well, our Cook paid us a visit on the bridge. We are running low on the provision. We had not expected to be anchored for so many days. We expected to be alongside last Friday and we are OK until the weekend. But we have to add thing to the list the longer we stay at the anchorage.
Our Cook had just left the bridge when they called from Broström. Now we will not get any information until next Monday.
- WAHT!!?? I need to be in Rome!
Obviously EXXON had made a miss in the planning, no one is expecting us and our cargo. Captain told them about our problem with the e-mail and provision. So on Monday when we get new information we will see if we get a boat with provision and the service man for the e-mail. I suggested that they could send my reliever at the same time.
Well, while waiting for our tardy arrival to port my watch was slowly coming to an end and it was time for lunch. One thing is for sure, now it's getting a wee bit tedious at the anchorage.
- Hmm, the only fun thing to do is to irk our crew a little.
Well, I don't have to tell you that we were anchored when I came on my night watch. Our e-mail is still down and I had to confirm our plans for Rome so I called our Italian Campaigner.
He told me that our Assistant Cook will join in, she was only waiting for the confirmation that I was coming. He told me that she had got a mobile phone, that was a surprise, she told me that she would never get a mobile phone. I asked him to send her number as an SMS to my phone.
- What's your number? Is it the same number you are calling from?
- No, I'm calling from the ship phone, I will send it to you by SMS in a jiff, I said.
I tried to send the darn SMS, but all I got was a “ Failure, message not sent ”.
- Måtherfåcker! What the hell is wrong?
I dailed *111# and I got my balance, 0.32 Scooby Dollar left. Hmm, my last upload to my web page did set me back 100€. My SIM card is flat and then it was not strange that I hadn't managed to check my e-mail. I dashed down in my cabin and I was back on the bridge in a jiff with more money that I could load my SIM card with.
Having a social life don't come cheap on a ship. Well, I sent him the SMS and I had her phone number in a jiff.
- Hmm, yet another number I have to erase when it's time for a beer.
Well, I'm waiting for the first mobile with a alco lock. You have to blow in the phone before you can turn it on and after 2 beers you're better off leaving the darn thing at home.
Ask J, the good ol' SMS poet. He done his share of SMS poetry when under influence of
noun [mass noun] literary work
in which special intensity is
given to the expression of
feelings and ideas by the use
of distinctive style and
orange juice . And nothing good has so far been coming out of those SMSs, only agony and pain.
Well, where were we? Oh, yes, I called her and I spent most of the watch talking with her and I will meet her at the train station in Rome next Friday. I told her that I will wait on the platform with a bottle of white wine and a few wine glass.
Thursday 19th of October 2006 and it felt like I knew the anchorage when I came on my morning watch. I don't know about the rest of the crew, but I'm ready to leave now.
Gloomy and grey weather, no changes there either. But I must say that it looked like it could be a sunny day, I hope so.
Well, I knew my watch was soon to end when I could smell the food from the Galley. Hmm, the good smell made me hungry and I made my self ready to leave my watch. A gloomy and grey morning had become a sunny midday and the ABs were on deck painting and washing.
I tried to sleep after lunch, but I didn't manage to fall asleep. I went up and I got a shower before going on deck to see how the painting is going.
Our Deck boy and the AB on the 12-4 watch are painting on the manifold and I said:
- She looks like a new built ship just delivered from the shipyard!
I told them that it was one of those space thing, you go to bed on a wreck and you wake up on a new built ship. I was happy with the paint work and I went forward to pester one of the other ABs. He is busy washing deck and the deck looks very good. In river Seine the water is very dirty and the mooring ropes are full of mud when we take them back onboard. So the deck has been brown of mud, but now it's back to the original red colour.
Well, it starts to look like a Swedish flagged vessel again and I'm ready to go home. I just don't hope we will stay here so long that I miss Rome, no, miss Rome is not an option and I must be there on Thursday.
After dinner I went for a constitutional on deck, I had one hour before the Ping Pong game started at 1830. I played for 30 minutes and then it was time for a shower and my night watch.
When I left my watch at 1200 it was blowing a force 6 from the South, during the day the wind subsided to a light breeze. In the evening the wind increased to a force 4. Nothing happened during my night watch, well, nothing exciting.
Friday 20th of October 2006 and this is getting very boring now. Two days at anchor is OK, but now its way too long. I experienced yet another sun rise at the anchorage, but after an hour or so the sky was covered with grey clouds.
Spending all days drinking tea and we are running low on the bridge. We are out of milk so today I drank my tea without milk, steppin' up my diet a few notches. When I returned to the bridge after being in the galley getting a box of Earl Grey teabags our Captain was speaking with the Seagoing Personnel Manager. He handed the phone to me:
- We need a Chief Officer on one of the new ships, he said.
Well, I told him that I'm off for a ship but that I would check the dates to see if it's possible. But what about my holiday? I have to think this through and come back to him.
But I have plenty to do when I'm signing off, get a new passport and I have to get a US visa. I hope I can order a new passport before my trip to Rome, well, I have to be in Sweden before going to Rome so I can buy Swedish souvenirs.
After dinner I went on deck for my constitutional. It was nice walking up and down the catwalk listening to music. But after 30 minutes it started to rain and, well, after 5 minutes in the rain I gave up.
I took a shower and I started to install Windows® on my second laptop, yeah, you guessed right, my FUJITSU. A piece of crap, good for nothing. Since I bought this computer I have encountered inadequacy that I never experienced before. Problem from day one and I will never buy any computer at SIBA or Computer City anymore.
I had expected more from a 2000€ computer and, well, the only use I found for the darn thing was to play Hip Hop with it and I will connect it to my entertainment centre and use it as a Juke Box. At least my neighbours can appreciate it.
The only good thing happened today was the news that we will leave the anchorage tomorrow evening. We will transfer our cargo to a ship in Antwerp. Our relievers will arrive tomorrow and I will be off the ship on Monday.
Saturday 21st of October 2006 and the first thing I did before going on my watch was to check the temperature of the cargo in the CCR. They have had problem with the boiler in the engine room the last two days.
Three roller bearings on the burner shaft have seized during the last two days. We cranked up the cargo heating yesterday night so we could rise the temp on the cargo as quick as possible just in case the boiler stops again. The cargo should be 53°C at discharging and this morning it was just over 54°C. I will continue the heating a little more and if the boiler gives up we have enough heat to let the temp drop until its time to discharge.
Well, it was a sunny and windy morning and as it looks now my last anchor watch for this time.
It will be nice to leave, but I wouldn't mind staying tonight as well. Now it looks like the pilot will board us at 1800 and that means arrival in the middle of the night. No sleeping, but tiredness is nothing a few Diet Drinks wouldn't help to cure. But the best would be to take onboard the pilot at midnight and to be alongside 0800.
Well, lunch time, and according to rumours it is Skånska meatballs so I'm out of here.
My flight details were posted on my door when I woke up from my afternoon nap:
SN2261 23OCT 1 BRUCPH HK1 1135 1315
We were still anchored when I woke up and the latest news is that pilot will board us between 2200 and 2300, good, and no middle of the night arrival.
When I came on my night watch I got it confirmed that the Pilot will board us at 2200. I called our 3rd engineer and I asked him to have the engine ready at 2100.
I had just hanged up the phone when the Pilot called and cancelled the pilot. 30 minutes later they called back and told me that the Pilot would board us at 0430 tomorrow morning.
Sunday 22nd of October 2006 and we changed Pilot in Vlissingen when I came on my watch at 0800. The Pilot had been onboard since 0430 when he came onboard at Wandelaar and now it was time to change.
It was a nice morning and I chit chatted away the time with the Pilot and before soon we arrived to the lock. We were bound for the new port West of River Schelde. Exciting, I have never been there before.
They are building a new port West of Schelde and the new container terminal will be able to handle 6 million containers per year. But as usual in Belgium they are delayed. One terminal is ready and the second one next to the first one is delayed.
They vacated the whole village next to the terminal just to build the second basin. So the village was a regular ghost town until they realised that they were delayed by many years. So half of the village moved back and according to our Pilot half the village is like a ghost town and the other half is occupied. But no one is doing any repair or renovation on the houses so it looks quite strange.
I went ashore in the look to check our draft, and I could not resist from taking a picture of our fresh painted manifold. Thanks to our good crew the ship looks Swedish again.
Well, for sure the way Bro Jupiter looks now I didn't had to be red faced when we approached M/T Chemtrans Moon, the ship that we should transfer our cargo to. And I was right, I was on the manifold positioning the ship when the Croatian Officer asked if we had a job for him.
We had to wait for quite some time before we could go alongside, they didn't have the fenders ready. We were alongside and had all fast just before 1500. I did the paper work with the Loading Master and then we went onboard Chemtrans Moon to complete our checklists. I was meet by a nice and helpful crew. They were all Croatians onboard, except for one guy from Ukraine.
They had been going around collecting VGO in different ports in Europe for USA. They expected 12000MT from us and I told them that B/L was 12 300 something. So calls had to be made to USA before we got a “ Go-ahead ” to discharge our VGO to Chemtrans Moon.
We completed our paper work onboard Chemtrans Moon and I returned to Bro Jupiter to wait for the Surveyor. When we were finished I returned to Chemtrans Moon with our cargo figures.
I did the paper work and talked about the good old times with the Croatian Chief Officer onboard Chemtrans Moon. He asked if I wanted something to drink.
- Coffee? No, I don't drink coffee but if you have a soda water I would like one, I said.
- We have soft drinks.
- I can have a Diet Drink, I said.
- Diet, we don't have any thing Diet onboard, he said laughing while patting his belly.
When I came back onboard I got my self a haircut and I loaded a washing machine with my laundry. My last laundry onboard before leaving tomorrow.
When I finished my dinner the cargo hoses were connected and we started discharging at 1800 and this is pretty much the last thing I will do onboard Bro Jupiter. Will be nice to come home, but I'm not looking forward to the flight and Brussels airport.
Monday 23rd of October 2006 and they woke me up at 0600. I and the off signing AB had to go
Brussels Airport, Welcome to Europe".
(19 October 2006)
Brussels Airport, 19 October 2006 - Today, Brussels Airport revealed its new name, positioning and logo.
Until now, the airport was lacking a real name. In fact, it had too many names, ranging from "Zaventem" over "Brussels International Airport" to "l'a�roport national". An airport as strong and competitive in global civil aviation as Brussels Airport deserves a strong brand.
As from today, all airport communication will be branded with "Brussels Airport, Welcome to Europe".
It is the intent that the many companies at the airport will operate under a "Brussels Airport" umbrella: one name, one brand, supported and shared by the entire airport community - over 20.000 people strong.
The airport operator BIAC is renamed The Brussels Airport Company.
Building on its strengths, Brussels Airport will be positioned as European, Efficient, and Welcoming. For sure you need a warm welcome after trotting all the way from the check in to the gates (several KM and no trolley to be found any where)
Over the past few years, passengers have consistently ranked Brussels Airport among the top five European airports and voted 'best airport in Europe' over all of 2005
Brussels Airport is the gateway to the capital of Europe, directly connecting thousands of passengers to over 200 cities across Europe and the world, each and every day.
Passengers consider Brussels Airport as one of the most convenient, efficient and comfortable airports in Europe. A place where everyone feels welcome.
Also Brucargo at Brussels Airport is considered one of the most efficient in Europe, with a unique on-site presence of the major logistics providers. It now ranks as the fifth largest cargo airport in Europe. Who gives a shit?
Presenting the new brand name and positioning, Wilfried van Assche, CEO of Brussels Airport, stressed: "We want this airport to explicitly stand for the three key values we already cherish for many years: First, as the airport of the capital of Europe, we want our airport to feel and look European. Second, as the airport that is recognized and awarded as an airport where things work and work well, we want our airport to stand for Efficiency. And third, as the airport already getting the highest marks for the friendliness and courtesy of its staff, we want to continue to build on our multilingual service performance: Brussels Airport is Welcoming. Try to ask for Wireless internet for example:
- Uhh, I don't know??
"Our ambition is simply to become the MOST efficient, European, and welcoming airport in Europe. With the help of the 20.000 people who take pride in working at this airport, I have no doubt we can achieve this ambition. To support these goals, we give our airport a clear identity, starting with a strong name".
"BIAC as our company name and its logo cease to exist. The renaming of our company is a signal to everybody that not only the airport but also the airport owner and operator are changing. We want to be less the airport authority which establishes and communicates the airport rules, and more the partner that assumes a supportive leadership role in lifting the entire airport community, focused in everything it does on pleasing the airport customers."
As from tonight, the roll-out of the logo has started. The Brussels Airport brand has already started to become part of the passenger's travel experience.
to the airport early morning and a TAXI was ordered for 0700.
6 o'clock in the morning and, well, I was drowsy even after 20 minutes in a very hot shower. No more
Diet Drinks in my refrigerator and no time for tea.
When I left my cabin I only had to carry my two computers and a small wheeled unit. I prepared myself yesterday by bringing down my big bag when I showed the Chief Officer the CCR.
Our relievers arrived just before midnight and I got 60 tins of General Snus.
I handed over 1200 Scooby Dollars to our new Apprentice that had brought the snus. When he opened his bag I was impressed. His bag was smaller than mine, but he had twice as much stuff in his bag. Well, most of it was snus.
- You really know how to pack your bag, I said impressed.
- My mother did it for me, he said.
I had my handover to the Chief Officer and he took over the responsibility and I was off duty.
They completed discharging when I came town in the CCR and we said good bye to the crew. Well, after hugging and crying I left the ship with the AB. We came down to the waiting TAXI 30 minutes too late.
It was a big adventure to climb over Chemtrans Moon with all our luggage. DARN! Was the luggage heavy or what? When I “ TEST ” lifted my bags in my cabin they were OK, but after 5 minutes on deck they were real killers.
It took us about 90 minutes to reach the airport. There were heavy traffic on the highway and at times the traffic was coming to a full stop.
Brussels airport, gates are miles ahead.
Well, at Brussels airport everything was the same, even with the new LOGO the Brussels International Airport is the worst airport I have ever been visiting. I really appreciated my wheeled units when I was walking to the gates together with the AB. We had to wait for about two hours for our flights.
When I arrived to my friend's apartment the floor was covered with mail, only bills. It took me two pots of the to work my way through all the bills. When I was ready I called our Assistant Cook. She told me that she had asked for a day off next Friday so she can be in Rome on Thursday.
- Even if they don't give me a day off I'm going to Rome on Thursday
I don't know what happened with the time, but suddenly it was almost 3 o'clock in the morning.
It is time for my holiday, it was a long time since I had holiday now. Hang on, it might be fun!