“The postings on this site are my own and don't represent Norden's position, strategies or opinions. All views are my own”

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior



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Friday 1st of March 2024
and we are, as no surprise, still anchored when I come to the bridge 4 o'clock in the morning. Still no berthing prospects and I would not mind staying anchored here for a couple of days.

We get berthing prospects in the afternoon and it looks like the Pilot will board us tomorrow at 10:00. But we will see, nothing is for sure until the Pilot is on board.

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Saturday 2nd of March 2024
and we are, as no surprise, still anchored when I come to the bridge 6 o'clock in the morning. I call the Port Control at 7 o'clock and they have no news for us about the pilot boarding time.

Later on we get an email, “MAYBE” between 12 and 13 hundred. Good, we are busy taking on board fire-fighting equipment that we sent ashore during the night for shore service.

They will bring ashore the rest of the equipment and we will see if we can get it back before we go alongside Pengerang Terminal.

Well, did not take long before we got revised berthing prospects. Now it is berthing late PM.

We can as well come alongside, not one single bird spotted on the anchorage. Well, actually, since we arrived to Singapore. Only a few crows at the VOPAK terminal.

Pilot changed again and the pilot boarded us at 17:54.

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Tuesday 5th of March 2024
and we were on the way towards Australia when I came on the bridge 6 o'clock in the morning. Almost 7 o'clock in the evening before we could leave yesterday.

And we had to drop anchor after departure to take on board lub oil and our CO2 bottles for the engine room fire extinguish system. I was well asleep by the time they left early morning.

We were steaming SE when I came on the bridge and we had just left Singapore Strait behind. So I was steaming south with Indonesia on my right hand side. Quarter to 8 and I had one Red-footed Booby showing up and started to hunt in front of the boat.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Coming on the bridge in the afternoon it is gloom and grey for long as I can see. There had been showers passing all day long and no birds for long as I could see.

I spotted one bird on deck but I could not see it again. But after 6 o'clock there was some movement and I could see one Blue-tailed Bee-eater sitting on the rail on the cat walk. And I reported the bird to eBird.

Plenty clouds in the sky and I could see lightning in the horizon.

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Wednesday 6th of March 2024
and we are entering the Java Sea when I come on the bridge 4 o'clock in the morning. We met a lot of northbound ships and there were plenty fishing boats.

We had a very heavy shower passing us just after 6 o'clock and I was not expecting any birds this morning. So, I was happy to see the Blue-tailed Bee-eater 10 minutes after 7 o'clock.

Most likely the same bird I spotted yesterday evening, resting on board during the night. 20 minutes later and I saw the bird flying away over the Java Sea.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater

I will inspect the ROT tank today so we will take this opportunity to held an ENCLOSED SPACE RESCUE DRILL. All crew came to the CCR at 10 thirty and we lowered a “dummy” to the bottom of the tank after the PEP meeting in the CCR.

We sound the alarm at 11:11 ONE MAN IN THE TANK!!!

Our Super Hero, the Chief Officer threw himself down the tank to rescue the poor guy. But I had time to advice the crew to always work hard. Or we make mistake them for someone in need of The Two Ton Supermanhelp and we might launch a rescue operation for nothing.

I was down at the bottom and as soon as the wire and hook were lowered to the bottom, I connected the hook to the safety harness and he was soon on the way up to safety in a jiff.

I always instruct the crew to wear a harness when entering a tank, it is easy to connect them to the wire. We tried to done the harness on the “dummy” before we starting to lower it down to the tank.

Just to show how it is almost impossible to done a harness on a person in the tank. Will take a long time and we do not have any time to waste rescuing people.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Approaching Sunda Strait

Coming on the bridge in the afternoon and we are steaming towards Sunda Strait between Sumatera and Jawa. I am steering straight towards the volcano on Sumatera. I have no clue what the name is as the name is not mentioned on the electronic charts.

I really liked the old paper charts with a lot of interesting information.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Southernmost volcano on Sumatera

I called the VTS 20minutes or so after 7 o'clock in the evening and we entered Sunda Strait 10 minutes or so later. And as no surprise, the entrance to the south bound lane was full of fishing boats. And I think they are fishing octopuses with the strong lights.

Some with lights and some without lights.

I managed to navigate my way through the fishing armada and we were soon having three ferries leaving Sumatera bound for Jawa. The 2 first ferries passed ahead of me and the last one just behind me.

We were south of all problems when I left the bridge at 8 o'clock, and tomorrow, I hope to be able to report some birds from the Indian Ocean.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Fishing boats in Sunda Strait

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Thursday 7th of March 2024
and we have left Sunda Strait behind when I came to the bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning. Steaming towards SSE and Australia in the Sunda Trench, Indian Ocean.

Glook and grey for long as you could see. It was dark, pitch dark, but it was raining so I did not expect to see much birds during the morning.

At 06:50 I could see two birds on our starboard side. We are about 127km WSW of Ujung Genteng, still dark, but I was lucky, it was Brown Boobies and they are having a white body with a dark head. So, I was possible to ID the birds in the dark.

Brown Boobies
Three Brown Boobies

At 06:55, five minutes later we were joined by a third Brown Booby. They were flying together and they were coming aft like the Masked Booby. Something I never seen before, they are always in front of the boat, except for when diving for a fish.

Today they came back, almost all the way to the bridge, but too dark for pictures.

Brown Boobies
Brown Booby just missed to catch a fish

At 07:10 there were 4 Brown Boobies and at 07:20 there were 5 Brown Boobies and one Red-footed Booby. I was happy to have something to report to eBird. But I would not mind anything else than the boobies.

At 07:25 we were joined by a second Red-footed Booby. Gloom and grey so no light for taking pictures. But I am pretty sure they will be with me in the afternoon.

When I left the bridge at 8 o'clock there were 6 Brown Boobies and 2 Red-footed Boobies.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

We were approaching Christmas Island when I came on the bridge in the afternoon. I could count to at least 20 Brown Boobies and 4 Red-footed Boobies. They were hunting around the ship and it was impossible to count the boobies.

But at least 20 Brown Boobies. Most likely many more and I have something to report to eBird. But again, I would not mind something different from boobies.

Brown Boobies
Brown Boobies

Brown Boobies
Brown Boobies

Brown Boobies
Brown Booby

Christmas Island
Christmas Island

After consulting my “Oceanic Birds of the World” I decided to add 5 Abbott’s Boobies to my check list. I thought it was Red-footed Boobies when they came. Flying low, 3 together very close. I had more than 25 boobies hunting in front of the boat. Brown and Red-footed.

But these 3 just continuing, crossing ahead flying towards Christmas Island. I did not think about it until I discovered the bill, light yellowish totally different from the Red-footed.

Later on there were 2 more, flying same style, very low and close together and did not bother about hunting with the other boobies. Anyway, Abbott's Booby is a new bird for me.

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Friday 8th of March 2024
and we are about 250 km SSE of Christmas Island when I come on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning. A cup of tea waiting for the daylight and the boobies.

I started my eBird app at 06:26, still dark but I could see 3 boobies in the mast forward. still not possible to ID the birds in the dark.

Brown Boobies
I can see at least 3 boobies sitting in the mast in the dark

Brown Boobies
A few minutes later and they start to hunt

Brown Boobies
Two Brown Boobies resting in the mast


A few minutes later they take off to start hunting. And as I noticed yesterday, they are very close together and I suspect it is because it is dark. They separate more and more while the day light progress.

We were soon joined by a fourth Brown Bobby and 10 minutes or so before 8 we were joined by a Red-footed Booby. I turned off my eBird app and I left the bridge at 8 o'clock.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Electrician on the bridge changing a telephone

Coming on the bridge in the afternoon and I discover that our Electrician is changing the telephone on the bridge. The old one leaves a little to wish for so a new is required.

I discover one Red-footed Booby resting in the mast forward. I enjoy my afternoon tea and I see the Red-footed Booby taking off to hunt for a bit before returning to the mast.

We have good sunlight and I can see the red legs clearly so no question about the ID of the bird.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

We are in the middle of the Indian Ocean 700km to Christmas Island and about the same to Australia. So I had not expected many birds, but there was plenty.

I could see white boobies in the distance. We were joined by one Brown Booby and later on another bird showed up. The booby attacked viciously and I was surprised. Never seen a booby attacking like this before. The bird was about the half size of the booby.

I never managed to get any pictures and the bird was reported as a bird s.p. in eBird. A little later on and I had a group of 20 birds flying across in front of me. Flying fast and low.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

I managed to get a few pictures, too far away and I used TOPAZ MEGAPIXEL to blow up the pictures. I sent them to birdforum and they were soon able to provide me with the ID. A new lifer for me, second since we left Pengerang.

When I left the bridge it was only the lonely Red-footed Booby sitting in the mast forward.

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Saturday 9th of March 2024
and at 06:13 I could see the Red-footed Booby leave the mast. It was pitch dark, but I could see the white bird in the reflection from to top light for a second.

It was getting light and a few minutes later I discovered that there were two Red-footed Boobies, so, obviously there had been two of them sleeping on board.

One of them disappeared around 7 o'clock and the lonely booby was resting in the mast when I left the bridge. And I am excited to see what the afternoon has to offer.

The afternoon/ evening had nothing to offer, except for soome increasing swell that turne quite high. The ship slowed down to 9 knots in the swell and we had green water on the fo'c's'le at times. So we will be a bit delayed to Australia.

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Sunday 10th of March 2024
and we are at the Cuvier Abyssal Plain, about 380 km west of North West Cape in Australia. Pitch dark at 4 o'clock in the morning and I was enjoying my tea while waiting for daylight to break.

No birds in the afternoon yesterday so I really hope I can get something today.

At 06:45 I had one Red-footed booby coming to hunt in front of the boat. After a few minutes the bird landed in the mast and started preening. And at 7 o'clock the bird was gone.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Just after 4 o'clock in the morning

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Turning in to daylight slowly

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Now there is enough light to see any birds

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby preening in the mast

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby preening in the mast

Preening

is a maintenance behaviour found in birds that involves the use of the bill to position feathers, interlock feather barbules that have become separated, clean plumage, and keep ectoparasites in check.

Though primarily an individual function, preening can also be a social activity involving two or more birds, which is known as allopreening.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I was just about to leave when I spotted another bird and I managed to get a few pictures, not good, but good enough to see that it was a Shearwater.

I will have to ask birdforum for assistance with the correct ID of the bird, but it looked like the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters I spotted the other evening.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater


Coming to the bridge quarter to 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I spotted 2 dark brown gull sized birds hunting at the boat. A third spotted 5 minutes before 6. So quick so no time for camera.

I reported them as Shearwater S.P. in my eBird app. No pictures and way too fast for any ID. At 18:30 the fourth Shearwater arrived and darn, they are quick! But look to have pattern on back and wing like previous Shearwater reports with pictures.

Rough sea/ swell with force 6/7 wind

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Gorgeous evening on the Indian Ocean

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Monday 11th of March 2024
and we have strong winds from the south, force 7 when I come on the bridge in the morning. I enjoy my tea waiting for the day light. It takes until 06:45 before I spot the first Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

I started me eBird app at the same time. Dark brown with pattern on back and thus I reported it as a Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

2nd bird arrived a few minutes after and at 7 they were gone again. At 07:45 a group of 4 arrives and they are soon disappearing. They are very quick and it was impossible to get any good pictures, but I tried to get a few pictures.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

We had our drills at 10:30 and we managed to complete some o them and we will have to do the rest tomorrow. Emergency steering and lifeboat muster remaining for tomorrow.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Firefighting TEAM #1

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Firefighting TEAM #1

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Firefighting TEAM #2

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Firefighting TEAM #2

Afternoon and I had plenty Shearwaters hunting around the boat. But they are darn quick and smaller than the boobies so they are not easy to get on picture.

I took plenty pictures and none of them came out good.

A bit frustrating, but it is also fun to watch the birds.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

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Tuesday 12th of March 2024
and it was too dark for any ID by the time I spotted my first bird at 06:16. There were soon two of them for a short while before they disappeared.

I had a shearwater at 07:30, but no time to look before it was gone. At 07:40 I had more birds coming in from behind, at least 8 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. And as they came from behind, they were quite near the bridge and I took some pictures.

Not any good pictures, but by far the best I have had so far.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

So, I was happy when I left the bridge at 8 o'clock, of course, I hope to get better pictures. But the shearwaters are very quick and the reflection from the water do not make it easy to take pictures of the birds. And they are always low.

We had the last drills after the coffee break and I am looking forward to come to the bridge in the afternoon to look for more birds. I spotted a couple of shearwaters that disappeared very quickly, no pictures or ID.

I got a visit from a Red-footed Booby, I reported it to eBird and I did not bother to take any pictures. When I should send the report it was a FIRST SEEN and a RARE BIRD ALERT. Well, if this would have been shown when I selected the bird, I would have taken pictures.

My second RARE BIRD ALERT for the Red-footed Booby in Australia.

eBird rare bird alert

It was getting dark and we had passed many fishing buoys so I thought it was another buoy when I spotted a huge white bird on the water.

It was around 18 thirty and the bird was flushed when we came closer. If I had bothered to use the binocular, I would have had an opportunity to get a picture.

It was getting dark and the buoy turned out to be a bird that took off before I had a chance to get a picture. Was it an Albatross? Huge white bird with top of the wings grey.

We were almost at Perth anchorage #O3 when I left the bridge at 8 o'clock and we expect a few days here on the anchorage before coming alongside.

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Wednesday 13th of March 2024
and it was pitch dark when I came on the bridge 4 o'clock in the morning. But I could see two gulls in the light from our floodlights on deck. Not possible to ID.

But I reported them as Gull s.p. in my eBird app. At 5 o'clock I had another 4 gulls flying around the boat, one turn and they were gone. At 6 thirty I had terns that I reported as tern s.p. as the pictures were so bad I could not ID the birds.

But later on I got a picture of one tern flying past the boat and I reported the bird as a Great Crested Tern. Poor picture but I could see that it was a crested tern

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern

Drinking tea and I had a swallow flying around on the starboard bridgewing. I did not even bother to go for my camera, flying swallows are impossible.

So, I could not believe it when the Welcome Swallow landed in front of me. I grabbed my camera and I got a few pictures.

I enjoyed my tea, soon time to leave the bridge and I had had a great morning.

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern


I had a group of Great Crested Terns landing on deck just before I left the bridge and I managed to get a few pictures.

We have completed all our drill during the previous two days and today we split the crew in to four groups and we went to start the Lifeboat motor, MOB motor, Emergency Generator and the emergency fire pump.

So now everyone have it fresh in memory for the upcoming inspections. I was on the bridge at 4, well, quarter to 4 and we arranged new sandals and a case of refreshments for me. Now we just hope we will have time to get the stuff when we come alongside.

I could report many terns in my eBird app and I could also report 3 silver Gulls landing on the fo'c's'le in the strong wind. I really enjoyed to watch them navigating the strong wind to land. All 3 of them made it and I could report them in my eBird app.

Silver Gull
2 Silver Gulls come in for landing in strong wind

Silver Gull
All 3 Silver Gulls safely landed

Silver Gull
20 + Silver Gulls sitting on the hose rail

Silver Gull
20 + Silver Gulls sitting on the hose rail

I had turned off my eBird app as it was getting dark. But I was soon to start it again, 20++ Silver Gulls showed up in the dark to hunt in the light from our floodlights on the boat. And around 7 thirty they landed on our hose rail.

I think that they will spend the night there. See if they are still there when I come back on the bridge tomorrow morning.

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Thursday 14th of March 2024
and there is no Silver Gulls sitting on the rails when I come on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning. But I could see some of them hunting around the ship in the light from our floodlights.

Daylight and I can see some tern/ gulls flying over the anchorage, but too far away for any proper ID. A loner Welcome Swallow was pottering about on the bridge wing but I did not bother trying to take any pictures.

I had good pictures from yesterday. One more landed next to the first swallow and I took a picture of the two together and not long after that there were five of them on the rail.

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Time passed quite quickly and it was soon time to go for a power nap. Coming in from behind, flying low. I just give it a quick glimpse and thinking another Crested Tern with white body and grey/ black mottled wings. Flying low should have alert me, I never see any Tern flying low like this.

I notice that the bird is very big just before it lands on the water and I look in the binocular. It looks like a booby and I try to take pictures even though the bird is quite far away.

Australasian Gannet
Australasian Gannet

Australasian Gannet
Australasian Gannet

Australasian Gannet
Australasian Gannet

I sent the poor pictures to www.birdforum.net and they helped me with the ID, a juvenile Australasian Gannet. So, I was happy with the morning birding and I hope for more excitements during the afternoon.

It was a quiet afternoon regarding birds. There was a lot of great Crested Terns sitting on the starboard hose rail and I counted to 24 of them in the evening. Started with 13 and more and more birds landed.

I managed to get a sound recording: Flying around with a fish in the bill making sound. Landed on the rail with the other terns a couple of times but took off every time. Calling and flying around, finally landed on the water.

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern

Great Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern

Listen to the Great Crested Tern

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my Canon pocket camera. Converted to MP 3. High Pass Filter applied with Audacity.

Flying around with a fish in the bill making sound. Landed on the rail with the other terns a couple of times but took off every time. Calling and flying around, finally landed on the water.

Pictures of the bird at: https://ebird.org/checklist/S164769225


www.xeno-canto.org

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Ship leaving Perth in the evening

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Friday 15th of March 2024
and not much to report during the morning. A couple of Silver Gulls and as I am not sure I have any picture of the silver Gull, I took a picture.

Just after 8 we had a service boat arriving with one Inspector that will help us check the AMSA Inspection readiness. And we sent ashore two pressure bottles, on for the BA set and one bottle for the fixed CO2 extingusher system in the engine room.

Silver Gull
Silver Gull

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Saturday 16th of March 2024
and we left the anchorage in the afternoon, having the anchor up at 15:00 and the pilot was on board at 15 thirty. Passing the Success Channel and the Cockburn Sound and there was a lot of birds to be seen.

We had all fast at KBB4 in Kwinana at 18:30 and it is a bulk jetty, but they can arrange for hoses so we can discharge the gasoline to the terminal.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Coming alongside jetty KBB4

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Coming alongside jetty KBB4

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Tug boat is leaving us

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Sunday 17th of March 2024
and I was on deck with the Vetting Inspector and around 11 thirty we spotted an Australian Pelican flying by and I could report it to the eBird. There was another bird flying by as well, I giant sea gull but I was not able to ID the bird.

Vetting Inspection was completed with me around 1 o'clock and I had my lunch. Our Vetting Inspector had left by the time for dinner. We enjoyed dinner in a good mood, the vetting had been very good.

And my mood was soon to turn in to a “SUPER” good mood. I spotted one of the O/S coming down the catwalk carrying a box of refreshments that our Agent had brought for me.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
One of our “TOP GUNS” bringing refreshments

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
One of our “TOP GUNS” bringing refreshments

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Refreshments in the CCR


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Monday 18th of March 2024
and we expect to complete discharging around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. So, I took the opportunity to go to the bridge to look for birds on the bridge before lunch. And I was disappointed.

There were just some Pied Cormorants and no sign of any other birds. But I was lucky to have one Pied Cormorant diving for fish next to the ship so I could get a picture.

Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant

Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Kwinana

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Our gangway watch

Last bird watching in Kwinana and I could create my eBird trip report. And I will make a new eBird trip report when we leave Kwinana.

We will pass Christmas Island on the way back north and I hope to get a picture of the Abbot's Booby. The only place in the world where you can see the bird.

eBird

eBird Trip Report

Since April 2023 eBird offer a new feature, to create Trip Reports. At least this is when I first heard of this feature and I have decided to make the eBird Trip Reports instead of my list of OBSERVED birds.

And of course, this also means that I will HAVE TO go back and do the same for my old birding adventures, WHEN I HAVE THE TIME!

Trip Report: Pengerang, Malaysia to Perth, Australia | Click HERE

Download | PDF

Lifers
Icons for lifers used in the eBird trip reports

eBirdSpecies lifer: First time that someone observes a species in their life

eBirdPhoto lifer: First time that someone photographs a species in their life

eBirdAudio lifer: First time that someone audio records a species in their life

Exotic species
Exotic species flags differentiate locally introduced species from native species.

eBirdNaturalized: Exotic population is self-sustaining, breeding in the wild, persisting for many years, and not maintained through ongoing releases (including vagrants from Naturalized populations). These count in official eBird totals and, where applicable, have been accepted by regional bird records committee(s).

eBirdProvisional: Either: 1) member of exotic population that is breeding in the wild, self-propagating, and has persisted for multiple years, but not yet Naturalized; 2) rarity of uncertain provenance, with natural vagrancy or captive provenance both considered plausible.

When applicable, eBird generally defers to bird records committees for records formally considered to be of "uncertain provenance". Provisional species count in official eBird totals.

eBirdEscapee: Exotic species known or suspected to be escaped or released, including those that have
bred but don't yet fulfil the criteria for Provisional. Escapee exotics do not count in official eBird totals.


We left Kwinana quarter to 6 o'clock in the evening and we expect 10 days to Malaysia, looks like we will load condensate at Bergading FSO in Gulf of Thailand.

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Tuesday 19th of March 2024
and we had had heavy rolling during the night so no tea when I came on the bridge. Would be impossible to keep control over the tea cup with the ship rolling. So, it was not a very nice morning on the bridge.

Day light and I spotted some shearwaters that I could not ID around 6 thirty in the morning.

We were passing west of Houtman Abrolhos when I came on the bridge quarter to 4 in the afternoon. I spotted several shearwaters flying in front of the boat. Coming one by one with 10 minutes or so between. I checked them out in the binoculars.

But I could never spot them with my camera. There was one smaller white bird with black wings as well. But way too far away for even try to take pictures.

Just before darkness and I spotted a group with 5 shearwaters playing in a group on the water. And I grabbed my camera to try to get some pictures and I discovered that it was Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Not any good pictures, but enough for the ID.

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Wednesday 20th of March 2024
and we are steaming towards the Christmas Island when I come on the bridge 4 o'clock in the morning. The guys came on the bridge at 6 o'clock for their work Hard Workorders for the day.

We have the sun rising over Australia, we have Peppers Point 80 km to the east.
Hard Work
Our 3 O/S will continue chipping up front on the tank deck. Bosun will make dividers for our sample lockers.

And the AB will put Denso tape on the new nitrogen accumulator, a pressure bottle on the MOB davit. We need this to be able to swing the davit when we have a “DEAD SHIP”

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Indian Ocean early morning

The crew left and I was soon spotting one bird flying low over the Indian Ocean, flying towards the west. Too far away for any ID. I spotted one shearwater just before I left the bridge at 8 o'clock. No pictures or any proper ID.

The afternoon turned out to be a little bit more exciting. Started slow, two birds flying towards west at 4 o'clock and I started my eBird app. Then there was not one single bird to spot.

But at 17 thirty I spotted some Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on the starboard side. Quite far away in front of the boat. Coming in from the west and disappeared towards the south.

Suddenly there were 100++ shearwaters and I have never seen such a big group of shearwaters before. So, I was quite excited when I went out to try to get pictures.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - Click HERE for full size picture

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - Click HERE for full size picture

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater


The bird took off towards south, they came in from west passed in front of the boat and then turned right towards south. After that nothing, but I got good news on the e-mail.

Weather Routing Inc. (WRI), a service we subscribe on and they sent us news that we would no longer have to be concerned about the TROPICAL CYCLONE 18S (NEVILLE)


From: Weather Routing Inc. (WRI)

Good day. Please find attached the latest tropical analysis for TROPICAL CYCLONE 18S (NEVILLE).

WRI has detected that TROPICAL CYCLONE 18S (NEVILLE) is not a threat for KWINANA to PENGERANG. This will be our final advisory on this system unless conditions warrant otherwise. Please keep us advised of your planned route and/or any changes to your itinerary. Next scheduled Detailed Forecast/Route Recommendation will be sent at 21/04 UTC, sooner if conditions warrant.

The ATTACHMENT includes system-specific maps, WRI’s detailed system analysis/discussion, and a tabular position/intensity forecast.

The bird had disappeared and I turned off my eBird app. And there were no birds for 45 minutes, quarter past 6 and I had another huge group of shearwaters, this time on the port side. And now it was dark, but I tried to get some pictures.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - Click HERE for full size picture

The birds disappeared and I turned off my eBird app. I got chocolate delivered to the bridge. The ship chandler in Australia must have been a wee bit dim. I checked the list of bonded stores and I marked a couple of different chocolate.
- Two of each, thanks!
- We only have one of each!
- What the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st

Our ship chandler had only delivered one chocolate bar of each, of course, a ship, we order boxes or we can go to the supermarket. Well, thinking about it, might be good, we will be out of Dietchocolate in a jiff and my diet will stay on track.

But I cannot help but wondering what he was thinking when sending 5 Peanutschocolate bars to the ship.

And we received one “airline” size bag of peanuts. This will for sure disappear like an aspirin.

I was very disappointed (and glad at the same time) as I had Teaexpected to bring a box of nuts to my room to enjoy with my tea.

Well, I will have to live without the nuts and chocolate. My already boring movies will be a wee bit more boring to watch.

I left the bridge at 8 o'clock and I left my snacks on the bridge to avoid any evening snacks. I watched a movie before going to bed full of expectations for tomorrow's bird watching.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
This is pretty much all of our chocolate we have on board

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 21st of March 2024
and a long tedious morning with not one single bird to be seen. Time is closing in to 8 o'clock and time for my power nap. I clean my tea cup and turn around.

Two white birds over the ship and I grab the binoculars to see what kind of booby it was. It was not any booby, full white bird and a red bill. I grabbed my camera but it was too late. DARN!

Checking my bird book and I decided that it was a White-tailed Tropicbird. Only white bird with red bill that lives on the ocean.

Tedious afternoon, I thought I saw a small bird landing on deck just after 4 o'clock. I scanned deck with my binoculars but I came up with nothing. It was turning dark and suddenly I spotted a kingfisher landing on our gangway.

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher

+++++++++++++++
Friday 22nd of March 2024
and I turn on my eBird app at 06:42 when I see the first bird flying low over the ocean. Too dark for any pictures or ID but I am on a sharp lookout for birds as soon as we have daylight.

For sure, I do not want to miss any birds like the other morning when I was cleaning my tea cup. I looked out the window and suddenly, I had a falcon just in front of me, I do not know where it came from. I was shocked and by the time my camera was ready the bird showed the BEHIND flying in to the sun towards Australia 560 km to SE.

Picture was very poor. The bird turned in to a small dot on the sky. I sit down and this time I keep the camera in my lap.

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher

The bird looking like it was crying, red rusty coloured. And I’ll be darned, I see another Falcon 10 minutes later, just appear from an empty sky and it is flying towards SW turning in to a small dot.

My friend, the kingfisher from yesterday shows up and land on the rail, today the bird is closer to the bridge so the picture was better, a wee bit better.

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher

I sent the pictures to birdforum and I asked if it was a Sacred or a Torresian Kingfisher. Turned out that it was a Red-backed Kingfisher and I have a new bird that I have never seen before.

Thanks to johnallcock at Birdforum I could identify this bird. I had ID the bird as a Sacred Kingfisher but I learned that it was a Red-backed Kingfisher, first time for me.

Forum thread HERE


Birdforum


Coming on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and the first thing I see is a giant bird sitting in the forward mast. Is it an albatross? Turned out to be a Red-footed Booby and it was a giant. Or it is just a long time ago I seen a big bird so it is my imagination playing with me.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby in the mast forward

I turned on my eBird app and I reported the bird. A few minutes later I had two dark birds flying towards the west in front of the boat.

The booby took off and was flying around for 5 minutes or so before landing in the mast again.

No other movements or other birds until 6 thirty when the booby up front took off to come back to say hello to another Red-footed Booby that landed in the radar mast aft.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby coming in for landing

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

The booby landed in the forward mast again and the second booby landed in the aft mast and I managed to get a few pictures of the Red-footed Booby in the radar mast.

So, I expect to be able to report two Red-footed Boobies first thing tomorrow morning as I had one in the forward mast and one in the aft mast when I turned off my eBird app.

It was a gorgeous evening and the Indian Ocean was like an windmill pond.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Gorgeous evening between Christmas Island and Australia

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Indian Ocean like a windmill pond

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 23rd of March 2024
and I could start my eBird app at 04:46 when I could see the booby waking up in the mast forward. Coul only see the bird when it was moving and the navigation light reflected in the white plumage.

I was joined by two Brown Boobies around 7 o'clock and they were soon joined by a third Brown Booby and they were hunting in front of the boat. A total of four Red-footed Boobies before I left the bridge at 8 o'clock.

Brown Booby
Brown Booby


Coming on the bridge in the afternoon and I had six Red-footed Bobbies, four sitting in the mast and two hunting around the ship. 5 o'clock and I spotted four birds ahead of the ship.

I could see that it was boobies in the way they were diving for fish and when I came closer I could see that it was three red-footed and one brown bobby.

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby

It was yet another gorgeous evening on the Indian Ocean. A wee bit more wind today, a force 3 blowing from SE. But it is still like a windmill pond.

Today we got to know the off signers when we reach China. I will sign off in Gulei, China. And I might stay for a few days looking for birds putting some colour on China on my eBird map.

We will load condensate at FSU Bergading, Malaysia end of March and we expect to be in Gulei, China 5 days later.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
South bound ship south of Christmas Island

+++++++++++++++
Sunday 24th of March 2024
and I start my eBird app 4 o'clock in the morning. Full moon and I could spot four boobies sitting in the forward mast. When I turn off the app at 8 o'clock I had seen 9 Red-footed Boobies and one Brown Bobby.

Sunday and the crew spend the day playing dart, first prize 100 $, but I think they are playing for the fun of it. They have split the crew in to teams, two in each and they have a tournament.

Of course, Chief Officer is always busy so he cannot join.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Playing dart

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Playing dart

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Playing dart

We are passing Christmas Island in the afternoon and when I come on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the afternoon I had red-footed and brown boobies in the mast forward. I had seen them from my room during the afternoon and they had been very busy hunting around the boat.

So, they were resting during the late afternoon and there was not bird action. At least not until just after 6 o'clock when I had a group of birds crossing in front of me. I was happy as I thought it was Abbott's boobies.

Christmas Island Frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird

Christmas Island Frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird

Christmas Island Frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird

I checked the pictures and it turned out to be one Brown Booby and one, well, red-footed or Abbott's flying in a group of three Christmas Island Frigatebird.

I was both disappointed and excites, the Christmas Island Frigatebird is a new bird for me, but I would really have wanted to see an Abbott's Booby.

+++++++++++++++
Monday 25th of March 2024
and we were steering towards east approaching Sunda Strait when I came on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning. We passed the strait around 5 o'clock and I was very busy with all the ferries.

Giving way for all the ferries leaving Jawa bound for Sumatera and I was really busy, but the time passed very quickly.

Day light was breaking and I saw 3 birds in the mast forward, looking like a red-footed and two Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stbrown boobies. I could see the bird sitting on top starting with the “GOOD MORNING” gymnastics in the mast.

And WOW, this was for sure not a booby, it was huge and I was thinking a big eagle. But with the light I could see that it was a Great Frigatebird.

Brown Booby with a wingspan of 132 to 150 cm compared with the Frigatebirds wingspan of 205 to 230 cm and it is easy to see that it was bigger than any booby.

Afternoon, we are steaming north in the Java Sea, plenty fishing boats but not one single bird to be seen. On the Indian Ocean I spotted birds every day, here, nothing.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Steaming north in the Java Sea


+++++++++++++++
Tuesday 26th of March 2024
and we will start to clean the ballast tanks to prepare them for the dry dock. We start by measuring the gas in water ballast tank 6 Stb before sending down two guys with two hoses.

The first tank had very little mud and the guys were back up after a wee bit more than an hour. Second tank, WBT 6 P was a different story and it took a long time to complete the tank.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Measuring gas in the tank before entry

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Measuring gas in the tank before entry

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Measuring gas in the tank before entry

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Measuring gas in the tank before entry

I had hoped to complete 4 tanks today, but after 6 P I was doubtful. I spotted one Brown Booby in front of the ship around one o'clock and I brought the binocular and I went forward to have a look at the Brown Booby.

The bird was very close and I was happy with the pictures from my Scooby Doo camera. I even managed to get a video. So, I was in a good mood when I went back to see how the work went on in the ballast tank.

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Brown Booby
Brown Booby
Brown Booby hunting in front of the boat

we managed to finish our tanks today and I will shift some ballast tomorrow morning and we will do two more tanks tomorrow. And we will have done half of our tanks.

Remaining tanks will be done on our way to China from Malaysia.

+++++++++++++++
Wednesday 27th of March 2024
and we started to discharge and fill ballast 6 o'clock in the morning and WBT 2 P was ready for enter around 11 o'clock. Much mud so they came up again and we went for lunch. They went down again at 12 o'clock.

I went forward to look for the Brown Booby that I had seen hunting in front of the boat when I was going to measure gas in the ballast tank. Now it was gone and I suspected that it was sitting on one of the anchors.

I was right, I found the bird on starboard anchor and I got a couple of pictures and a video.

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Brown Booby
Brown Booby
Brown Booby resting on the anchor

I was happy when I returned to the ballast tank to have a chat with the O/S standing guard at the entrance. I was soon back in my office to study our new Doc Map. They finished WBT 2 P around 14 thirty and they went down in WBT 2 Starboard just after 3 o'clock.

The tank was ready at 6 o'clock and we have done half of the tanks. Remaining tanks will be done on the way to China.

I had been through a lot of the new Doc Map Ship Manual when we went for dinner at 6 o'clock. I was back in my room at 18 thirty and I skipped the chocolate in the bonded store. I decision I made after a lot of pondering of the problem, chocolate or not chocolate.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Our Hero is busy with important paper work

+++++++++++++++
Thursday 28th of March 2024
and we stop to start drifting in the afternoon, they want us to arrive Bergading and tender NOR at 00:01 on the 29th of March.

So, I started the engine at 20:00 just before I left the bridge and they dropped the anchor at 23:55. But by then I was in my bed sleeping.

+++++++++++++++
Friday 29th of March 2024
and we were anchored when I came on the bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning. Nothing happened until 3 minutes after 7 o'clock when I had one Cattle Egret coming in over the boat.

I turn on my eBird pp and when I look up, MAXIMUM 60 seconds later, the bird was nowhere to be found. I searched deck with the binoculars, but I could not see the bird again.

I called the bridge 20 minutes before 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Pilot was expected to board us at 4 but there will not be any berthing today. Pilot will board us tonight and we will go alongside around 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.

I spot a swallow like bird outside the bridge window a few minutes after 4 o'clock. I report it in my eBird app, but I never got a good look so the bird was reported as Bird SP.

They called me from Bergading FSO, the pilot would come on board between 17 thirty and 18 hundred. And we used to complain about the pilot boat in Bongkot, very very slow. But this was something special, in comparison the boat in Bongkot was a speed boat.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior, Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Bringing the Pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior, Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Bringing the Pilot

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior, Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Bringing the Pilot

I saw them leaving and it took them an hour to bring the pilots and the Surveyor on board. It looked like the boat was stuck and it was not moving.

We will heave up the anchor at 7 o'clock tomorrow morning and they will stay onboard until we are leaving for China on Sunday.

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Bergading FSO and the production platform

Aladdin's adventure on board m/t Nord Superior
Bergading FSO

+++++++++++++++
Saturday 30th of March 2024
and I give one hour notice to the engine department at 6 o'clock in the morning. We will heave up our anchor at 7 o'clock to get to the Mekar Bergading FSO.

I enjoyed my omelette and my tea before getting started with the pre-arrival check list. We are testing the engine, steering etc. before we will heave up the anchors. The pilot is onboard since yesterday and he is on the bridge drinking coffee.

Anchor aweight at 07:15 and we started to move towards the tug boat. We will have one tug boat connected in the aft and we will be connected with a chain forward to the FSO.

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Connecting the tug boat aft

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Our best man on the wheel

Tug boat connected just before 8 o'clock and we moved slowly towards Mekar Bergading FSO. And slowly it was, we used to be frustrated in Bongkot, 90 minutes to all fast. But here it was very very slow. Good, every minute means a minute longer sleep tomorrow morning.

We had passing showers but they were lucky, during the mooring to the FSO it was sunshine and we had all fast at 10 thirty, 3 and a half hours after heaving up the anchor.

Closing on on the FSO and I spotted one Cattle Egret flying over the boat and it seems like it looked for a place to land. So I started my eBird app and I reported the bird.

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Approaching Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Approaching Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Approaching Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Approaching Mekar Bergading FSO

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Approaching Mekar Bergading FSO

We did the paper work and we started to load just after 1 o'clock in the afternoon. We expect around 20 hours of loading and I hope to be able to sleep all night long.



eBird

eBird Trip Report

Since April 2023 eBird offer a new feature, to create Trip Reports. At least this is when I first heard of this feature and I have decided to make the eBird Trip Reports instead of my list of OBSERVED birds.

And of course, this also means that I will HAVE TO go back and do the same for my old birding adventures, WHEN I HAVE THE TIME!

Today's Trip Report: Perth to Mekar Bergading | Click HERE

Download | PDF

Lifers
Icons for lifers used in the eBird trip reports

eBirdSpecies lifer: First time that someone observes a species in their life

eBirdPhoto lifer: First time that someone photographs a species in their life

eBirdAudio lifer: First time that someone audio records a species in their life

Exotic species
Exotic species flags differentiate locally introduced species from native species.

eBirdNaturalized: Exotic population is self-sustaining, breeding in the wild, persisting for many years, and not maintained through ongoing releases (including vagrants from Naturalized populations). These count in official eBird totals and, where applicable, have been accepted by regional bird records committee(s).

eBirdProvisional: Either: 1) member of exotic population that is breeding in the wild, self-propagating, and has persisted for multiple years, but not yet Naturalized; 2) rarity of uncertain provenance, with natural vagrancy or captive provenance both considered plausible.

When applicable, eBird generally defers to bird records committees for records formally considered to be of "uncertain provenance". Provisional species count in official eBird totals.

eBirdEscapee: Exotic species known or suspected to be escaped or released, including those that have
bred but don't yet fulfill the criteria for Provisional. Escapee exotics do not count in official eBird totals.


+++++++++++++++
Sunday 31st of March 2024
and we complete loading 10 minutes after 11 o'clock. Paper work, a lot of paper work. I had my normal paper work and the Surveyor had his paper work. But he had Paper Workto make each report, 30 pages each three times.

He had to make reports to three different times. So it was 90 documents and multiplied by 2. One copy for me and one copy for Paper workthe Surveyor. So, it was a lot of signing and stamping.

We were still busy doing paper work by the time we left Mekar Bergading FSO. The Surveyor left the CCR just in time to catch the boat coming to pick up the Pilots and Agent.

We were late for dinner, luckily enough I was full when I left the Chocolatetable as I had planned to buy some chocolate. But now I could cancel the chocolate plan. Good for my V-shaped torso.

So I just returned to my room to watch a video before going to bed. We will continue to clean the ballast tanks tomorrow morning and we will start 6 o'clock in the morning.

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
My new friend, the Surveyor

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Pilots and the other visitors are leaving

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Leaving Mekar Bergading FSO behind

Mekar Bergading Gas Field, Malaysia
Leaving Mekar Bergading FSO behind

Well, the month of March 2024 have come to an end and by clicking HERE you will swing right over to all the excitements in April 2024.

You will for sure find yourself in the middle of the ballast tank cleaning extravaganza.


       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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