Monday 15th of February 2010 and we�re already in the second half of February. We were anchored at Bar pilot station waiting for high water when I woke up.
Our Pilot was onboard 15 minutes after 11 and we started to go up River Mersey to Eastham locks. It didn't took long before a sunny morning turned in to a gloomy and grey day. And by the time we arrived to Shell Stanlow it was raining. Not much, but it was enough to annoy the crew on deck. I wasn't bothered by the rain because I was inside.
Manchester Ship Canal was covered in oil. Well, nothing you would be surprised of after a few times at Shell Stanlow. I told our Pilot and he told me that they had reported it several times. No one cares, surprised?
- But we're not allowed to call it oil! Our Pilot said.
The Pilot turned towards our Helms man and he shouted.
- WHAT IS IT WE HAVE TO CALL THE OIL SPILL?
- Evince! But don't ask me to spell it for you.
- Evince, well, its pure shit.
- A disgrace! I said.
We had all fast at Layby 10 minutes before 4 o'clock and we started to load at 17:15. we expect to be here for several days loading. Yes, I�m used to it by now. we will load 3000MT at Stanlow Layby then we will shift to Inch Oil Berth tomorrow night and continue. They produce 1200MT VGO per day so we will stay for long. Shifting berth every time they run out of cargo so they can discharge LPG at our jetty. So it looks like we will spend time swapping berth with the gas tanker until we're finished with loading.
Well, dinner and I was hoping that the guys would have a quick dinner so I could prepare the mess room for tomorrows FART GENERATOR® prank.
I had borrowed the FART GENERATOR® from our Fitter and I had planned to put it under one of the chairs after dinner. But they never left me alone in the mess room.
- FINISH YOUR MEAL MOTHERF@CKERS!
When they left the mess room I taped the FART GENERATOR® under Captain�s chair. Our Mess man was busy running around giving me advice.
Put it there and do this and that.
The FART GENERATOR® is a dangerous toy and should be used with caution. Our as it says on the device: YOU MAY DIE LAUGHING! And I'm sure there is some truth in the warning.
Our Cook was in the galley and I activated the FART GENERATOR® from the crew's mess room with the remote. Our Cook was looking in to our mess room.
He looked puzzled, no one to see. He returned to fill up his glass with water and I activated the FART GENERATOR® again. Our Cook looked even more puzzled and our Mess man was wetting himself laughing.
Yes, believe me, he was almost choking himself laughing.
Yes, there is also a warning on the FART GENERATOR®. WARNING!! CHOKING HAZARD!! So I can't say that I haven't been warned. But we will try the FART GENERATOR® at lunch time tomorrow. Our Chief engineer is new onboard so it will be fun to see his reaction.
And for sure, I will be there with my camera. But I guess that you knew this already.
Well, 3000MT, maximum and ship stop so I had to stay onboard to make sure we didn't load more than the 3000. But I bought the box with The Shield Season 1-7 last time in Stanlow so I have DVDs to keep my busy in my cabin tonight.
I was looking at one of the episodes. A killer, 400kg, was under arrest and the police was in his apartment looking for evidence. That's when I got my best diet tip ever. Our slightly overweight killer had a chocolate bar in the fridge. The Detective tried to get the chocolate bar just to discover that the chocolate bar was taped to the shelf.
- WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!
Now I can't wait to get home to tape everything in my fridge. It will become impossible to get anything out of the fridge and thus I will lose plenty weight. I will have a V-shaped torso before very soon! So the 70£ I paid for the DVD box might be the best investment I ever done.
Tuesday 16th of February 2010 and I came up to a beautiful morning. Still moored at the Layby berth waiting to shift to Inch Oil Berth to continue the loading.
And the day started very slow. I was delirious with anticipation for my lunch prank with the FART GENERATOR® and it seemed like an eternity before it was lunch time.
I killed time some of the time on the bridge watching Stolt Egret leave Stanlow, well she was just shifting from Inch to a jetty in front of us. When I came back to my office there was a guy from the terminal waiting for me.
- We want to hook you up again and load an extra 2000MT before you shift to the next berth.
Well, as I mentioned before. I'm not surprised. But why in the middle of the lunch and my lunch prank? Well, anyway, the whole FART GENERATOR® prank was more or less a failure. Half of the guys were at the table and when Captain arrived it was just us and the Chief Engineer left at the table.
But I fired off the FART GENERATOR® and, well, it was pretty obvious that it was me. One hand in the pocket with the remote and the other hand taking pictures. But our Chief Engineer was crying of laughter. But we had been warned.
We resumed loading quarter past 12 and we completed the 2000 MT 10 minutes after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Just when we were busy taking onboard provision.
Now we have 5000 MT onboard and if everything is going as planned we will load 6000 MT at Inch Oil Berth with a rate of approx 200MT/h so it looks like we will be around for a wee bit more.
We were told that we would shift to Inch Oil Berth at 01:30 tomorrow morning. Why is it always in the middle of the night? Well, anyway, so it would be nice with a POWER NAP after dinner. But no plans for any sleep, our Chief Engineer and OS wanted to go ashore and I ordered a minibus and a taxi for 6 o'clock.
I was in the shower when 3rd Officer called me.
- Jetty man is here to talk with you about the mini bus.
- OK, I'm coming.
I went down to see the jetty man. Turned out that they were shifting a ship and the driver of the mini bus couldn't make it until 45 minutes later. Well, then it will be too late and I cancelled our trip a shore.
Well, never mind, we will be here for yet another few day and we can hopefully go ashore tomorrow night. And I need the sleep and I was lucky and I managed to fall asleep.
Wednesday 17th of February 2010 and Pilot was ordered for 01:30. And only God knows when I will be able to go to bed. But I managed to sleep until almost 11 o'clock yesterday evening so I'm ready to take on a few night hours.
I was on the bridge when the Pilot came onboard at 01:25 and we had all fast at Inch Oil Berth one hour later.
So from there on its only waiting for them to start loading.
While waiting I enjoyed a glass of diet drink reading the Sunday Express 14th of February 2010 and, well, seems like someone is blaming me for the global warming. I could not believe my eyes and for sure, I will always cover my bald spot until we see the full effect of the “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”.
Imagine the globe underwater and it's easy to realise that it would be very dangerous walking around exposing your bald spot. Yeah, would be real nice to be blamed for the global warming. Sitting on a crowded Mount Everest wearing double baseball caps when suddenly someone discovers your bald spot.
- LOOK!! THERE IS ONE OF THEM! TAKE HIM AND THROW HIM OF THE MOUNTAIN!
But the scariest of it all is that everyone is afraid of global warming and they are still keeping on living the same life style that's blamed for the global warming.
We started to load at 5 o'clock and it was almost 6 o'clock when I was in bed. I got out of bed at 11 and I spent the afternoon measuring our tanks for H2S. I also tried our Dräger Short time tubes for measuring the H2S.
When I came in from deck I spotted our OS with a new knitted winter hat.
- Where did you get this from?
- There is a guy from the seaman's Club handing them out in the mess room.
What a coincidence. This very morning baldness the reason for global warming. The solution: TO WEAR A HAT! And a few hours later they comes onboard to hand out knitted hats.
Well, I forgot my winter hat back home in FUNKY TOWN. The very same that I bought back in Berlin 1989 when we were tearing down the Berlin wall. So I was very happy to get a hat to wear while onboard.
My fur hat is nothing I want to go ashore with. Well, last time ashore I had no choice. But this time I will look dashing in my new hat. Is it possible to get any more handsome? For sure, it would be against the law.
The guy from the Seaman�s Club asked if he could take us somewhere. We had planned to go ashore for some shopping. I'm very impressed by my FRESHTECH™ socks so I will buy some more. Chief engineer is looking for a camera. He could take us to Chesteroaks (or whatever the name is) shopping centre or Liverpool. So we decided to go to Liverpool at 5 o'clock, 4 o'clock local time.
We ordered a minibus to pick us up at 5 for the gate and the waiting transportation to Liverpool.
We will be 5 or 6 people leaving for Liverpool so the competition to be the best looking guy going ashore is fierce. So I'm better off getting off to my cabin for a shower. My new hat and a shower, I will take the price.
The mini bus was a few minutes late so we arrived to the gate a wee bit late. The Chaplain from the Seaman's Club was waiting for us in the bus and we were soon on the way to Liverpool.
Björn! Goda nyheter!
Det verkar inte bättre än att vi fått en resa till Göteborg konfirmerad. Det lär bli så om vi ska lossa denna lasten i Rotterdam. Än så länge e d bara Rotterdam för order.
Men det verkar att det blir så och du har äntligen chans at visa vad Björn's Sjöman's Service går för. GLÖM INTE KJEDJORNA TILL MINA NYA PLÅNBÖCKER!
Ska bli kul att ses. Det skull vara kul om du kunde vaska fram J också!
Men nu drar jag in till Liverpool, tjoho!
The day started with sunshine and the afternoon had turned gloomy and grey and it started to rain on our way to Liverpool. I was up front with the Chaplain. Our Chief Engineer, Fitter, Electrician, 3rd Engineer and OS were riding in the back.
Well, yeah, I was riding up front socialising with the Chaplain during the trip to Liverpool. OK, someone might call me the company's face, always representing so people coming in our way have nothing but good to say about Ektank and their employees.
And of course, it was interesting to ride up front getting all kind of information about the area we were passing through on our way to Liverpool. 3 tunnels under River Mersey, 2 for cars and 1 for trains. The oldest on is 75 years old and I can just imagine the SAFETY thinking back then.
- Must have been a lot of workers dying during the construction back then, I said to the Chaplain.
- I thinks so, but I don't have any figures.
The Chaplain dropped us at the big museum in down town Liverpool and he would be back to pick us up at 9 o'clock. I gave direction for the photo shop our Chief Engineer had asked for. we had walked for 3 minutes when our OS wanted me to take a picture of him in front of a building.
- PLEASE! I don't have any camera.
Well, who am I to say no? So of course I took the picture so we could continue. 2 minutes later I ran in to the first beggar. 30 seconds later the second one came by asking for some change for the bus. What the ??!! People roaming the streets begging for money. Are we in Europe?
- Sorry, I don't have any of the local Scooby currency.
- Do you have a fag?
- I got my fag from my friend, I said pointing in to the money changer where they were busy changing money.
We walked around looking for the photo shop but nothing. We found a Curry�s digital and we went inside looking for camera. I spotted a Mark & Spencer across the street from Curry�s Digital and I went inside to check if they had any socks.
Well, one thing is for sure, research and development never slows down. I have been away for a few days only and the by now old FRESHTECH™ technology is yesterdays news. In this few days they have managed to come up with the Silver Technology. WOW, I filled a bag of socks and I returned to the street. Didn't take long before I ran in to our OS.
- Where are the other guys?
- I don't know, our OS answered.
We walked around the city centre and walking around with our OS was no joke. we were in to every shop looking for shirts and shoes and after 2 hours I had to put my foot down.
- What the are you looking for?
- White sneakers.
- So why don't you buy a pair?
- I don't like the models.
- FER F@CKS SAKE! IT'S THE SAME F@CKING SHOES IN ALL THE SHOPS!
I told him that this was worse than cruising down a shopping mall with a girl. Looking at everything, wasting time for nothing. We were in a shop and he brought T-Shirts to the fitting room.
- WHO THE HELL FIT A T-SHIRT?
Well, we had to be at the museum at 9 and we needed something to eat before that. We had skipped dinner onboard in order to be able to leave at 5, so we were hungry. When we walked from the museum I spotted a place named La Something. An Italian restaurant so we took a walk to the place, well, anyway, it was on the way back to the museum.
Our Italian restaurant turned out to be a Spanish restaurant so we decided to try something else. There was a Mexican restaurant next door, but Mexican food must be something of the worst you can eat so we just kept walking.
We found an Italian restaurant next to the museum. I was delirious with hunger and anticipation. My best garlic bread ever was at an Italian restaurant in Manchester so expectations was high.
We ordered the food and we waited and waited.
- Fast food is better, our OS said.
- You never been at a real restaurant? I asked.
Well, the food took long time to arrive, COLD! Mashed potato was not at all mashed and cold. Yes, Mc Donald would have been much better and cheaper. Turned out to be one of the worst restaurant experiences I ever had. AND I HAVE BEEN TO INDIA A FEW TIMES!
But the bread dunked in olive oil was ok. So we managed to get full, but it took 2 baskets of bread. Mashed potato and pizza was left behind.
The Chaplain and the rest of the guys were waiting for us at the museum and we took off to the Seaman's club/ church for tea and snacks. I had brought my laptop so I could upload the latest updates for my new Windows 7. We have internet onboard but it's a little too slow for downloading 500MB.
I ordered a PINT of tea when we arrived to the Seaman's Church. The lady working there could not believe her ears.
- A pint of tea with a bit of milk. PLEASE!
- First time I ever heard anyone ordering a PINT of tea.
- Sometimes should be the first time.
When we finished our tea, snacks and my downloads the Chaplain drove us back to Stanlow. He dropped us at the gate and we said thank you. And it had been a very nice evening thanks to the very nice people at the Seaman's Centre/ Club/ Church in Liverpool. We have had a very nice evening, well, the Italian restaurant experience was nothing but horrible. But except for that it had been a great evening.
We were back onboard at 23:30 and it was nice to be back in my cabin. No more carrying around on my 100 something pairs of socks that I bought. I found all the nice colours I wanted and one thing is for sure. It's impossible NOT to like a city with socks like that.
Expensive, this socks and 700 US dollars worth of socks waiting for me in Sweden. But now I have socks to last me for the rest of my life. Terrible, to think about it, isn't it. Socks for the rest of your life and you realise that you're not getting any younger.
Your days are counted and by counting the socks you really see the end of it, not far away!
Thursday 18th of February 2010 and we completed loading at 11:45. EDP, Early Departure Procedures (Var det rätt Bernt?) so we can catch the high water in the afternoon. Otherwise we have to wait until early tomorrow morning. Pilot was ordered for 12:15 and we have to be in the lock by 2 o'clock to make the high water.
We got discharge port confirmed, Rotterdam. We will be there on Saturday and it looks like we will load for Göteborg in Rotterdam. February will be history when we finish that voyage.
I spent the afternoon preparing my discharge plan for Rotterdam and yet another day was turning in to an evening with diet drinks and a few episodes of The Shield.
Friday 19th of February 2010 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey morning. Yeah, the spring is on the way and it's no longer pitch dark when I get out of bed. But now it, well, not sunshine, but at least it's not dark.
So I could see that it was a gloomy and grey morning. I started my day with tea and we were going to test our azimuth at 8 thirty so I didn't had time to finish my tea before it was time to go to the bridge. We finished the tests around 9, everything was working fine after that our engine department had made some adjustments. Now we have the azimuth to take us anywhere we want with the speed of 4 knots even though our main engine breaks down.
Well, I had more tests to run. Our ODME was tested and it was working well, except for the signal from the sample pump to the panel in the CCR. So we receive the message that the PUMP NOT POWERED even though everything is working as it should.
Of course, it didn't took long before two of my best guys were on the job. Our electrician and Chief Engineer were soon investigating the cause for the problem.
I spent a little bit of the afternoon calculating different cargo intakes from Rotterdam to Göteborg, Sweden. I really don't want to go to Sweden, 10 to 20 °C below ZERO so I expect it to be cold. And when we're there it's most likely that we will go to lift a cargo in the Baltic Sea.
We have SUPER 1A ice class so they can send us to an ice covered Baltic Sea where the freights are high now due to the ice. Well, I will survive, my reliever is soon to come onboard and I will spend 2 weeks giving pointers to him before he is ready to take over. Most of the pointers will be given from indoors through the window and by means of a radio while my reliever is on deck. And yes, I will listen to music drinking tea while giving the pointers.
A gloomy and grey morning turned in to a gorgeous afternoon with sunshine and no wind. Our guys where on deck washing the ship so I hope it will look good at arrival to Rotterdam tomorrow evening. While the guys were on deck I was in my office crying.
I had bought a jar of Tiger Balm for my elbow. Yeah, can be worth a try. We remember the drama in Norrköping when I was at the hospital with my elbow. So I greased up my elbow in Tiger Balm and now my eyes are running all the time. OK, I might have taken a wee bit too much of the Tiger Balm. But if it helps it's worth it.
Dinner, and we finished the dinner with cake. Yes, my diet has really capsized. So it will be the same story going to bed tonight. Agony and difficult to fall asleep. Put the bald spot on top of that and you will have it much easier to understand why I cry myself to sleep every night. Well, I have to come up with a master plan to get my diet back on track again. And I better coming up with something real quick. Soon time to go home!
Well, from the above pictures it should be quite clear how my bump has moved from SPOT on the elbow last summer to about 10cm down my forearm. I can't wait for the bump to reach my hand. And I hope it will take the way through my middle finger and out to oblivion. If I'm really unlucky the darn bump will get stuck in my thumb and it will be impossible to wedge a fresh snus.
I spent the evening in my cabin with diet drinks and a few episodes of The Shield. Watching the DVD and suddenly I got yet another great idea. The “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” might be the best thing ever happen to a bald guy. But I'm too impatient to wait for the full effect so I decided to try the Tiger Balm. Yes, I might be on to something here.
Of course, I was disturbed while greasing up my scalp with Tiger Balm, now they wanted to know if we can load crude oil. Might be a full cargo of crude oil from Rotterdam to Göteborg. I don't mind, the only problem would be to load HFO after the crude oil. Crude oil with low flash point doesn�t goes very well together with HFO.
Saturday 20th of February 2010 and I woke up to a gorgeous day with sunshine and not much wind. Of course, it was cold, +2°C. But I had no time to philosophize over the weather.
I had a new e-mail with a cargo nomination. 2 grades of Los Sulphur Fuel Oil from Rotterdam to Göteborg. We will load on the same jetty as we're discharging so I got right on to the load plan so this one is ready. No time to do it when we're alongside.
då var det klart. Hoppas jag bara att ni inte ser ut som ett par Östeuropeiska svart växlare när jag kommer till Göteborg.
Good news, Göteborg is confirmed and I can get my socks and stuff. But it's not only good stuff coming my way this morning. The Tiger Balsam idea backfired a little bit. I don't think I have to go in to details. Most of you know and have tried Tiger Balsam and it doesn�t take much imagination to realise how it feels to grease up you scalp with the stuff. No, the recommended technique to get rid of your baldness once and for all is the BALLOON Technique, also known as the WATER HEAD Technique. It's not one of those “OVER NIGHT” solutions.
You inject water under your skin for a period of time, around 6 months or so. After 6 months, when your head looks like a giant balloon you drain the water. The skin should now be stretched so the Doctor can cut away the bald spots. Then it's just to pull together your hairy areas and stitch them. And it doesn�t take much to realise that it will be well worth the money paying a little extra to get a real doctor to do the job. Many quacks out there and it can turn dangerous.
- Hmm, what if I could make the bump on my forearm go the other way, towards my head?
I spent the afternoon with paperwork and pre arrival tests. We expect to be at the Pilot station around 1800 so it will be nice to be ready before then. Soon dinner and when I returned my tea cup to the galley I ran in to our Mess man.
- HEY! Take my picture to show our previous Cook that I made a cheese plate.
du ser ju vad han kan. Jag förstår att du saknar oss, men sitt nu inte o slösa bort ditt liv framför datorn.
This day turned quick and it was soon time for dinner. I had really managed to keep my diet on track during the day. Only black bread, salad and 2 bananas so I was full of confidence when I went for dinner.
We had all fast at Argos Terminal jetty #1 10 minutes after 9 o'clock in the evening. When the Loading Master came onboard 40 minutes later he caught sight of my snus first thing.
- Swedish snus!!
- You like to try?
-Of course, I use snus. Bagged snus.
- Ah! For girls.
- No! This is real strong Swedish snus.
I handed him my snus and I told him not to drive his car or to operate ant heavy machinery.
- I'm used. SURE!
I gave him a box as a souvenir and he was beaming of joy, jumping up and down in my office.
Sunday 21st of February 2010 and we started to discharge at midnight. We started with a 300m³ line displacement that we completed at 1 o'clock. We had discharged 301m³ according to ship figures and shore had 279m³ in their tank ashore.
They were satisfied ashore and we resumed discharging 10 minutes past 1 o'clock.
Topping off our tanks ONE BY ONE until 95% alarm was deactivated and we could go to full discharge speed. I was in bed around 2 thirty something and I slept until quarter past 9.
We completed discharging 20 minutes before dinner and our Loading Master were soon onboard. The first thing he showed me was his snus.
- Try some.
I took one bag out of courtesy.
- You have to take two!
I took 2 and, well, I wasn't impressed and I will stick to my own snus. But sometimes you have to take stuff just to be polite. And that's the only good thing with my diet. When someone offers me food that I don't like or if the food is unpalatable I just say that I'm on diet. And it's not like anyone will think that I'm lying. But snus is another story, cannot turn down his offer with a “I'm on diet”.
Monday 22nd of February 2010 and we were still loading our 1st parcel when they called me 20 minutes before 8 o'clock. Good, well, very good. I expected us to complete the first parcel in the middle of the night when we started to load 16 minutes after 8 o'clock yesterday evening.
We completed loading a 08:20 and we started the second parcel at 9 o'clock. They started with 900m³/h and it looked like we were going to finish early evening. Yeah, we were kickin' arse and this will be the second night we have managed to dodge the night work.
Well, kicking arses, at least until 2 o'clock in the afternoon when the pump ashore broke down and we were down to 600m³/h and we went from an early evening to a late night. Well, everything can happen and I had an hour of sleep in the afternoon so I'm ready to take on any night work they are throwing my way.
No night work! MY ARSE! Completion at 19:00 soon turned to 22:00 and at 2300 they had 300m³ to go. Well, it was either 300m³ or 90 minutes to go every time we asked the terminal.
Tuesday 23rd of February 2010 and we did not completed loading until 10 minutes past 2 and we left Rotterdam at 07:40 and I was in bed at 8.
I slept until 15:30 and when I got up they had asked for distances to Hamburg. So we might POP by Hamburg to load in cargo tanks 6 P/S. But I really wish that we're heading straight for Göteborg and that we have to anchor until Thursday morning or afternoon. Thanks� to all the delays in Rotterdam we will arrive to Göteborg around midnight between Wednesday and Thursday.
Wednesday 24th of February 2010 and it was +2°C when I came down to my office in the morning. Sunshine but cold, so it was a nice day. I started my day by putting the crew to work and then I made myself a nice cup of tea.
I was sipping on my tea while searching the internet for the phone number to Vopak Göteborg and when I found the number I called them. I need to have some information about our discharging. Will we discharge the cargo as 2 parcels or one? And if we will discharge our cargo as 2 parcels, which parcel to start with?
Of course, they didn't know and I made 3 different discharge plans so I'm pretty much ready for anything they throw at me. Well, it's what I call the “ONE STEP AHEAD TECHNIQUE” and this pretty much covers how we operate on this ship. But never mind how busy I am, I always take the time to go pester our Captain a bit.
And today both Captain and Chief Engineer were on the bridge so I had 2 guys to pester and time turned quick and it was soon time for lunch. Lunch was a bowl of salad before I went to my cabin for some Thai studies. And honestly, I have been a little negligent with my books.
After lunch it was time for alco test and when we were ready with this I went down to the engine room to test our gas detector for the pump room. 2nd Officer was on the bridge and I was trying to hear what he said in the walkie talkie in the noise from the main engine.
Well, I was not happy when I had to return 5 boxes of Marlboro. I had given a notice already before Rotterdam that I would take 5 boxes from the slop chest before Göteborg. But nothing is going as planned and it turned in to a snafu. Custom declaration was already sent to the authorities in Sweden and I had to return the boxes. I was not happy about it and when I called my friend in Göteborg he was a wee bit disappointed.
Well, I have to see if I can find some cigarettes before he arrives tomorrow.
Thursday 25th of February 2010 and our Pilot boarded us at 01:25 and when I came on the bridge half an hour later I was surprised to discover that there was no ice on the sea. I have heard that Kattegat was covered in ice. Well, I returned to my office and we did all the pre arrival tests.
I even had time for a diet drink in my cabin before it was time to go to the bridge for arrival. We had first line ashore at jetty 510 5 minutes past 3 o'clock and all fast 15 minutes later.
The only ice I saw was just around our jetty, but there was plenty snow and according to the Pilot this was some kind of a record.
- 58 cm of snow and that�s the most since they started to measure. Last record was 53 cm back in 1973, he said.
- Well, I'm in a hurry to come back home to the nice weather in FUNKY TOWN.
Paper work and stuff and it took us until 10 minutes before we could start discharging. We finished the topping off at 5 thirty and I was in bed at 6.
I told duty officer to wake me up at 1130. I expect my friend to arrive around lunch time (Always in for a free meal) and we expect a Technician for our cargo computer. And of course people from the company and how good would it look if I was in bed sleeping all day long?
Of course I was dead tired when they called me at 11:30. I took a long hot shower and I was in my office quarter before the hour. And I ran in to the Technician on my way down to my office. I was carrying the cargo computer up on the bridge.
I and my friend had our lunch with our Mess man and 3rd Officer Jr in the crews mess room. I was eating salad only.
- Hmm, maybe a piece of fish as well.
But, well, anyway, only healthy stuff and when we were ready we went to the bridge to check out the progress with the cargo computer.
My friend told me that he had VERY good news.
- I'm going to Korea for the first gas trail 11th of March for 3 weeks.
Koreana Hotel Seoul
This hotel is located at the Kwanghwamun intersection in the heart of Seoul, which is conveniently accessible by all types of transport. The scenic Mt. Nam and Bukak, numerous commercial districts and tourist attractions are just steps away from this property.
All the accommodation units at the Koreana Hotel are equipped with modern amenities and provide a perfect setting for the discerning traveller.
Guests at this hotel can choose from a variety of dining options that include restaurants offering western, Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The onsite bar Blue Room is a perfect place to sip fine drinks and cocktails and cap off your day.
- We can meet up in Seoul for a few days before I fly with you to FUNKY TOWN and my wife will join us from Sweden.
- Sounds like a good plan. But this time I want a booking in my name and confirmation code
e-mailed to me before I leave for Seoul!
Yeah, we have my last trip to Korea fresh in mind. I'm bursting in on Koreana Hotel at 10 o'clock in the evening. Straight from the airport and a wee bit tipsy after the flight.
- Sorry! No room for you!
- I HAVE A RESERVATION!
- I'm sorry Sir. But we don't have your name here.
- CHECK AGAIN!
Well, of course, there were no rooms available . But they were kind enough to make a reservation at another hotel and they called a taxi for me. No, I was not happy when I woke up the day after. Hangover force 9,7. But I was a wee bit impressed that my friend managed to find me in Seoul. He was knocking on my door and I moved to his hotel. Pure horror, I had to share room with him. Not exactly what I had expected.
Well, we will see what happens. Seoul was a nice place and I got caught on the idea. Well, at least until he said that we could finish the tour at the palace this time around.
- I had enough of this place, I said.
We received stores during the afternoon and my socks got delivered. Good, now I don't have to worry about those anymore. But where will I pack everything when I sign off?
Me and my friend we got a ride with one of the guys from the office. I had been working with him when he was Chief Engineer on Tärnvåg a few years back. We walked to his car and when I saw the car I was wondering how the I was going to get in to this car.
It was a small sport car and it didn�t looked like there was much space in it for us. But when the snow was swiped off the car my friend squeezed himself in to the back and strangely enough I managed to get in to the front seat. But it took some time to get everything inside and close the door.
We took off towards Majorna in Göteborg and I was surprised when we reached my friend's place. It was not that hard to get out of the car. I had expected worse after the trouble getting in to the car.
My friend's wife made Spaghetti Carbonara for us when we arrived. Good, we missed dinner onboard so we were hungry. But she scolded us for not eating the salad. Well, who have space for salad when the favourite Spaghetti Carbonara is on the table?
I have been nagging on my friend to get a WIFI in his apartment. Now he had to move his LAN cable between the rooms and he says that this is how he wants� it.
- If you don't know how to setup the WIFI I can help you.
- I'm losing speed through the router.
I told him about the network through the electrical sockets.
- What is that?
We checked out Clas Ohlson on internet and they had them in stock.
- Let's call a taxi and go buy some.
- OK, I said.
We called a taxi and 5 minutes later we were on our way towards Nordstan and Clas Ohlson. Pitch black, cold and snow and I can't help being very glad that I have left Sweden for FUNKY TOWN. For sure, this place doesn�t make anyone happy.
And stepping in to sleet and 1 m of snow getting out of the taxi didn't make me miss Sweden. Will be nice to leave Sweden behind again.
We bought the stuff for my friend and we walked to a coffee shop looking for Semlor. Luckily enough they were out of Semlor and we decided to return home.
We walked from the Coffee shop through Nordstan and when we came out on the other side tram #11 passed us and stopped at the halt.
- #11, that�s the tram to my place, my friend said.
- Let's hop on, I said.
Well, I had my foot on the first step when I regret myself. Too much people.
- I call a taxi, my friend said.
He called a taxi while I went to buy a few lottery scratchers. Of course, I didn't win anything and if it hasn't been for the excitement it would have been a complete waste of money.
We walked across Gustav Adolf's Torg and we waited for 3 minutes before the taxi arrived. Not a second too early, it was ice cold and by now it had started to rain. Quickly in to the warm taxi and off we went.
10 minutes later we stepped inside my friend's apartment and he ripped open the box with the network stuff for his electric sockets. Well, he will soon be able to surf without dragging around the LAN cable.
- Welcome to 2010!
Of course, the first thing I discovered was that my page was on the FAVOURITE BAR. well, actually several of my pages were on the FAVOURITE BAR. I guess he spends hours surfing www.aladdin.st and now he can do it whenever he wants when he have his new network up and running. And who knows? Maybe he will have WIFI in a few years from now.
I took a taxi and I was back onboard at 21:30. Duty officer told me that we would be ready around 2 o'clock. I went to bed trying to sleep, but without any success.
Friday 26th of February 2010 and we left Göteborg just after 4 thirty in the morning. I could fill up the last times in the TIME SHEET we got from Port of Göteborg. They sent us a TIME SHEET to fill up in order to be more efficient.
We got an e-mail a while ago and they explained that, I don't remember the exact figure, but something like 30% of the time alongside was spent waiting. And now they want to be more efficient. At arrival we should have manifold and reducers ready to avoid waiting for the ship to be ready to connect the cargo arm. And I really don't understand what they hope to achieve by this. We always have to wait for the cargo, no matter how quick the arm is connected.
We completed discharging 10 minutes after 2 o'clock, but we could not order pilot until 0430. They needed 2 hours for paper work and at 3 o'clock we were finished with all paper work so we had to spend 1 and a half hour just waiting for the pilot. A waste of time.
Well, it was nice to go to bed and when I woke up we were approaching Öresund. A beautiful day, but a little foggy.
Well, end of the month and our crew have the deck and MOB crane to grease before we finish this month. So they got right on to it after lunch and I could see them from my office while I was doing cargo plans. I don't know how much we are going to load so I just did as I use to do, a few different cargo plans. Always ONE STEP AHEAD!
I also called my friend with to see how things were working out with his new network
- EXCELLENT!! I'm at Clas Ohlson to buy 2 more of these net adapters!!
- Well, it would be much cheaper with WIFI, I suggested.
But I guess he is not ready for WIFI, at least not for a few years. But I told him that I could help him set up a WIFI network next time in town. But, now he already spent millions on these net adapters for his electric sockets.
I had a quick lunch before I went to the bridge to relieve Captain so he could go for lunch. We were passing the first buoy M1 and form there is 20 minutes to Helsingborg-Helsingør. And of course, I don't want to miss the opportunity to see this. But today it was a wee bit hazy so there wasn't very much to see.
While on the bridge I discharged ballast from DB 6P/S to get us on about 6m draft aft for the passage of the Flint Rännan in the South of Öresund. They recommend maximum draft of 7 meter, but as you understand it's always better to have a little extra under keel clearance.
We were approaching Flint Rännan and the Öresund bridge 3 o'clock in the afternoon and from there it's about 9 hours to go to Swinoujscie pilot station.
I saw the bridge from my window and I went on deck to take a picture. I ran in to our Pump man and OS on the way for the coffee break and I took a picture of them with the bridge in the behind. But it was a quick picture, it was cold so I was in a hurry to come back in to my office.
This month is soon coming to an end. Soon time to go home and my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet has been nothing but a disappointment. But I'm close to a solution. Or Captain, he told me about the SUUNTO pulse meter.
- You will lose weight like there is no tomorrow.
- Sounds great!
I checked out this SUUNTO on the internet. Program and stuff for the computer and as it says: A TRAINING LABORATORY ON YOUR WRIST. Sounds great, but it comes with a hefty price tag, 700US. Well, I don't mind paying for something good, and this SUUNTO is the top of the line. I even think the darn thing is making your bed in the morning, but if I end up only using it one time it's a waste of money.
- Hmm, maybe I can sell my socks to get 700 US in cash.
We will arrive to Swinoujscie around midnight and luckily enough I managed to fall asleep after dinner. I woke up 30 minutes before midnight and I'm ready to stay up during the night.
Saturday 27th of February 2010 and we had all fast 15 minutes before 1 o'clock. Everything went smooth and we started to load 02:35 and I was back in my cabin at 3. And of course, impossible to fall asleep so I took a shower and I was in my office at 8 o'clock after watching a few episodes of The Shield. And believe me, by now I'm pretty feed up by The Shield and I can't wait until I have finished the darn thing.
I spent the morning with paper work in my office while drinking my morning tea. Our Mess man was busy making Semlor so I had to go check out the progress in the kitchen every now and then.
Well, when our Captain signed on in Göteborg he had Semlor with him and it was no surprise when I got blamed for eating the missing Semlor.
- Hey, where are Semlorna?
Everyone was looking at me.
- I'M ON DIET!!
Our Mess man tried to save the peace by telling us that he knew how to make Semlor.
- Yeah, are you sure about that?
- Yes, I want to make Semlor but we don't have any caraway onboard.
- Who the needs caraway? I asked.
He was back 5 minutes later and he told me that he had found caraway. So this morning he started to make Semlor and he came in to my office.
- Hey! I'm making Semlor!
- Well, what do I care? I'm on a diet and you should know this by now!
And of course, it didn't took long before our Mess man came up with a Semla for me.
- I made special Semla for you. Extra whipped cream!
I fled the scene and I ran to hide in the ship's office. Captain haven't given up the idea of getting my diet back on track. He asked if I had found any info about the SUUNTO pulse meter.
- Yeah, 700 US. A bit hefty if I'm not going to use the darn thing.
- Worth every cent if the SUUNTO makes you handsome and slim.
He checked internet and he was soon coming up with a SUUNTO for 250 US only. A real barging.
- Yes, but this one you can�t connect to your computer.
- No but you have everything you need.
- Well, only the best is good enough for me, I said.
Well, I thought I had escaped our Mess man and his Semlor. But of course it didn't take long before he was at the ship's office with Semlor.
- Hey, have a Semla.
Mess man just stuck his nose inside the ship's office when Captain started to explain the new rules regarding the food and care onboard. New stringent rules were
implemented ASAP. So as from today my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet has a new and brighter future.
- No more cakes and cookies. Only on Sundays!
- No more desserts, only on Saturdays!
Our Mess man was taking mental notes and he said that “Aladdin will soon looking very good”. Well, this is what I have tried to explain for our Mess man for the last 3 and a half months.
But better late than never.
Well, 2 seconds after our Mess man left Captain stuffed himself with a Semla
- It's Saturday.
- Maybe I should go get my special Semla, I suggested.
- Yeah, today it's OK, it's Saturday.
Sunday 28th of February 2010 and we were still loading when I woke up 20 minutes after 7 in the morning. Yesterday we could only load to 9,43m draft due to the water level. We kept a rate of 600m²/h when I went to bed so I expected us to be ready around 9 o'clock. I had told the duty Officers to call our Agent at 0400 and 0600 to get the latest DRAFT UPDATES. So I called the CCR first thing to ask about rate and our draft
- YO! How�s life? What's maximum draft allowed ?
- What's our draft now? What's the loading rate?
- We have a rate of 200m³/h and we will be ready in the afternoon.
- OK, I will be down after my shower.
Looks like the water level is rising. Yesterday it went from 9,5m to 9,42m and now we're back on 9,45. Our 3rd Officer went ashore to check our draft from the jetty at 8 o'clock. Must check the draft from the jetty to compare with the computer so we know if there is any difference. It was the same, but I don't want to take any chances so I will have my best guy on the jetty when we're completing the loading.
Yeah, of course, they stopped loading at 10:40 and only God knows when they will resume loading and when we will be ready. I really hope that we have left before midnight.
Well, a few months too late, but Captain has taken a real interest in my diet. OK, he has not been very impressed by my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet. So he is on me 24/7 about the SUUNTO and starting with some exercises. So after lunch he dragged me ashore for a constitutional.
Good, I only wish we had started this back in December 2009. Well, better late than never. We took a one hour walk after lunch and it felt real nice when we were back onboard. Of course, we could have been at a wee bit more exciting place for our constitutional.
But we passed the SHOP'N GO, last chance for shopping before leaving Poland. Yeah, we had walked pass the ferry terminal and we made a stop at the border shop.
The border shop turned out to be a disappointment. At first I was excited, there were some very nice jackets. Pilot styled leather jackets and I wouldn't mind having one of those. I looked at the price, 100 US. Very cheap and I got suspicious. Well, turned out that the leather jacket was made out of plastic and I turned down the offer.
Yeah, walking around in a Pilot jacket made of plastic, for sure, that's an embarrassment I can live without.
There was M&M and liquor and that was it. So we left the place and we were back onboard after about 1 hour of walking and burning calories.
We completed loading at 16:55 and we stopped at a draft of 9,5m. Now we only have to wait for the cargo documents and we can leave for the Kiel Canal.
OK, February is history and I only have a few more days onboard. But let's swing right over to March 2010 for some last days excitements.
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