Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena

Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena

M/T Vinga Helena
M/T Vinga Helena
Thanks to Captain Alex for the photo

M/T Vinga Helena is an Chemical + Product Tanker built 1985 by Paul Lindenau Shipyard, Kiel, Germany.
Beam: 15,8m
Length: 116,08m

She is on 6400 DWT and she load 6572m³ in 14 cargo tanks. Ballast capacity 3309m³. She have 4 Borneman screw pumps.

The company called me and told me they had made a reservation on X-2000 from Gothenburg to
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
The train arrives to a snow white Gothenburg
Stockholm. Wednesday 5th of February they came from the company at 11 o'clock and left some mail for me to bring to the ship. The train left Gothenburg 1942 and arrived 2300 to Stockholm. I had to take a taxi to Bergs oil port in Nacka and I arrived to the ship around 2330.

Vinga Helena discharged Heavy Fuel Oil in Stockholm from Fredericia.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Leaving Stockholm in an ice covered archipelago
When I came onboard I meet the Chief Officer and we had a chat until 2 o'clock in the morning.
- I need my power and beauty nap, I said

I went to bed and after a few hours I managed to fall asleep. It's always hard to sleep in a new bed. I woke up 10 o'clock in the morning and I went out on deck.

We completed discharging at 11 o'clock and we left Stockholm 1230 while I had lunch with the Chief Officer and we continued with our stories from the 7 seas.

The old Chief Officer will stay on the ship during loading in Liepaja, Latvia in former Russia. He will sign off when we discharging in Gothenburg.

After leaving Stockholm I took the opportunity to send e-mail to Sue. I was very happy
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Our CCR with cargo computer and SAAB radar
to receive e-mail from Sue. Now I have to wait until Gothenburg before I have network coverage again. Hmmm, maybe I can get coverage when passing Öresund on the way to Gothenburg.

I had a few hours to learn the cargo program and the documents used onboard on the way to Liepaja. It's pretty much the same on all the ships, just a slight difference. The difference is what they do with the different documents, on some ships you keep the original and on some ships you keep copies.

On some ships it's important to get a signature on the B/L and on next ship they think you are a lunatic if you want a signature on the B/L. Yeah yeah, you get the picture.

They called me at 6 o'clock in the morning 7th of February. We arrived alongside just before 7 o'clock but it took us almost 1 hour to get along side. There was plenty ice alongside the jetty so
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
This pillow must be as old as the ship and never cleaned
Här får man inte vara " Prinsessan på ärten "
they used a tug boat to clear the jetty. We started to load crude oil at 1015 ST.

It's very cold and when I came onboard there were no pillows for me. The pillow in my cabin was brown/yellow, probably never cleaned since 1985. A real appetizer. Do they expect people to accept stuff like that? Hmmm, it's hard to find Chief Officers. After asking around the crew told me that all the pillows was in the same good state as mine was. I ordered 26 new pillows to be delivered ASAP.

Well, it's going to be nice to sign off after 4 weeks. I blame Kitchen Studio for this, if they had managed to do their job I would not be on this ship now.

I have my pictures of Sue to look at and console myself with. Right now that's the only thing making Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helename happy.
I will soon be with her again Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena

We completed loading at 7 o'clock in the evening. Paper work was ready just before 10 o'clock. We
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Our wheel house
have to wait until midnight before we leave because there is a bridge we cannot pass under and they will open the bridge at midnight.

I went to bed at 10 o'clock after a little work on my web page and an e-mail to Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena

After a good night's sleep I woke up and had a nice shower. I had found the entertainment center and the tea machine on the bridge when I visited the bridge when I signed on. Now it was time to find out about the other equipment.

There should be no surprises on the bridge for all of you that have visited my web ship.

I came on watch 8 o'clock on Saturday morning after a long night of good sleeping. We
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Chief Engineer and Captain on the bridge
Bill & Bull
where about 50 miles SSE of Gotland and I could not receive any Swedish radio.

On the bridge was the usual equipment. Radar, autopilot and stuff. It was very nice weather, no wind and sun shine. It was cold but luckily enough I do my work indoors.

I had been in the same class as the Captain in Navigation school. So it was a little bla bla bla about the old class-mates. HE had met a few and I had meet 2 or 3.

I made a few pots of tea during my watch and I found out that the entertainment center didn't accept my home made CDs. BIG DISAPOINTMENT. Our Cadet asked if he should bring his CD collection to the bridge.
- What do you have? I asked distrustful.
- I have a little of everything
- OK, we give it a try
I found some CD that we could play. So we ended up having a nice watch anyway.

After lunch we had a lifeboat drill. We didn't launch the boat so it was
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Lifeboat drill
actually just a muster.
In the afternoon it was time for an e-mail for Sue and a quick power nap. We have ETA Gothenburg Sunday lunch so I can send the e-mail then. I hope there is e-mail for me from Sue by then.

Our 3rd Officer told me that he was going to sign off in Gothenburg. He had no reliever so that means that there is only 2 Deck Officers onboard after Gothenburg. The company told me that the ship have 3 Officer when they called me for the job. So I had to call the company Saturday night and ask them about 3rd Officers reliever.
- Our 3rd Officer is signing off and he has no reliever they say.
- Yes, his reliever is at navigation school so there will not come anyone to relieve him, the personnel manager answered.
- You told me that there was 3 Officers onboard.
- What's the problem?
- You told me that there was 3 Officers onboard.
- What's the problem?
Hmmm, a little dim, I thought.
- If I should be onboard there should be 3 Deck Officers onboard.
They should know the difference at the office between having 2 or 3 Officers onboard, especially when I had accepted the salary already. I didn't want this ship to start with but I find it hard to turn down job offers. It makes me feel bad, even if they only pay me 2/3 off my normal salary.

Our 2nd Officer doesn't know how to do the cargo paper and stuff so that means I have to do all the paper work and then stand my 6 hours watches on deck. Then after loading I have to spend hours to start up the cargo heating. No sleep.

I'm leaving the ship in Gothenburg if they don't find a new officer. When I came on my watch 8 o'clock Saturday night we passed just south of Skåne and we had network coverage. I called my friend and told him about Vinga Helena. He called back 15 minutes later.
- I have a ship for you on Wednesday, right now I only have a job as 2nd Officer, he said.
Never mind, I make more money in that company as 2nd Officer than as a Chief Officer here.
- Do you have a uniform? He asked.
- Yes I have. I call you back tomorrow and let you know if they can find a new 3rd Officer.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena There was also e-mail from Sue. So I was happy again.

We had to reduce speed Sunday morning because there was no pilot available before 1230. Otherwise we should have been at the pilot station 1115. Our 3rd Officer called the company and he could not sign off, that means that I have to stay with 3 Officers onboard. So the old Chief Officer was happy that he could go home and I had to call my friend and tell him that I stay onboard Vinga Helena.
I also called Sue and I had a nice chat with her.
At 1245 the pilot came onboard and 1400 we arrived alongside jetty 800 in Torshamnen.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
AB on the bridge
We did the paperwork and 1540 we started to discharge the crude oil.

The weather was terrible, gloomy and grey and strong winds. What we call Gothenburg weather. The old Chief Officer left us today and he was happy. Captain had ordered Diet Coke for me but there is no ship chandler coming today when it's Sunday. He will try to call our Cadet and ask him to bring a few cases.

I could hardly open my cabin door when I should go down to deck. There was a big bag of Diet Coke the Captain bought for me when he was ashore. Very good.

At 0225 we completed discharging and the surveyor checked the tanks. 0320 pilot came onboard and we left Gothenburg around 4 o'clock in the morning while I was writing e-mail to Sue and updating my web page in my cabin.

When I came on watch in the morning it was sunshine and nice weather. Our Cadet had
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Our Cadet at the wheel
Arranged picture
been ashore last evening in Gothenburg and he had checked my web page.
- I want to be on your page. Make a picture of me steering.
- Hmm, I don't know, OK try to look brisk. I said

We passed Kullaberg at 11o'clock and after lunch I did some paper work and then it was time for a movie. It was a real sleeping pill ( I choose movie by myself so I can't blame anyone else) so I took a power and beauty nap in the afternoon. I need to be thoroughly rested for my night watch. I have a few Diet Coke in my fridge so I'm looking forward for my watch.
It looks like we are going to have a BP vetting in Hamburg after Liepaja. Always a little something to look forward to.

I tested the gas detectors in the pump room on my morning watch, everything OK.
At arrival to Liepaja we had to drop anchor. At 1325 11th of February we dropped our anchor and they didn't know for how long when we asked them ashore. On my night watch I cleaned the lens in the entertainment center so now I can play my home made CDs.

10 minutes after midnight 12th of February our anchor was up. The ship leaving from the jetty we are going to had to wait for the bridge opening at midnight. So we had to wait as well. But after waiting for the pilot he finally boarded us at 0115.

On the way to the jetty I send some e-mail and I updated my web page.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena There was 3 e-mail from Sue. Oh yes, I love you letter. I also got e-mail from Cap. Nicke Nynäs. He was wondering what kind of "Quality tonnage" I was working on after a visit on my page. Hmmm. hard to keep any secrets here.

At 2 o'clock we came alongside and all fast 0300. Plenty ice at the jetty so it took us about 1 hour to get along side. Paper work and we start to load crude oil 0430 and I
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Our Captain
was off for my power and beauty nap.

We completed loading at 1515 and paper work was ready around 1745. Pilot was ordered for 1900. I had a chat with Cap before I went for a shower.
- OK, see you 8 o'clock I have to go and work with my web page, I said.
- Don't write anything bad about me. Then I will hack you web page, Captain said.
- How will you do that? I asked
Then he told me all about sending worms to me via e-mail and all kind off stuff. I didn't understand half of it and I don't know if
he did understand himself. But I crapped in my pants and there is nothing to read about our Captain on my page.

Anyway, I had a shower and I updated my page and I sent a few e-mail while the ship
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
2nd Officer
left berth. Nice to stay in my cabin instead of pulling mooring lines in the middle of the winter. I just hope that the pilot have left us when I come on watch 8 o'clock.

I was sitting in my cabin drinking Diet Coke like there was no tomorrow when I could see the pilot through my window coming onboard just after 7 o'clock in the evening. If they speed things up a notch maybe they can manage to get him off before 2000 when I come on watch.
That would be nice. I have a date with Captain on the bridge at 2000 for tea and good music. Hmm, I should not write anything about the Captain.

Anyway, we have left Liepaja for Hamburg and I updated my page and sent my e-mail. Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga HelenaE-mail from Sue again and I was happy.

Our 2nd Officer had been on a few SANKO ship so I asked him about the company. SANKO called me and wanted me in February but I went to Vinga Helena and now I'm scheduled for SANKO in March. Hmm, I don't know. What will Sue say? We will see what's happens.

Maybe I have to put an ad in the lonely-hearts column.
I hope not.
On the way to Hamburg we got a TELEX from the agent that our jetty will be occupied until Saturday afternoon. Our ETA is Friday afternoon so we have to drop anchor on Elbe. Our 3rd Officer got his airplane ticket confirmed. He's signing off in Hamburg.
But first we have to pass the Kiel Canal and you know what I think of the Kiel canal and radio stations in

Germany. Fortunately I have my home made CD's. 1 trick is to call Captain to the bridge.
- Can you stay on the bridge for a few seconds? I have a little something to check on deck.
It also works with paper work and you can leave the bridge in the good hands of the Captain, helms men and pilot.
Captain is nagging every day about my web page.
- Go get your computer. I want to see your web page< br> - It's better you check out my page when you sign off. Then you have something to look forward to when you sign off.
Well, anyway, coming on my watch 8 o'clock Thursday evening Captain was on the bridge so I could send some e-mail and update my we page. Captain told me that he had ordered Diet Coke and pillows for me in Hamburg. Again, a little something to look forward to.

We had to drop anchor before entering the lock in Kiel. They had some problem in the engine. So
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
The lock in Brunsbüttel
we were delayed for a few hours when we entered the Kiel Canal 10 minutes after 6 o'clock Friday morning.

We left the lock in Brunsbüttel just after 1 o'clock in the afternoon. The weather was very nice. Sunshine and +3°C so I had our AB's to clean the deck. The ship was black of dirt and it has not been possible to clean the ship for a long time due to the cold winter.

We dropped our anchor on the river Elbe 1450. Our jetty will be available Saturday lunch.
But this is only a preliminary time and I will not be surprised if they change the time.

The pilot will stay on the ship when we are waiting for our jetty. I don't know if we have any pillow
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Tjatte, Knatte & Fnatte
for the pilot onboard. While at the anchorage we received voyage orders for 2 more voyages to Leipaja, Latvia and load crude oil.

Our anchor was aweigh at 0925 on Saturday morning. We were secured along side Shell jetty just before 1300. We did the paper work and the surveyor told me that we could not start discharging until M/T Bergina was ready with her discharging. M/T Bergina was discharged at the jetty next to us. They expected us to start at 1700. And we were informed that there will be no BP vetting in Hamburg. So now we have to wait for the vetting. It's better to have it done.

Finally 1750 we started to discharge our crude oil. At 2200 our 2nd Officer woke me up.
- The cargo is very sticky and I can't stripp no. 1 and 2 cargo tanks, he told me on the phone.
- Oh what??? I'm coming, I said dazed with sleep
So I went down on deck and checked the tanks. Well 1-2 cm ROB is OK. I went to bed again and at 4 o'clock
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Vinga Helena on Elbe
they called me again. We had a new 2nd Officer that had signed on in Hamburg so I asked them to call me at 4 o'clock in the morning when he went on watch.

At 0545 we completed discharging and we left Hamburg just after 8 o'clock Sunday morning 16th of February.

We entered the lock in Brunsbüttel at lunch time and we left the lock in Holtenau just before 2000.

We arrived to Leipaja in the middle of the night. We had to drop anchor and wait for the bridge to open and at 0430 they called me. Straight from my power nap out in the winter on deck was like being hit by a freight train.

Same story this time, plenty ice at the jetty so we were not secured alongside until just before
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Tug boat working to take away the
ice between the ship and the jetty
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Tug boat working to take away the
ice between the ship and the jetty
o'clock in the morning. At 0745 we started to load the crude oil and we got order to discharge the oil in Gothenburg.

Captain went ashore to the dentist so I asked him to buy a slide film for me. I have 2 cameras onboard, 1 digital for my web page and 1 for ordinary pictures. I need a new slide film so I can take some photo for me to show Sue during the long and dark winter nights.
Very cozy

We completed loading at 1825 and the cargo documents came onboard at 2120. We ordered pilot for midnight when they open the bridge. I have time to send e-mail and update my web page before departure.

On our way to Gothenburg we held an oil spill drill and a collision drill. We received order to load fuel oil in Gothenburg to Norrköping after discharging in Gothenburg. They don't have any crude oil for us in Liepaja so we take this voyage before going back to Liepaja.

We had very nice weather and we entered Drogden just before midnight on Wednesday. After passing Drogden I told Captain that I should go down and update my web page.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
I don't know if it's better
- OK, I come to your cabin, he said.
He wanted to see my " FTP program " in action.
There was no net work coverage so we could not update the page. We had a look at my page on the computer.
- Hmm, can't you change my photo for a better one, he asked.
He took a picture himself and asked me to replace the other one. Well, I keep the old one and I put the one he took by himself so you can compare.

Just after he left my cabin I got network coverage so I could update my page and send e-mail to Sue. Then it was nap time.

We arrived to Gothenburg pilot 0950 Thursday 20th of February. On the way to jetty 800 in Torshamnen we passed a ship that had ran aground the day before.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
On the rocks

Always the latest news on

Plenty action in Gothenburg. 1 ship aground and 1 loaded tanker with a fire in engine room in
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
On the rocks

Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
On the rocks
Skarvik. They had a fire in their boiler. They managed to extinguish the fire.

We were secured alongside 1125 at jetty 800 in Torshamnen ready to discharge our crude oil. On the jetty next to us was M/T Bergina discharging crude oil.

That's the same tanker that was with us in Hamburg. The weather was very nice. It was like a nice spring day so it was nice to be on deck. This is the weather we are used to in Skåne. Our Chief Engineer left us in Gothenburg. We had a good time, always listening to his stories about ice cream Ice-creamon the bridge or where ever you ran in to him.

We did not start to discharge until 1335 because we had to wait for the surveyor. At 1400 I went to my cabin for a shower and to look at the picture I took of the grounded vessel. I just came in to my cabin when Sue called on the phone so I had a nice chat with her.
Sun shine and Sue on the phone. Can it be better?

We completed discharging at 2330 and we left just after midnight. We changed berth to Skarvikshamnen Jetty 520 and we were secured alongside 0145. We completed loading our 2 parcel of fuel oil 505 and fuel oil 503 at 1520. We had to discharge our sludge to a sludge barge and we left Gothenburg just after 1800 21st of February bound for Norrköping.
On the way out from Gothenburg we passed the grounded ship. They had pulled her off the rocks and she was anchored. There was a big hole in her ballast tanks.

We arrived to the pilot station 0740 Sunday morning 23rd of February and we arrived to the jetty 1110. We started to discharge our fuel oil 1225 after some problem to start 1 of the pumps. At 2130 we completed the first parcel. We started discharging 2nd parcel at 2235 and we will be ready around 0130 24th of February. Pilot ordered for 0200.

I ran into Captain 2315 when I came down from the bridge after changing time for the pilot from 0130 to 0200.
- Yo, are you awake? Bring a few diet drinks and come out on deck for a chat.
- OK, I'm coming.
We had a coke on deck and a chat. At midnight I was relieved by 2nd Officer and I could go and update my web page and send some e-mail. I have to go out again at 0100 and help them complete discharging.

At 0140 we completed discharging and I went to bed just after 2 o'clock. At 0330 we had an fire alarm in the engine room. It was false alarm, most likely caused by the heavy shaking when we passed through the ice.

Anyway, when I came on watch 8 o'clock in the morning we had left the pilot behind and I could have a nice watch on the bridge. It was fog and poor visibility. It was cold so the fog covered the ship with ice.
We dropped our anchor at Liepaja anchorage at 2100. Waiting for the bridge
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
This is the bridge we are waiting for all the time
opening again.

When they called me for my 8 o'clock watch in the morning we were still at the anchorage. So I had a good night sleep except for the false fire alarm at 0030. We are not allowed to go inside in the fog. Our agent called in the morning and told us that maybe we could go inside in the afternoon. They called from the pilot station at 9 o'clock and told us to heave up our anchor.

Our anchor was up just after 10 o'clock and I had time to line up our cargo lines in the pump room before the pilot boarded us. The pilot
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Pilot on the bridge
Tuffa Viktor in the back
boarded us at 11 o'clock when we were already inside the harbour.

I had prepared everything on deck so I could stay on the bridge taking a picture of the bridge.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
A buoy used as a bicycle stand
When the pilot noticed my camera he wanted me to take a picture of him and he asked if I could e-mail the picture to him.
- You can download it on my web page, I told him
I gave him the address and he asked when my page will be ready.
- I will update it when we have started to load. So try tonight.

We had to wait awhile for the tug boat to be ready. She helped M/T Bonito to get alongside pushing away the ice. Well, anyway I got the picture of the bridge so you can see what it looks like. After passing the
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Fishing on the ice
bridge there was plenty people fishing on the ice. I could see that they were using a buoy as a bicycle stand. First time for me.

After helping M/T Bonito the tug boat helped us with the ice. She's lying between us and the jetty and pushes away the ice with her propeller. The whole crew on the tug boat was on deck smoking. On one side is a crude oil jetty and on the next side is a tanker 50 cm away.
While pushing the ice away I could see that the whole harbour was covered with oil. And a few hundred meters away they were catching fish. Healthy.

Finally we were all fast alongside jetty no. 25 in Liepaja at 1315 25th of February. It takes some time with all the ice at the jetty. We started to load the crude oil at 1350 and expected to be ready around midnight + 2 hours for paper work.

I had my lunch and went to my cabin to update my web page. It's expensive to update the page from Latvia
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
2nd Officer and AB on the foc'sle
but I had promised the pilot so there was nothing to do. I can take the opportunity to send e-mail to Sue.

Captain had put an e-mail outside my cabin. After discharging the crude in Hamburg we shall load fuel oil in Hamburg or Brunsbüttel for Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp. Very exciting!!

We completed loading at 0040 26th of February. We were allowed to load until a maximum draft of 6,4m. We completed the paper work around 0330 and I could go to bed for my nap. They called me again around 6 o'clock and told me that we could load to maximum draft of 6,55m. So I had to go up and start loading again. At 0800 we completed loading and the paper work was ready at 1030. Now I was tired and needed some sleep.

When I woke up in the afternoon we were on the way to Hamburg and had left Liepaja behind us. It was foggy.
When I came on my watch 8 o'clock in the evening 27th of February the pilot was onboard already. He had boarded us just before 8 o'clock. We entered the lock in Holtenau at 2100 and we left the lock 2120. It was nice to leave the bridge at midnight just before changing the pilot in Schlüp. Time to update my web page and to send e-mail to Sue. I was hoping for arrival to Hamburg after 8 o'clock in the morning, otherwise they have to call me earlier. I need my beauty nap.

When I came on watch in the morning we were still on river Elbe. All fast 1000 28th of February at Shell Terminal and we started discharging at 1125. We got a new Captain in Hamburg and the old one is leaving the ship in the afternoon. His flight is 1900.
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena - Chief Officer annoying everyone by running around taking photos for the web page
Mooring work on poop deck
Arrival Liepaja 25th of February
Anyway, I could not go to sleep after my watch. We had to discharge a line displacement of 800m³ and then I have to make a new ullage report. At 1315 we had discharged 800m³ and at 1330 we started discharging again just when the rain started. I left 2nd Officer in charge on deck in the rain and went to my cabin for e-mail to Sue and to update my page.

I had a nice shower and I changed in my bed. Hmmm, it's going to be nice with a long power and beauty nap, dreaming of Sue. I hope no one calling me about any problem on deck.
Well, after a nice nap I did some work on my web page before I went on deck. We completed discharging at 2230 and pilot was ordered for 0030 1st of March. I went to bed for a few hours of sleep before arriving to Brunsbüttel. Our Captain managed to order some diet coke for me before he went home so my refrigerator is full again.

They called me 0500 1st of March.
- We are alongside in about 5 minutes.
Ugh, drowsy with sleep I went down on deck. We had all fast 0530 and the surveyor came onboard. We dipped the tanks. There was too much crude oil in the tanks. Crude oil lowers the flash point of the fuel oil so we could not load the fuel. We had to load 100m³ VGO and circulate it in our tanks to flush the tank bottoms and then discharge the VGO.

Finally at 8 o'clock in the evening we had discharged our VGO and we could start to load at 2035. I had a shower and I watched a video with the Chief Engineer. I was tired but could not go to sleep. Then I would have wake up in the middle of the night, so it was better to watch a movie. It was about some prison and the guards killed the prisoners. If I would have been alone there should have been plenty FFW on the remote. After the movie I went to my cabin and I
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Chief Engineer in his office.
sent some e-mail before my power nap.

Hmm, Yoo!! Did I get a good sleep or what? I felt asleep at midnight and when I woke up I could sense smell of cooking. I thought it was the cook making bacon and egg for Sunday breakfast. I looked at my wristwatch and it was 11 o'clock.

I went out on deck and relieved 2nd Officer for lunch and after that I had a chat with the Captain and Chief Engineer. I also took the opportunity to watch a video.

When I came to the dayroom our Cadet was watching a video already. Something about some people on a sailboat
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Watching movie in the dayroom.
and a murder hundreds of years ago. The movie was an all time low and we turned it off after a few minutes.

We changed to a new movie and it was time for dinner after the movie. I was in my cabin working with my web page when they called me 1730.
- We have a draft of 7,1m.
We should load to a draft of 7,17m so I went down on the jetty to check our draft and at 1745 we completed loading. I had to wait for a few hours for the paper but we left at 9 o'clock in the evening. The lock was not ready so we could not enter the lock until 2220 and when we left at 2240 there was not much left of my watch. Nice, I don't like to have pilot on the bridge on my watch. I went down to my cabin and I wrote an e-mail to Sue and worked with my web page while the 2nd Officer was on the bridge with the pilot. ETA Elbe pilot station around 2 o'clock in the morning so 2nd Officer will be busy with the pilot for 2 hours.

Our Cadet was ashore in Brunsbüttel Saturday night. He went to the seaman's club and surfed the internet. He's checking out my page whenever he has a chance. He's ashore everywhere to check my page.
Well, times changing, when I was an AB we went ashore everywhere to drink beer and to have a good time.

We left the pilot at Elbe pilot station 3rd of March around 2 o'clock in the morning. About 24 hours to Immingham. We crossed the North Sea during a sunny day with no wind at all, just a slight swell. It was like a summer day except for the cold. So far the winter 2002/2003 had been very nice. Cold but sunny and not very much wind. The pilot in the Kiel Canal said that February 2003 had have more sunny days than any other February since they started to keep weather observations on file hundreds of years ago.
When it's cold in Europe in the winter it's mostly nice weather and when it's mild it's always gale and rain.

On my night watch there was plenty people on the bridge. AB, Cadet and Captain drinking tea like there was no tomorrow. At midnight I went down to my cabin and tried to get some sleep before arrival.

We arrived to Spurn pilot station 0120 4th of March. It took us about 2 hours to steam up river Humber
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
My cabin. Always nice and tidy.

Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
My cabin. Always nice and tidy.
before we arrived to Immingham. They called me at 4 o'clock so I had to go up and do the paper work. I asked the Surveyor if " County Hotel " was still the hot spot in Immingham.
- The girls are not there anymore, he said
- Well, It's about 20 years since I was there so they must be 80-90 years old by now., I said
Now it was a techno club or something like everything else.

We started to discharge 5 minutes before 6 o'clock in the morning and I was in my cabin just before 7. I had a shower. Then I had a coke (diet) and I wrote e-mail to Sue and updated my web page.
I got 2 e-mails from Sue. She had cut her hair short. Never mind she's still the most beautiful girl in the world.

I also got e-mail from a crewing agency in Liverpool looking for Swedish Officers to a RORO ship. They also wanted to know if I knew some Swedish crew interested in working on a RORO ship. I replayed and asked about salary and stuff then I will ask around. I was in my bed just before 0800 and I was hoping for a nice long nap with sweet dreams.

I had just got in to my bed then the phone rang. I had forgotten to turn it off. It was Sue and we had a nice chat and I was happy that I had forgot to turn the phone off.

I woke up at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I opened my refrigerator to take a tin of snus. When I found out that there were only 7 tins left it was like being hit by a freight train. I was worried and when I came down in the dayroom Captain had a new loading order. We are bound for Stanlow and I will sign off together with the Chief Engineer in next discharge port. I called the Seaman's church in Liverpool and asked if they had some snus for me.
- No, we don't have any right now. We can try to get for you next time.
Well, then it's too late. But I got a tip from our Cook.
- The Motorman is using snus, he said.
I went down in the engine room and I got 10 tins from the motorman.
I was in a good mood when I came on deck. We completed discharging at 1820 and we left Immingham at 1930 bound for Stanlow. I had a shower and I send some e-mail before my watch at 8 o'clock. I have to stay for a while with the pilot before we leave him at Spurn. But after that I'm ready for tea and good music.

There was e-mail from Sue and from the crewing agency in Liverpool. They need Officers and crew to 2 RORO vessels.
For Swedish personnel vacancies for RoRo Fleet these are net/net annual
salaries ie inclusive of tax & social deductions

> Vessel 1: Built 1984 Freight RoRo / Swedish Flag / GRT 21000 / Engine : 2
> x Pielstick / KW Total 13200 / Trading area - Baltic

> Vessel 2: New building Freight RoRo / Swedish Flag / GRT 25000 / Engine : 4
> x Wartsila 8ZAL40S / KW Total 24000 / Trading Area - Baltic

> For vessel 1 we require all personnel to have joined by late March
> For vessel 2 we require Master / Ch Eng / ETO to join Mid March, remainder
> by Mid April

> We require Swedish personnel with proven ability on RoRo vessels. Tours of
> duty will be 8 weeks on/off. Net/ Net Agreement applies:
They made me their official Swedish recruitment agent and welcomed me to the team and I will receive standard recruitment fees.
Hmm, I never asked to be a recruitment agent and to find crew for 2 vessels is not the easiest thing to do. But I will pull a few strings ASAP when I have signed off beginning next week. It sounds good with the recruitment fee.
I will soon have to open a new bank account because there is no room for any more on the old one. But there will be space for the salary from Vinga Helena.
If you want to see the world and you are looking for a future as a salty sailor just drop me an e-mail. If you only want to see the world buy a airplane ticket.

I arranged an office in my cabin for my recruitment business. Not very much to do except writing e-mail to Sue and to work with my web page. But I sent a few names when we passed the English Channel and I told them there was not much I could do sitting on the ship. But as I wrote them:
- I will start to kick ass when I sign off.
Well, most likely I will lose money on the deal. To be connected to internet with my mobile and via England is not cheap. But I can send e-mail to Sue at the same time. Last month I had a 400$ phone bill.

Anyway, now it's just to sit in my office (cabin) and wait for people to knock on my door with their applications. It kind of reminds me of when I was working on United Polaris. I went ashore in Liverpool to buy underwear. I bought 1 pair and tried them on. It was OK. So I bought the whole stock they had in the shop. When I started to use them they were not so comfortable that I thought they were in the shop. I had to try to sell them all and I open a stall in my cabin. I ran out of stock in a flash, our cook and 1st Engineer bought the whole stock. I didn't make any money on the underwear business. But I think you could guess that.
If I can't find any crew then maybe it's easier to shanghai the crew. Maybe I could get a few pointers from Swedia shipping on how they did when they recruited me. They lied to me, but then it would be embarrassing to be a personnel manager in a company were you had to lie to people to get them to work for you. Yes, then next step is to shanghai the crew.
You invite someone you would like to have on your ship to a pub. Then you get them shit faced and throw him in to the trunk of your car and take him to the ship. Imagine waking up 8 o'clock in the morning with a hangover force 9,9 when Captain burst in to your cabin.
- Good morning!!
- Oh, where??!! What??
- You are our new Chief Officer, welcome onboard.
Panama style.
But I still have the best trick up my sleeve. You treat people decent and before you know it they call you and ask for job. Not too hard to understand.

Wednesday night the sea got a little choppy in the English Channel but when I got on my watch Thursday morning 8 o'clock it was like spring time with sun shine and no wind. Just a little swell. I finished my audio book that I have been listening to. I listening on audio books during my morning watches when I'm alone on the bridge. Captain and Chief Engineer and all kind of people use to come on the bridge for a tea and a chat but now they know that I want to be alone with my audio books. But during the night its tea time as usually.

When I got off my watch at lunch we had 30 minutes to go to Land's End TSS. After lunch I had my nap and when I woke up I got our loading instructions from The Captain.

We should load 6000MT +/- 10% Slurry fuel oil in Stanlow and discharge port Rotterdam for order. After that we got a Hamburg - Port Jerome voyage. Load 5800 MT 5pct moloo HCGO. I will sign off in Rotterdam if we discharge the fuel oil there. We have to see where we go.

After my watch Thursday night after being in the hospital looking for liniment for our Cadet I got to my cabin
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Lunch in the mess room.
and discovered that I had network coverage on my cell phone.
I will try to send e-mail to Sue and to update my web page. But we arrive tomorrow morning so I can wait if I fail to connect to the internet.

I managed to send my e-mail. There were 2 e-mails from Sue and now I can have a good sleep.
I had a nice sleep until 0740 Friday morning when they called me for my watch. I had a shower and I came on the bridge

0755. Our 2nd Officer was on the fo'c's'le and they dropped the anchor at 0755. I was lucky, I could stay on the bridge. Outside it was gloomy and grey and it was rain in the air. Our spring weather was gone with the wind. We had to wait for the high water and pilot should border us at 1230. I was looking forward for a nice watch on the bridge. Captain and Chief Engineer hanging around for a chat. I had time to call my reliever and asked him to buy a roll of snus for me.
  • Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
  • Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
  • Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena

Chief Engineer asked if I could take some pictures in the engine room for him. One of our auxiliary engines had seized and he wanted some pictures of the piston to send to the company.

We asked Captain to relieve me on the bridge and we went down in the engine room and took the pictures. Afterwards Chief Engineer brought his lap top to the bridge. We connected my camera to his computer and he had the pictures on his computer in half a jiff.

We started to heave up our anchor at 1200 and the pilot boarded us at 1245 when I was in my cabin. I was lucky, I spend my watch on the bridge and I didn't have to go out in the rain.

We passed Liverpool and entered the lock to the Manchester Canal. We arrived just before 5 o'clock in the afternoon and after paper work and tank inspection we started to load 1810.
It's slow loading so we expect 20 hours for the loading. Tjatte, Knatte & Fnatte took the opportunity to go ashore. There is a big shopping mall close by where they can spend
their money. I wanted to go ashore but as Chief Officer you have to stay on the ship if the shit hits the fan.
In the evening we received e-mail with order to proceed to a safe anchorage outside Antwerp to await order for discharge port (signing off port).

They called me 7 o'clock on Saturday morning and it was time to go on deck and complete loading. We completed loading at 1030 and the Surveyor came onboard for the paper work. He asked me if I had been to the Middle East.
- I recognize you from the Persian Gulf, he said
He had been working for SGS in the Middle East and he had met me on some ship. It's a small world.

Our cargo documents came onboard at 1145 and pilot was ordered for 1230. But then I was watching a video with our Cadet. When I came back to my cabin there was 9 missed calls from Sue. So I called her in the afternoon before I had my power nap.
We left the pilot 8th of March just after 7 o'clock in the evening at Point Lynas. He could not disembark at Bar L/F because of the weather. Gale from SW. When I came on my watch at 8 o'clock it was rough sea so I could not drink any tea on my watch. We had the
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
AB and Chief Engineer in the ECR.
sea coming from forward so we only made 5 - 6 knots with plenty " Stamp & Stånk " as we say in Sweden.

I got worried about my snus, with this speed I will run out of snus before I can sign off. I regretted that I didn't take the snus the seaman's church brought to the ship when they delivered new books Friday night in Stanlow. But it was snus in bags and I don't like that. But I hope I sign off before I'm out off snus. If not it's too late to change my mind about the bagged snus. We continue to " Stampa & Stånka " and there is new gale warnings.

Sunday 9th of March and the bad weather continues. Our speed is very slow in the head wind and when I went on my watch Sunday evening I took a tin of snus and there is 6 left in the refrigerator. I have to be stingy from now on.

Early Monday morning 10th of March we passed Land's End and entered the English Channel. The wind and sea became tail wind so there was no rolling when I came on my watch 8 o'clock in the morning. I was listening to my audio book and enjoyed the watch.

After dinner when I was sitting with our Cadet watching (sleeping) a video about Stallone in a snow storm Captain came down and told us that we had got order to discharge in Antwerp. Signing off Tuesday afternoon an Antwerp. I was relieved, I will have enough of snus. Captain had called my reliever after lunch and changed my order from 10 to 15 tin of snus. I had 5 diet cokes in my refrigerator as well so after the video I checked the temperature on the cargo and off I went for my cabin to drink coke and eat snus.

Our Cadet had been working with heating and steam before he wanted to be a sailor. So I had a great help from him with the cargo heating onboard. When I came onboard in Stockholm the whole piping system to the cargo heating was leaking. Our Cadet and the AB repaired much of the leaks on the pipes and valves.

0605 11th of March the pilot boarded us at Wandelar pilot station. When I came on watch at 8 o'clock it was Doctorraining and it was gloomy and grey. But I was happy, signing off in the evening. We changed our pilot at Vlissingen 0830 and we had tea with the new pilot.

They called from Swedia and told me that my reliever could not come in Antwerp and the asked if I could stay a few days extra. My reliever's wife had broken her arm in the morning and he had to take her to the hospital so he could not make it to the airport. I asked Captain to order a case of diet coke and I called the seaman's church in Antwerp and asked if they could arrange snus for me.
We arrived to the lock in Antwerp 1210 and we were alongside just before 1400. The came from the seaman's church with newspaper and 2 rolls of snus for me. I gave 1 to the motorman and I had 1 for my self. Nice, now I don't have to worry about the snus. When the ship chandler came he delivered ordinary coke and not diet coke. A setback again but I have my snus.

In the evening I checked my e-mail and there was e-mail from Sue and also from my friend and he wanted me on a ship end of March. That gives me 2 weeks with Sue before I go on my next ship.

- I was on a ship were the Cook baked cookies, I told the Cook.
- Yes, me too, Captain said.
So in the evening we had fresh made cookies.

They called me 4 o'clock Wednesday morning 12th of March.
-1 hour before we are ready with discharging, 2nd Officer said.
I went down on deck and did the paper work with the Surveyor and we left 8 o'clock in the morning. We had to pass the lock before we entered river Schelde at 1030. Long time waiting in the lock and it was cold even though the sun was shining and I had packed all my clothes so I was freezing like He**.

After leaving the pilot we got head wind so when I got off my watch at midnight 12th of March we had ETA Elbe pilot in the afternoon 13th of March. When I came on my watch at 8 o'clock in
Aladdin's adventure onboard M/T Vinga Helena
Our Cook.
the morning 13th of March it was no wind and sunshine. ETA Elbe pilot 1130. At 8 o'clock Captain came on bridge and told me that I had to go down and eat breakfast.
- No, you know that I'm on diet.
- But the Cook made rice porridge for you and me, he said.
- Today again?
I never eat breakfast, I just take a shower before I go to my watch and I drink my tea on the bridge. But yesterday when completed discharging in Antwerp I was ready with the paper work 6 o'clock in the morning and it was no use to go for my nap. So I asked our Cook to make rice porridge for breakfast. It was very good so I thought it would be nice to have tomorrow again.
- It was very good, if you get some experience it will be perfect. I will sign off on Friday so you have tomorrow to get some more practice, I told him.
So we got rice porridge today as well. Yummy!!

Later on Captain came to the bridge and asked me if I had received my salary last month.
- Well, I don't know. This things use to work on other ship.
I called my bank and no salary. Now I got really pissed off. It did not make it better when they said at the office:
- It's not our fault.
Sure as h... is not my fault. I asked him why everything was problem in this company. They had repair men coming in Hamburg with a rented lorry that I had promised to drive home to Gothenburg from Hamburg.
- They can take a bicycle from Gothenburg to pick up their lorry if they want. Now I just want to be in Gothenburg ASAP to take care of my bills and stuff.
Endless problem and no matter what I will be concerned as the trouble maker. Or what do you think? Which scenario is most likely?
Scenario 1:
Around the coffee table at the office.
- Now he refuses to drive the lorry to Gothenburg.
- Yeah, and he ordered pillows for the crew.
- It's not our fault that we did not send his salary.
- I lied to him and told him that there was 3 Officers onboard and he made a big scene out of it.
- Only trouble with this Chief Officer.
- Yeah, what the h... that there is cargo in the ballast tanks, that's nothing.
- How many Chief Officers have there been last year? Is it 8?
- Yes, I think so. They are so stupid so they don't understand what a nice ship they are working on.
- Next time we find a drunk or someone that can't find another ship.
- Yeah, good idea. They only have the pillow to puke on and never complain.
- Yes, why should we spend several dollars on pillows and stuff?
- Yes, GREAT, and we don't have to lie to get them onboard
- Now it's only trouble makers coming and they don't understand what a fine ship we have!!

Scenario 2:
Around the coffee table at the office.
- We fucked up again.
- Yes, how many Chief Officers have there been last year? Is it 8?
- It was a great mistake not to send the salary.
- Hmm, how can we make it up to him?
- We can pay all the delay charges to the bank for him.
- Yes, I hope they don't turn off his phone because of this.
- We missed to send pillows to the ship. It could be worth 100$ to get pillow to the ship.
- Yes, it's much better if the Chief Officers are coming back to us.
- I will never lie again to get a Chief Officer onboard.
- He must have been chocked when he came onboard and there was no reliever for the 3rd Officer.
- Hmm, I fucked up. It will not happen again.
- I don't think it was nice for him to sign on and discover that there was cargo in the ballast tank.
- From now on we shape up so we get people to stay onboard.
- Yes, it's the best for the ship. HEY!! We can even save money on this.
- What are you saying?
- Yes, every time we have a new Chief Officer he had to double with the old one when he learns the ship.
- Yes, go ahead.
- This cost a lot of money and if we spend 100$ for pillows maybe they stay!!!
- Very good idea, and we don't have to spend hundreds of dollars every time we have a new Chief Officer.
- Yes, when we have the same people all the time they take good care of the ship.
What scenario do you think is most likely? There is no prize for the right answer.

Well, anyway, pilot boarded us at 1145 at Elbe pilot station. About 6 hours to Hamburg. I gave 1 of my pillows to the 1st Engineer and he was so happy. He was shinning like a sun.
In Hamburg there was a chemist boarding us just after we changed for the harbour pilot. He was going to take gas samples in our cargo tanks. We were not allowed to load if we had gas in our tanks. He could not find any gas, I had ventilated our tanks on the way from Elbe pilot station to harbour pilot. We arrived to VOPAK jetty #2 just before 7 o'clock and my reliever came onboard at 1930. I left the ship just after 8 o'clock so the new Chief Officer could stay in my cabin.

This is the first time I award a company 5 out of 5 since I was in Grebbestad Shipping. I ordered pillows and a doodah to measure the density of the water (important to have when you load in brackish water) 5 weeks ago and not a sign of the stuff. I got 2 pillows to my cabin just because I told Captain that I was leaving the ship if I didn't get new pillows. Same as I should have left the ship if there wasn't 3 Officers onboard. Now I sign off and the 2nd Officer sign off here as well leaving the new Chief Officer with only 1 2nd Officer.
I'm leaving without a backward glance to new adventures.


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


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