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Updated with new and bigger pictures May 2013 while I was onboard M/T Richard Maersk
Photo from Donsötank's web page Without permission
M/T Prospero is a chemical and product tanker (IMO type 2) with a double hull and single deck. The vessel is fitted with a diesel electric propulsion system delivered by SSP (Siemens Schottel Propulsion). Four diesel generator sets supply power to the propeller aggregate called POD, as well as the bow-thruster, cargo and ballast pumps, living quarter and all other electrical consumers.
M/T Prospero was built at Shanghai Edward Shipyard, China and she was delivered 11 October 2000. She's on 18119 DW ton and she loads 20500m³ in 14 cargotanks. She's 145,7 m long and 22m wide with a draft of 9,8m. She have Svanehøj 14x250/12 bar cargo pumps with discharge capacity of 4900³/h. Autronica !!!??? cargo monitoring system.
HFO tanks 560m³ and DO tanks 70m³. FW tanks 90m³ and FW technical 130m³.
She takes 2131m³ of ballast.
Main Engines (POD) Siemens Schottel 7, 5100 Kw (360 deg) and W�rtsil� 9L20 4x1620 Kw aux engines
Class DNV+1A1, IMO 2, IBC 2, Ice 1A, EO, ETC, a2, b3, c3, f2, k , 1,50t/m3,str 0.1, W1-OC.
Well, chubby is back in business. I got an e-mail after 1 week at home asking if I wanted to sign on M/T Prospero. I told them that I was busy until 29th of March. So they wanted me to come in the beginning of April. Well, it wasn't easy to leave Captain Darling behind. No more cuddling.
I can't stand the goodbye from Sue but money is required. During my holiday there had been some serious ass-kicking going on in my apartment. Master bathroom and bedrooms ready. New teak doors and the electric system are up to date. Next time I'm coming home I hope the apartment is ready and then it's just to move in the kitchen furniture.
I have decided to go real serious with my diet this time. No more chocolate and snacks. I bought a virtual CD drive program so I can load Hälsovakten on my hard drive, no CD required. Well, my brand new Fujitsu Siemens computer don't work so I cannot use the Hälsovakten. But it gives me plenty time for exercise , and honestly, I think that's the way to go
So while I'm on the ship my computer is serviced and I can neither upload my web page nor send and receive any e-mails. Yo! No big phone bill.
Well, while waiting you can take a peek at my list of crap not to buy.
I arrived to Sweden 29th of March and my friend should pick me up at the airport. Well, he could not use his key to start the car so I took a taxi from the airport to the city. At arrival to his apartment I found out that he had called a locksmith.
- Maybe we have time for a semla before he arrives? I said.
We were sitting on a coffee shop eating when the locksmith called and my friend had to leave. I was sitting eating Semlor while they were working with the car.
When I was ready with my Semla we were able to start the car with a screwdriver. First thing we did was to drive to Backaplan in Gothenburg and we left my new computer on Computer City. After that we started our journey to Kalmar, I should spend a few days in Kalmar with my friend before signing on. The plan was that I should sign on 30th of March but the ship was delayed in St. Petersburg.
I spent a few days walking around in Kalmar while my friend was in school. He will be a future Deck Officer and he studies at Kalmar Nautical College.
There wasn't very much to do in Kalmar, I spent the mornings at the library reading news paper and surfing the internet and at lunch I went to the nautical college and picked up my friend. We tried a new restaurant every day and 1 day we drove to Färjestaden on Öland. We ended up in a pizzeria and we were the only people there.
- We are selling pizzas for the whole year during the summer, the owner said.
The bridge to Öland.
A 5 minutes walk and you had seen what there was to see in Kalmar. There wasn't very much exciting happening in Kalmar either. Well, except for 1 day when we had to wait for the train to Malmö to pass before we could cross the railway. I could barely handle the excitement.
I had time to order a new passport and I can pick it up when I sign off the ship. Maybe I have to call them and ask them to send the passport to the police in Gothenburg. It will be easier for me to pick up the passport in Gothenburg when I'm back home from Prospero.
We had very nice weather and I could sense the spring in the air, it became cold in the wind the last 2 days.
One day we went to a Italian restaurant on Larmtorget, Ristorante Ernesto.
I ordered Spaghetti Carbonara and my friend ordered Pannbiff.
- We don't have Spaghetti Carbonara.
What kind of Italian restaurant is this? I ordered a Pizza My friend's Pannbiff went down like an aspirin, there wasn't very much on the plate and I had the bad taste in the mouth all day long after my pizza.
- Can I have the bill?
The waitress just ignored me, but there was a guy in the bar screaming:
- You can pay over here!! He screamed.
What the bip is this? The worst bipping restaurant I ever been on.
- 145 kr, he said.
- What the bip? It says 140 in the menu, I said.
- We made a big pizza for you, he said.
- You made a crappy pizza, it tasted like sh•t, I said.
He had to give me 5 kr back and we left without leaving any tip. I will never set my foot there again. There should be a sign outside: We serve crappy food!! Pizzan smakade fan i mej gump. Fy för fan!
They called from the company and told me that Prospero was passing Simrishamn 8 o'clock in the morning 2nd of April. The ship was delayed due to waiting in St. Petersburg.
When I was waiting for my friend at his school I meet the cadet from Vinga Helena. He told me that there had been pillows delivered to the ship.
- So I did something good for the ship, I said.
I was picked up by our 2nd Engineer 3 o'clock in the morning 2nd of April outside my friend�s apartment. We should drive to Kristianstad and leave our rental there. Bosun should pick us up with a rental and we should go to Simrishamn together.
Even though I was half dead and unconscious when we passed the border to Skåne at 04:30 I could not help crying at sight of the beautiful scenery.
We should meet Bosun at Preem gas station in Kristianstad at 5 o'clock. There was no sign of Bosun when we arrived and the gas station was closed, so we drove to Statoil and we bought a news paper and a diet coke.
We had to wait a few minutes for Bosun when we returned to Preem. We loaded our luggage in to his rental. We left our rental and we continued our journey in Bosun's rental.
Österlen waiting for us in Simrishamn
We arrived to Simrishamn around 6 o'clock in the morning and we found Österlen, the boat that was going to take us to the ship
At arrival there was no sign of the crew and we called them. They should come around 7 o'clock they told us. It was a cold and windy morning so I didn't feel for taking a walk. We waited in the car.
Finally the crew came and we left Simrishamn, it was very rough sea outside and the boat was jumping up and down, making it impossible to take any pictures of the ship. It was just to hold on to something sturdy while jumping up and down.
My first picture aboard Prospero
It was nice to comer onboard the ship. We came onboard at 0720 and I went to the bridge to say hello to Captain after meeting the Chief Officer in the mess.
- You can live in the Pilot cabin, Captain told me.
I went straight to bed and I slept until the afternoon.
When I woke up I had a nice shower and I went to the bridge, I took a few pictures because I knew you're interested in how the bridge look.
Especially Unge Herr Sjö Officeren.
Cargo Control on the bridge
It was a very nice bridge. First thing to do was to locate the entertainment center. Then I located the refrigerator, to keep my milk for the tea and the tea machine was on top of the refrigerator.
During the night watch I went through the other equipment with Chief Officer. I found out that the tea was tasting coffee when making tea in the coffee machine. Bosun had to bring hot water from the galley. A major set-back.
Well, I brought Captains attention to the matter and he promised to order a new tea machine ASAP.
3rd of April and it was time for a fire drill, we took the opportunity to held a oil spill drill and life boat muster as well. We started with the fire drill.
Scenario: Fire in engine room and 1 missing person. 2 teams with smoke divers were searching the engine room for the missing person.
When the missing person was recovered we held a life boat muster and then we went through the oil spill equipment. It was good for me to go through all the equipment with a drill immediately when signing on.
It was very cold outside. There was sunshine and nice weather, but it was very cold in the wind. Afterwards we had a debriefing on the bridge and I took the opportunity to get all of the crew on a picture. Team Donsö
We passed the North Sea 4th of April and it was very nice weather. I spent the watches with Chief Officer and he showed me all the tricks of the trade and he showed me the ropes around the deck.
At midnight we had a meeting in the mess room.
We had things to discuss but as soon as he has signed off I have to put an end to this nightly stop-over in the mess room. We have a very good Cook onboard and there are plenty of temptations for guy on diet in the mess room. Things are getting out of hand easily with a good Cook aboard, and the Cook we had aboard was excellent.
Playing cards in the duty mess
We arrived to Sunk anchorage and had dropped our anchor at 05:15 ST. Anchor was up at 07:20 and Pilot came onboard at 07:50. We had to go with reduced speed because we needed to adjust our arrival time for the tide water. We had all fast at jetty #5 in Coryton at 1400 ST.
Our Chief Officer left us with a taxi and I was all by lonesome.
We started discharging at 1600 and I could move in to my cabin in the afternoon and I took a few picture of my cabin before moving in, smart move!. My cabin tends to get a little messy after a day or two.
I took the pictures before moving in
My bed room
When I moved out from the pilot cabin the New Chief Engineer moved in, he came onboard at arrival and the old Chief Engineer will leave us in Immingham.
We had a nice evening in Coryton, no problem with the discharging and Bro Jupiter was on the jetty next to us.
We got 2 visitors from Bro Jupiter coming onboard, they stayed for a while. They had to return to their ship when she left in the evening. It was to dark to get any picture of her when she left Coryton.
We completed discharging at 1050 6th of April and the Surveyor had inspected the tanks at 1100. I did the paper work with the Surveyor and we left the jetty at 1230 6th of April. I was on the bridge watching the action when we left.
Obbola was anchored at the mouth of river Thames with engine problem. We passed close to her and I went out to take a few pictures for my web page. When I came out it started to rain and when I came back on the bridge the sun was shining again. Well, I got my pictures. We left the pilot at 1550 and we steered towards river Humber and Immingham. It's about 12 hours to Spurn pilot station. But we will drop our anchor at arrival.
When I came on my morning watch 7th of April we were at the anchorage. We had dropped our anchor at 0250 in the morning.
I spent the afternoon with Bosun and our (2) Chief Engineers testing our emergency cargo pump. It's a hydraulic driven submergible pump, so there is plenty hoses to connect to the pump. Everything worked as it should and we were satisfied with our day.
While waiting at the anchorage I'm getting concerned about my stock of diet coke. I'm running alarming low on my stock. Our Filipino 2nd Officer told me that he has a friend in Immingham and that he will try to get me a few cases of diet coke.
Finally it was time to take up our anchor, at 1310 8th of April our anchor was up. Pilot was onboard at 1420 and we had all fast at South Killingholme at 1700 ST (1600 LT) 8th of April. We had to wait until 2118 before they started to load the gasoline.
While waiting for them to start I got some cash from the Captain that I handed over to 1 of the ABs. He was going ashore shopping and he promised to bring 3 cases of diet coke, 24 £ was required.
It was a nice evening and I enjoyed my watch, we loaded with a rate of 1350m³. Later on my watch my watchman came to the bridge with 3 cases of diet coke and I ripped a can open first thing.
There wasn't very much exciting happening in Immingham, except for the delivery of soda pops and e-mail from Sue.
I'm working with my web page at the deck office on 1st poop deck after my watches. But it's not possible to upload my web page. But I'm saving money, almost 800$ per month when I'm not uploading my web page and sending e-mail from my computer.
There is also time for a video after midnight, or a part of a video before my nap. Bosun is ready with his fire round when I'm ready with my web page and then it's time for a snack and movie. But I will start to use the computer on the bridge when writing e-mail to Sue and writing on my web page.
Thus I hope to shun any more nocturnal meetings in the mess room with snacks and movies. From now on it will be straight to my cabin from the bridge without any excursion to the mess room.
Our Chief Engineer disappeared early morning for the airport and he was off the ship when I came on my watch.
We completed loading at 10:40 9th of April and a cargo calculation was completed at 1135. They told us that we had to wait a few hours for the cargo documents, I had time to eat lunch with the boys.
When I came down in the mess room our Cook was serving Raggmunk.
- HEY COOK!! Raggmunk is my favourite, this is not helping my diet?
But our Cook had made a lot to help, before he brought new baked cookies to the bridge every morning. And yes, I miss working with Swedish Cooks, today�s shipping and “quality” should come cheap.
- Please! Can you stop bring the cookies to the bridge?
I also got a bucket of oatmeal to the bridge so I can make my "Oatmeal surprise"
Our cargo documents came onboard at 1500 and pilot came at 1705 and we left 1720 9th of April bound for Milford Haven.
Captain busy in his office
Captain busy on the bridge
We were looking forward for a nice trip to Milford Haven. Captain spent much time on the bridge on my watches, well, it was actually all the time. It was all the tittle-tattle from Donsö and I was always up-dated with the latest gossip from Donsö But the worst thing was the candy he was eating all the time. I'm allergic to candy, it makes me swollen and I can't get me cloths on. Sue use to mistake my allergic reaction for " gaining weight ". Captain keeps asking:
- Do you want some candy?
- Please!! Do you want to kill me?
Before my watches I'm knocking on Captains door.
- Soon 8 o'clock!!!
He's on the bridge in a shake of a lamb tail and I'm soon to know the latest gossip again. Times turned quick on my watches. We had very nice weather except for the fog. April 2004 was a foggy month.
We had ETA to Milford Haven pilot in the afternoon of the 11th of April. Stena Conductor had the same ETA and service was based on first at pilot station. Stena Conductor should discharge crude oil on the same jetty as we. If she was first we had to wait at the anchorage and Captain was worried that we should miss the Brofjorden - Stockholm voyage. We had to be in Brofjorden before 17th of April or we missed that voyage.
Tärnfjord was at anchor outside Gothenburg looking for cargo and she could have taking our cargo for us. Well, we don't want to give away anything to Tärntank.
When I called Milford Haven Port Control on my morning watch they told us that we were first but we had to drop our anchor at arrival. We dropped our anchor at Milford Haven roads at 1300 11th of April.
I was on the fo�c's�le when 2nd Officer and AB on the watch dropped the anchor. I took a few educational videos and a few exciting pictures with my camera while on the fo�c's'le pestering the 2nd Officer. And I will upload them when I have my computer because I need to edit the videos before uploading them on my page.
Preparing the anchor
Still making speed towards the anchorage
Anchor lowered to just above water level and are ready to be dropped
Breaking the anchor winch and we can go for our Easter dinner
They said that everything should be so nice and good with flag of convenience.
Stena Conductor came in second
We can never take that away from her and she can fly the Panama flag proudly
We had our Easter dinner and at 1820 we had our anchor up. Pilot came onboard at 1920 and we had all fast on jetty 1 at 2045 11th of April
At arrival to Milford Haven M/T Oktavius was on the jetty next to us and Bro Traveller and Bro Trader were loading in Pembroke.
We did the paper work and sampling was completed at 22:20. But we didn't start discharging until 1020
12th of April 2004 and with the backpressure we could keep a discharge rate of 330,7m³/h. We spent 65hours and 45 minutes alongside and we discharged 50 hours and 25 minutes.
During the time I had time to take pictures of Swedish ships coming and going in Pembroke, just across the bay from Milford Haven. Fure Sun came and departure for Italy, Bro Trader left and came back again. Bro Axel loaded in and left while we were discharging.
We completed discharging at 1245 14th of April. It was nice to leave Milford Haven behind. ETA Brofjorden 17th of April, we will make it just in time.
We had a nice voyage to Brofjorden. I have made some calls to Computer City from Milford Haven to see if my computer was ready. Hmm, I don't think its possible to get my computer in Brofjorden. I will never buy something at Computer City again.
On the way to Brofjorden we cleaned ballast tanks DB 3P/S. We estimated the amount of mud in all of our ballast tanks to 200-300 ton. That's 200-300 ton less cargo to load when we load on MAXIMUM draft.
Captain in his favourite sofa on the bridge
2nd officer releive me in the CCR on the bridge
14th of April 2004 and we're leaving Milford Haven
We arrived to Brofjorden pilot 0850 and we had all fast at jetty 2 at 10 o'clock. It was nice weather. We started to load our MK-1 at 1110 and they told us that we had to wait for the gasoline until late in the evening.
We discharged our slop and we got provision. We got the new tea machine for the bridge, so from now on there will be plenty tea drinking.
Our 2nd Officer and Cook left us in Brofjorden and we got a new Cook and 2nd Officer onboard. Had been working with the new 2nd Officer on Tärnvik a few years ago.
We discharged our SLOP between 1130 and 1325 and I had time for a quick lunch. I asked our new Cook where he came from.
- I'm from Gotland, he said.
- They don't know how to make Raggmunk on Gotland, I said.
- Yes, we do .
- Prove me wrong.
I was hoping for Raggmunk for lunch the next day.
I wanted to call Sue when we were ready with the SLOP so I went to my cabin, so I could be in peace and quiet when calling Sue. Well, before long Captain was knocking on my door.
- Hello, my sister is onboard!!!
- Yeah yeah, I'm busy.
After my chat with Sue I went to the bridge. Captain's sister asked me what I thought of the ship.
- It's nice, almost as nice as a Tärn ship, I said.
She got very upset when I mentioned that Tärn had better ships.
- Well, when you build next ship maybe you can go all the way, I said.
She went from upset to furious and she did spring up from the sofa.
But honestly, this is the nicest ship I have been working on. It's a nice accommodation and everything on deck is easy to work with. This is the first time I'm working with Svanehøj deep well pumps. They have a non-return valve in the well and when the pump trip the tank is empty. Before Tärnsjö and Tärnland was the nicest ship, but hey!! Second is not bad.
We started to load our gasoline at 2120 and we estimated the time for completion to 5 o'clock in the morning. Loading 2 parcels and first parcel completed at 0150 there was no sleep for me during the night.
We completed loading at 0435 and the cargo documents came onboard at 0550. We left Brofjorden at 0620 18th of April.
I was on the bridge at departure so I could get some pictures of M/T Chess. She had arrived to jetty 3 at 4 o'clock in the morning.
We could hear Älvtank reporting to Marstrand pilots and I stayed on the bridge so I could get some pictures of her when she arrived. We meet Älvtank when passing the crude oil jetty and I got my pictures for my “Ship Picture site”
Captain checking the chart before departure from Brofjorden
M/T Älvtank passing the crude oil jetty in Brofjorden early morning
M/T Älvtank arriving to Brofjorden early morning
I was off to bed, our two 2nd Officers had to take my morning watch. I went to bed and my much needed power nap. I slept until late afternoon.
When I came on my night watch we were just north of Kalundborg in Great Belt. We could see Tärnland on our starboard side so I called them on CH 16. To my surprise there was a Chief Officer from Skåne answering. I asked him who the Captain was. It was my favourite Captain (in Tärntank) and we had a chat.
- Your lucky with a Chief Officer from Skåne , I said.
Well, I found out that their Chief Officer was going to sign on Prospero in July so I could leave the ship knowing they were in good hands.
They came from dry dock in Fredericia and were on the way to Kalundborg to load for Malmö. But first they had to spend the night on the anchorage.
We passed the Great Belt Bridge around 11 o'clock and at midnight 2nd Officer relieved me and I was in my cabin in a jiff.
Night time navigation in Great Belt
We had a nice voyage to Stockholm with good weather, a little foggy, but we are getting used to it now. There has been fog almost every day.
Our Cock made Raggmunkar on the way to Stockholm, they were very good. The day after it was Korv Stroganoff for lunch, 2 favourites. My diet at peril again.
We arrived to Stockholm pilot station at 12:20 20th of April. It took us about 4 hours through the archipelago to Stockholm and we had all fast at Loudden at 16:25.
At arrival our new Captain was on the jetty and he jumped onboard and he was screaming Aladdin while skidding up the ladder (Yeah, skidding up the ladder, not down) to the manifold after slipping on deck.
- How do you know me? I asked.
I was on the manifold positioning the ship, we should have a Q8 vetting here in Stockholm and I was hoping that the vetting inspector wasn't on the jetty taking notes.
We started to discharge our MK-1 (City diesel) at 1935. We had to wait until we were ready with our bunkering before we could start with the gasoline. We are not allowed to handle our gasoline with a bunker barge at our side.
I took a tour on deck with our Q8 vetting inspector and he was satisfied with our ship. Our vetting was over around 23:00 and the vetting inspector should stay overnight onboard. He would leave when we were ready the morning after with his car and our old Captain will go with him to Gothenburg.
I called Sue after my watch and it was very nice to hear her voice again.
We completed discharging at 0605 and we left Loudden at 07:40 21st of April bound for Gdansk, Poland to load gasoline for Amsterdam. I had to spend my watch on the bridge while passing the archipelago of Stockholm and we left the pilot at 11;20.
Captain called me in the afternoon, they had called from the company about some cargo questions. How much can we load with maximum draft of 7 meter in brackish water. Loading Cape Town up to some river in Nigeria and/ or Togo.
We did the calculation and we sent the answer to the company.
On my night watch a small boat was calling us on CH 16. It was a Swedish research vessel and it was the husband of the sister to our former Captain, the one that had been onboard in Brofjorden and we talked a little about this and that.
It was a busy night on the bridge, we had a Norwegian serviceman from Atlas onboard. He was repairing our auto pilot and satellite aerial. So it was nice to leave the bridge for my power nap.
22nd of April was a nice day and when I came on my morning watch we were at slow speed, adjusting speed for pilot at 08:30. Pilot came onboard at 0835 and we had all fast at 0940.
We had all this people coming onboard and there were plenty paper work to do before we could start loading the gasoline. Tanks were inspected at 10:45 and we were ready to load.
But we had to take bunker first and at 14:20 the bunker barge left us and at 1500 the cargo arm was connected.
- We will prepare shore side, Loading Master told me.
We had to wait until 1745 before we could start loading. Surveyor told me that they had problem every time they loaded gasoline. There was a long pipeline from the refinery and people used to drill holes in the pipeline so they could steal gasoline.
- It's very hard to find these holes and pipes, Surveyor told me.
They had found an extra pipe during the day and that was the reason for the late start.
The Surveyor stays onboard during the cargo operation and he sits on the bridge. How much fun is that after a few hours? Well, anyway, it was nice when loading was completed at 1335 23rd of May.
Now we had to do the usual paper work, eastern European style. Heaps of paper. We left Gdansk at 16:40 bound for Amsterdam via the Kiel Canal. During our stay in Gdansk we got confirmation for next voyage. Sines, Portugal - Cape Town with reformate.
During my night watch we played “Verdens længste rap” with Østkyst Hustlers. It's the longest rap in the world, 79 minutes long and Bosun looked ailing.
- Do you think we can make it to Gunnies Book of Records if we play "Verdens længste rap" non-stop from Sines to Cape Town? I asked him.
We arrived to Kiel pilot at 19:10 24th of April and its about 1 hour to the lock from the pilot station. When I came on my watch at 2000 we kept very slow speed due to traffic in the lock.
Good, I don't have to spend too much time in the Canal. We were in the lock between 2130 and 2200. When we left the lock we found out that our steering light wasn't working in the fore mast. I sent up Bosun in the mast to change the light while I was encouraging him from deck. Well, I managed to kill another 30 minutes or so before returning to the pilot and the entire hullabaloo on the bridge.
I looked out of my window first thing when they called me at 07:40 25th of April. I was hoping for us to be out of the Canal. I could hardly see anything outside my window due to thick fog. But I could see that we were in Brunsbüttel lock and I went on deck.
On my way to the fo�c's�le to relieve 2nd Officer I could hear the birds singing and lamb graze around the lock. I could feel the spring in the air.
We left the lock at 0815 and we had the tide with us, luckily enough, I didn't have to spend too much time with the pilot. We left him behind at 1045. I was busy for the rest of my watch to dodging traffic in thick fog. It was nice to be relieved at 12 o'clock and I took off to the mess room for an exciting lunch.
Our Bosun and I had a fight about the music during the night watch. I asked Bosun if he liked to hear the longest rap in the world or the shortest " Joddla med Siv " in the world on the evening watch. During my evening watch we had the tide against us and our ETA to Amsterdam looked good. I was hoping for a good night�s sleep with a humane arrival time. No in the middle of the night arrival adventure on my wish list.
Obviously the tide had changed because I was called for at 04:40 26th of April for the arrival to Amsterdam.
- 20 minutes to go!
I don't know what happened but I was very tired and thought it was a pre warning, we will call you in 20 minutes. I felt asleep and at 5 o'clock Bosun called me.
- Are you sleeping?
- I love you!
I jumped in to my cloths and I was down on the manifold in a jiff. I beat the shore personnel with 3 minutes. We had all fast at BP jetty B in Amsterdam at 05:30 26th of April. It was a gorgeous morning.
We did the paper work and they took samples from our cargo tanks, then we had to wait until 0855 before we could start to discharge.
I called the jetty to find out if they had a garbage container on the jetty. We had some garbage to get rid off.
- You have to call your agent about your garbage problem, they replied.
Fat chance that ship with Panama flag and MM flag that hardly pays any salary to their crew will order an expensive container for their garbage.
It will end up in the sea. We keep our garbage onboard to Portugal.
Jetty B in Amsterdam. This is how the beaches look like around the world
We had a Port State Control inspector coming onboard and he inspected the ship and documents.
Immigration police came onboard armed with guns and batons and they wanted a face check of the Filipino crew. They asked our 1st Engineer when he was born.
- 1965, he said.
- You passed the test!!
What the h••• is this? Do they think they catch illegal immigrants and terrorist this way. If you have a fake passport I think you will learn your date of birth and name. Obviously it can't be the best police officers they put on this assignments. I can imagine the satisfaction after a day's work.
Today we stopped many illegal immigrants and terrorists.
You can't walk the streets in Amsterdam without being harassed by people asking:
- Hashish? Cocaine? E?
I don't know where they come from. And the city is full of prostitutes from Eastern Europe, plenty job for the immigration police.
Our bunker barge came alongside at 1040 and I was hoping for them to be ready with the DO before 12 o'clock. We are taking bunker in our SLOP tank on deck for emergency use on our long trip. So I need to be onboard when we are taking bunker in the SLOP tank. I will go ashore with Bosun in the afternoon to see if I can upload my web page on a internet cafe.
I was unlucky, it was the HFO bunker arriving and the GO will arrive in the afternoon. Sh•t, no time to go ashore.
Just before 12 o'clock the terminal stopped the bunkering. We were not allowed to bunker while discharging gasoline if the bunker barge can't stay aft of the tank deck.
Well, now we have to wait until discharging is completed before bunkering and I can go ashore in the afternoon.
After lunch I borrowed Bosun's computer so I could edit my pictures before uploading them on the internet. I prepared everything on my USB flash memory and we went ashore at 1 o'clock.
It was not possible to order a taxi to the jetty so we had to walk to the gate. The security man ordered a taxi for us. We started to walk while waiting and we missed the taxi. He picked us up when he returned from the gate and he drove us to Damplein.
First thing to do was to find a shop so Bosun could buy a digital camera. We walked from Damplein to Rembranthplein and on the way we found a shop.
Bosun on Damplein when we looking for camera shop
Bosun with his new camera
He bought his camera and we continued our walk, looking for a internet cafe. We found 1 but it was not possible to upload my web page. Hmm, I was in a bad mood and we took a taxi back to the ship. We returned just in time for dinner.
We completed discharging 10 minutes after midnight 27th of April. Hmm, talk about luck. Now I have to sit up all night waiting for our bunker.
We completed bunkering at 0420 and I was in bed when pilot came onboard at 0445. Our two 2nd Officers have to take my morning watch so I can sleep. When I came on my night watch we had passed Dover strait.
When I came on my morning watch 28th of April we had nice weather. I asked Bosun to come to the bridge after his coffee.
- Bring the boxing gloves, I told him.
I had it with all his " Jolly good beating " this and " Kicking ass " that.
We had the gloves on in a jiff and he was soon crying.
- You're hitting so hard!!!
No more " Jolly good beating " this and " Kicking ass " that. For a few days anyway, then it's time to bring out the gloves again.
I spent the afternoon inspecting our tanks. It was nice weather but the ship started to roll when we passed Ushant TSS and entered the Bay of Biscay around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. We crossed the Bay of Biscay in a gloomy and grey weather with force 7 from the North. We got a little sunshine after passing Cabo Finisterre in the afternoon 29th of April. I was on deck watching the boys cleaning our DB ballast tank #2 port side.
We arrived to Sines pilot 1330 30th of May and we had all fast at 14:20. There was an inundation of people coming onboard. Captain told me that he had to give away 3 cartons of cigarettes.
- Well, back in the days the Polish authorities came onboard with coats made out as big pockets, I said.
Finally we could start to load at 1625, they wanted us to load 2800M³ (200m³ in each tank) and then stop for sampling and analyse of the cargo.
Our Filipino 2nd Officer wanted to go ashore with the rest of the guys and I relieved him after dinner. Our agent picked them up at 1830 so they could take a tour in the city.
We stopped loading at 1815 and the Surveyor took the samples and disappeared ashore for the analysis.
- We need 3-4 hours before we can start again, he said.
3-4 hours and that gives me plenty time to send some e-kisses to Sue The boys came back onboard at 9 o'clock. Yo!! Have times changed or what? When I used to go ashore we came back onboard 9 o'clock in the morning. What's happening with the shipping?
We resumed loading at 22:55 just when I was about to be bored to death.
We completed loading at 08:05 1st of May. They stopped us about 840m³ due to empty shore tanks.
Now we only had to shift the ship about 20 meters forward so we can connect the arm on our SLOP connection. We shifted the ship between 0900 and 0915 and then we had to wait for about 2 hours before we could start discharging our SLOP and engine sludge.
We took ashore all of our garbage as well and when we left it was a clean ship, nice!!
We left Sines, Portugal at 14:10 1st of May. And when I woke up after my power and beauty nap in the afternoon it was gorgeous weather. Blue sky and sun shine with the sea looking like a mirror. Leaving Europe behind and the only means of communication with Sue is via satellite.
My e-kisses have to go via outer space before landing in Sue's computer. I was glad that the Norwegian guy was onboard between Stockholm and Gdansk and repaired our satellite aerial so we can communicate with the world where ever we are.
I was a little early for my night watch and 2nd Officer and motorman (motorman was visiting the bridge) had caught sight of whales on our starboard side. We changed course and steered towards the whale.
We ended up in a shoal of whales and we estimated it to be around 6-8 big whales. Bosun got 1 picture of the whales on our starboard side but when I took the picture on port side the whale just submerged in to the deep sea.
2nd Officer watching his whale video
2nd Officer watching his whale video
Our fo�c's�le was full of people watching the whales and our Swedish 2nd Officer was taking a video with his camera. He got some nice picture of the whales and jumping dolphins. It was a very nice evening with a beautiful sun set. We caught sights of 2 more whales but it was too dark for any pictures, anyway, they were too far away.
But we were satisfied with what we had got already. Or if I use to say: if you are too greedy, you often lose the lot.
And I really lost the lot, that's why I have to rewrite everything from day 1 to 3rd of May. I can think of millions of better way to spend my time.
Our 2nd Engineer spent the whole evening on the bridge. I had a kettle with hot tea and we spent the evening with cock-and-bull stories and bragging from the seven seas.
We lost contact with the Portuguese radio just before 2200, just when they started to play good music. The time turned quick and it was soon time for my watch below, nice to be relieved at midnight for some quality bed time.
Bosun with his new camera
Bosun with his new camera
Bosun looking out for other ships
When I came on my morning watch 2nd of May the weather had turned from gorgeous to ugly. Well, not that ugly, but it was gloomy and grey and force 6-7 blowing from NW.
Our ABs was busy cleaning the DB and after my watch I went out on deck to watching the entrance to the tank. Always one man at the manhole when there are people in the tank. We were ready with 1DB between 14 and 1430 in the afternoon. Time for a shower and a movie before going to the bridge at 8 o'clock.
I'm busy taking pictures while the Ab are cleaning double bottom
Coming up from the double bottom
Coming up from the double bottom
3rd of May and our ABs were busy in 4 DB in the morning. There was an e-mail from the company asking us about the bunker when completed in Cape Town. They asked for the distance to Yanbu in Saudi Arabia and Rio de Janeiro and Receife in Brazil. And there is no prize if you can guess where I want to sign off. Well, I'm hoping for Gothenburg. I sent an e-mail to Sue about our new voyages and she wasn't very happy.
2nd officer in the life boat
We could see Tenerife in the horizon around 3 o'clock in the afternoon 3rd of May. We arrived off Santa Cruz de Tenerife around 19:00. We were drifting outside Santa Cruz because we didn't know where to meet the bunker barge. At 19:40 the pilot came onboard, I don't understand why, we are in the open water and we will drop our anchor.
Bosun taking picturs of Tenerife
It was just a few hundred meters to the anchor position. I had to go forward and relieve 2nd Officer on the fo�c�s�le and at 20:00 3rd of May we dropped our anchor at Santa Cruz roads.
There were many ships on the roads, there was heavy swell in the harbour so the ships were waiting outside.
There was a Mearsk ship next to us taking bunker and there was another ship arriving around 23:00 for bunker.
They were using the same bunker barge as we were waiting for and they expected us to start the bunkering operation at midnight.
I was busy during my watch. I had lost my web page, the whole HTML document was gone. 4 weeks of writing down the drain. It was gone from my USB memory and from the computer. Sh•t and double sh•t. I tried desperately to find it, but in vain. 4 weeks of writing. F••k!!!
The bunker barge arrived at 02:30 4th of May and we had our anchor up at 0445.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife roads.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife roads.
When I came on my morning watch 4th of May we had left Tenerife behind, nice. Today the boys are taking a rest from the ballast tanks and they are working with the grit blaster on poop deck. Better take the opportunity when we have nice weather and a long voyage to Cape Town. Not much time getting in and out of ports all the time in Europe.
Grit blasting on deck
Grit blasting on deck
I was busy with a question from Broström in the afternoon, they wanted to know if we could load 4-5 parcels of gasoline components in Rio Grande.
I found a DVD movie in the afternoon, " Hardcase and Fist ". It was a real turkey from the 70's, the movie was so bad I was screaming and crying of laughter. There were a few classic car chases.
- Faster Ben!! Faster Ben!!
They were doing 25, and I don't talk about miles per hour and they speeded up to at least 30. You could see how slow they were going. No expensive stunts in that movie.
After lunch 5th of May I went down in the engine room. We had to prepare for the events when we passing the equator.
We decided that our Motorman will be dressed up like Neptune and I spent the afternoon making a wig of my baseball cap. I attached some of our blue lanyard to it and I was satisfied with the result. 1st Engineer had made an harpoon or what they call it and I had prepared the certificates on the computer and 2nd Officer had made a nice crown for Neptune to wear so we were pretty much set and ready to bring Neptune onboard.
In the engine room
In the engine room
When I came on my morning watch 6th of May it was still dark, we had advanced the ship time by 1 hour during the night. So when they called me at 07:40 it was actually 06:40 Way too early for me!
In the afternoon I was watching the guys cleaning ballast tank DB 5 stb. It was nice weather and there was plenty flying fish flying around the ship and I tried to get some pictures. But every time I got my camera stand-by they were gone. I hope I get a new chance, but the chances are very slim.
It was dark when I came on my morning watch 7th of May. 8 o'clock ST 6 o'clock UTC on longitude W 018°, that is 5 o'clock in the morning LT.
At 0835 I changed course outside Senegal and Guine-Bissau. I altered course from 180° to 142°, this is the course for the next 10 days to Cape Town.
It looks like it's going to be a nice day, no wind and blue sky.
We had an scheduled fire drill, oil spill drill and life boat muster at 09:45. The fire alarm went of and we prepared 2 smoke diver teams. Fire on 3rd poop deck and BRAVO team entered the accommodation with a fire hose while ALFA team was stand-by. After the drill we had an debriefing on the bridge.
After debriefing we had a life boat muster and all crew were asked about their duty in the life boat. When we had completed the muster we went on deck and we went through our equipment for oil spill and what to do if we have an oil spill on deck. But first I took a picture of the posse.
Sunday 9th of May and we were outside the coast of Liberia. It's getting tedious just to go straight ahead by now. But Captain is enjoying himself.
Captain is changing upholstery on our chairs in the mess room, a project he started when we left Sines in Portugal. There are grey clouds on the sky and it�s a little cooler today, I hope the rest of the day will stay cool as well. It's very hot on the bridge.
Captain changing upholstery on a chair
Captain changing upholstery on a chairI finished my rewriting of my web page today, but I think I forgot much of it. But it's better than nothing. Our Cadet found a flying fish on deck today and I took a picture of the fish. It's easier when the fish is lying on deck than when flying around.
But the best thing happening today as all the other days was my 4 e-mail from Sue.
When coming on my night watch I could feel that the sun had been behind clouds and that there had been rain during the day. It was only 30°C on the bridge at 20:00.The previous days the temp had been 33°C and it was terrible to be on the bridge. So a grey sky is welcome.
At 22:00 (20:00UTC) it�s time for the news from Radio Sweden. My friend the Personnel Manager at Broström had sent me Radio Sweden's time table via e-mail. At 22:00 they said that it was 3-3 after 2nd period between Sweden and Canada in the ice hockey world championship. I expected them to announce the final result at the news 2300. But nothing, big disappointment. A period is 20 minutes long so I think they should have been able to give us the final result. But I hope we will know tomorrow.
10th of May and we were soon to pass the equator when I came on my morning watch. We prepared our Motorman as Neptune and at 08:52 (06:52 UTC) we passed the equator at longitude W 009° 15,5'.
The crew was called to the bridge and the first timers had to drink Neptune's toast.
Yummy!! After the toast Neptune distribute the certificates to the first timers. It was fun, but there are plenty to do on deck so when everyone had got their certificate I chased down the ABs from the bridge and out on deck.
- The ship is red like a fox and I can't hear the chipping machines on deck, I said.
Neptune handing out the certificates
Neptune handing out the certificates
First timers with their certificates
The sun was up and the boys continued the work on deck with chipping machines and the sand blaster. We found out that we are saving both time and sand if we prepare the deck with a chipping machine before using the sand blaster.
(I hope the company read this so we can get a gold star in our Seaman's discharge book when going home)
Well, things was back to normal after the Neptune festivities and I had to crank up the volume on the entertainment centre due to noise from the chipping machines on deck. I like the sound of hard work, but of course, I prefer the music.
And the ice hockey championship isn't going as well as we had been hoping for, I read in our daily news via e-mail that Sweden lost 3-5 against Canada in the ice hockey final.
At dinner 11th of May we got the Cape Town - Lome, Togo voyage confirmed. We will load gasoline in Cape Town after discharging the reformate. They believed that we should discharge a little in Calabar, Nigeria close to the border to Cameroon. Waters notorious for all the pirates.
Our days pass by slowly and it's getting boring. Only water to see around us. I'm glad that we have the satellite so Sue can light up my days with her e-mails.
Our e-kisses are flying across the globe and I hope there's nothing in the way that can delay our electronic kissing. But the real thing beats the e version, no doubt.
12th of May and I had to spend the afternoon doing cargo calculations. Now the cancelled Lome and the want us to discharge in Contonou, Benin as first discharge port. Discharge until draft 6,4m FW and proceed to Calabar in River Calabar, Nigeria. TEXACO have an option for 1 more voyage, then next load port Cameroon, Algeria or Spain and discharge port West Africa. Hmm, I hope it will be Spain, otherwise I will never come home. I refuse to sign off in West Africa or in Algeria.
In the afternoon we received e-mail from our agent. There are 4 ships before us in Cape Town so it looks like we have to drop anchor for a few days at arrival.
I had planned to go ashore in Cape Town and try to upload my web page. But I came up with a very good idea. I could send my files to my web host as an attachment to an e-mail and they could upload it for me. I wrote them an e-mail and asked if they could do it for me.
I got instructions in the afternoon 14th of May via e-mail from my web host. So I will give it a try to upload my web page in Cape Town.
15th of May was a gloomy and grey day. We held a tank rescue drill at 10 o'clock. We had our tri-pod on deck and we operated the winch, everything was working properly. We put this tripod over the tank entrance and we can hoist up injured people from the tank.
17th of May and the AB will clean ballast tank DB 5 port. We have force 6-7 wind from the south. We were a little delayed with the cleaning because of the portable O2 detector. They carry an O2 detector in the tank and there is an alarm when the O2 content is to low. The instrument showed 19,4% in clean air so I had to calibrate the instrument. They could enter the tank at 10 o'clock. At 1030 they came up again, the O2 instrument showed 18% oxygen.
- Close the hatch, I said.
I think it's the sensor in the instrument and I wrote an e-mail to PPM in Sweden. PPM is a very good company and I can always call them or send e-mail to them. I'm waiting for their answer and I asked them to send a new sensor to Cape Town if they thought we need to change the sensor.
The days are passing by and as mentioned before the only thing I'm looking forward to is e-mail from Sue and arrival to Cape Town. My watchman is also getting bored and he tries all the tricks to get some attention. On the night watches he pulls down his pants and shows his rear end. PLEASE!! Give me a break!! I'm sick and tired of this obscenity by now and I had it with the filth.
aladdin.st has not gone X-RATED and I have no intention to do so, even though I probably would make some money out of it. So there will not be any pictures of the obscenity, you have to use your imagination. If you are disappointed I'm sure there are plenty other web pages to visit. Keep your credit card number handy!!
Well, we leave the ghastliness behind and let us hope that we never have to experience something like this again.
When I came on my evening watch 17th of May Captain told me that I have to leave in Cape Town. What the
- Chief Officer at home wants to sign on now, he said.
What the Yo!! 2 days before they coming up with this. They had enough time to give me notice. I had planned to go straight from here to M/T Bro Sincero in June. When they asked if I wanted to sign on M/T Bro Sincero I answered:
- If I can go straight from here.
Now I had notified the other company that I wasn't available until July and now it's May, impressive.
Well, Bosun was a little, or more than a little low-spirited during the night watch.
- We should sign off together and have a great party, he said.
- Cheer up! I said.
When I came on my morning watch 18th of May it was gloomy and grey and force 6-7 wind. No painting on deck in this weather, the only thing to do is greasing. I got my flight details. I will sign off 21st of May and I will stay a few day and I will fly to Sweden 24th of May with KLM.
24MAY  2355  KL 598  V DEP CAPE TOWN (NONSTOP)
25MAY  1120  ARR  AMSTERDAM
25MAY  1410  KL1157  V DEP AMSTERDAM (NONSTOP)
25MAY  1535  ARR  GOTHENBURG - LANDVETTER
It will be nice with a few days holiday in FUNKY TOWN.
On my evening watch 18th of May we could hear South African radio. Well, as Bosun said “Put on a CD! This music makes me want to commit suicide”
And when Bosun prefer my music it must be some really crappy music on the radio and I agreed and we played my CDs. There was an e-mail from the company asking if I wanted to sign on Bro Sincero in June. I don't feel like waiting in Gothenburg for a ship. Well, they send me home with a 2 days notice and I have notified other companied that I'm available in July / August and now all of the sudden I have to ask them if they have any vacancies in May for me. We see how long I have to wait until my next ship, but I think most of the companies have already filled up their vacancies for June.
When I came on my morning watch 19th of May we were anchored at anchorage #4. We dropped the anchor 2 o'clock in the morning. It was nice weather but there was some fog patches coming and going.
Cape Town with the Table mountain in the back. Lions head sticking up to the right.
Cape Town anchorage and on signers arrive with service launch
Cape Town anchorage and on signers arrive with service launch
In the morning the ABs had to start to clean the ship with fresh water. There were salt all over the ship and we need to remove every trace of salt before we could start to paint. So I had the deck crew to fresh of the deck before they could continue the painting. As we say in Donsötank: Do it properly or don't do it!
I could see a Stolt tanker in the port and I thought it looked like Stolt Excellence. I checked with our AIS and it was Stolt Excellence, I hope she leaves so I can get a picture of her.
Our new crew came onboard just after 9 o'clock in the morning and the off signers left the ship. We got a new Captain, 2nd Officer, AB, Cook, Chief Engineer and 2nd Engineer. Turned out that I knew the AB from Vinga Helena, well, he knew me.
Our 2nd Officer came to the bridge to say hello. He was carrying a bunch of papers and I recognised them.
- What is that?
- Instructions for Celestial navigation
- Where did you get them?
- I found them on internet
- I wrote those when I was aboard Stena Barbados back in 1999
In the afternoon one of the AB was fishing and he caught a small shark. There are plenty big sharks around Cape Town and I don't want to swim around here. Stolt Excellence left Cape Town in the evening and I took a picture of her leaving. She was too far away for a real good picture, but it's better than nothing.
Stolt Excellence leaves Cape Town.
Stolt Excellence leaves Cape Town.
Stolt Excellence leaves Cape Town.
Stolt Excellence leaves Cape Town.
Time to go for my night watch and at 19:55 I knocked on Captains door on the way to the bridge for my night watch.
- It's 19:55 and soon time to go to the bridge, I said.
We spent a few hours on the bridge and he told me everything about Cape Town. He had spent a few days in the town before signing on.
- Can as well take the opportunity to have a holiday in South Africa, he said.
Well, I had my shear of the latest tittle-tattle from Donsö. It was nice to have the original " Team Donsö " back onboard again.
We got e-mail from the agent 20th of May, they expect us to go alongside on Saturday 22nd. We had expected to be alongside on Friday and that I could be on my hotel on Friday afternoon. Well, they can send my reliever with speedboat on Friday because he arrives to Cape Town 12:10 on Friday with Lufthansa.
Hmm, the speedboat costs 800$ and Captain wanted me to stay onboard until we got alongside to save to money.
- Then you can change my ticket so I leave for Sweden directly when signing off, I said.
I knew that all the flight with Lufthansa and KLM was full. I had to spend the night on hotel and I could arrive to Sweden on Monday. Well, now I didn't have to pay the hotel and I was on salary until Monday. If I had stayed in Cape Town on my own request the company didn't have to pay for the hotel or my salary. Now they have to pay hotel for my reliever and his salary as well while waiting for us to come along side.
23MAY  1555  LH 573  Q DEP CAPE TOWN (1 STOP)
24MAY  0525  ARR  FRANKFURT
24MAY  0820  LH3040  Q DEP FRANKFURT (NONSTOP)
24MAY  0955  ARR  GOTHENBURG - LANDVETTER
A 14 hours flight with 1 stop in Johannesburg and flying with Lufthansa doesn't gives me any frequent flyer miles, everything turns to sh•t with my planned stay in Cape Town.
I came on my night watch 5 minutes before 8 o'clock. Captain was on the bridge at 20:00 and I tried to find out how much the company saved to keep me onboard.
- I don't think you saved so much. Maybe you lost a few buck instead with hotel stay and salary, I said.
- I need the correct figures for my web page, I said.
He didn't look to happy.
Friday 21st of May was a foggy morning. We are still at the anchorage, but there was an e-mail for us. The ship we are waiting for has estimated sailing time for 1500.We must be alongside before 1700 because tankers are not allowed to arrive or depart during darkness.
Maybe I can sign off tonight.
FRIDAY NIGHT AND PARTY!
I woke up from my power nap at 15:30 something and I had my shower. I went down to the duty mess and I meet our Cook and Swedish 2nd Officer.
- We are waiting for the pilot.
He should be onboard at 15:45 and we had our anchor up at 15:25, they told me. Very good, I got dressed and I checked our P/V valves and deck. At 17:35 we had all fast at jetty #2 in Cape Town, South Africa.
On our way to jetty #2 in Cape Town, South Africa
On our way to jetty #2 in Cape Town, South Africa
On our way to jetty #2 in Cape Town, South Africa
On our way to jetty #2 in Cape Town, South Africa
On the way to the jetty I took a picture of our new AB. As mentioned before we had been together on Vinga Helena.
- Will you update your web page? My wife liked the page when I was on Vinga Helena, he said.
- I will tell my wife to look again, he said.
It's always nice with some feedback, and especially when it's positive feedback.
Our Surveyor came onboard and we did the paper work. My reliever came onboard at 18:30, that's the spirit. He had spent some time at the hotel so they charge the company for his room as well. He could have a word with the Surveyor before the Surveyor went ashore. I had a few words with him and it was bye bye!
I signed on 2nd of April 2004 at Simrishamn roads when Prospero was on the way to Coryton with gas oil from St. Petersburg. Between 2nd of April and 21st of May we did the following voyages:
06/04: Discharging Gas oil in Coryton.
07/04: Immingham - Milford Haven. Unleaded gasoline.
08/04: Brofjorden - Stockholm. Unleaded gasoline and City diesel.
09/04: Gdansk - Amsterdam. Unleaded gasoline.
10/04: Sines, Portugal - Cape Town. Reformate, a component used for gasoline.
I was off the ship and I don't have to worry about the pirates in Nigeria. I was a little disappointed about my crashed holiday plans. Now I had to do all the sightseeing in Cape Town in speed Mach 2,3. It would have been very nice if Sue could have been here with me. Well, over and out! I'm off to the city of Cape Town and my hotel.
Hang on!! We're going to have some fun in Cape Town
Updated with new pictures, and the old pictures are updated with bigger and better quality May 2013. And still, M/T Prospero is the best ship I have ever been on. The called me when I was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia December 2011 and asked if I wanted to join again.
Of course, I was ready to join the ship. I told them that I could go anytime, except in the middle of February. Then I needed to be home.
Well, then I never heard from them, not even any reply and I could not help but wondering how this Personnel Manager was brought up. I mean, isn't it parent�s responsibility to bring up their children with the knowledge of the most simple and common courtesy?
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