Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria

Wednesday 1st of June 2005 and this month started as May ended, we're waiting at the anchorage outside Baltiysk. Not a very exciting start, but it could be worse. When I came on my morning Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawatch it was raining and blowing. The wind had decreased a little since yesterday. When I got off my watch at midnight it was blowing force 7-8. Now it was blowing force 6 and at lunch it was sunshine and force 5 from West.

Baltiysk Traffic called me on the VHF at 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
- Astoria! Your pilot will board you at 14:30.
We started to heave up our anchor at 14:10 and even though it was sunshine I used my fur hat. It was blowing and it was cold in the shadow.

I was walking on deck after my watch with a short stop for salad. I continued to walk until we arrived to jetty 4 in Kaliningrad. They told us that the cargo was not ready. They had 8000m³ and the rest should arrive tomorrow morning with train.
- At best you can leave tomorrow evening, they said.
I don't mind, then we can go ashore tomorrow afternoon.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Officer on the bridge

Thursday 2nd of June 2005
and we had just stopped loading when I came on my morning watch. A rainy evening had become a sunny morning. We resumed loading at 09:15 and we got about 100m³ Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawhen they stopped again at 10:45.
- For how long will you be stopped now? I asked.
- 30 minutes!
I went down in the galley for a little salad and we started to load again at 11:55. The longest 30 minutes today.

MIF, Malmö ice hockey, RedhawksThe kept a rate of 12-1300m³/h when they resumed loading. Actually I was afraid that they would manage to complete us today and that I would miss the opportunity to go ashore.
But after 1 hour they stopped loading again.
- For how long will it be stop this time? I asked.
- 1 to 2 hours, they said.

When I got off my watch at 16:00 we had not resumed loading. Well, I had time to go ashore so I called the agent and ordered a taxi for me and our Chief Engineer. We took a quick walk to the gate where the taxi was waiting for us. We screamed to the taxi driver:
- To the city center!!
And we took off with smoking and screaming tires.

We had no Russian cash so the driver took us to a few ATM machines. But we could not get any Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriamoney from any of them. I handed the driver a 20€ note. He had no change so he took us to a shady guy and on a street corner. He changed the € note to 650 Russian Scooby Doo $

We got off the taxi just at the church. I asked the pilot when we left Kaliningrad if it was a new church or an old church they redecorated. He told me that it was a new church.
Hmm, his English wasn't the best but I think he said it was a new building.

But it must be a new church. This church is built old Russian style and Kaliningrad has only been a Russian enclave since 1945. And our Russian friends back then considered all religion as the “opium of the people.”

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
A building in Kaliningrad

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Church - Russian style

Well, we gave our driver 200 Scooby dollar and we walked to the outdoor market. I bought a big bag of socks but our Chief Engineer couldn't find anything to buy. We grew tired of the place Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaand we left for more exciting stuff. We needed cash and we we're looking for an ATM that accepted our VISA cards.

On the way we passed a CD store.
- They accept VISA card in this shop, Chief Engineer said.
We stepped inside and I had 25 CD's in my hand within a few seconds. Well, I had to go to the counter and unload a few times. But finally I asked for the bill, 4300 Scooby $.

When we came out from the shop we walked to an ATM that our Chief Engineer had used before. Before quick we were loaded with burning cash. The ATM was on the way to one of the computer Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriastores we knew of in Kaliningrad.

But they didn't have the mouse I wanted so we went in to the supermarket next door. Our Chief Engineer bought some Russian Caviar and a bag of peanuts.

Everything looked nice and fresh and the bread corner looked very good. But this time I wasn't alone so I could not buy any snacks. We remember last time when I started at the meat market and the smell made me sick

When we were ready we went to another department store around the corner. We started in the computer store in the bottom. This is where I bought the mouse for our Cook last time. Well, they had run out of this model.

Our Chief Engineer was looking for a tripod for his camera and I wanted to buy some more sneakers. I went up to the 2nd floor where I bought my sneakers last time. I got 2 pairs of sneakers, same model as last time.
While waiting for my sneakers our Chief Engineer came and told me that he had found a fishing shop next to the sport store.
- OK, I'm coming over when I'm ready, I said.

I paid for my shoes and when I came to the fishing shop our Chief Engineer was ready. He had bought a few fishing-lures and we were satisfied with our shopping tour.

I had a few Scooby $ back and I wanted to finish them before returning to the ship. Across the street from the department store was the record shop where I bought CD's when I was ashore the last times.

We finished the peanuts on the way there and I went in and I spent my last money on 2 CD's. ScratchNow I had 27 CD's to carry and our bridge will be the new stop for the latest Club music.

MC Aladdin will be in charge between 20:00 and midnight.

We took a taxi back to the ship and we were still loading when we came on board. When I came on my night watch the loading was stopped, but we resumed pretty soon. One more stop and then we could complete loading at 22:00.

When I bought the last 2 CD's I had 60 Scooby dollars remaining and I spent my last Scooby Dollars on 2 bottles of Diet Cokes that I brought to the ship. Captain came to the bridge and we had 2 Russian Diet Cokes while waiting for the cargo documents

Drinking Diet Coke
Drinking Diet Coke
I'm not drinking Diet Coke
I have a nice T-shirt!

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Russian road tanker

Friday 3rd of June 2005
and I was in the cabin writing on my web page after my watch. It was Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriamidnight 30 something. I thought that I should take a picture of my shoes. The crew is concerned that I won't find the space for them in my bag when signing off. Well, I don't have any snus to carry around anymore.

At 01:00 the Shipper came onboard with the Cargo documents. We should leave early tomorrow morning and the Agent wanted the Shipper to come down with the cargo documents during the night so we should be able to leave early in the morning without any paper work. I was in my cabin and I could hear a big bang from Captain's cabin. I got dressed and I went to investigate. 2nd Officer knocked on my door. She had opened the door Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriato Captain's cabin with the master key and Captain was flat out on the floor.

Dead drunk, literally, he had taken all the narcotics on board. He had rammed half of it up his arse and the other half was mixed in a bottle of Whiskey. We had to send the Shipper back ashore. We told him to come back tomorrow.

We had to call an ambulance and they arrived, well, not too quickly. We had to call several times to our Agent. Russia and they were not allowed to have any one coming ashore after 10 o'clock in the evening. We had a guy dying after trying to commit suicide and they wanted us to wait until tomorrow
- He is dying!

So the ambulance came after a lot of nagging. Now we had to start the job to bring ashore Captain, AND IT WAS NOT EASY! We got him down on deck and we put him on the gangway and we lifter him ashore. Middle of the night but still plenty people on the jetty. One guy pointed at Doctorthe gangway hanging in the crane when we brought ashore Captain.
- Is that the Captain?
I was ashamed, it was o embarrassing the skin was burning.
- No, it is a stowaway, I replied

There was a Doctor with them and we carried Captain on a stretcher to the ambulance. And believe me when I say that it's a very hard task to carry some one on a stretcher. We were working with this stretcher down ladders and out on deck. We put the stretcher on the gangway and lifter him ashore. When we had the stretcher ashore we had to take it over cargo lines and in to the ambulance.

We had been 5 persons carrying the stretcher and it was very nice when the ambulance disappeared. Our Bosun and I left for bed, but it was soon time to wake up again.

I was called for a few hours later. It was 8 o'clock and we had to do all the paperwork. We decided with the company to bring Captain to Sweden. That would be better than leaving him on a Russian hospital. No one on board wanted him back on board. Suicide, imagine if the guy spot a dead bird, gets depressed and pour 5 litres of gasoline over himself in the cabin.

The shipper came back and I signed the cargo document. 2nd Officer and I had to be Captains until we came to Slite on Gotland. It's about 15 hours from Kaliningrad to Slite and we will get a new Captain and we can leave our old Captain for a Swedish hospital.

Captain came back around 11 o'clock and we took him to his cabin and I put one guy in his cabin gto watch him as we don't want any gasoline incidents etc. We left Kaliningrad at 12:30 and we left the pilot behind at 15:30 in Baltiysk. Nice, finally, I could turn on some of my new music.

I tried to sleep after my watch, but no success. But I was called to the bridge at 19:30.

Our 2nd Officer had called the hospital in Sweden and the first Doctor thought that we should send him ashore with helicopter. But the helicopter could not come, well, they could come. But we were very far away and it was dense fog. Visibility about 150m.

We continued our voyage towards Slite with full speed, yeah, go ahead and have a drink foocking up everything! Yeah, I'm really impressed.

Saturday 4th of June 2005
and they called me at 03:15.
- 45 minutes until we arrive to Slite roads, 2nd Officer said.
I grabbed 15 minutes in a very hot shower and then I took a Diet Coke and went to the bridge. At 04:25 we had 2 paramedics and a new Captain onboard and at 04:50 we were on the way to Porvoo.

It was dense fog when I came on the bridge to relieve Captain. I had been sleeping until 09:30 when he called me. I was very tired, we hadn't got very much sleep the last day.

I took a little watch for 2nd Officer in the afternoon and I got off the bridge at 17:00. I went straight down to the mess room and my salad. I started with cauliflower and carrots. Our Cook is very nice, he make cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and stuff for me every day.

I went to bed after my dinner and I woke up at 7 o'clock. That gave me 1 hour to write Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.ston my web page before going on my night watch. I have not had very much time for writing the last few days.

giftOur new Captain brought mail from Sweden and there was a late birthday gift for me from my friend. It's always nice to open gifts, especially when you're away from home on a ship. I must say that I miss getting mail and postcard on the ship. Now it's only e-mail, yeah, that's nice, but sometimes a postcard is nice.

We got message from our agent that we had to drop anchor at arrival to Porvoo. Expected berthing tomorrow noon time.

We had dropped our anchor at 23:40 and I was off to the bridge to write e-mail. My inbox was full, we were a few days late back from Russia so I hadn't had any opportunity to check my e-mail for a few days.
You can enjoy my latest uploads and there will be more next time coming back from Russia.

Sunday 5th of June 2005
and 2nd Officer didn't wake me up until 9 o'clock. She's so sweet! But I was awake at 07:55, how do I know that? Well, let me tell you. I woke up with a terrible cramp in Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriamy left calf and the cramp didn't disappear no matter what I did.

We were still anchored when I came to the bridge just after 9 o'clock. We saw the pilot boat coming and at 09:25 the pilot was onboard and at 09:35 our anchor was aweigh.
We had all fast at jetty #2 about 1 hour later and we started to discharge 10:45. Around lunch time the sun showed up, but after an hour or so the sun was gone again.

After my watch I called DNA prepaid (My Finnish network) regarding my GPRS. It's still not working and I'm getting a little Veckans Sverkerpissed off now. Now they said that they should send a new sim card. Well, we have to see if I have to put DNA on my “Veckans Sverker” or “Don't buy this sh•t” page.

I hope not, but I'm soon giving up. But we see if the new SIM card is working. Hmm, first we have to see if I get a new SIM card. If not I don't care and I will not use their service anymore. And I will for sure not recommend it to anyone.

We had ordered the Pilot for 10:30 and I could hear them starting the engine just before 7 o'clock. We got a new Chief Engineer and AB onboard today. The new Chief Engineer is down in the engine room with the old Engineer to see how things are working on board M/T Astoria.

The new AB was the same one I signed on together with 10th of March.

I was in my cabin when we left Porvoo, I was writing on my web page. I had planned to
Björn! Hausse på börsen!!!!
Har varit aktivitet i e-post departemanget!! Sälj allt du äger och har. Köp allt du kan av bolag X.
Säger inte namnet för att undvika misstanke om insider brott.
watch a movie, but my VCR seems to be out of order. But I needed to catch up with my writing. I sent e-mail as well. I had quite a few to write and before soon it was time to relieve 2nd Officer.

I had time to talk with my friends on the phone before leaving. They wanted to know when I signed off.
- By now you must have millions on the bank!

They thought that I spend all this time on the ship to save money. Saving money!!???
- Millions! Are you out of your mind?

One friend wanted to rent my condominium.
- I pay you 700 US/ month.
He continued:
- I know the offer is a disgrace. But you can stay there when your home from the ships!
- It's better than nothing. (There was nothing stopping him)
And he continued:
- The condo is empty 10 months per year and it's not generating any money.
Hmm, I used to spend 10 months of the year on the ship. But I hope those days are over now. Every time I'm signing on a ship I have the intention to lose weight and sign of like a handsome young man.

Nowadays I have given up the “young man” look. But I had been so disappointed every time signing off so I had wanted to start right over again. I have signed on a new ship immediately and given it a new try.

When I accepted this job they told me that my reliever wanted to stay home for a long time. So I accepted the job and I'm not signing off until I'm slim and handsome. This might be the last chance in my life. When I'm slim I will spend much more time in my apartment.
(What a sleeping pill this e-mail is turning in to)
Hold your horses! They are used that I'm on a ship 10 months of the year.

O'boy, aren't we getting tired of all these insets soon, but here is one more. Interesting stuff and now I hope that I don't have to explain this again.

We had just left Porvoo when I relieved 2nd Officer and at 20:45 we started our sea passage.

Malmö FF, MFF, soccer, fotbollI was alone on the bridge and I took the opportunity to play some of my new CDs. Well, I must admit that some of the CDs will end up in the pile with CDs that I “will forget ” on board when going home. A few will end up in the stack “Did I buy these? ” and some of the CDs will go straight to the trash bin.

2nd Officer discharging crude oil when I come on the bridge

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
She doesn't look happy

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Aja, vi kan väl försöka va lite glada

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Ja se, d va väl inte svårt

Monday 6th of June 2005
and we were out of Gulf of Finland when I came on my morning watch. It was a gloomy and grey morning but the sky turned blue around lunch. I hope the weather is good so I can walk after my watch.

Last week I just lost 1,2 - 1,4 kg, but that was expected after my birthday party. Our Bosun served me half a cake. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it's no faulty print or a writing error. He served me half the cake and they didn't accept no for an answer. I spent 2 hours with the cake and I was sick when I was ready. I refuse to take any responsibility for the birthday debacle.

We dropped anchor at Baltiysk anchorage quarter past 11 o'clock in the evening. The plan is that our pilot will board us at 03:00 tomorrow morning

Tuesday 7th of June 2005
and we were alongside jetty #4 when I came on my morning watch. We had started to load the crude oil at 5 minutes past 8 o'clock in the morning.

First they told us that they didn't had all the cargo for us, but later on they told us that they Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriawill try to get us away tonight. Hmm, we see what's happens. But we all wonder where the summer MIF, Malmö ice hockey, Redhawkswent. It has been gloomy and grey since my birth day. Today it was grey with a little sunshine at times. The weather didn't invite for a walk on deck.

We completed loading at 7 o'clock in the evening and our cargo documents Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stwere onboard after a record breaking 2 hours.

We had expected to stay until tomorrow morning, but the torch light was coming on and one or two arses were burnt and things were speeded up a notch or two and we could leave Kaliningrad at 10 o'clock in the evening.

Wednesday 8th of June 2005
and it was blowing force 6 from the north when I came on my morning watch. The wind slowed us down a bit and we have ETA to Porvoo pilot tomorrow morning Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaat 7 o'clock.

When our Chief Engineer came to visit me on the bridge during my night watch I could hardly recognize him. He had new glasses, Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stwell, it was some old glasses he had with him.

When dismantling one of the hydraulic valves to the ballast he got hydraulic oil on his glasses. Now he can't
Björn! Hausse på börsen!!!!
Stor order att vänta. Kursen på Baltic Grain kommer att skjuta i höjden. Årets börskomet enligt “Veckans Affärer”
use them and he has to use his 70's glasses.
- You're looking great, I said.
He thought that it felt like wearing a Cyclops.

Our Bosun, Chief Engineer and Cook will sign off at arrival to Porvoo. We have had an extra Chief Aladdin's adventure on board M/T AstoriaEngineer this last trip to Kaliningrad and he will take over in the engine department when in Porvoo tomorrow. So there was action at Captains office when the people were signing off. It's better to do it today and everything will be ready tomorrow at arrival.

But there was time to come up to drink coffee and pester Chief Officer on the bridge.
We talked about the good old times and we discussed the beautiful sunset.

A bad day had become a beautiful evening. Evening!!?? While blah-blah we discovered that the time was 23:30 and sunshine. It's easy to forget the midnight sun after a long and dark winter. So we're better off enjoying the sunshine and summer while it lasts.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB coming on watch at midnight

Thursday 9th of June 2005
and Captain called me at 7 o'clock.
- 30 minutes until we start the manoeuvring, he said.
I took a hot shower and I grabbed a Diet Coke in my fridge. When I came to the bridge it was sunshine and no wind. Captain wanted me to practice manoeuvring the ship and we had all fast in Porvoo 10 minutes past 8 o'clock in the morning.

Dagens Nyheter 7 June 2005
       Dagens Nyheter 7 June 2005
Fredrik Berglund aim high - maybe at Malmö (If he's lucky)

Malmö FF, MFF, soccer, fotbollWhen our Agent came onboard he brought Swedish newspapers. And I read the latest news and it was mostly about Malmö FF in the sport section. I usually skip the sport section. But when I caught eye of the above headline I couldn't help myself. And it's always nice to have something to pester the crew from Gothenburg with.
They are getting upset every time I mention Malmö.

Our New Cook, Bosun came onboard just before lunch time, we also got an Engine Apprentice on Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaboard. He will be on board a few months to learn the job in the engine department.

But the best thing was our new Cook bringing a new Coach jacket and a training suit for me.
He also bought mineral salt for me, SELTIN, it should be good for people on diet. Well, anyway, that's according to the maker of the SELTIN.

First our Cook came to the bridge with a piece of paper. He had calculated the cost for the stuff he brought.
- Where is my stuff? I asked him.
- I put the stuff in your cabin, he said.
- Hey Hey!!! What about the old tradition to take a picture of you delivering the stuff to me on the bridge?

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
My new COACH jacket

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
My new COACH jacket

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
My new COACH jacket

He went down and he returned with a bag. Now I have a Coach jacket and a training suit, looks good with my new sneakers. I hope I can find the time to walk on deck soon so I can show off all my new sport fashion.

We left Porvoo at 17:45 in sunshine. We had just left our berth when our Cook came to the bridge. He wanted some help with his computer. I had time to try my new jogging suit on deck before going on my night watch. I was just out for 5 minutes. My jogging dress is coated with TEFLON® fabric protector. I was just trying if it was a wind breaker and it was.

Friday 10th of June 2005
and we use two digits to when we write today's date. One third of the month is already gone. Yeah - yeah, the days goes and the kilos disappear, soon time to go home.

We got a new engine Apprentice in Porvoo that had never been on this ship before. Well, ISM, SMS, safety tourhe had never been on any ship before. It was the first time for our Chief Engineer on this ship as well. So our 2nd Officer took the tour with them during the afternoon.

She showed our fire stations, emergency fire pump, foam roam and lifeboats and all the stuff. As usually she finished the tour on the bridge, and you know that she's showing our ISM binder for all new on signers to read.

Our ISM binder was the last thing on the tour and they looked relieved when the tour was over. I was also relieved when the tour was over. It was 4 o'clock and I could go down in my cabin. I got dressed in my new jogging suit and I took my iPod and went for a brisk walk on deck.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
New crew on the bridge for introduction

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Of course, they had to see the ISM binder

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Of course, they had to see the ISM binder

After the dinner (salad) I went for a quick nap and I woke up at quarter to 7. I took a hot shower and I got dressed. I was surprised when I came out from my cabin, our Cook had put up a note on the wall.

An arrow pointing in the direction to his cabin. Well, I wonder if it can be computer problem. Yet another Smiley on I think it is, he got his new camera and external hard drive when he signed on in Porvoo.
Now he wants to move his music from his computer to the new hard drive.
- Isn't that a waste of time? I asked.
- It's better that you copy my music right on so you get some good music, I continued.

Hmm, I don't think my argument felt in to good ground. He looked upset Yet another Smiley on when I suggested that he should delete all his music and copy my music.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stWell, anyway, this ship is only big enough for one “FUNKY” DJ. But so far no one has showed any sign to appreciate my music.
I'm playing my latest CDs on full blast and the crew is only complaining.
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stWell, if they don't have the sense to appreciate my music is not my problem. Hmm, I must mention that Captain was knocking on my door one night.
I had the music blasting high on the Richter scale and I thought someone was complaining about the volume. But it was the opposite.
- Please have your door open! It's very good music.

Malmö FF, MFF, soccer, fotboll We had managed to sort out our Cooks computer problem. When I came on my night watch to relieve 2nd Officer at 20:00 the wind was gone. The sky was blue in the east and dark and grey in the west

We dropped our anchor outside Baltiysk at 21:05 and they expect us to get the pilot at 03:00 tomorrow morning. Hmm, maybe I can go ashore tomorrow afternoon again.

But I'm getting a little worried about my shopping habits again. 10 years ago I couldn't enter a record shop without coming out with 10-15 CDs. Now it's the same when in Russia. Of course the CDs are much cheaper in Russia. But as my friend in Sweden used to say.
- You're bringing the CDs straight from the shop to the second-hand shop. There you have to give them away because no one want to buy the s••t.
Yeah - yeah, it only happened a few times that I had to give away the CDs, but sometimes you have to take a chance when you buy music.

Well, I won't need to buy any more sneakers, and that are for sure.

Saturday 11th of June 2005
and we were loading when I came on the bridge. We had started to load at 08:05. Why on earth wasn't I on the bridge for my watch at 8 o'clock?

Sometimes when we're anchored and stuff like that I don't wake up our 2nd Officer. I can as well take the watch instead of sitting in my cabin writing e-mail and stuff. When loading or navigating I must concentrate on that and I can't write my e-mail. But when waiting I can as well write my stuff on the bridge and 2nd Officer can sleep.
So she let's me sleep longer and thus I wasn't on the bridge at 8 o'clock. I was in my shower enjoying myself by then.

Well, she relieved me at 15:40 (She's so sweet) so I could go ashore with Motorman. He needed to buy some cloths and I had to buy shoes for our Cook. I called our Agent:
- Can you please arrange a TAXI to pick us up at the gate around 4 o'clock?

We arrived to the city around 16:30 and first thing was to get cash from an ATM. Then we Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaentered the supermarket around the corner from the ATM. I bought chewing gum and a summer hat for our 2nd Officer. On top of that I bought a comb for the AB on the 4-8 watch.

Motorman bought a bag Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stof SNICKERS and some other candy. I checked the computer store next door for a new mouse, but they didn't have the model I was looking for.

We walked to the department store where I bought my sneakers. On the first floor is a computer and HIFI store and on second floor are a sport shop, fishing shop and a cloths shop. On the third floor there are more cloths.

On the way to the department store we saw many girls watching us (exciting and handsome Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stforeigners). I told Motorman:
- It's strange, but as soon you lose 1 or 2 kilo you can't meet a girl on the side walk without them undressing you with the glimpse.

First I was looking for the mouse, but they didn't have the one I was looking for in stock. Then we went up to the 2nd floor and I bought the sandals for our Cook. Motorman bought training trousers for him and our Engine Apprentice. He found a shirt as well.

Before leaving we took a tour on the third floor but we could not find anything interesting. Motorman was looking for new underwear but he could not find anything of interest.

We crossed the street and entered the record shop. We were hunting the shelves for something good that we could buy. I found a few CD's and then I asked Motorman to suggest some CD's. I wanted to finish my Russian Scooby dollars as I only needed 200 wooden dollars for the TAXI back Megaherz - Kopfschussto the ship.

I took some CD's by chance and Motorman bought some CD's by chance as well. Among others he bought Sweetbox because there was a beautiful girl on the cover. It turned out to be crap, but that's another story.

But what I will always remember from Kaliningrad is Megaherz. The guy in the record shop recommended them and as they had made 3 CDs I bought them all. These 3 CDs alone made it worth spending all the other money on the crappy CDs that I threw away or forgot on board.

Hit the play button, and seriously, it has to be on FULL VOLUME or it is a waste of time.
Full Patte som Kal P Dal sa!

Well, as I'm in a good mode we take another Megaherz tune


Our Motorman found underwear before we returned to the ship. We had completed loading when we returned at 18:30 and Shipper and surveyor came onboard at 8 o'clock for the cargo documents. We left Kaliningrad 10 minutes past 9 o'clock in the evening.

Sunday 12th of June 2005
and weather was gorgeous when I came on my morning watch. I made Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriatea first thing after relieving 2nd Officer. I was eager to try my new tea cup that I bought yesterday. I was disappointed with my new tea cup, but it was the biggest cup I could find in Kaliningrad. Captain called the cup a bucket and I called the cup pathetic.

While waiting for the kettle I prepared my computer so I could rip the CD's I bought ashore yesterday. From 11 CD's I found 61 tracks worth to rip. Well, more than a few of the CD's ended up in the pile with CDs that I “will forget ” onboard when going home.

I suspect that there will be plenty more in that pile before it's time to sign off. Motorman brought his CD's to the bridge on my night watch. I found 6 tracks worth ripping, and, hmm, honestly, a few of those 6 tracks I ripped just to be polite. Yet another Smiley on But please, Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriadon't tell anyone.

A few minutes after Motorman had left the bridge our Cook came to the bridge. We draw up a new plan for my diet and tomorrow we will start a new severe diet. Everything to cut down on the on board time. I hope I can reach 100 soon so I can go home.

It was nice when the day was over, another day just like the other. Well, not quite like the other, today I inspected our forepeak tank. This is an annual or semi annual task on ships more than 5 years old.

We check the tanks for structural damages and the condition of the coating. We also check the bottom cleanness, sometimes there are plenty mud in the bottom of the tanks. Then we need to remove the mud.

All the mud weights a lot and if we have much extra weight we can load less cargo before reaching maximum draft. No one is paying the ship owners to transport mud. (Except if you're having a dredger, but you understand what I mean)

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB watching me when I'm in the tank

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
In the forepeak

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
In the forepeak

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
In the forepeak

Monday 13th of June 2005
and we were anchored outside Fortum's refinery in Porvoo when I came on my morning watch. We got e-mail yesterday from our agent with berthing prospects:
Berth will be occupied by M/T Palva until evening 13th

When I relieved 2nd Officer she told me that Palva will be ready to leave between 17:00 Raining cats and dogsand 19:00. Actually, this can mean any time during the day or even tomorrow. But 5 o'clock in the afternoon will be good.

It was raining cats and dogs when I came on my morning watch. One of our window wipers on the bridge didn't work. Our Bosun climbed out to check it out. The window wiper was stuck and he greased the gears and it was working again. But I'm waiting for the sun even though our window wipers are working.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Bosun working with the window wipers

Our new 2nd Engineer landed in Helsinki at 11 o'clock and he was expected to arrive in Porvoo around 11:45. Around 11:30 we left the ship with our MOB boat. I and Motorman were going to drive 2nd Engineer ashore and bring back the on signing 2nd Engineer.

When I came down on poop deck the MOB was prepared and was hanging outside the gunwale. It was just for Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriaus to climb in to the boat.

We had luck with the weather, it was not raining when we left the ship. Our 2nd Engineer was happy to get off the ship. He should have signed off last time in Porvoo but the 2nd Engineer at home was prevented to come.

Our Motorman was driving the MOB boat and he enjoyed himself while driving. I don't know what speed the MOB is doing, maybe 29 knots. So it's a lot of fun driving the boat. But we would have appreciated a little sunshine.

It took us 10 minutes to drive to the jetty. We had to wait for about 5 minutes before the on signing 2nd Engineer arrived in a taxi from the airport in Helsinki. Our off Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriasigning 2nd Engineer should take the same taxi back to the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.stairport and his flight home to Sweden.

They had time to talk for a few minutes about what have had happened onboard since last time the on signer signed off.

We said good-bye to 2nd Engineer and we loaded on signing 2nd Engineer's luggage in the MOB boat.

Hmm, have you heard about Murphy's Law? It started to rain and this time our Motorman found it easy not to laugh while driving the MOB boat.

We returned to the ship just after 12 o'clock, just in time for my salad. The return trip was very uncomfortable in the rain. It was even cold and I was soaked.

But when the weather is nice we will take a tour with the MOB boat. There should be a coffee shop around here that's open in the summer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer enter the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer enter the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer enter the MOB boat

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and our Cook with his new camera

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and our Cook with his new camera

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and our Cook with his new camera

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and our Cook with his new camera

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Chief Engineer and our Cook with his new camera

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
We're ready to leave Astoria behind

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
2nd Engineer takes a picture of Astoria before we leave

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaving Astoria behind

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Leaving Astoria behind

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Off signing and on signing 2nd Engineers on the jetty

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the way back to Astoria with the new 2nd Engineer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the way back to Astoria with the new 2nd Engineer

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the way back to Astoria with the new 2nd Engineer

I spent the afternoon on the bridge working with my web page. We were still at the anchorage when I came on my night watch. But at 22:00 the pilot came onboard and at 22:20 our anchor was up. We had all fast at jetty #2 10 minutes past 11.

Our agent came onboard at 23:30, just when I started the discharging. He had a big envelope for our 2nd Officer and it was my foot file and the book “The GI method”. This is a new method for losing weight. You eat only chocolate mousse and all the good stuff and you lose weight like there is no tomorrow.

This is how the GI method was introduced to me. I didn't believe it, but 2nd Officer told me:
- I spoke with my friend on a ship. They are all using the GI method and are losing weight like never before.
She continued:
- They even had to stop the diet because they were about to disappear!
- Pull me backwards, I said.
- No, it's true. They are only eating all the good stuff!

Tuesday 14th of June 2005
and I was called by Captain at 07:45.
- Is it you calling? I asked.
I could hear that our engine was running and I knew that we had left Porvoo. Nice!

When I came on the bridge I started with the paper work (while waiting for the kettle). When my tea was ready I had a nice cup of Passion fruit, Mango & Orange tea.

Our pilot left us at 08:25 and I discovered that my tea was gone when I returned to the bridge after leaving the pilot. I should pour a cup, but the tea was gone.
- Hmm, strange, I thought to myself.

But then I realized that my new “KING SIZE ” tea cup that I bought in Kaliningrad is almost as Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoriabig as the tea kettle. 2 cups and the kettle are empty. I filled up the kettle with water and while waiting for the water to boil our Engine Apprentice came to the bridge.

They have a book from the school with questions they have to answer before leaving the ship.

The book contains questions and items/ tasks that should be done during their period onboard. They study for 4 years and out of the 4 years have to be done onboard different ships.

When I got off my watch in the afternoon the wind was gone and the sea looked like a mirror. I went straight down to my cabin and got dressed in my jogging suit. I took my iPod and I went out on deck for my constitutional. It has been a few days since my last walk now.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
He found some information for his book

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
He soon lost interest and he checked out my music

I had a 2 hour walk and it was nice to be back in business. This was the first nice day in 2 weeks, well, last nice day was my birthday. So let's hope the summer is here to stay.

Wednesday 15th of June 2005
and we were just north of Baltiysk approach when I came on my morning watch. 2nd Officer had given Baltiysk Traffic the 2 hours notice when I relieved her. So I could concentrate on my tea. I had time for a quick cuppa and at 09:30 I changed course towards the anchorage. At 10:05 we dropped our anchor and I returned to the bridge.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
I passed the kitchen on my way to the fo'c's'le to drop the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
On the fo'c's'le to drop the anchor

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Motorman drinking coffee in the ECR

Well, I thought that I could see if there was any action in the engine department on the way back. I had my camera with me and I was hoping for luck. I went down in the ECR Action man(Engine Control Room) and I was handsomely rewarded.

Well, the first thing I saw when open the door to the ECR was Motorman sitting down drinking coffee with his new cup. We bought our cups last time ashore. (He bought a small one) When I saw Motorman I thought:
- Bad luck! But expected.

But I could see our Chief Engineer in the corner of my eye. He pushed the button, yeah!!! I managed to get a picture of all the action in the engine room. This picture was worth all the extra effort to go down in the engine room.

HEY!!! WHAT WAS THAT????!!!! I could hardly believe my luck when all of the sudden Action manthere was another button that needed to be pushed. Unbelievable!! Two buttons in one day!

Yo!! Talk about a bonus picture. I left the ECR and I Coffee timereturned to the bridge.

When I came to the bridge I transferred my new pictures to my computer and once again I could hardly believe my luck.

Baltiysk Traffic called us 20 minutes past 11 o'clock and they asked us to be under way in 1 hour. We had expected to stay anchored until around 15:00. But the Canal up to Kaliningrad was empty from ships so we could enter.

Our anchor was up 5 minutes before 12 o'clock and at 12:20 our pilot was onboard. Arriving early and maybe we can go ashore. Hmm, I'm going ashore all the time now, which must mean that I want to go home soon. Well, I spoke with Motorman and we 're going ashore if Immigration is coming on board when we arrive.
I don't want to sit around waiting for them, then it will be too late to go ashore. We had all fast at 15:30 and we waited for Immigration to come onboard. At 15:50 the Surveyor came onboard but no sign of the Immigration.

At 4 o'clock our Agent and immigration came onboard. Motorman and our Engine Apprentice had been on the bridge for several minutes waiting already. Our Engine Apprentice wanted to join us ashore. But our Engine Apprentice was not allowed to go ashore. He didn't have any seaman's discharge book and if you only have passport you need a VISA to enter Russia.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
AB on deck watching us going ashore

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
And we have to show our passports

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
Surveyor climbing around on the shore tanks

Well, Motorman and I went ashore at 16:30. We left together with the Agent and he had ordered a TAXI for us. On the way to the gate we meet our Surveyor when I climbed up the shore tank. He was going to measure the tank.

I took a picture of him climbing the ladder outside the tank. There was 2 men coming and they told me something in Russian/ English. I understood that taking pictures on the premises was not the thing to do if you wanted to be a popular guy around here.

We waited at the gate for our taxi, but no taxi showed up within the 15 - 20 minutes that our Agent told us that it would take for the taxi to arrive.
Our Surveyor came while we waited (is he following us?) and we talked for 5-10 minutes.
- If the taxi isn't here in 5 minutes I can take you to the city, he said.
That's nice. We thanked him for the offer but after a few minutes our taxi came. Well, we should have taken the offer from the Surveyor. The taxi driver spoke no English.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
In a taxi in Kaliningrad

First he took us to a suburb and a department store. The department store was named Viktoria and so are 4 or 5 other department stores in Kaliningrad as well. For sure we didn't want to go to this Viktoria far off the beaten track.
- City center (for bips sake), I said to the driver.
- Ooh, City Center, he said in perfect English.
- What the bip?!! Motorman said.
Now he drove us towards the city center but now he stopped at a department store called the City.
- OK, let's check this place out and we take a new taxi from here, I said.

We ended up in a home appliance store. I was looking for a new mouse, but no luck. We found CD's with MP3 music and while I was looking for music our Motorman talked to one of the girls.
- Hey Aladdin! She speaks Swedish, he said.
Our Motorman felt in love and phone numbers were swapped. I paid my CD's and we left.

On the way out we passed an ATM and we bought some chocolate bars. I bought some for 2nd Officer and Motorman bought SNICKERS for the Engine Apprentice.

We found a taxi outside the department store and we asked him to drive to the city center. Hmm, they don't speak English in this country.

But I think he understood and we got a sightseeing tour in Kaliningrad on the way. We ended up in a terrible traffic jam and we were lucky to have this driver. He knew a short cut and we ended up in something that looked like a shanty town. The houses looked like ramshackle houses.

But I must say that for every time we go ashore we can see the difference. They are building and decorating the town and some houses are very beautiful now.

Aladdin's adventure on board M/T Astoria
He was lucky to have photogenic company

He dropped us at the big outdoor market, but now we were too late. Everything closed at 7 o'clock and we took a walk to the first record shop. On the way we passed a Kodak express shop and Aladdin's adventure on board M/T AstoriaMotorman bought a “single use” camera. He ripped the pack open and he started to take pictures like there was no tomorrow

We passed through 2 record shops and we walked around looking for a wrist watch for one of the ABs. But everything was closed and we returned to the ship.

When we came back I had time for my salad before my night watch. Loading were in full swing and we expected to be ready around midnight.

But 5 minutes after I had got on my watch the decreased the rate. So now nobody knew when we could be ready. But we know that it is time to split the month of June 2005 in to a second part. So click the link June - PART 2 to find out when we left Kaliningrad.


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? NJET PROBLEMA! Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

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

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



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