Rewritten May 2011 while onboard M/T Ternvik
I took this picture when we meet Ewaria in the Kiel Canal early spring 1987
Built 1952 by Orenstein-Koppel & Lübecker Masch, Lübeck, Germany
Dimensions: 41,41 x 8,49 x 2,75 m.
After extension: 54,54 x 8,49 x 3,56 m.
Brt/ Nrt/ Dwt. 366/ 128/ 540.
After extension: 422/ 205/ 777.
Main engine: 6-cyl, Frederikshavns Jernst & Maskin diesel.
Effect: 360 bhp.
After change of engine: 8-cyl, B&W diesel.
Effect: 545 bhp.
• 25th of August 1952: She was launched with the name CIMBRIA.
• 15th of October 1952; She was delivered to Rederi AB Svenska Lloyd, Go:teborg with the name FRAGARIA.
• May 1962: sold to Thorwald Allan Olofsson, Skärhamn, Sweden and renamed to NAGARIA.
• 1967: She was exended from 41,41 m to 54,54m at shipyard in Falkenberg, Sweden
• 1970: Changed to a bigger main engine. 8-cyl, B&W diesel 545 bhp
• November 1978: sold to Ewy Wahlström, Kungälv, Sweden and renamed to EWARIA.
• October 1983: Sold to Karl-Olof Johansson, Donsö.
• 7th of January 1984: 15% sold to Hans Egstedt, Västra Frölunda, Sweden.
• August 1886: Egstedt is selling is part to Jan Nilsson, Helsingborg.
• February 1988: Sold to Alexie Greige, Beirut, Libanon. Honduras flag and port of registry San Lorenzo. Renamed to VICTORIA and she departed from Karlshamn, Sweden.
• Later on during 1988 she was sold to Amal Halim El Hourani, Beirut, Libanon. St Vincent flag and port of registry Kingstown. Renamed to SABINE.
• October 1990: Tony George Aoun & Yolla Salem, Beirut, Libanon and renamed to JIHAN.
• 1994 and she was sold to Salem Herawi / Abi Khalil, Belize.
• 13th of January 2003: Sold to unkonwn buyer, flag unknown and she was renamed to RAMADAN.
Tuesday 17th of February 1987 and I joined M/S Ewaria in Halmstad, Sweden. I got out of bed 5 o'clock in the morning and I left Båstad with the 06:30 train to Halmstad. Yes, I found some old letters that I wrote to my grandfather so this is how I know.
I also wrote that I would stay onboard for 2 to 4 weeks, turned out that I didn't come home until after 2 months.
I can't say that I was jumping of excitement when I arrived to Halmstad and saw the ship. Hmm, she must be 100 years old I thought, at least she looked like hundred.
Ewaria was a very old bulk carrier and we loaded grain and sand. Yes, what they usually call bulk cargoes.
I had signed off Bellatrix 11th of February, less than a week ago when they called me and asked if I could sign on Ewaria in Halmstad as an AB. And as I find it hard to say no I agreed to join the ship. But I didn't wanted to. But it turned out to be an experience.
We were 5 people onboard, 1 Captain and 1 Mate. We had 1 deck Boy that helped us on deck when he wasn't cooking.
We were 2 AB's or if the other guy was an OS, I don't remember. But I meet him in Kalmar when he was studying at the Marine Academy. Back then I lived with J in Kalmar and he was also studying at the Marine Academy. He was living at the same student home as a friend of mine so we were drinking beer together again.
And now 2011 he is Chief Officer on the same ship my brother is a Captain on, the world is small.
As you understand ship like this doesn't exist anymore, at least not under Swedish flag. The Captain was the owner of the ship and I meet him onboard M/T Halmia in 2000 and he was working as an AB onboard M/T Halmia for a few days when I joined the ship.
My first letter to my Grandfather from M/S Ewaria
After Halmstad, I thought that we left for Dordrecht in Holland to load blaster grits for Drøbak in Norway. But again, my letters and I know that we left Halmstad for Stralsund, East Germany in the evening. We were loading rapeseeds for Antwerp in Stralsund. And of course, we went ashore to drink beer in Stralsund. Drinking beer and having a good time was the #1 priority when I was 20.
It was cheap to drink beer in East Germany and working on M/S Ewaria meant that we didn't have much money. So cheap beer was nothing we complained about. 1 East German Scooby Doo Mark was the same as 1 Deutsch Mark (The West German currency) but we received 3 or 4 Scooby dollars per Deutsch Mark on the black market. Hmm, I don't remember the
exchange rate, it might have been 5 as well. Well, anyway, we changed money on the black market and we had more money than we could spend and we had to throw away the money when we returned to the ship in the morning.
The Deutsche Mark
, German mark, was the official currency of West Germany (1948–1990) and Germany (1990–2002) until the adoption of the euro in 2002.
It is commonly called the "Deutschmark" in English but not in German. Germans often say "D-Mark". It was first issued under Allied occupation in 1948 replacing the Reichsmark, and served as the Federal Republic of Germany's official currency from its founding the following year until 1999, when the Mark was replaced by the euro; its coins and banknotes remained in circulation, defined in terms of euros, until the introduction of euro notes and coins in early 2002.
The Deutsche Mark ceased to be legal tender immediately upon the introduction of the euro—in contrast to the other Eurozone nations, where the euro and legacy currency circulated side by side for up to two months. DM coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.
The East German mark
(German: Mark der DDR) commonly called the eastern mark (Ostmark in West Germany and after the reunification), in East Germany only Mark, was the currency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Its ISO 4217 currency code was DDM. The currency was known officially as the Deutsche Mark from 1948 to 1964, Mark der Deutschen Notenbank from 1964 to 1967, and from 1968 to 1990 as the Mark der DDR (Mark of the GDR); it was referred to colloquially as simply the Mark. It was divided into 100 Pfennig.
Yes, we had to throw away the money, getting caught with undeclared money would have ended us up in big trouble. So we were always exchanging 5 Deutsch Mark officially. If we hadn't spent the money we could change it back to Deutsch Mark when we left East Germany.
Well, Scooby Doo or not, we had a good time drinking beer and listening to good music. I brought some tapes and when they heard Nina Hagen they wanted to buy my tape. Nina Hagen was originally from East Germany but they kicked her out from the country, she was lucky comparing to those who didn't got kicked out. Or those who got shot while try to escape the country.
I remember that we spent the evening at a place on the 2nd or third floor in something that looked like an apartment house. It was fun and I could make myself understand with my home made German. Well, back then I was fresh out of school so I had not forgotten my German. But today it is a different story and I have to rely on my home made German.
Well, today there is no problem speaking English in Germany, but it was a totally different story back then. No one spoke English, neither in the West nor the East. We left Stralsund for Antwerp on an ice covered Baltic Sea. The winter of 86/87 was a very cold one and we had ice all the way up pass Go:teborg on the Swedish West Coast.
From Stralsund and I think we passed through the Kiel Canal to Antwerp, at least I have a few pictures of M/S Ewaria in the lock. And the only trip I can remember taking us through the Kiel Canal would be the Stralsund to Antwerp so the pictures is most likely from this voyage. Well, it was nice to leave an ice covered Baltic Sea behind for a wee bit warmer Belgium.
I'm not sure it was the voyage after Antwerp, but I remember us loading blaster grits for Drøbak in Norway. Yes, I remember the stay very well because of my mission to buy milk ashore and my long walk back to the ship.
We needed milk so the Captain asked me to buy milk, no problem. I left the ship, better to go buy milk than to stay onboard doing some boring work. Of course, when in town I took the opportunity to buy a few 12" with good Hip Hop music. Well, back then I had to buy vinyl, they had just started with CDs and there was not much to choose from.
Well, anyway, I don't have any of the records left.
I bought 2 bags of milk, must have been 30 litres plus my records, and I'm pretty sure I had bought some other things as well. I started to walk back and darn, the bags were heavy. When coming outside the city those bags were very heavy and no sign of a taxi. It took me several hours to walk back to the ship. I walked in to the city in no time, but it was different with all the milk and it didn't take long for the handles on the bags to fall off so I had to carry the darn milk. I wasn't exactly sure where I was.
- Hmm, which is the shortest? Go back for a taxi or continue to the ship? And why isn't there any taxis around when I need one?
Motherf@cker, I was almost dead and my arms were 2m long when reaching the ship. Well, it's the same when you "test" lift your bag to check the weight before going to the airport. OK, very light, no problem to carry and you put down the suitcase after 3 seconds. But as you know the luggage kills you as soon your close the door behind you on the way to the airport.
We discharged the blaster grits in Drøbak in Oslofjorden, Norway. We had wooden hatch covers and tarpaulins covering the hatches. Coming up early morning to open the hatches for the Stevedores was a terrible experience. I think the Stevedores started at 6 so we had to get up at 5 to open the hatches. It was so cold that I was about to freeze to death.
I remember really regretted going on this ship standing there in the morning freezing like I had never freeze before. I still remember it today 25 years later and I also remember the mate this very morning. I complained:
- It is very cold!
- Yes, and it will get colder by the minute until the sun comes up.
He was right, and as mentioned before, the winter of 1987 was no joke.
I don't remember how long we stayed in Drøback, but I remember us going ashore drinking beer and I remember a Sunday with no work. And no, I didn't have any hangover, unheard of back then. But we went to a restaurant and I remember walking around taking pictures of M/S Ewaria.
So where did we go after Drøback? I have no idea. I remember that we discharged far up on River Humber. River Humber wasn't much more than a creek where we discharged.
And I remember that we meet M/S Bellatrix when we arrived to River Humber.
Yes, River Humber wasn't much more than a creek where we discharged our cargo. What we
discharged? I have no clue, but most likely..... Discharged??!! Now when I have a look at the pictures I see that the ship is empty so we were most likely loading at the place. Most likely grain from trucks.
is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank and North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire on the south bank. Although the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, many maps show it as the River Humber.
Below Trent Falls, the Humber passes the junction with the Market Weighton Canal on the north shore, the confluence of the River Ancholme on the south shore; between North Ferriby and South Ferriby and under the Humber Bridge; between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Kingston upon Hull on the North bank (where the River Hull joins), then meets the North Sea between Cleethorpes on the Lincolnshire side and the long and thin (but rapidly changing) headland of Spurn Head to the North.
Ports on the Humber include Kingston upon Hull (better known as simply Hull), Grimsby, Immingham, New Holland and Killingholme. The estuary is navigable here for the largest of deep-sea vessels. Inland connections for smaller craft are extensive but currently only handle one quarter of the goods traffic handled in the Thames.
After a search on the internet, following River Humber on the map, I think I found the place. Selby, it looks like the place we were comparing with my picture. Westmill Food's grain silo looks pretty much the same as the grain silo on my picture.
What do I remember from Selby? Not much, but I remember that we were sitting at the pub across the street from the ship drinking beer. And when we were alongside we were running our generator under the fo'c's'le. And this generator was heard all over the village.
- What's the noise? Everyone asked us.
We discharged rapeseeds in Klintehamn on Gotland, Sweden. I don't know, but I think we loaded the rapeseeds in Stralsund, East Germany.
They used a dipper to discharge us and they loaded the rape on trucks for transportation to grain silos. I think they use the rapeseeds as feedstuff for the livestock during the winter. But I'm not sure so don't you run away making a bet on it. I know for sure that they get oil for margarine and stuff from the rapeseeds, but I'm unaware of any margarine factory on Gotland. So most likely feedstuff.
Well, scanning my postcard and I discover that we were discharging Soya in Klintehamn
M/S Ewaria was a very small ship, but we always stayed in port for a night or two. The Stevedores went home in the evening and they didn't resumed discharging until the morning after. We were young and we really didn't fancy sitting onboard when we could go ashore.
So we went to explore Klintehamn, there was a place so we could drink a beer, but that was it. This was in the middle of the winter and Klintehamn is a real ghost town (even in the summer). So we decided to take a taxi to Visby and check out the night life. Visby is a real "Funky Town" in the summer. Tourists are coming from all over to spend their holiday on Gotland. So it's party 24-7, summer time that is.
But we were on Gotland in the middle of the winter and then it's a totally different story. When we arrived to Visby there was not very much happening, there were a pub and a disco. If I remember it right we meet a guy on the pub that I had worked with on one of my previous ships. We managed to get some amber before going to the only disco in town and when they closed at 1 or 2 we returned to the ship with taxi.
But of course, first we ran in to some of the local rough guys. They had seen us at the disco and our behavior left a lot to wish for. At least according to them and they were angry.
- Yes, we're going to have to kick your arse!
- Ah! What the !!??
Nothing happened, they were just standing there, I think it was 3 of them. 2 o'clock in the morning on a square in the middle of Visby, the mercury showed 20°C below zero and as you understand we were in a hurry to get out of there. But no sign of any action from the guys.
- OK, get over with the ARSE KICKIN' already! We're in a hurry out of here.
They offered us cigarettes but we were not allowed to leave until we had had our arses kicked to set things straight.
- F@CK OFF! We said and left with a taxi for Klintehamn.
My second letter to my Grandfather from M/S Ewaria
We left Klintehamn the day after what I will always remember as the Visby incident. On the way South we ran over a fishing net and of course, the darn net ended up in our propeller and shaft. There is a tank with oil for the propeller shaft in the engine room and we noticed that the oil was leaking. So there must be something between the bearing and the shaft.
Otherwise there should not disappear oil from the tank.
So this was bad news, the owners were already down on their knees and on top of that they had to go to dry dock to repair the propeller. They had to find a shipyard that could carry out the repair job and they decided to go to Nexø on the Danish island Bornholm just South of Skåne. There is a very small shipyard for fishing boats. It is not very far from Klintehamn to Nexø so we arrived the day after departure from Klintehamn.
Now thing got really bad, I went under the fo'c's'le to bring up our mooring ropes. I discover that we have water in the fo'c's'le, and a lot of water. On the picture above you can see the generator covered of water. And on top of that the whole thing has frozen. Yes, it was a very cold winter.
As seen on the picture above there is a piece of a lanyard (the blue lanyard) from a fishing net in the shaft. This had to be removed in dry dock.
Fo'c's'le full of water and they had to repair the generator as well during the stay at the ship yard. This turned out to be an expensive trip. During the stay we lifted the wood board on the bottom of the cargo hold so they could measure the thickness of the steel. There was a guy going around measuring the thickness everywhere on the ship.
The stay at the ship yard became so expensive that the charterer in Sweden had to lend money to the ship owner. No money no work.
When we arrive to Nexø there was another small Swedish ship in port. Her name was Östfart and she had a full cargo of fishmeal onboard. She had tried to leave Nexø for East Germany, but as mentioned before, this was a killer winter. She had to return to Nexø and now she was waiting for the ice to disappear.
She left Nexø a day or two before us after having stayed alongside for a few weeks waiting for the ice to disappear. I bet the owner of the cargo was happy waiting for his cargo.
Of course, the owner of the cargo was waiting for his cargo while the Captain and crew (1 Mate and 1 deck Boy) onboard Östfart spent time in Nexø having a good time. Well, the Captain on Östfart was also the owner of the ship.
Those weeks we spend in Nexø was pretty fun. There was a disco and a bodega. So we could always find a place to drink beer. Well, the only problem was money so there was not very much money on the bank account when we left Nexø.
Actually I had to call my bank in Sweden because I could not get any money from my VISA card. I don't remember what it was for problem. But I managed to get some money and I was off to "Brugsen" for a case of beer.
Nexø is just a small fishing village and the ship yard was for fishing boats so we were lucky to get in to the dry dock. I remember it as we started off quite serious. Or maybe it was due to the fact that we were running out of job to do so it was just drinking beer and sleeping at the end of the stay in Nexø.
Or simply, I have forgotten how hard we were working. But I remember that we removed the wood at the bottom of our cargo hold. We had a Surveyor onboard to measure the steel thickness of the ship. So we had to remove the wood and I remember me and the AB screaming in anger trying to put back the wood.
Otherwise it was no hard work. The ship chandler was just 50 meters away and we spent a lot of time there buying beer. The ship owners had credit at the ship chandler. Hmm, at least for the first week or so. Then they got nervous and we were stopped. But I think the charterer put up money for us so then it was shopping like never before again.
2 Captain, both part owner of the ship and they were relieving each other. So it was “Hide the bottles” every time they signed off.
- No No, we're not drinking any beer when we're onboard!
And of course, it was the same when it was time for the other Captain to go home. Yeah, the bill from the ship chandler in Nexø was mostly beer. And on the picture below you can see the ship shop. On the left hand side in the yellow house in front of the ship.
Friday 3rd of April 1987 and I left Nexø for Sweden. Nexø was nice, for a week or so. But then the town drove me crazy. We knew all the pubs and the only disco. And all the people in Nexø knew us. I decided to leave the ship for a weekend going home to Sweden.
Bus to Rønne and the ferry to Sweden and from there I took the train to Båstad. At least I remember listening to Art of Noise on my Walkman on the bus from Nexø to Rønne. Otherwise I don't remember anything except that I drove to Go:teborg to visit my friend that was living in my apartment while I took a year off from school. I spent 1 night at home in Båstad before leaving for Go:teborg on Saturday.
Yes, I was going to work and save money, what a joke! Well, anyway, I drove to Go:teborg and I had a case of beer with me. This case of beer disappeared like an aspirin as soon as I reached my friend's apartment on Slottskogs Gatan. I don't remember anything from this evening except that we went to Yaki da or New Yaki, I can't remember the name of the place.
According to the pictures we were drinking beer at Columbus on 2a Långgatan. That's make sense because back then we were always going to Columbus.
Yaki Da or New Yaki, back then there were 2 discos with those names in Go:teborg, and as the name is very similar I can never remember which one we went to. But I know that I have been kicked out from both the places several times back when I was in school in Go:teborg.
I don't remember this, but I remember the drinks, the rest is how my friend tells me how it went down. And he is not always very careful with the truth. Well, anyway, we were at Yaki Da or New Yaki and we were having a good time and we were sitting with 3 or 4 girls. I ordered a few Gettingar, well, the table was full of glasses. Geting was a popular drink back then and honestly, I don't understand why. Today no one have heard of it, and rightly so. It tasted like
Suddenly I just disappear.
- I'm going to get some music!
My friend was worried, he was in school and his budget left a whole lot to wish for.
- Where did Aladdin go? Who is going to pay for the drinks (24 of them)
I returned 1 hour later with my Walkman. I had taken a taxi to get my Walkman with real music. That's another thing I remember from Yaki Da or New Yaki, the music sucked big time.
Sunday 5th of April 1987 and I woke up on my friend's floor. WOW, what a feeling! YES! Waking up on the floor, most likely with my shoes on and I'm really ready to take on the world.
Well, before I returned to Skåne we went for breakfast. There was a coffee shop in the house used by taxi drivers so the food was excellent. We had our breakfast and then I was off for new adventures. A stop in Båstad, ost likely overnight before continuing back to Nexø and M/S Ewaria. Oh yes, I missed the ship.
And as expected, I had missed nothing during the weekend away from Nexø. They had spent the weekend on the same bodega and disco as they always did. Not like there was anything else to choose from.
Sunday afternoon and walking around Nexø, in the middle of the winter and there is exactly nothing happening. No people around and I'm all by lonesome. Well, I ran in to the Mate from M/S Östfart on my way back to the ship. But that's it.
Yes, I can't say that I was happy to be back in Nexø, and what happened to the “14 days to 1 month” that I was supposed to be onboard? I was on overtime and I wouldn't mind signing off.
It wasn't like I was making any good money onboard. I was actually spending more than I made and the situation is getting out of hand.
Well, the departure day were approaching. Just a few tests to do in the engine room. Lo and behold, last test and the pistons in the compressor took off like rockets when they are testing the engine. DARN! Double darn for the owners, they really can't afford more setbacks.
It was nice to leave Nexø, I think we left for Copenhagen to do something about the broken down compressor. Back in the days there was people sneaking around the docks trying to sell stuff to the crews on the ships in the port of Copenhagen. Our AB bought a wrist watch and he never stopped talking about his new BARGIN
- Hey, I got it cheap, a real Lolex, he said.
- It's worth f••• all, I said.
When we loaded I Rotterdam we stayed next to Bellatrix, my brother was onboard and I knew a few of the other guys onboard. We invited them over for a beer or 2. We got in the right mood and ordered a taxi for the city. We loaded in Europort so it's very far to the city of Rotterdam. We went ashore and had a few more beers and we had to return when we had 50 Guilders left for the taxi.
When the meter was on 50 Guilders we asked the driver to let us off the car. We told him that we only had 50 Guilders. He didn't believe us and he continued to drive. Our AB asked if we could pay with his new watch from Copenhagen. He showed the watch for the driver who just throw a quick glance at the watch and realized the seriousness of the situation and slammed on the brakes.
He did throw us out from the cab, but by then we were just close to the ship, 5 minutes to walk. But I must give it to the driver, a car full of screaming and drunk sailors in the middle of the night and he estimated the value of the new wristwatch to nada with just a glance. And well, nada is exactly the value of a Lolex.
One morning, around 5 or 6 o'clock when we were on the way back to Scandinavia Captain called me in my cabin. Well, there was no phone on the ship so he knocked on my door.
- I heard that you have been on Navigation school. I'm going to bed, he said.
I had to take over when we passed Skagen and all the millions of fishing vessels leaving Skagen early morning. Our auto pilot was for the magnetic compass and when you changed course you stood with your back against the traffic. Well, it was fun to zig zag between the fishing vessels.
Amazing what kind of sense of responsibility they had. Responsible for the life of the crew and they are just going to bed.
But we made it through and when the Mate came on watch he was surprised to see me on the bridge.
- Where the is the Captain?
Sunday 19th of April 1987 and I signed off in Aalborg, Denmark. I took the train to Fredrikshamn and the ferry to Go:teborg. I ran in to an old friend on FEMMAN while waiting for my train to Båstad.
Hell, I did not even know that he lived in Go:teborg and yes, we got drunk and I woke up on his sofa the next day.
How fun was that? Where am I?
I was home for a few days until Friday 24th of April 1987 when I signed on M/S Katharina and I was off for new adventures.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one.
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 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!
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E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.
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