June 2010

Tuesday 1st of June 2010 and I was not surprised when they called me late. 5 minutes before 8 o'clock and I had to take a quick shower before going for my morning tea.

New ship and I have plenty to do. Time runs very quick while getting my office in order. And in the middle of everything they asked about our discharging from the office. We will discharge in Pori, Helsinki and Hamina. And now they want to know if we can discharge 5000m³ @ 60°C. Yes, now Ek-Starthey want us to heat the cargo to 60°C and I just start to cool down the cargo. So we had to put the boilers at full speed.

Well, anyway, they wanted to know if we could discharge 5000m³ @ 60°C at Pori, only using full tanks and to empty the tanks. Then if we could discharge 5000m³ @ 60°C in Hamina, also only using full tanks and we will Ek-Stardischarge the balance in Helsinki.

And I'll be darned, the day turned very quick and it was soon time for dinner. Tuna and onion with a cup of tea.

Well, the only black cloud, in the mess room was the fact that this was the last can of tuna. Outside there are plenty black clouds on the sky. Gloom and grey as long as you can see. Rain and strong winds, where did the summer go?

I always carry my camera in my shirt pocket and I pulled out my camera to get a picture of my dinner. Of course, it didn't take more than 2 seconds before our Fitter started to scream at me.
- What??

No, I don't want to hide the cheese, but the cheese didn't look good on the picture so I moved it a Ek-Starlittle bit to the side. Of course, if I would have known what kind of reactions I was about to set off I wouldn't have bothered. I moved back the cheese and I took a new picture and everybody was satisfied and we could continue with our meal, with or without cheese.

The weather left very much to wish for and my daily 90 minutes constitutional was cancelled. I spent some time doing cargo planning in my office after dinner.

I popped a diet drink open and I was enjoying myself while doing the cargo planning. Shouldn't be any problem to discharge 5000m³ then the balance and then to discharge the last 5000m³ in Hamina. I printed my plan and I returned to my cabin with a diet drink.

I was not happy about my cancelled constitutional, it's nice to walk on deck in the sunshine. But I prefer to stay inside in this kind of weather. Hopefully we will have sunshine tomorrow.

Wednesday 2nd of June 2010
and I woke up to a sunny day. And surprisingly enough, I only got my Ek-Starwoke up call 10 minutes late so I had time for a nice shower before going for my morning tea.

I was drinking my tea while listening to the crew chipping on deck. Yester day it was gloomy and grey with strong winds and water spray over deck. I really appreciated the improvement, sunshine and my mood improves several notches. And my mood improved even more when I could hear the shipping machines. Well, I finished my tea and I had plenty to do. So I kicked Captain out of my office.
- I'm sorry! Don't take it personally, I really wish Ek-StarI had time to sit hour after hour chatting with you. But I have plenty to do so I don't have the time.

Well, I just got started with my cargo planning (yes, we got new discharge orders) when our Chief Engineer came Ek-Starto my office.
- Do you have time to help us?
- Of course...
- We're going to check the hose handling crane.
- OK
We went out on deck to check the crane. It was a wee bit cold even though the sun was shining. Well, the water is still cold
around here in the Baltic Sea so it will be cold until the water is heated by the sun. Of course, this is not something that will happen overnight.
We finished the crane and I was soon back in my office busy with my paper work. I had just been sitting at my desk for a few minutes when Captain came in.
I could not believe my ears when he said:
“There is a helicopter training to put down the rescue crew on deck. Why don't you go have a look”
Well, I had to go check out what all the hullabaloo was all about. When I came on deck I saw a helicopter from the Swedish Search and Rescue on Gotland.
I walked forward to have a look. The helicopter lowered one of their crew down on our deck. So I went to have a chat with the paramedic.
- We're training to lower and hoist people from ships, he said.

The Paramedic saw me coming on deck in shorts and my fur hat and he told me that it was not yet Ek-Starsummer in this part of Sweden.
- Well, on the other side of Sweden it was summer.
But on the West coast of Sweden we have the Gulf Stream Ek-Starbringing hot water from the Gulf of Mexico.

And who knows, with in soon we might have BP's oil coming our way via the Gulf Stream. What a shame and I really hope that BP goes belly up and that a few of their executives have to spend time behind bars.
Well, there is no end in sight for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But you can be sure that the Vetting Inspectors from BP will get very upset if they find out that you have Ek-Starthrow a banana skin overboard.

I was soon growing tired of the helicopter extravaganza and I returned to my office. Time had turned real quick and it was soon time for lunch. I finished my onions and HAKKEBØF and I were off to my Thai books in my cabin.

I finished all my “Work Permit” and “ Tank Inspection Report” binders during the afternoon. And today our Electrician had time over so we were blowing the sample pipes for our fixed gas detection equipment. Processkontroll were onboard Ek-Starin Göteborg for the annual check. They found 2 sampling points with low air flow. Most likely some dirt in the sampling pipe.

Well, anyway, when they left they suggested that we should blow the lines with compressed air.

ETA to Pori Pilot station, 8 o'clock tomorrow morning and I need to measure our tanks for H2S before arrival. We also need to do the pre arrival tests and I decided to do it today due to the early arrival tomorrow morning.

Yesterday my constitutional was cancelled due to the weather. Today I went on deck at 7 o'clock in the evening and I returned to my cabin after 1 minute. It's darn cold outside and I don't fancy waking around in winter clothes.

Thursday 3rd of June 2010
and I was called for at 7 o'clock. 1 hour until Pilot boarding time. Good, I have plenty time for a good morning shower and a diet drink in my cabin before going to the bridge. I checked out my window while enjoying my diet drink. A gorgeous morning and the Ek-StarBaltic Sea was like a windmill pond and the sun was shining from a blue sky.

It's so much easier to get out of bed during the summer time. You in an instant good mood when you look out the window in the morning. If its sun shine and nice weather that is!

Of course, when it's gloomy and grey it�s a totally different story.

Our Pilot was onboard just before 8 o'clock and by then I had had time for a cup of tea as well. We had all fast Temboil terminal around 8 thirty and I went down to my office for a diet drink while waiting for the people from shore to come onboard.

Our paper work was done in a jiff and we were soon discharging part of our cargo. We will discharge 5000m³ here before we leave for Helsinki. We expect around 6 hours for the loading, perfect. It's 25 hours to Helsinki and we will arrive to Helsinki tomorrow evening and thus we will be out of there before it's getting too late in the night. And I can have 8 hours of Ek-Starsleep before we arrives to Hamina to discharge the last 5000m³.

I got some good news today regarding my tax. I will be paying 7,8% in the future and the company will enquire at the tax authorities if they can refund the tax money I had paid so far this year. Otherwise I will have to wait for this money until next year.

Going from almost 50% when working in Sweden to 7,8% is a remarkable improvement. Now it's fun to work, while working under Swedish flag I never had a chance to see my salary. I bought a diet drink and the salary was a goner.

So I was in a good mood, but not too good. You never know if the tax authorities changes their mind. But I will know for sure at the end of this month.

We completed loading at 4 o'clock and we were in a hurry to get out of here. Latest news is that Ek-Starwe will go alongside in Helsinki if we arrive before 21:30 tomorrow night. If we arrive later the boatmen are gone and we have to drop anchor until Saturday morning.

If we get alongside tomorrow night we will wait at the jetty until Saturday morning to start discharging. Well, it didn't start very well. At first the Pilot was busy and they could not be here before 9 o'clock tonight.

So we were pleasantly surprised when we were told that the Pilot could be onboard at 6 o'clock. But I wasn't so pleasantly surprised when they called me in my Ek-Starcabin. I had just stepped inside my cabin and opened my Thai book at 17:30 when my phone rang.
- The Pilot is onboard.
- OK, I'm coming to the bridge.

I went to the bridge, in a pretty good mood. Even though I had planned for 30 minutes with my books. I could as well do this after departure, before going for my 90 minutes constitutional on deck. Yes, I was really looking forward to my evening constitutional.

Of course, when it was time to leave for deck I ran in to some problem with my mp3 player. Only half of the songs had been copied so I wasn't on deck until almost 8 o'clock.

When we were alongside it was very nice on deck. But coming out on deck now while underway it was a totally different story. The water is only 10°C and together with the wind it was ice cold even though the sun was shining. So I went back inside for a diet drink in my cabin.

Friday 4th of June 2010
and I woke up to yet another gorgeous day. But I had no time to enjoy the day. I brought mu morning tea to my office and I started right off with the cargo planning. We will start discharging right on at arrival to Helsinki and we will leave in the middle of the night.

From Helsinki it's just a few hours to Hamina and we expect to leave Hamina late Saturday night Ek-Starand to Sillamäe it's just 5 hours. So in order to be able to catch as much sleep as possible between the ports I did all the discharge planning for Finland and the loading plan for Sillamäe. From Sillamäe to Ventspils it's about 24 hours so I have plenty time to do the discharge plan.

I managed to get a power nap after lunch, yes, I'm better of catching some sleep preparing for a long night.

The only worries is that I got a little more sleep than asking for so now I have to go wonder if I can fall asleep after departure from Helsinki.

I returned to my cabin after dinner. we had finished all the tests and checks before dinner so we were pretty much ready to start discharging. well, of course we need to come alongside first.
They called me just before 7 o'clock in the evening. And of course, I was in the shower when they

until 1918 Viapori (Finnish), or Sveaborg (Swedish), is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören), and which now forms part of the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

The Swedish crown commenced the construction of the fortress in 1748 as protection against Russian expansionism. The general responsibility for the fortification work was given to Augustin Ehrensv�rd. The original plan of the bastion fortress was strongly influenced by the ideas of Vauban, the foremost military engineer of the time, and the principles of Star Fort style of fortification, albeit adapted to a group of rocky islands.

In addition to the island fortress itself, sea facing fortifications on the mainland would ensure that an enemy would not acquire a beach-head from which to stage attacks. The plan was also to stock munitions for the whole Finnish contingent of the Swedish Army and Royal Swedish Navy there. In the Finnish War the fortress surrendered to Russia on May 3 1808, paving the way for the occupation of Finland by Russian forces in 1809.

From http://en.wikipedia.org
called me to give the 30 minutes� notice.
- 30 minutes to the jetty
- I'm coming when I'm finished with my shower.
Looking out my window and we passed between the islands Vallisaari and Sussisari with the famous Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. It's a small passage and we're close to the islands. I got dressed and I went to the bridge.

We had just passed the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress when I came on the bridge and I could see Viking Line's ferry from Stockholm passing between the islands behind us. Of course I took a picture.
We were approaching Helsinki with the sun shining right at us. A beautiful evening even though there was some grey clouds on the sky over Helsinki. We passed 3 of Finland�s icebreakers on the way in to our jetty. I guess they need all the rest they can get after the last winter.
I could not help it, the nice evening and passing through down town Helsinki on a Friday night, yes, I wouldn't mind having going ashore for a good time. I have not been in Helsinki for many years. But last time was quite fun.
- Hmm, I wonder if it would be any different now when I'm 150.
Last time I was in Helsinki I was 20 something.
We had all fast at 9 o'clock in the evening. And of course, we had to shift the ship 3 meters Ek-Starastern when we were finished. The boatmen didn't know that we had to line up against a grey box on the jetty instead of the normal procedure, against the loading arm.

When we were at position the shore guys came onboard to connect the cargo arm and the Loading Master came to do paper work in my office.

He could f@ck all English and he just signed all my Ek-Starpapers. Well, safety first is what we have to listening to all the time. So I can't understand why they send a guy that Ek-Starcan't speak or understand English. It's 2010 fer f@ck�s sake!

Well, who am I if I can't communicate with some of my home made Finnish?

With a little help of my English/ Finnish we managed to fill up the “Ship Shore Checklist” and my Pre-discharging agreement. We started to discharge 5 minutes after 10 o�clock local time and that it 5 minutes after 9 o'clock ship's time.
We expect 4 or 5 hours discharging so we expect to leave between 2 or 3 o'clock tomorrow Ek-Starmorning. Good, I got my power nap this very afternoon and when we have left I can sleep for 7 hours before arrival to Hamina.

We should have been able to finish this parcel in 2 hours with our pumps. But due to discharge orders we cannot use all our pumps and in the end we will only use 1 cargo pump in order to only discharging whole cargo tanks. No split and we must finish the cargo tanks we start to discharge from.

I think its different receivers in the different ports and they don't want to mix the cargoes. Maybe due to different qualities in the tanks. I don't know.
Well, anyway, I was in my cabin writing on my web page when they called and told me the Pilot was ordered for 02:30 ship's time, 03:30 local time. Nice to get out of here.

Saturday 5th of June 2010
and we completed loading 10 minutes after 3 o'clock in the morning local time. And yes, it was almost daylight outside. Pilot was ordered for 03:30 and when we left Ek-StarHelsinki 10 minutes before 4 o'clock local time the sun was up.

I went straight to bed, but motherf@cker, I could not fall asleep. Tossing and turning for 3 hours before I managed to fall asleep. So when they called me 3 hours later I was still very tired. But a long and hot shower did wonders.

And of course, my GOOD MORNING tea helped a bit. We did the tests before I went to the Ek-Starbridge just before 10 o'clock. We had all fast at 10:35 ST and I was waiting for the Loading Master in the duty mess.

Our Electrician came in to the duty mess and asked if I had a cancer stick for him.
- No, but if you want a fag there is a carton in my office and you're welcome to help yourself.
He returned with a pack after 20 seconds and he sniffed a Ek-Starcigarette before putting light on it. Then he put the cigarette in the ashtray and it was pretty much just laying there smoking.

Our Loading Master didn�t come onboard until quarter past 11 and we started to discharge half an hour later. We expect to leave early evening and to drop our anchor at Sillamäe around midnight.

When we were up and running with the discharging I went for my lunch and then I was off to my Thai books in my cabin. And hopefully I will learn a little something.

We finished discharging 10 minutes past 6 in the evening and Pilot was ordered for 19:30. That gives us some time to fill ballast. We cannot fill ballast when we have cargo in the tanks due to the cooling effect on the cargo.
It didn't take me long to get back to my cabin after departure. I need sleep after this morning's failure to fall asleep. And we will hopefully be anchored when I wake up tomorrow.

Sunday 6th of June 2010
and we were anchored at Sillamäe anchorage when I woke up. Pilot to be onboard at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. My cargo plan was ready, but they asked us if we could do a Ek-Starcargo split with 4 parcels from 2 different terminals. So I'm back at square ONE.
Well, now I have to wait until we're alongside to do my final cargo and loading plan.

I went to my cabin after lunch, but I had no time for my Thai book. Pilot is soon coming onboard so I went to the Ek-Starbridge. Coming on the bridge, just a few steps behind the 3rd Officer and Pilot.

When it was time for Captain to sign the Pilot's paper I discovered where all our pens were. I could not help myself so I took a picture. Nothing else to do so taking a few pictures is a good way to kill some time.

When we approached Sillamäe I could see that the whole port looked like it was new. Not like when you come to some terminals, especially in England and USA. Ek-Star(Now I�m not talking about Africa and South America) They look like shit. We had all fast 5 minutes before 2 o'clock.

We will load from 2 terminals so we have to shift 40 m forward when we're ready with the first terminal. Of course, any thinking person would have put the 2 hoses next to each other so we didn't have to waste time shifting the ship. But, hell, they are the one paying for the time wasted.

Our Surveyor came onboard with the Loading Master and he recognised me. He had been working for Saybolts in Göteborg when we were loading with Ek-River.

Well, anyway, as soon as the Surveyor and Loading Master came onboard the hullabaloo started. Loading Master could not speak any English so we had to wait for the Surveyor while he was on deck dipping our tanks. While waiting I went to the duty mess to pester our Chief Engineer while he was talking to his wife on the Philippines.

Now it was 5 parcels to load at the first terminal. We have to spread the first parcel in 4 tanks and the other 4 parcels in 8 tanks. And we had to distribute it percentage over all tanks to get the right mix when we were finished at the next terminal.

So I had to calculate the filling % tank by tank, parcel by parcel. And while I was doing this the surveyor wanted print outs of time tables and all kinds of paper. Well, I had given him the usual paper work and I told him that I would get him the paper as soon as I was ready.

He was on the phone nonstop and every now and then he asked for some papers and the name of the Surveyor in Göteborg.
- I don't know.
- Was it Håkan, a tall guy?
- I don't know.
- Or was it Niklas, the short guy?
- I f@cking don't know?
- What did he look like?
He continued and I, well, I tried to explain for him (as diplomatically possible) that they could have given us the loading orders while we were at the anchorage.
Of course, this is the most important, to get the loading up and running and I cannot start loading before I have done my cargo plan.

OK, finally and we could start loading 5 minutes before 4 o'clock and when they started I could Ek-Starfinish my last paper work so we could go have our dinner. Our Surveyor will stay onboard during loading and I showed him his cabin after the dinner.

We made quick stop at my office. I was fiddling around with my paper work when I catch sight of the Surveyor in the corner of my eye. He was bending down over my diet drink cases picking up sodas from my cases. I could not believe my eyes.

When they came onboard I asked if they wanted sodas or tea. And this guy took a second helping of the dessert.
- What the are you doing?
- I will bring a few sodas to the guys ashore. They are working hard!
I told him that he could tell his guys to take a walk down to the local 7 Eleven to buy sodas.
- You always have so many on the ships.
- Yes, but they have millions of the darn soda cans ashore!

What the hell is wrong with people. We remember the Surveyors in Mexico. I'm coming down to my office just to find that my fridge is empty. I knew that I had one diet drink left in the fridge. The last diet drink onboard. I saw that the Surveyors were sitting at my table drinking diet drink.
- WHAT THE.....!!???
- We took a soda!
- What the ??!! You can go to 7 Eleven to buy your soda. That was my last diet drink. You ask first and I can give you an ordinary soda.
I sent them ashore and they came back with a soda. Like I said to the Surveyor in Kingston, Jamaica when he asked if I had someone to help him carry his sample bottle. Yes, he had been sitting onboard all day watching TV and eating. Needless to say, I lost it.
- What the !!?? We're coming on a ship with 30 people onboard to a country with millions of people and you expect us to start serving you? Motherf@cker, my guys have more important things to do than to carry your sample bottle!
- So I have to carry my own bottle by myself?

Monday 7th of June 2010
and they called me at 05:30 when we were completed at the first terminal. I took a long hot shower and when I came down to my office the Surveyor was on deck Ek-Startaking samples. When he was ready with the samples we did the ullage report and we were ready to shift the ship 40 meters forward.

We resumed loading at the second terminal at 8 o'clock and at 9 thirty I went for a quick power nap in my cabin. I asked 3rd Officer to call me at 11 o'clock.

Coming down to my office after a long hot shower and I discovered that we were not going to break any records with the loading rate. Well, honestly, I had not expected very much regarding the loading rate. Looks like we will be ready late tonight, even though they told us that they would finish at 7 o'clock.

I managed to keep myself busy in my office until we finished the first parcel around 3 o'clock.
We stopped loading for 5 minutes while they changed grade ashore and we started to load the last Ek-Starparcel in CT 2 + 5P/S. As I said, it looks like it will be ready late Ek-Startonight and then 4 hours to wait for the paper work. So I'm better off preparing myself for a long night and I went to bed after dinner. I asked 2nd Officer to wake me up at 19:30.

I was back in my cabin at 6 o'clock and I really didn't catch any sleep. A few minutes of sleep and then tossing and turning until I felt a sleep again, but I was a sleep when they called me at 19:30. I had a shower and I went down to the CCR. 300 MT to go and the rate was everything between 20M³/h and 600m³/h. I returned to my cabin. We will load 4600 MT of the Grade B parcel so I will have some time to study Thai while waiting.
- Call me when we have 4500MT (vac)!

I was in my cabin waiting and I never received any call so I called the CCR and I asked how much we had onboard. Loading was almost at a complete standstill. At 9 o'clock 3rd Officer called and we finished loading 10 minutes before 10 o'clock in the evening.

Tuesday 8th of June 2010
and the Surveyor was back onboard around 1 o'clock in the morning with his paper work. I had already printed my ullage reports because the Agent called with final density Ek-Starand shore figures a little earlier. So it was just for the Surveyor to sign the papers and I signed his papers.

Of course, before he left he bended over my case of diet drinks and he grabbed a can. It was not the same Surveyor we had yesterday. But I told him to leave my diet drinks and I handed him an ordinary soda from the fridge. We have ordered diet drinks and hopefully they will be delivered in Ventspils.

But until then my diet drinks are a NO TOUCH! But, hmm, I might be better off without my diet drinks. I don't sleep very well after 5 cans full of caffeine. We left Sillam�e at 3 o�clock and I didn�t felt a sleep until almost 5 o'clock. Waking up every hour until 10 o'clock when I got out of bed. So if the diet drinks doesn�t comes in Ventspils I will stick to water.
When I came down to my office I did the discharge plan and luckily enough I started to plan for discharging the big parcel first. When I was about to start with a discharge plan with the small parcel at the first we got information from our Agent that we would start with the big parcel.

We will arrive to the pilot station at 1 o'clock in the morning and we will proceed alongside right away. Yet another long night so I went back to bed after lunch for another power nap.

We did all the tests and checks when I got back after my power nap so we're ready to start discharging at arrival. And when I came to my office after my power nap I found out that they want me to leave the ship next week. They want me back on Ek-River again. The guy relieving me is sick, yes, it's summer time. But I don't want to go. I have set up my life here now. Snus, diet drinks and tuna (2 pallets, 2 cans a day with 2 onions and it will last for 5 months) to be delivered in Ventspils.

Now they want me to carry my snus and all my other stuff to Ek-River. And most likely they won�t have any tuna and diet drinks on Ek-River so my diet will capsize yet again. And all the tuna they had paid for here. Will most likely just be lying around, I'm the only one eating the stuff. Not to talk about all the trouble they had to find a ship chandler that could deliver the tuna.

Wednesday 9th of June 2010
and I went to the bridge just before 1 o'clock in the morning. The Pilot was on his way so I went to make a quick cup of tea before it was time to enter the port. I didn't manage to fall asleep yesterday evening, but thanks� to my power nap in the afternoon I was full of vim. Well, anyway, I expected to be back in bed around 3 o'clock. Not unrealistic, arrival and as soon as we had started discharging I could go to bed.
It was foggy at arrival so we didn't saw the light on the breakwater until we were very close. As Ek-Starsoon as we were inside the breakwaters we turned around and backed up to jetty 31.

3 or 4 guys on the jetty to positioning us for the connection. What a disaster, 50 cm in this direction and 50 cm in the other direction. When we had all fast they wanted us to go 50 cm astern. Yes, they think it's a f@cking car. Then it went from 50 cm to 1 and a half meter astern.

Suddenly they said that we were in position, and that's even though we hadn't move. Well, 4 people giving directions and of course, they have to try to surpass each other.
- 50 cm astern.
- No I think 60 cm is better.
- I think 40 cm will be enough.

And if the big boss is present it usually turns in to shit. Ek-StarHe needs to show that he is in charge, and as we found out later, he was so off that we had to move the ship when it was time to start discharging.

Well, it didn't take long to realise that I would not be in bed at 3 o'clock. 10 minutes before 3 o'clock we had finished ullage and calculations and t 3 o'clock we had finished the ship shore checklist. Now we waited for them to connect the cargo hose.

Our Surveyor had plenty papers to do while we waited for the cargo hose to be connected. 4 o'clock and finally the Ek-Starcargo hose was connected, but now they wanted us to shift the ship astern for the hose to fit.

So our crew shifted the ship while I was in my office listening to the Loading Master's persistent enquiries if we could start discharge.
- No, we're shifting the ship.
When he asked the tenth time I told him that “if they had managed to positioning the ship (A quite simple task) when we arrived we had been Ek-Stardischarging by now”

While waiting our Loading Master showed Pump Man where the garbage container was located. So we will get rid of all our Garbage before we're leaving.

We started to discharge our first parcel at 05:35 and we had to start with a 400m³ line displacement. When we started I went to the deck trunk with our OS to check the cargo valves. Just to make sure we didn't have any leaks.

I returned to my cabin when I came back from the pipe trunk. 400m³ at slow speed so it would take us about 1 hour. I could as well spend the time reading Bangkok post online. And I was not disappointed, actually, I felt of my sofa laughing.

Today�s headlines in Bangkok Post
The latest from Bangkok Post
I picked myself up from the floor, and just to make sure, I checked if it was the 1st of April. No, it was not the April Fool�s Day, it's the 9th of June 2010.

Yes, I know, it is no laughing matter, but I could not help myself. But seriously, how can you respect the Thai Police force when after the last months serious riots they did nothing. They did not even prevent the Red Shirts from building their tire and bamboo barricades. But when a few blind and disabled people get together they arrive with the blue lights on.
23 people were arrested, well, there are space in the arrests since 2 of the core red shirt The latest from Bangkok Postleaders were released on an “UNCONDITIONAL” bail.

Charged for terrorism and they are free to go where ever they want. But as one reader wrote, hard to punish someone for the same crime you have committed yourself. But the poor blind people, yeah, f@ck them!

Well, anyway, we finished the line displacement. It was stop for 5 minutes before we continued to top off our tanks one by one until the 95% alarm was deactivated. I was back in my cabin at 06:30 and in my bed around 7 o'clock.

I woke up 20 minutes before 2 o'clock in the afternoon. It was strange, I had asked them to call Ek-Starme 20 minutes before we would complete the first parcel. I had expected us to be able to discharge with the maximum allowed 1300m³/h. But we were only discharging with about 900 per hour.

We completed the first parcel at 14:40 and we resumed with the last parcel at 3 o'clock and I returned to my cabin. Should not be any problem to get out of here early Ek-Startonight. But I just sense that it can take quite some time for the people around here to get ready so I'm better off preparing myself for yet another long night.

Our provision was delivered after dinner and I was in Ek-Starfor a disappointment. The diet drinks turned out to be Pepsi and I will run out of diet drinks within 2 days.
- Hmm, maybe a good thing, I should really give it up.

Yes, I will only drink tea and water from now on. We got the tuna
so I will resume my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet tomorrow with only water and tea. OK, I will finish my last diet drinks, but they will be finished before the weekend.
I returned to my cabin, pretty pleased that they didn't deliver my diet MAX and of course, I was happy for the tuna. I told 2nd Officer to call e 30 minutes before completion. And just before 8 o'clock in the evening they called me in my cabin for the 30 minutes� notice.

Discharging completed 20 minutes after 8 o'clock and from here on things worked quite different from other discharge ports. Normally we're on our way 1 hour after completion. But now they had to do paper work and stuff so it will take about 4 hours before we get our pilot.

10 minutes before 11 o'clock (10 minutes before midnight local time) they called me in my cabin.
- The documents is onboard
- OK, I'm coming.
I was back in my cabin 20 minutes later, now we're waiting for the Pilot. OK, I have time to prepare my web page for my next ship, Ek-River. We got confirmation in the afternoon that I will join Ek-River next weekend and I will stay for 6 weeks before I come back here again.

Thursday 10th of June 2010
and our Pilot left us when we passed the break waters on our way to Ek-Starthe anchorage. He had just been onboard for about 10 to 15 minutes when he left us a little past midnight.

And yes, there has been a lot of the “middle in the night” pictures Ek-Starlately. But that's how we work around here, wasting day light waiting for something and heavy duty arse kicking during the night time.

When I woke up we were anchored just outside Ventspils. Well, anchored and the crew was kicking behinds on deck. They are chipping and painting tank deck. They finished port side and they are almost ready with the starboard side. I will have them to review the area in a month or so. Some small spots missed, but it's nothing much.

But they will continue on the cat walk and the superstructure when deck is ready. And as I said, when this is ready they will go back to tank deck and take the missed spots.
Anchored, yes, it's nice for a few hours. Just to finish your paper work, but after that it's Ek-Star
dead boring. And the sun disappeared so it's not all that nice weather. I will see how it looks tonight, I really hope that I can start with my constitutionals again. After a few days of cold weather and I have also been busy in port so I have not have had an evening constitutional for quite a few days now.

But at least I got my “Best looking guy in town '10” diet back on track. Only a can of tuna and an onion for lunch. I had 3 apples during the afternoon, but nothing else.

For sure , the weather didn't improve during the afternoon. Overcast, gloomy and grey as long as I could see. Doesn�t look good, but it's still nice temperature and I will Ek-Starsee how it is tonight. Never mind the gloom and grey, the crew continued chipping and painting deck

We will break the see watches for the crew at midnight, so from now on and until we're leaving the anchorage we will have a full deck crew on deck during day time.

Of course, we will get plenty done on deck, but for me, I hope we're leaving the anchorage on Monday. Beyond Monday and this anchoring will drive me up the walls. There is not really that much for me to do. There is plenty to do in my Ek-Staroffice, but for what? I will leave next week and I think I will be better off continuing my work when I'm back.

After dinner I went back to my cabin to finish today�s Thai studies. And I was looking forward to my evening exercise on deck. OK, I don't know if I was looking forward to it.

Lack of carbohydrates in today's diet and I was freezing and tired. I managed to keep awake, but I was so close to fall asleep in my bed after I finished my books. well, anyway, at 7 o'clock I left for deck with my MP3 player on full blast. And even though I had a pullover and my fur hat on it was darn cold and I turned around and went back inside after 5 meters on deck.

Friday 11th of June 2010
and today I received 2 wake up calls + my alarm clock. I was in the Ek-Starshower when they called the last time.
Of course, enjoying a hot shower and I never answered. Must have been Pump Man calling me, I told him yesterday to call me just in case they forgot to call me 20 minutes before 8 o'clock in the morning.

We're still anchored and today we will check our crane wires. Better take the opportunity when we're anchored. Just to lower the hook on the outside of the ship and we can inspect the wire from deck. But first my morning tea.

When I was ready with my morning tea I went on deck with our Chief Engineer to look for Pump Ek-StarMan. Our crew was busy chipping rust and painting on deck. But for how long? It was a very gloomy morning and the sky was covered with black clouds.

And when we checked the last wire, the MOB crane it started to rain. Just a drizzle but enough to stop our painting on deck. So the crew started to wash down the superstructure.

I returned to my office, and there was nothing to do. well, some papers to take care of and a binder or two to read. We're better off going to load some cargo now. Enough of the anchoring already. The only news we have is that they are working on a cargo from Gdansk, Poland to Tallinn, Estonia. But that's not until Tuesday next week, if we get that cargo. Hopefully!
We have fire dampers on deck to our pump room and deck trunk. The flap in one of the ducts to Ek-Starthe pump room has not been moving quite as smooth as it should. So some of my best gays were working with the problem.

3rd Officer and OS outside and our Pump Man Ek-Starwas inside the duct.

Yes, they are small and luckily enough we're not dependent on me getting in to the duct. Hmm, maybe when I'm finished with my “Best looking guy in town Ek-Star'10” diet I can get inside.

Our OS came down to us in the pump room when he was ready helping the 3rd Officer on the duct on deck. Third thing he asked was how old I was. First thing was if I had any children and second question was if I was married.
Ek-Star- How old do you think I am? I asked him.
- 30+ 33 or 32, he said.
- I'm 31 years old, I said.
- That's a good age!

The rain stopped at lunch and deck was soon dry so they could continue with the chipping and painting after lunch. Still gloomy and grey with dense fog and according to the forecast the wind will pick up during the weekend. Where is the summer? I haven�t seen the sun for a long time now. But it's June and the weather is usually not very good. I hope July, August and September will be better. But we remember the summer last year, a pretty bad one.
I got an e-mail in the afternoon. Here I am trying to keep a low profile and people are calling the company embarrassing me. Yes, are they sure I want to people to know that I know them? Same in Bangkok, one of my Teachers told me that I had a friend that had started to study at school.
- He said that he know you.
- I don't know him.

Well, anyway, we heaved up our anchor after dinner and we sat course for Gdansk in Poland. About 15 hours South of here. And what a coincidence, I had Polish Hip Hop on full blast in my cabin.

Saturday 12th of June 2010
and we were rolling slightly when my alarm clock went off. I had my shower and before leaving my cabin I looked out the window. Some wind and waves came in from the side. But it was sunshine and if the wind disappears it will be perfect for my constitutional on deck tonight.

We dropped our anchor outside Gdansk quarter to eleven. We had planned to have a fire drill today, but due to the arrival we postponed it until tomorrow.
I spent the time to lunch with my gas detectors. And in the afternoon our Electrician and I tested our fixed gas detectors for the pump room and pipe trunk.

Sunday 13th of June 2010
and we were still anchored when my alarm clock went off 20 minutes before 8 o'clock. Sunday and today we will have our drills, good, we will have something to kill our time with. Anchored and it tends to get a wee bit boring.

But the drills are not until after 10 o'clock so I have time for my GOOD MORNING tea. I enjoyed my tea in my office while reading the last loading instructions. As close to as possible, but MAXIMUM 12 600 MT FO. OK, this was an easy one, I had already done my cargo plan and the loading sequence plan so it was only to take away cargo until we were down to 12 600 MT.
At quarter past 10 the whole crew meet at the bridge. Yes, I like to have a meeting before the fire drills to tell the crew what to do instead of just having the alarm going off and the crew muster at the muster station. Not only do I have the chance to take a picture of the whole crew, I can also instruct the crew on how to behave when the alarm is going off.
Well, you may think this is like cheating. But I beg the difference. Now the crew have a chance to Barcarolleask questions and we will walk through the different steps in fighting Barcarollefire. Same when in USA, the coast guard comes to check your fire drill. You can choose the scenario and on the way we had several drills with fire in the galley.

Of course, we choose to have FIRE IN THE GALLEY when the Coast Guard came. They thought the sun was shining from our behinds and they handed out all kinds of certificates to us. And this was a very good experience for the crew, now they know Ek-Starhow to fight a fire in the galley by heart even if the coast guard isn't there to look. So the drills were both useful and instructive and I don't call it cheating.

Well, anyway, today we had a fire in the pump room. I sent one guy from TEAM #2 to close the fire flaps and to start cooling down the deck and superstructure with the foam monitors. 2 guys from the support team were putting out fire hoses while the smoke divers were getting ready for action.

We extinguished the fire with hot foam and I Ek-Startold the guys to stand down. I could see how happy they were thinking that the drill was over. They took off their smoke diving kits Ek-Starand they started to bring back the fire fighting equipment when I told them that the fire had spread to the CCR.

The smoke divers were ready in a jiff and TEAM #2 entered the accommodation to fight the fire in the CCR. When we were ready we brought back the stuff and we Ek-Riverwent to the pump room for an ENCLOSED SPACE rescue drill. Yes, no end to the excitements.

Our Pump Man had prepared our dummy in the pump room so we went down to put on the safety harness. Then we have to get him out by heaving him up from the pump room and to safety. We used a dummy so I will put the pictures from Ek-River when we used our Mess Man. On Ek-River we saved him from the engine room, but it's pretty much the same as pulling him out from the pump room. Well, when we finished in the pump room it was time for an oil spill drill. Yes, just when you think it's over there is something new coming up.

Our Pump Man had prepared water on deck so I explained how to use the drain pump to suck the Ek-Starwater (Oil spill) on deck to our slop tank and when we were ready, yes, we still had more drills to perform. Now it was time for the life raft drill.

And our Cook, ever since the group picture on the bridge he had been on me about taking pictures. Every time he saw me during the drill he wanted me to take pictures.
- Picture! Picture!

We finished our drill in time for lunch and when I went to my cabin to study some Thai but I dozed off for a bit. I woke up 30 minutes later, well, or something like that. I continued with my Thai and then I had me a shower. My constitutional was cancelled, and seriously, last time we had sunshine was at arrival to Sillam�e. Since we left Sillam�e the summer has disappeared.

No constitutional due to the weather and I was reminded about our gym. Just above the FO tanks.
- At least it's hot, our Fitter said.
The gym, I remember when I came onboard. I discovered the gym and I decided to go every day, well, it felt (conveniently) in to oblivion and I wasn't reminded about the gym until today.

Monday 14th of June 2010
and I was bright sunshine when I woke up but when I came out on deck it was overcast. Black sky and it looked like it would start to rain any second. But the temp was nice and the sea was like a mirror.

I did some paper work first thing in the morning and after the coffee break we tested the ODME.
Our Captain and Chief Engineer needs to know how to use our gas detectors so we had planned for a crash course in my office after lunch. So at one o'clock our Captain and Chief Engineer stepped inside my office, with their hands in the pockets!!!
- OK, I think we got off on the wrong foot here! Where are your pens and note blocks?
They left to get their pens and note blocks and we were pretty much ready to get going with the Gas Detector Course.
- And where is the apple (read gift or appreciation) for the Teacher?
My students took their seats and they were beaming of excitements. We started with our Am-X 7000, a multi gas detector that can be used in inerted atmospheres. I went on indefatigably about our gas detectors and when we were finished I had demonstrated all of our gas detectors.
And while I was going I could as well instruct our deck crew in the basic use of the personal gas Ek-Stardetectors. To be worn when entering enclosed space or when we're loading/ discharging cargoes with H2S.

Our OS was on his watch below so I have to instruct him tomorrow. But our 3rd Officer was close by, I don't know if he has the gas measuring course, but I took the opportunity to show him as well. Looks good on the “attendance list” if someone wants to check it out at an inspection. Yes, no end to the paperwork. Safety first Ek-Starand a sheet of paper can be the difference between life and death. Well, I don't know who�s coming up with all this bullsh**.

Never mind how many times they have signed that they know how to use the equipment. When the shit hit the fan, you can be sure they will come after me as responsible.

Ek-River will arrive to Swinoujscie tonight and it would have been nice if I just could take a taxi to Swinoujscie from Gdansk. But we will not go Souvenir from Rotterdamalongside until EARLIEST on the 16th in the evening so we will miss her. But I will leave on Thursday and we will see where Ek-River will discharge. She is bound for ARA for order, so maybe I will have to spend the weekend on a hotel in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam, last time I stayed at hotel in Rotterdam I got a nice souvenir, from the Police. Yes, I don't want to go in to any details, but if you're interested just swing by the exciting page Bro Jupiter 2006. If I remember it right you should check out the month of September, well, why not check out the whole thing?
Well, we see what happens. But one thing is for sure, ARA and I prefer Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam and Antwerp. Antwerp was fun 20 years ago, but last time I was there it was, well, not very fun.

Gloomy and grey, the sky was covered with black clouds. But no wind so I took my 90 minutes' constitutional at 7 o'clock. At 8 o'clock the sun started to break through the clouds and at 8 thirty when I went back to my cabin it was almost blue sky and the sun was shining.

Tuesday 15th of June 2010
and we were still anchored when I woke up. Laydays started at 15 June so we tendered notice at 00:01. A gloomy and grey morning, a little sunshine but it was mostly Ek-Starblack and grey clouds.

Good morning tea, paper work (almost nothing left to do) and when I meet our Electrician I asked him to take on REED switch from our high level alarms in the Slop tank and to move it Ek-Starto cargo tank 2 Port. The 98% alarm in 2 Port is not working and it's better to have a working high level alarm in the cargo tank than in a slop tank we're not using.

I really don't have all that much to do so I started with some of our CBT (Computer Based Training) training. I did 2, yes, believe it or not, but they call it modules, before lunch. And when I came back after lunch our 3rd Officer was busy with the computer so I had to find something Ek-Starelse to do.
- Hmm, I can go pester the crew on deck!

And of course, my best guys are putting the fourth and last layer on tank deck when it starts to rain. This summer had been nothing but a disappointment so far. I really hope that the weather make some remarkable improvements soon.

My reliever is arriving tomorrow night so I really hope that we will go inside tomorrow afternoon so I can leave for Ek-River. But the latest news from Sweden is that there is a strike planned for tomorrow, so all the flights leaving Sweden might be cancelled.

Wednesday 16th of June 2010
and we were still anchored when I got out of bed. And what a surprise, the sun was shining from an almost cloud free sky. The crew finished the last layer of Ek-Starpaint on tank deck yesterday. we expect to go alongside this afternoon so I told the crew to wash deck yesterday.

No meaning to start any new chipping and painting if we're going alongside and when I came on deck the crew was busy washing the fo'c's'le.

There are also a few black stains on the port side of the hull. Most likely from black rubber fenders. Luckily enough it turned out to be easy to remove.

Pilot was supposed to be onboard at 1700 but it was changed to 2100 later on in the afternoon. At least something is happening, and I was busy during the afternoon with cargo calculations for our next cargo. Well, more likely their next voyage, I will change to Ek-River.
The strike in Sweden was over at 1 o'clock in the afternoon so my reliever will land in Gdansk 10 o'clock tonight and he will be onboard around 11 o'clock. So I hope we're alongside until then.

After dinner I studied some Thai before going for my constitutional at 7 o'clock. Gorgeous weather and I will not miss this opportunity. I gave it an hour before I returned to my cabin for a Ek-Starfew words on my web page. I was back in my cabin, 8 o'clock and no sound from the engine department. They would have started the main engine by now if we should be at the pilot station at 9 o'clock. But we have not got any confirmation from the pilot.

So I guess my reliever has to spend the night at a hotel. I never stayed at hotel in Gdansk before, but I spent plenty time at the bars and discos. Plenty fun, and the famous Sopot is just a taxi ride away. So my hotel experiences from Gdansk are ZIP. But one of our guys stayed at Scantic or Scandia hotel or whatever the name was a few years ago. It was smack in the city.
- But I didn't like the hotel. Very impersonal!

Well, I will see, maybe I will fly straight from here tomorrow if Ek-River gets a destination. Much depending on if we're going inside. For sure, can't take much working at an oil terminal.
- Yes, I know, I have mentioned thousands of times before.

But everything they do seems to be a (wild) guess work. If you have a ship loading 12000 MT you should be able to calculate the time of completion. Changing pilot from 1700 to 2100 and from there who knows? Tomorrow morning? Middle of the night? (Most likely) or
next week? One thing is for sure, if I had preformed like that I would have been on welfare benefits before very soon. And I understand that there can be problem and machines stop working etc. Well, they are paying so I don't care.
I was sitting in my cabin minding my own business and I thought that the ship was shaking. I had Lustans Lakejer on full blast and I turned down the volume, yes, main engine was running and I went to the bridge. They were in progress of heaving up the anchor.

I went down to get a quick cuppa in the mess room and I was enjoying my tea when the Pilot came onboard at 22:00, 10 minutes after we had our anchor aweigh.
I finished my tea and I brought my loudspeakers back to my cabin, I will not have any use for Ek-Starthem here until when I come back in August. I will bring them to Ek-River, I doubt that they have got loudspeakers in my office. Well, It won't take long before we have the Trance and Jazz Hop blasting high in my office on Ek-River.

Yes, I got 20 new CDs' with Jazz Hop last time in Sweden, DARN good music! But seriously, is there anyone knowing the difference between Jazz Hop, Trip Hop, Turntablism and Electronica? I don't know, maybe there is a saxophone in the Jazz Hop. For example DJ Cam, a French DJ, and his music are everything from Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Jazz Hop, Turntablism and just plain bad music.

Well, at least a got a few hours of good music out of the 20 CDs', the rest was thrown away, just Ek-Starlike the Filipino Hip Hop I bought last time in Manila. All the CDs' I bought went straight to the garbage bin. And when I checked out a gay came running after me.
- You forgot your CDs'!!!
- Keep them!
- Thank you SIR!
Yes, that was really bad music, but I had to try. If I find the time I usually buy some of the local Hip Hop in the Ek-Stardifferent countries I visit.

Well, anyway, we had first line ashore 10 minutes before 11 o'clock and I could see my reliever coming on the jetty with the Agent. We had all fast 5 minutes after 11 and the gangway was down 10 minutes later.

First our OS came with my reliever's suitcase and 1 minute later my reliever was in my office. We changed a few words and I had to attend to the Surveyor and Loading Master. Check lists and paper work and we completed everything 10 minutes before midnight. We're pretty much ready to start loading.

Thursday 17th of June 2010
and the Immigration was onboard 10 minutes after midnight. Good, Ek-Starthey will have a look at my documents and I will be ready to leave the ship. There will be a taxi to pick me up at
Ek-Star1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon for transportation to the hotel.

Cargo arm was connected quarter past midnight and now we just had to wait for the terminal to start the loading. Yes, get started already so I can go to bed. It took 20 minutes before we started to load. Expected loading time 13 to 14 hours so they will almost be ready when I'm leaving in the afternoon.

I felt asleep at 3 o'clock and I woke up 20 minutes past 8 o'clock, darn! Must be the excitement and Ek-Starexpectations for the weekend ashore that makes it hard to sleep. I can't blame it on the diet drinks. I have not had a diet drink for a very long time now.

I looked out my window when I woke up and I discovered a
gorgeous day. Sunshine and blue sky, a perfect day for an afternoon in Sopot.

I had a long hot shower and I brought my suitcase when I left for my office. My reliever was already in my office and we went for a cup of tea. I showed him the changes I had made and then I was pretty much ready to leave.

But I will have my last tuna and onion onboard before leaving at 1 o'clock. Of course, the guys would be very disappointed if I didn't have my last lunch with them before leaving for my hotel. Well, our lunch plans was crashed. It was only our Fitter and Chief Ek-StarEngineer at the table having lunch with me.

Problem with our cargo nomination and Captain and my reliever was busy. First it was full cargo but after a few days anchored it was 12600MT maximum. Before we heaved our anchor it was MAXIMUM 12150m³ due to lack of space in the shore tanks in Tallinn. When we came alongside yesterday evening it was MAXIMUM 11750MT.

This morning it was MAXIMUM 11750MT and 12150m³. Well, that didn't make any sense. 11750MT is about 12648m³@ 70°C. After plenty telephone calls it turned out that they had mixed up observed volume and standard volume @ 15°C. When I left the ship at 12:40 they were loading for 12150m³ observed volume. Well, how it all ended? I don't have a clue!
I left the ship and I was at the beginning of the jetty 10 minutes before 1 o'clock waiting for my taxi. The taxi arrived, well, as my driver said:
- 1 o'clock exactly! Very good service!

I'm off to my hotel, and according to our Agent there should be a disco very close by. So this is pretty much it from Ek-Star, I'm off to Ek-River.
And we swing right over to Ek-River by the click on our mouse. This will be fun!


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

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

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

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

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

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


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