Rewritten January 2011
M/T Ramona EX Tärnhav
Picture from www.shipspotting.com Photo by Andreas Spörri
M/T Tärnhav was built 1974 in Ulsteinvik, Norway
Tärntank sold the ship to Älvtank and was renamed to Ramona.
In 2002 Ramona was sold to OW Bunkers, Danmark and was renamed to Olivia.
Tuesday 20th of December 1994 and I signed on M/T Tärnhav in Rotterdam. I had to go up very early to catch my early morning flight from Göteborg.
A quick cuppa and I was off towards the airport in a taxi to catch my early morning flight from Gothenburg to Amsterdam. Arriving to Amsterdam airport and it was a few minutes' walk to the train station and I took the train from Schiphol to Rotterdam.
Tärnhav was discharging Naphtha in Rotterdam when I came onboard at SHELL Pernis. I recognised the Chief Officer immediately when I came onboard. He was 2nd Officer on Vestria back 10 years ago when I was working as a AB on Vestria.
We had two 2nd Officers onboard, both from Skåne and as the Chief Officer was from Malmö, Skåne all the deck officers were from Skåne. Yeas, we were a “Kick ass” team.
Tärnhav was chartered to transport naphtha between Wilhelmshaven and Antwerp or Rotterdam. So it was the same cargo all the time, no thank cleaning. Loading in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and discharging at BASF in Antwerp most of the time. During my time onboard we did one or two trips to Rotterdam.
It's not many hours between the ports, but it was nice with the short voyages the winter of 1994 and 1995.
Very strong winds and they measured waves 16m in height and that was a record for the North Sea. Oil rigs started to drift and some ships went under.
All the furniture's in the accommodation was smashed to pieces even though they were secured by bolts to the deck. Coming in to the mess and day rooms just to discover a heap of trash. We received gale and storm warnings every day on the navtex and weather reports. So those 12-15 hours between ports were long enough.
Even though it was bad weather the AB on my watch took off to the galley to arrange some food for me. Rice, should be healthy, right? So I had a bucket of rice soaked in a very good salad dressing. Of course, this wasn't very healthy and I managed to lose f@ck all of my weight.
One time discharging at BASF in Antwerp the gas escape tower next to our berth got a blow out. It was in the middle of the night during my watch and even though it was freezing cold it became bright like a sunny day and it became very hot. Well, it felt like sitting around a fire and having BBQ.
I asked the AB on my watch to run inside to turn on the fire alarm while I was stopping discharging and closed all hatches on the tank hatches. Yes, this was a ship built pre SAAB radar era. So when we discharged we had the hatches open to see when the tanks were empty.
I could hear the fire alarm and the AB came back on deck. The fire alarm stopped and I asked the AB to go in and start it again. Unbelievable how someone can wake up in the middle of the night and just turn off the fire alarm before all crew had muster at the fire stations and an investigation had been done about the cause of the fire alarm.
After an hour or so they came down to the ship from the terminal and asked if we were ready.
- No we are not ready. I stopped because of the fire ashore, I said.
- You can start again, they said.
- I had tried to get contact with the terminal several times during and after the fire, but in vain. I will not start until you explain what had just happen ashore.
They had opened the wrong valve and burning gasoline or naphtha had started to spray out from the gas escape tower. They had been shitting their pants but not a word of what's going on or even an alarm. We had thousands of tons with naphtha onboard and it was impossible to get any contact with the terminal. Safety first!
Next time we discharged at the terminal our engine department was discharging sludge and asked for a little list to be able to empty their tanks.
I was in the ballast control room when I heard a bell or something.
- What is this? Is it the ice-cream man passing wanting my attention?
Well, what do I know? But I went out to the manifold and the emergency stop. All of the sudden we had 10 bars backpressure and rising, so I pushed the emergency stop. I tried to call the terminal but again, in vain.
A long time passed and I saw a guy passing on a pushbike so I shouted at the guy. When the crew from the Terminal came down I asked what had happen.
They told me that it was an emergency shut of the valves ashore.
Well, I refuse to discharge until I have a man on the jetty all the time so I could get in touch with the terminal. Obviously the telephone on the jetty was good for nothing.
The Surveyor told me that there was always problem on this jetty and that he had complained several times. Captain said that we had to live with this.
- This is how we make our money, he said.
Well, not me, so they sent me home.
I had a very good AB on my watch, he was living in Brazil and we were spending the watches telling each other cock-and-bull stories. (of course, we held an sharp look out at the same time)
There are quite a few Swedish sailors living in South America and SE Asia and I was in the progress of moving to Bangkok, nice weather instead of the rain and snow we are used to in Sweden.
We found out that he had relieved me on Dala Corona as an AB when I signed off Dala Corona in Göteborg a few years back. Swedish shipping world is not a big world and you're always running in to someone you know. Well, anyway, it's very good when you have a good AB on your watch and not a drunk or a total f@ck up.
Monday 16th of January 1995 and I signed off (was sent home) in Rotterdam. We arrived to Rotterdam in the afternoon and my flight back to Sweden were on the next morning. They expected the ship to be ready 0200 in the morning and the Captain wanted us to stay onboard until the ship left Rotterdam.
His plan was for us to leave the ship 2 o'clock in the morning and then walk around on the Rotterdam railway station until 8 o'clock in the morning when it was time to leave for our flight in Amsterdam.
Seriously! Where the h..l do they find the Captains for their ships?
I left the ship in the afternoon and I got the train to Amsterdam and I had a good time in the city and I went straight from the bar to the airport. Of course, even though I was young I arrived to Sweden a wee bit tired.
I was sent home from the ship because I refused to discharge the ship. Tärntank never called me to ask what had happened onboard. That's what pissed me of, not to be sent home. I went to United Polaris and I had a good time there. They called from Tärntank and asked if I wanted to sign on Tärnhav a few months later. I said no. Must be embarrassing for the Captain though, send me home and the company wanted me back. I refused to work for the company after that. I don't care if the Captain send me home, but the company should have called me and ask for details. I said no every time they called and asked if I could join one of their ships.
I just did a week on Tärnfjord a few years later when a 2nd Officer jumped the ship in Gothenburg. They called in the morning and I was on the ship just after lunch. Captain onboard asked me what had happened on Tärnhav.
He told me that there was a note in my file at the office saying "No good Officer. Not welcome back" crossed over and replaced with "Good Officer. Welcome back".
My next ship was United Polaris, I signed on 29th of January 1995 in Stockholm.
trip. I rejected the offer so I wasn't there at the time of the accident. Älvank sold Ramona and she's a bunker boat in Africa (2002)
1996 Tärntank sold her to Älvank and she got the name Ramona. Before Tärntank sold her they did a major upgrade of the ship. They built CCR with SAAB radar. But unfortunately just before she was sold 1 of the high jets froze during loading and, hmmm, I think you get the picture. She had to spend time at the shipyard again.
I was lucky, they called me from Tärntank and asked me if I wanted to be Chief Officer on that
Tärnhav as Ramona
Photo from Älvank's web page.
I wish the cameras would have been better back then. But hmm, laying in a box for 10 years before I scanned them has for sure done nothing to improve the quality.
You are visitor no.
To www.aladdin.st since December 2005
Visitors to www.aladdin.st from different countries since 26th of September 2011