August 02, 2013 Friday ON UNEVEN GROUND
St. Rose, Louisiana USA terminal. July 28, 2013 Sunday 2038 HRS
Immediately after the mooring operations I was dead tired and sweat soaked on my coveralls , and needed to have at least a drink of water. Upon going to the locker room I managed to see and caught BOSUN AMICAN dressing down and escaping work, The lazy prick have the nerve to even slam me with sarcasm after the accident I had (please read my previous entry "THE ARRIVAL") saying "How does it feel being whiplashed with a wire" . I made an emotionless reply and said " Not bad at all" and hurriedly left the dressing locker room.
Took a rest for only two hours , made a shower and set my alarm clock (the one I bought in BOTLEK Store) and then again I'm back on my working shift which is 12 midnight till 6 in the morning. Good thing that my work partner there is A.B. "Patrick" so the fatigue on work is lessen when I'm working alongside with my friend here, for the moment on work we are currently on standby as "Vetting Inspections" might start anytime in the morning or afternoon, For now the midnight work till morning is pretty much safe from it.So what did we do in those 6 hours of cargo watch ? Honestly nothing much and nothing important at all and we just made the usual rounds on work, me I had to check the gangway if its properly secured every hour as well as check also the manifold area for any leaks that would be occurring.A.B. "Patrick" on the other hand checks on the forward and aft mooring ropes and adjust them , he also checks the pump room every hour. Later on our watch we adjusted the wooden step for the gangway , so I wont get crushed by the weight of the aluminum gangway later on.
After the watch, I took the usual rest on my cabin and noticed that my laundry is already piling up not a pretty site to be honest. I couldn't wash them as it's a ship (and probably a company policy) that whenever were at port , all laundry rooms are closed for the time being.
When I went back for my afternoon shift, I found out from O.S. Hall that vetting inspections have already started at 9 am and still on going. One incident happened on the Vetting, although minor,I was only not wearing my helmet for a couple for seconds ,(which I ran hurriedly back again after realizing I was not wearing one) Unfortunately 2nd officer R. O. Olis saw this and lashed out on the radio saying it is not an excuse that I forgot my helmet and in addition said a lot of hurtful words. A.B. "Patrick" did as much as to defend me against the bastard 2nd officer over the radio and I thank him a lot for sticking out with me on this.
After the working shift, I went to the crew mess to eat my breakfast. It was there that I saw again 2nd officer R. O. Olis, He shouted and scolded me again , repeating the said issue, I fought back and said that he shouldn't say those things over the radio and its very rude and ill mannered to say things like that, we had a furious stare at each other , and I was ready to draw my Wenger swiss army knife on my pocket in case this situation would escalate to a full fight, But I stand down and decided to play it cool, I just kept it as an option if ever he jumps at me, if he does - then that's the part were I'd slice him with my blade. I lost my appetite on the heated conversation and hadn't eaten anything, I went to my cabin and slept hungry and furious over what happened. That fucking bastard !!!! Should haven't bought a blade but a Flash light taser instead or a pepper spray.
I realized on that incident that non-lethal defensive weapons are really a must onboard (Aside from having a real blade), especially when working on a cargo ship as the nearest threat is not from outside but from the inside of the ship.
July 31, 2013 Wednesday
With permission from A.B. "Patrick" , I had along my Samsung cell phone with me during the cargo operation and managed to record on video the knowledge "Patrick" will teach me in using a U.T.I. device (Ullage Transfer Interface), I figured that its important to record it as this knowledge may serve me in the years to come if I decided to pursue the job of being a sailor. I was fortunate that someone here like "Patrick" understands my situation that I need to record this knowledge despite having a device on deck that is not intrinsically safe at all, I am fortunate to have a real friend here like "Patrick".
In other news everybody here is talking about captains slabada's reliever, most of the other replacements have already arrived but it seems that this ships new captain didn't arrive at all and went A.W.O.L. , everybody is still figuring out what happened to the new captain.
At early morning cargo watch, I'm sadden that two good men onboard this ship have already disembark and finished their contract, Chief Engineer Servgey Il'yantsev and Electrical Engineer Koba Tsiskaradze. "Patrick" is also sadden that these good guys had to disembark and they had already finished their contract, But that's life here onboard. A mariner's life will always have changes, each working contract a sailor will get to meet new friends (and enemies) and you'd interact on a lot people - some are good people , some are bad.
August 01, 2013 Thursday
Unmooring operations went exactly at 9am in the morning, For the record this is one of the most difficult unmooring operations I had as the weather at this day was definitely unfavorable. I was terribly feeling weak on the fact that I haven't eaten anything in the morning and only took a Centrum tablet and vitamin b complex as a kick start to give me at least an energy. To make the situation more complicated I was suffering from heat exhaustion, I was working sluggishly at that time. Some of my co-workers are also having the same problem as mine on heat exhaustion, like A.B. Malorca. On the other hand A.B. "Patrick" was already on the brink of a heat stroke during unmooring operations on the aft.
Few days that went by was relatively quiet, despite its quietness trouble is brewing. A.B. "Patrick" was displeased to hear and learn that 2nd officer R. O. Olis told the new chief mate that he wants him to be replaced on the night watch at the bridge. The new Chief Mate was puzzled why 2nd Officer Olis wants him off the hook and askedwhy , To the new Chief Mate's surprise 2nd Officer Olis could not give any clear answer on it. Anyway the Chief Mate had no other choice but to put "Patrick" on the 3rd mate G. Corales night watch schedule, and warned that if 3rd mate refuses to accept "Patrick" then he's going to tell Captain Slabada about this issue.
"Patrick" has my sympathies, and I think its not fair for him to be treated this way. He is being heavily discriminated on this ship by his fellow Filipino's. I'm really disgusted that this is happening to him and on the situation that "Fellow Filipino's fight off fellow Filipino's" . This is the real evidence that Filipino's will never ever get to work together, On "Patrick's" case he is always being pick on by his fellow Filipino's here . P. Dondonilla doesn't deserve that kind of treatment , he should have been treated fairly and without prejudice. On my part I feel powerless that I'm only limited in providing him information on what the enemy thinks of him and give him tactics on what to do on situations and not fight directly alongside with him, Despite my limitations here I am willing to help my friend here in anyway I can.
My friend is living miserably here and he took all that crap for 8 months now, I will not stop him or be in his way if he wants justice and vengeance over what happened to him. In fact I'm in favor that he should seek retribution over what happened to him.
Guatemala, Central America, August 06, 2013 Tuesday (2 months, 2 weeks, 5 days)80 days onboard Cape Tallin.
This ship is now currently in the Guatemala area, and we had a good rest on Friday and now the new chief mate gave a few job orders to do on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturday we had to clean the drip trays on the manifold area from oil residues , wasn't an easy task as Sea Clean (By the way I found out that its primary ingredient is Naptha, very toxic by the way) and Cold Wash had little effect on it. I was with O.S. Hall in cleaning the drip trays while BOSUN Amican, A.B. "Patrick" and A.B. Homer were cleaning the deck area in the accommodation block.
At 3pm the maintenance work was all over. While on work there are a lot of rumors why the new Chief Mate had job orders given on Sunday. One rumor says that a Technical Superintendent might be boarding this vessel in time for its long awaited Dry Docking repairs, or some rumors just plainly say that Captain Slabada is just hurring up for his reports.
This ship spent a few days at anchorage in Sto. Tomas area in Guatemala, The weather here is inconsistent and extreme on both sides. During the mid-day the heat from the sun reaches scorching temperatures enough to soak a coveralls with sweat, and during night time its chillybreeze and most of the time occasional heavy rain showers enough for people here in anchor watch to don a rain coat and boots.
In other news .
I had made computations on my calculator in my PC and found out that I have now lasted 80 days out of the 276 days intended working contract on this ship. I'm relieved that I had now reached close to a third of the numbers and hopefully - I'd be able to walk out of this ship. To be honest working relations here onboard are not that good as to what it was during my previous ships (Bow Ophelia), for some reason people here think that working is more like a competition rather than a cooperation. Bottom line here is that Its no longer fun working in Cape Tallin and that I'm now facing serious issues both on harmonious working relations and normal maintenance work, I'm now totally feeling dissatisfied on how thing are working out here for me. (I'd continue this topic on my next journal entry)
August 07, 2013 Wednesday EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF
Mooring operations that went a few hours ago in early morning was the one of the most difficult (and exhausting)I had faced so far in my whole sailing career. Difficult in the sense not because of the mooring arrangement ( 2-2-2 is easy believe me) but because of the inconsistent weather in Sto Tomas , Guatemala. Literary it was raining heavy and worst part was that I don't have my booths and raincoat with me, resulting in me doing all the manual labor of dragging those heavy heaving wires in wet clothes. It was no easy task as even my Co-worker A.B. Malorca was having difficulty as well on the situation.
Aside from the hard situation, BOSUN AMICAN and 3rd Officer Corales wasn't a big help and was not helping at all, instead they mock and ridicule me and A.B. Malorca in not having to drag the heavy heaving wires fast enough - they never realized that me and Mallorca had been already dragging several of those wire and are already exhausted from it. Even the incoming 3rd officer "Byron" is not spared from their arrogance and cocky behavior, they say in tagalog that "Byron" , this white guy doesn't have any idea on work and is stupid when It comes to mooring operations . Good thing for them "Byron" doesn't understood tagalog words or else I would be wondering by now on how "Byron"looks like when his furious. These fucking two bastards are so arrogant and cocky that I had thoughts of throwing these people off deck and see how they fare well in swimming. BOSUN AMICAN and 3rd Officer Corales are one of the worst people I had encountered so far in working as a sailor. They think that every mooring operations is a "competition" rather a cooperation, Bastards !!!!
Change topic for my journal as this upset me even more in discussing these kind of people.
For the moment Guatemala seems to be a backward kind of country and I had never been here before quiet honestly. Even their port facilities are not that advance as what I see in Europe or in some parts in Asia, and we had to use the pilot gangway onboard as a form of an accommodation gangway and had to adjust it every now and then as this ship is now loading cargo.
In other news on my equipment for the moment I am hurriedly trying to dry up my only spare coveralls as the other spare one was badly damage when I washed it up on the washing machine recently. This is the only working coverall I use for dirty work and that the other coverall I had is the clean coveralls , which of course is not suitable for "Dirty" deck and cargo works. I try to hasten the drying of my coverall but unfortunately I think it will take another few hours or so for it to be properly dried up as laundry facilities here in Cape Tallin are always closed whenever we are at port.
In other matters the crude oil cargo that will be loaded on this ship is just only half of the total capacity of this ship. In other words the ship will only be half full loaded of crude oil then it will be heading off to Texas U.S.A. again
August 07, 2013 Wednesday, Afternoon Cargo Watch
Though I'm dismayed that A.B. P. Dondonilla will no longer be joining me on the work shift because of the recent protest he received from 2nd officer Olis, It doesn't necessary mean that we can't talk to each other. We still talk and share a laugh every now and then, though now it'd not that often. Honestly I blame 2nd Officer Olis for this obstruction.
On Cargo Watch , I could say that my experience in work isn't really that good - in fact it's a shitty day and let me start. On the start of my afternoon working shift, a few crew members 3rdmate G. Corales , Oiler D. Roger, Chief C. Peneranda , Ordinary Seaman X. Hall went on to the typical shore leave - problem is that they didn't came back in time for work and I was left hanging and being on duty for 10 hours straight (instead of only 6 hours during cargo ops). They came back onboard very late (close to 10pm), very drunk and had a lame excuse that the reason they came late was because O.S.Hall said to me the taxi driver robbed them off 100 U.S. Dollars.JESUS H. CHRIST !!!! Am I supposed to believe that - you fucking maggot !!!!! What I think the truth is on what I think is that they went ashore to drink , get some whores and had sex with them and attend work very late leaving they're co workers all fucked up being on work for 10 hours straight.Some of the people onboard here are also furious on them, One such example is Mess man F. Penera whom apparently complains to me when I visited the crew mess at 6pm saying that the chief cook is one bastard son of a bitch and abandoned me on work, I'm the one who cooked served and even washed all the duties for him. Another example is the Junior Officer (and incoming 3rd Mate) "Byron" who says over in the CCR via Radio and ask us over if there is any information about the crew who went to shore leave. (good thing that British people can maintain their composure even under pressure).
These bastards don't have any fucking idea on the sense of RESPONSIBILITY AND DUTY -totally careless bastards, I was sitting there doing work for 10 hours straight from 12 noon till 10pm late at night and I had been on work for the total of 19 hours since yesterday. Worst is that this is a civilian Ship carrying cargo not some fucked up military vessel, so there's no necessity of working on terribly very long hours.It's a good thing that I bought along for the trip a few medicines that I would take to combat fatigue.
AUGUST 08, 2013 THURSDAY
At very early morning the new captain of Cape Tallin arrived , I haven't seen personally the new Captain but based on what I heard he's a bit short when it comes to height and I'm not exactly sure if this captain is a good or bad one , but the new pump man knows who is and isn't exactly telling if he's a good one. I only assume this captain is a bad one.
Much to my dismay I was again woken up early at 4am by A.B. H. Mallorca, most likely because Bastard O.S. Hall couldn't keep up to his word that I should rest till the command "On standby for Unmooring arrives" . It's a good thing that my rest was sufficient at that time and 6 hours sleep isn't bad at all compared to none. I went to work for only two hours 4 to 6 am, then after wards I went to rest again until unmooring operations started which is around 9am till 12 noon.
Unmooring operations went smoothly since it was only a 2 -2-2 mooring arrangement although A.B. Mallorca had a minor split up when his hook slipped and hit Oiler Donald Reyes Roger in the crouch area. As for the rest it was a smooth operation.
There was of course an incident after mooring operation, in which BOSUN AMICAN shouted over the radio to the Captain that the Pilot ladder is already ready. Apparently based on what I heard from A.B. Patrick (which was at the bridge at that time) the new Captain was caught in surprise that he was shouted out by the BOSUN , and after the shouting on the radio the new Chief mate and the New Captain spoke Russian to each other probably talking about BOSUN AMICAN. On my end on the deck area I saw with my very eyes that BOSUN AMICAN did it unprovoked and intentionally to the new captain. It's was very disrespectful to be honest that he acted that way and I think it will not be long till the New Captain (or the New Chief mate) does something on his character problem.
August 09, 2013 Friday Eidul - Fitr
The next task of work following the departure of Cape Tallin from Guatemala was washing the whole deck area in the accommodation block. Me, A.B. Patrick and Alexi (the Ukrainian Deck Cadet) was put on the task in doing it. As with the usual procedure we hauled off the long heavy rubber hose from the workshop (Main Deck level) all the way up to the bridge Deck level and connected it to the fire hydrant outlet. We waited for about 30 minutes until the fire pump engine starts, during the wait the three of us had a small talk.
After the washing , I was put on the task of collecting and painting the scupper plugs with color orange and "Alexi" also helped me out. During the painting him and I had a small talk , and found out that Ukrainian language is a cross between Russian and Polish , aside from that we talked about the difference on the education system of the Philippines and Ukraine , specifically on the maritime education system. Based on what I found out the Ukrainian government even sponsors (and shoulders the cost) deck cadets on companies just to see them finish college- a big difference in the Philippines, here as soon as a deck cadet is finishes his studies in school , he is left out to fend for himself and after finishing the one year sea going service , the deck cadet even has to pay the school a fee to process his diploma and degree.
In the Philippines , the system of education for a deck cadet is "Every man for Himself".
Late at night I went to the gym, I missed going there since I've been out on work for a few days now.
August 10, 2013 Saturday
In spite anticipation that work will be only half day (which meant only four hours) , I was very much surprised to hear from BOSUN AMICAN that work will be from 8am to 3pm for unknown reasons. Had no idea why work hours has been extended on Saturday and that it's a usual practice here onboard that every Saturday work hours are only half day.
A.B. "Patrick" was dismayed on what he heard about, and found out later (From O.S. Hall) that the main reason was that BOSUN AMICAN and the new Russian Chief mate had an argument and as punishment (or probably retaliation) he was ordered to do work until 3pm. Well serves BOSUN AMICAN right for his arrogance and insulting the new Chief mate, The problem with this bastard is that he doesn't know authority and respect to co-workers and has a nasty attitude problem - glad for him somebody here onboard this ship teaches him a lesson.
The work for this day , is washing the deck area again minus the accommodation block which was washed yesterday. "Patrick" and I used sea clean chemical in removing those grease left behind during the previous mooring and unmooring operation. I also removed the excess mud from the anchor and winches (the stuff that got caught whenthe anchored was pulled out before the mooring operations). Later on work I was washing the deck area all by myself now and I could now handle it.
By the way this is the first time I saw the new captain , Captain Igor's slabada's successor in cape tallin. Seems to be a bit old but jolly person, Honestly for now I could not make any decisions yet about him and that most people (or almost all sailors) are ok from the start then later turned to homicidal bitches after two to three months later. Truth is I haven't made up my mind yet about this New captain and I still keep my distance over it just to be on the safe side.
August 11, 2013 Sunday
Finally it was rest day , Just spent the whole day sleeping and modifying and fixing some personal equipment , a regular maintenance and up keep thing. I also washed the new sets of gloves I collected , thanks to the chemical "GRESOL" which totally removes all the grease that was stained those gloves.
Word came from "Patrick" that this ship will be arriving at the U.S. by night time , around 10 pm and will be anchoring soon.
Late at night, this ship arrived in U.S. waters and I was immediately put on standby for the anchoring. Weather in Texas is as usual warm and hot even during at night time, I donned in my usual gear during anchoring (facemask, helmet, gloves, coverall ) . For obvious reason I didn't use my head flash light for my helmet.
It was me , BOSUN AMICAN and O.S. Hall that went to the forward part of the ship as usual, the two other new faces showed on the forward part of the ship. It was "Byron" and "Alexi" -They joined in to observe and see how anchoring operations takes place onboard this ship.
We prepared the anchor winches for the anchoring, and removed the lashes, next waswe lifted the safety bar on the hawser and press the switch on button located on the entrance of the BOSUN's Store.
I just listened on their conversations and the bragging of BOSUN AMICAN, about some shit he worked on several years ago in a Japanese fishing vessel. They also discussed that maybe (just maybe) internet will be installed here on this ship after (or during) the dry dock. Honestly I highly doubt that CSM Career Ship Management will ever do that., given on my experience with what I had on this company presently - I don't think that CSM will get even to bother installing one on their ships. Internet onboard this crappy ship !!! Ha ! That will be the day.
After a few minutes the anchor was dropped and as usual, I was the machine operator on the winch. From what I heard on the radio the chain that was paid out was 5 shackles.Deck cadet "Alexi" was curious on what's going on and asked how to operate then winches during anchoring,
August 14, 2013 Wednesday FROG FACE
Anchorage Area, Texas U.S.A. 90 days onboard Cape Tallin
As with the usual maintenance work schedule, The whole crew is still busy doing their work on maintenance and upkeep of this rust bucket.For now I had been assigned to do work in repairing those garbage cans, and had been chipping the rust, removing the paint, and re painting it again. Sounds simple enough but isn't an easy task as I had to repair those ten oil sized drum in tip top shape before this ship goes to berth on the 20th or 21st of this month. Deck Cadet "Alexi" helps me every now and then on the workbut most of the time generally I'm all by myself doing this task.
For the moment, everybody is also busy doing their own task and BOSUN AMICAN is a sadistic bastard both off work and on work, That frog skinned bastard has a nasty habit of putting people on work early and then putting on coffee breaks (and even putting people on work) very late, He enjoys torturing people by working them to death, he's a megalomaniac shithead that cares little (or no )regard for others. This is the first BOSUN that I had encountered that is totally a sick old bastard - Hope this bastard gets a bad karma one day, thinks he owns CSM , Ha ! What a bastard !
Unfortunately for me I'm stuck with frog face for the next 5 months (Until after new year or worse case after Valentines Day) , Seriously it's a big problem for me and there's nothing I can do about it but just deal with it. The only thing that I'm hoping for is that I wont see him again on the next ship.
Speaking of work related issues with "Frog Face" , every time I work - I always get being monitored and guarded by this bastard. One instance for example is when I was painting the whole floor of the garbage collection area , Can't believe this bastard is staring at me and looking at what I'm doing - as if he was like a jail guard looking and guarding prisoners on quarry work. Useless bastard prick ! stands like that he's the boss of some sort of jail facility and monitors people, I think CSM company isn't paying him money just to stand around and guard people, He's being paid to do work and help his co-workers in the manual labor since BOSUNis equivalent to a Foreman in a construction job - Sadly this BOSUN falls short of expectations.
In other news,
Today marks my 90th day onboard Cape Tallin., Hard to imagine that I had already lasted out here 90 days in "The wild" , I thank God a lot that I have lasted this long and thanked that I had brought in a huge amount of supplies before going onboard here - it wouldn't be possible if I hadn't anticipated that condition here are very similar to a situation on being stuck on a floating island - I bought along everything I will need for the next remaining months ahead and believe it or not due to some fucked up misinformation I only brought in half of the supplies I need, Nevertheless I had to make the full use it. Anyway I'm relieved its my 90th day onboard and I still have at least another 180 days left to finish the task.
In other matter's
Currently living conditions onboard Cape Tallin, presents numerous challenges now compared during the time I first went here (or even compared to the work I do in a chemical tanker), One aspect is water , both the safe potable drinking water and the water used for washing. Water as of the moment is becoming scarce, For now according to the bond store water will only allow crew members to take 12 bottles of water(2 case) per week per crew member, they said that bottled mineral water is near running dry. Second challenge will be the laundry. The Captain here is just been around only a few days and has imposed a new oppressive rule that washing machines will only be open two days per week, Not a pretty news considering that Sailors are somewhat related to construction maintenance jobs and most of the time are filthy on work. In other words its hard to maintain cleanliness and with only limited use of a washing machine, worst part essential working equipment such as gloves would be difficult to washing without a washing machine.
A.B. "Patrick" said that I better look out for the new captain as this one is a total bastard and living conditions will get worse during the duration of this new captain., better be on my toes with this one. The remaining 5 to 6 months of my contract will be difficult and full of challenges.
August 17, 2013 Saturday WATER DISCIPLINE
"Water discipline" is still heavily imposed on this ship up to now, and I couldn't think of any good reason why it should be imposed in the first place. Even the laundry is not spared from this embargo, as cleaning and maintenance of essential working equipment such as Gloves, Coveralls, etc are put on a stand still and cannot be clean as soon as possible. I had been a sailor for more than a year now and yet this is the first time I had experience this kind of situation were water is simply being put on "suspended until further notice". Amusing that Columbia Ship Management / Career Ship management are big companies both internationally and locally in the Philippines and yet their management and welfare of their crew are very poor. Anyway what can I do on this kind of situation but adapt right !? Hope that this embargo doesn't escalate any further.
For the moment since washing machines are switched off and cannot be used, I had resulted in washing my laundry on my bath room. Just prepared a bucket of water, a few powder detergents, a stick and a deck brush. I put all my clothes there on the bucket with detergents and stirred the water using a stick to have a whirlpool effect kind of like that in the washing machine, I stirred it for half an hour with my clothe there and then I rinsed it, afterwards hanged them inside my cabin to dry up. Wasn't an easy task and never was, I was naked since I was taking a bath the same time as well and felt more like I was "Rambo" doing the laundry, wasn'teasy stirring the bucket with a stick for nearly half an hour. This is so far the only method I use to wash off my clothes at the moment until this water embargo is lifted, For the drinking water I'm still figuring it out on how to get clean drinkable water , I'd write it down f I had already figured it out.
On the work related news,
For the moment the prospect of going into berth in Texas is still as far as on the 27th to the 29th of August, and currently this ship will still hanging out here for at least a couple of days more.For the general work, people here are still doing the general maintenance work, on me I was busy painting those garbage cans and I was even ordered to paint the flooring with color green paint. Deck Cadet "Alexi" was a big help on my work and he on the other hand painted the bulk head side of the garbage collection area, "Alexi" was really a big help and reduced my workload nearly half, the only problem I could see in "Alexi" is the language barrier issue since English is not a native language of Ukrainian's (half of them speak Russian and the other Ukrainian - which is somewhat close to polish language) but nevertheless I praise "Alexi" for being a big help on my work.
Going back to the garbage cans, I had finished "overhauling" it onAugust 19, 2013 Monday, and on the latter part was putting some of the garbage to the incinerator machine in the engine room (only paper and rags are allowed to incinerated here on this company)for disposal.
As for work schedules, its always shitty and not getting any better. Work here starts as early as 7:45am and ends very late like 5:30pm (officially it should be 8am and 4:45pm), No thanks to the Neurotic egoist son of a bitch "Frog Face" BOSUN AMICAN. This bloody bastard seems to enjoy burdening his subordinates with long hours of work and deprives them of even standard coffee breaks (coffee break starts at 10am and ends 10:20am, only 20 minutes), he simply enjoys torture in making other people work to death and has little (or no) compassion at all in his co-workers. A sadist no doubt, well anyway I should look on to the bright side that this mother fucker has no license at all to be a commercial ship officer or else this is another Filipino homicidal Maniac ship officer.
After work I manage to see A.B. "Patrick" on the stairway going to B Deck, I had a little small talk with him and was puzzled on what he said about A.B. Homer Mallorca, he says something that "I shouldn't trust Mallorca" and that he over heard him back talking against me on work saying that "I'm a slow painter". A.B. "Patrick" said that I should be careful on A.B. Mallorca as he is one arrogant cocky son of a bitch.
On Saturday August 17, 2013.
Thank god that on this day it was only half-day work (8am till 12 noon), This time I wasn't doing any work on the deck area but was put to help and clean the crew mess, It had me to "Wash Paint" the whole area ( which basically just meant to wash the ceiling and wall of the crew mess with soap and water). Some of the other people on the deck are helping out in cleaning the crew mess such as O.S. Hall, A.B. Mallorca, the new pump man, And even Oiler "Donald".
The crew mess was in pretty bad shape and definitely quiet dirty as what you put it, The windows are badly stained yellow with some sort of tar coming from a cigarette the cabinets are all littered with paper and movie CD's from previous crew of this ship and the cabinets where the food was always put on was littered with mess from previous food. It took us a while to fully clean the mess room, By the way the New captain of this ship every day roams around to check on what other people are doing - this also happened while we were working on the crew mess I wonder why ???
In other news
Thank God that the washing machine opened up in the laundry and the captain gave a "green light" to use it, and immediately the result was the whole area was filled with buckets and buckets of clothes coming from other crew members all lined up to get their clothes washed. A total traffic situation on washing clothes, incoming 3rd mate B. Fourie said that he'd wash his clothes latter and wont try to compete on the long line of buckets.
Me on the other hand, the only thing I got to wash is the non essential stuff like coveralls and working clothes I use, and that I had already washed my personal clothes in a bucket earlier. Aside from that I'm not also competing on using the washing machine in the "B" deck area, I'd use the heavy duty washing machine located on the main deck area inside the accommodation - its much easier there and only a few use that washing machine.
Late afternoon I was hanging out on the crew mess when the new chief mate came in and said he is looking for crew members who are willing to go play basket ball., Unfortunately for me I was the first person spotted on the couch and worst is that BOSUN AMICAN pointed me and said "I'm the guy that would fit on the category" . Personally I hate playing basket ball, Wasn't good at it and definitely never will - and the only reason I came was because it was the chief mates request and nothing more, As expected basketball didn't went well for me. After the basketball session I hid on my cabin for an hour, then I got hungry and went out to the crew mess and got trap on the drinking session. I didn't want to be rude and snob their invitation on the drink, So as much as it pains me - I took a seat and drank a few bottles. Good thing I'm not that talkative type of person even if I had a drink.
August 21, 2013 Wednesday 35 DEGREE'S AND UP
CAPE TALLIN, Still at anchorage in TEXAS, USA. 95 days onboard
Couple of days have been the usual maintenance work, I had been grinding glass and plastic on trash compactors , seeing that garbage is processed. Looking back there is a big difference on my previous ship and CAPE TALLIN on how they process garbage here, My previous ship is much easier and straight forward garbage disposal plan and not that tedious overall, at Bow Ophelia we just simply throw overboard the glass and paper garbage along with the food waste while plastics stay onboard to be received by shore reception facilities - maintenance was very easy and trash segregation is just only reduced to four types, blue for food waste, red for plastic, black for rags paper bottles cans and grey for ash.
CAPE TALLIN is very different when it comes to garbage and segregation is more than four types (I think its 8 types here), plus like I said garbage is being processed here differently. Paper, rags and wood goes to the incinerators in the engine room (tedious in dragging them) while glass and plastic gets grinded in the trash compactors and stored later on ( not thrown over board, watch out for the sharp glass.) . Honestly I don't see any wisdom in it why I had to process trash before it gets stored , Why not just go directly in storing it in the trash cans and throwing them directly at sea - it would be much more easier on work and will do me a very big favor just like in my days with stolt strength and bow ophelia.
In other news
For the moment water here is still a big problem, and I haven't come out on a solution on how to deal with it, worst part is that I only had a few days left of water on my stockpile. I'm thinking of an alternate source of water but I'm not exactly sure if its safe at all to drink it. Aside from this one there's another problem that arose a couple of days ago, this time even the air-conditioning is kept at minimum temperature, So it means its not really that comfortable inside the accommodation block right now and temperatures a bit higher, (not a very good indication since its hot weather outside), the crew mess, laundry area, gym and even the cabins aren't now comfortable to stay with and its difficult to sleep with a warm temperature. This is my first time in a product tanker and yet I'm having a very bad impression about life in this kind of ship, this is the first time I had encountered this so called "Water Discipline" and now the reduction of cooling temperatures inside the accommodation block, - What the hell is happening in this ship ???
In other matter on work.
Mess man F. Penera's appointment as Ordinary Seaman has been the subject lately and has been thoroughly considered by Career Ship management, it is expected that after O.S. Hall disembarks on Nederland, Texas he will be the new O.S. and successor. On my end , it will be easier for me "To move" onboard this ship assuming that Mess man may serve as a diversion for me against the prying eyes of BOSUN AMICAN or any other people that would be a threat to me onboard on the latter. I don't care if Mess man really gets promoted or not, as long as future threats on me gets diverted on another direction, Unfortunately rumors still circulate among the crew that Mess man's promotion gets thwarted as he lacks proper paper's to be promoted as Ordinary Seaman, maybe I'd find out later on if it was approved or not.
On work I'm still doing the same old maintenance work here onboard, grinding plastic on trash compactors and delivering rags and paper (and other materials) that could be incinerated on the incinerator. Lately I had done "Air brushing" steam pipes and the smaller air brush tool is much more powerful compared to the big bulky one, tools here in this ship is plainly rotten and not maintained well, The other steam pipe - much to my horror was painted early without even being "Air Brushed" . I assume "Stone Frog" is in a hurry on work (or perhaps even cheating) and ordered A.B. Bryan to paint it hurriedly, Could care less about this matter as this is not my ship and I only get to be with this bastard "Frog Face" for 5 months and that's it. Aside from that I had been doing also removing the mud out of the anchor winches, that got caught during last two weeks ago and later on the afternoon , we washed the deck area with just normal sea water. Well its an easy job to be honest but the problem there was that the temperatures were so hot onboard that I wore my coveralls wet, worst was the deck area was giving off steam from the water were using to wash, I use the fresh water outlet to wet my coveralls and relieve me from the heat, even my boots there was filled with water just to cool myself.
By the way I managed to visit the engine room work shop and stayed there for more than 30 minutes, If some people think that being on deck at this moment and staying there in this kind of weather is hot enough - then they should get a load out on the temperatures in the engine room. The Engine room is totally a place of fiery temperatures , on the main entrance the temperatures go 35 degree's Celsius and inside it could be as hot as 40 degree's,
August 24, 2013 Saturday CONSTANT CHANGE
During A.B. Patrick's night time anchor watch duties, I managed to sneak by and visit him and had a couple of beer's together. I took the opportunity on the fact that its possible and very certain that "Patrick" will never be here again and he will disembark by next week. Could not miss the opportunity on tagging along with a real friend for a drink here on this ship, I am surely going to miss my friend now that he's going to disembark and leave the ship. He already finished his contract half a month ago and he's been long overdue. Seriously I'm not that "friendly personally" and don't make friends easily, especially being a sailor - But I guess "Patrick" is one true friend I got here onboard and no one else, I could not entrust nor confide my frustrations, hopes and dreams to anyone here given that almost all of the people around here are chatters and gossiper's, It would be a terrible mistake to trust them as I had observed them for months.
Patrick and I had the same background and started out as a telephone operator years ago - the only difference is that he was already a sailor back then while I was still a telephone operator during that time. Nevertheless despite being a sailor I could still see inside him - deep done to the core that he's a reflection of the sterling qualities of a call center agent (good natured person even on pressure). On what I recall on what he said to me, that he was a CSR Agent from IBM Daskh Company (another well known BPO company in the Philippines) and that the account he handles was Sprint (American telecommunications company). At the first time I heard it that he was a telephone operator I was in disbelief that he was actually a "REAL TELEPHONE OPERATOR" turned sailor, I always thought before that I was Unique and the only one of my kind here - eventually I did found out that indeed he is a telephone operator and personally I'm glad that someone here has a more liberated thought.
When I first saw A.B. "Patrick" a few months ago he was frowning person and could see in his face that something was troubling him, Now I could see that he smiles a lot on conversation and doesn't have anymore gloomy face. I thought him how to fight on what his rightfully his , the skills on how to deal with bastard people onboard and how looked out for each other as a friend and co-worker - Its team work and cooperation, not competition.
I am going to miss the days that's we shared the laugh, had a couple of beers and chatter endlessly even on work. Most of our conversation are work tactics, on what to do on this task, sometimes he chats about personal life and ask for my advise on that stuff.
During the my recent visit on his anchor watch, I asked what's his next big plans after this ? He replied that he's going to take a vacation on a couple of months and then head back again on this company to continue on sailing. He asked me the same question as well and I replied that maybe after this I'd take a very long vacation and enjoy life., After my reply he said that I should try to take an exam and give it a try - find my luck there and before I "Retire" he said that I should be a ship officer first on the bridge because he could see on my eyes that I wasn't happy being a sailor at all. I don't really know what to say after "Patrick" said that, I said to him that yeah I was seriously considering an "Early Retirement" option and it has been on my mind for quiet some time now (I never saw it coming that he knew what I was thinking about). I said to him "Maybe after Cape Tallin I'd figure everything out for myself, True I'm not happy on what I'm doing compared to being a telephone operator before and that's the reason why I guess I'm not enjoying work here to make it complicated were living with a bunch of monsters here, probably the fact is that I had imagined more on this company and ended up expecting less - I guess that's my disappointment is, I imagine more"
Patrick laughed on what I said knowing it was an honest answer, and said while raising the bottle of beer "Cheer's for being friends and war buddies in Cape Tallin". I did the same and said "Cheer's mate and Fucking A' "
Patrick said that after he disembarks , I'm all out alone here and that I should not trust anyone. Its difficult he added but it's the only way to make sure that I'd be able to walk out of this ship without any serious problems
I am going to miss those days like that, and that A.B. "Patrick" will be leaving soon. A lot of people might say that I'm a cold and quiet person but believe me it doesn't necessarily mean that I don't care on friends. I'm going to miss my only ally here
August 26, 2013 Monday A BOX FULL OF CHOCOLATES
Weather is a bit cloudy , and I'm glad it is as it relieves the hot humid temperature of Texas temporarily. I think it would be better if its that way at least I could less worry of the heat exhaustion during mooring operations.
Speaking of which, The latest news I heard from the crew mess and from the Captain Valeriy Krasikov (new captain of Cape Tallin after Captain Igors Slabada) that after this discharge operation in Texas, This ship is heading off back again in Europe, namely Riga Latvia for the dry docks. In addition to what I heard this ship is going to travel a trans-Atlantic journey without any cargo at all, - hmmm Wow I guess CSM was pretty generous to have this rust bucket for repairs without any cargo at all, oh well its none of my business anyway and I never expected that a ship would be travelling on long distances without having anything on its cargo holds at all.
On work related news, since it's a rainy day we were off busy doing all sorts of stuff. In the morning I was busy painting 2 crane boxes with machinery green color paint , I had to full coat it with paint. It was difficult painting those boxes on the fact of the weather.In the afternoon I was busy putting those rusted wires stored on the deck store to the forecastle area (BOSUN'S Store), Fortunately I was helped by A.B. "Patrick" on the task along with O.S. Hall. Later on I was busy sweeping the forecastle area.
August 27, 2013 Monday.
There's a couple of news that got in it's way on the mess room this morning, first off it seems that mess man Ferdinand didn't make the promotion and he's not going to be an O.S. due to lack of proper papers. Second is that disembarkation for and joining of relieving crew members will be on the 1st of September.
Another thing that I find strange was that Career Company contacted my immediate Family and see if they're ok and doing well, I saw a piece of paper and written on it said that families of this crew have been checked out by career and were ok after the storm
Frankly It never occurred to me that this company would go to so much trouble in checking out the status of my Mom and Dad after a huge heavy storm passed by in the Philippines. Well at least that's one positive thing career did on its employee's - giving at least a "friendly face" - it's the least they could do. Anyway According to the news - the hurricane submerged 80 percent of metro manila with flood water, and weather was so severe that school classes are suspended and office workers (Government namely) are temporarily barred in going to work until weather clears up.
On maintenance workMr. "P.B." (initials called "palakang bato" Translated in English "stone frog")thinks I was cheating on the job and didn't understood the job orders,though that I did not. He even went as far as looking on my work and see if the safety clutch on those hooks were painted correctly, To his surprise I'm telling the truth and saw that I did painted those safety clutches - the only problem here is that Mr. "P.B." didn't saw it clearly - What a pain in the ass bastard !!!
For the rest of the day I was busy sweeping the dust and metal particles left off by the other crew members in chipping off rust. For the weather, heat still a big issue and there's nothing much I can do to it but just wear my coveralls wet for temporary relief.
Late at night, A.B. "Patrick" approached me on my cabin and had a little chat, actually the chat was that he was asking a favor if I could lend him some cash. I did agree on it and was no big deal at all.
Change Topic .
A lot of people have been wondering what's the daily routine here on board, to give a general description. I woke up very early as in about 3 to 4 am (1 hr free time which eventually I go to the toilet to take a dump, go to my computer and type In a few entries on my computer), then go to my assigned area to clean it at 5am namely B deck and Upper deck accommodation area with a broom and floor mop. On 6am till 6:50am, I'm free time again doing whatever I had on my mind, at 6:50 to 7:05 am, I take my breakfast at the crew mess then on 7:08 till 7:25 I take a bath, brush my teeth and shave. 7:25 till 7:30am I dry myself up, take vitamins (Centrum, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C). On 7:30 to 7:45, I get dressed up on my working coveralls and wait on my cabin . Finally on 7:45am I go down and wait for the accommodation area starboard side entrance and wait for other co-worker and the BOSUN then start work. At 9:50 till 10:20 I head back again to take a coffee break and after that I start again on work till 11:50 then head back again for lunch.
11:50 till 12:45 is lunch time, afterwards I'm doing regular maintenance work from 12:45 to 2:50 pm. Next will be again the afternoonbreak starting from 2:50pm till 3:20pm then the last period of work which is 3:20pm till around 5 to 5:15pm (or sometimes 5:30).
That is the routine work on deck maintenance, either at sea or at anchorage. In port whether discharging or loading cargo the routine is quiet different which I'd discuss on the latter.
AUGUST 29, 2013 Thursday.
On this day is my birthday and much to my surprise despite I never mentioned it, inhere everybody knows about it and even posted it to the white board that its my birthday. From some reason people here knows other peoples personal details even if you don't mention it. Coincidently since it was my birthday there were several items on the bond store that were already expired and had to be given away at the crew mess , namely this items are a case of soft drinks, a whole carton box of snickers chocolate bars and a case of Gatorade energy drinks.Ended up bringing a box full of snickers on my cabin.
According to A.B. Mallorca, O.S. Hall and A.B. Patrick I shouldn't go to work today - as in a Russian tradition that anyone who has a birthday doesn't go to work in his "special" day, Unfortunately my BOSUN here is BOSUN AMICAN and don't expect much from him when I comes to birthday's - and as a result I still went to work as nothing had happened. Anyway try get my attention on something else rather than think about it. For work, the weather is a bit pleasant and cloudy as rains in the morning till noon provided at least some comfort on the temperature, though my coveralls got wet on the rain and had to switch on the "Orange" one.
Speaking of coveralls, my working coveralls got a few holes now on the right knee cap and I'm going to have an emergency repairs on it, The procedure I'm thinking is to patch it up with pockets to have some sort of dual purpose as to patch the hole and act as some form of knee pads. I asked A.B. "Patrick" if he some spare unused coveralls for part and he gave me some of them, Immediately I started out on the repairs of my coveralls.
In other news on work, there has been an ongoing rumor again about some sludge work after we discharge cargo here on Texas and en route to the dry docks. However its not clear yet as of the moment and I'd rather concerned on the mooring operations first rather than these sludge work on cargo holds, First things first.
For the moment my stock of water is almost so near on depletion and I only have 4 bottles of mineral water on my stock (1.5 liters per bottle) and that's it. I'm thinking right now that maybe I'd get the water on the fountain near the CCR as it's the closes thing I could get hold of drinkable water. I still also have a few bottles of other liquids like Gatorade and beer but the numbers are not so good either (only 7 bottles of beer and 8 bottles of Gatorade)
September 02, 2013 Monday EMERGENCY BUNKERIN OPS STS
It was expected that on Friday that it would be a half days work, I was assigned by BOSUN to clean the 4 floors of the accommodation block along with A.B. Patrick helping me out, Patrick was in no mood to work on the deck area as he had a recent heated conversation with "Frog Face" over working schedules. A.B. Patrick and I was discussing what is his future plans on his vacation and we were already at the upper deck level working, then Chief Engineer Igor Voytenko (the one who replaced Chief engineer Sergey II'yantsev at Louisiana USA)came and said that berthing will not be on Sunday September 01 but will be on the 7th, The message came from CSM Management themselves.
A.B. Patrick wasn't obviously happy when he heard the news and hurriedly came to his cabin to inform the folks on his home about the said change of schedule, At the crew mess during break time at 10am I heard most of the crew talk about the sudden change of schedule and the possibility that the scheduled rest day could be changed, fortunately chief mate Sergey Nagornyy stick to the original plan that Friday is half days work and Saturday to be whole day work.
Unexpectedly I did not knew that there will be a drill at 2pm, and was surprised on the latter about hearing the drill alarm. I hurriedly got out of bed and immediately got into my coveralls and safety shoes, I even forgot to wear socks and hurried went to the muster station (meeting area on the ship incase of an emergency or drill) portside. The rest of the crew didn't expected it as well but everyone has still managed to be on the muster station.
The drill wasn't exactly a drill but more of a safety lecture on safety equipment and Chief Mate Sergey Nagornyy demonstrated to use of the thermal protective aid to use and we had to wear that damned orange outfit in the middle of a hot weather in Texas, honestly wearing that orange suit was a bad idea as it is merely like an oven and traps body heat, thankfully we only got to wear it in only a few minutes. The next lecture was with Junior officer ( and incoming third mate) byron peter fourie instructing use the proper donning of a SCBA equipment (self contained breathing apparatus) , Deck cadet oleksii voitenko was the person who demonstrated on how to wear it. During the said lecture, Bosun Amican kept contradicting on what Byron Lectures about on the self contained breathing apparatus implying that byron got it all wrong and he's not doing the correct thing. It's a fortune that Byron doesn't understand Tagalog and its not his native tongue and I'm not exactly sure on how byron will react when he learns (or understands) the tagalog word's "bull frog" is saying against him.
Anyway what can I expect from "bull frog" , hell for all I know he doesn't have the proper manners nor even good etiquette , anyway I don't expect much on a person who's background before sailing is a dirty old construction worker - I bet this fuck up bastard has a lot of enemies during his previous 30 plus years of sailing. The way he totally acted pretending to be Mr.-know-it-all BOSUN Amican is totally absurd, well if he's so smart why he didn't took the license examinations in the first place ? He didn't because bastards like him don't deserve that kind of status and he doesn't know shit. But better yet I think its best he would rather be a BOSUN than some fucked up sadist filipino ship officer, I can't imagine what horrors he can do if he's a licensed sailor.This bastard hasn't learned anything in life and that will remain until till this old sod dies.
August 31st 2013 Saturday.
It's a luxury that the laundry is now open and as the usual scenario laundry room is full of a long list of laundry, Aside from the good news - another good news is that there's no work on this day and totally a rest day, I did manage and took the opportunity to patch up the few holes on the knee area of my working coveralls with pockets from left over coveralls. The result of course was very satisfying in the sense that it's dual purpose, one is to repair and patch the hole and the other serves as a knee pad whenever I'm kneeling. If I had the time in the future I would post the picture of the said repair I made. Since its difficult to give descriptions on words rather than in pictures.
The rest of the day I had cleaned up my cabin.
September 01, 2013 Sunday
It may sound weird that there's work on Sundays, but that is the price to pay in advancing the "rest days" of the week. For the moment I could not say much on the maintenance work here onboard and I'm chipping rust off the metal grating on the crane area mid ship.
September 02, 2013 Monday
Down to my last bottle of mineral water and I'm not exactly sure what will be now the next step for me since all of vast stockpiles have already been depleted. I'm trying my luck on the water fountain near the CCR if the water is ok there, Honestly I'm not comfortable drinking the water there as it's a bit reddish compared to the "clear" water I see in mineral water, I could assume that the water there has a small concentration of rust in it though very small and fine grains of rust.
One thing that happened today was A.B. "Patrick" had a heated conversation with Pump man Liscano and BOSUN AMICAN, about the use and handle of a spray paint equipment. It's a good thing that A.B. "Patrick" showed them his point and not let be pushed around by people.
In other news , I am now finally on my last bottle of mineral water and I think I'm going to save th