Winter since is already visible here in the middle east as weather drastically gets colder each day. Though its not that cold as some places in Europe, and snow is still not visible here. winter season in Lebanon is still quiet cold - for Filipino standards. (By the way as for general information here the sunset is as early as 4:30pm in Europe during winter time. )
Presently , to adjust on these temperature drops. I had to wear a few more clothes inside on my coveralls to keep myself warm (thanks to some winter clothes left to me by my friend "Pat" before he left the ship). The challenge for me now is how to keep my hands still warm while working given that winter equipment here is somewhat being "Restricted" . Fortunately for me I found a used winter gloves several months ago during summer season (while working here) , i cleaned it and repaired it and voila !! A usable winter gloves - problem is that its only a single piece and for my left hand only and not a pair. For my right hand usage i found a leather gloves then layer it with two cotton gloves as a remedy.(it took a pictures of what i did on the gloves just to give description of what i made, pictures will be posted as soon as i get back on land and have internet connection).
For now , I'm currently doing the usual routine maintenance work . Sweeping the deck area with a broom.Paint stuff here and there. Usual routine.
On what's going on onboard well I could say things are pretty much generally peaceful though a few troublemakers like "bull frog" Amican starting up trouble every now and then. One instance is that when the superintendent came by and asked how is the food going , "Bull Frog" Amican says that Chief Cook Olan is not doing his job correctly. I did not exactly heard every word he said to the superintendent but the general idea saying that Chief cook doesn't do his job well is a big question mark to the superintendents' head and probably (and most likely) would stir up trouble later on.
At the morning coffee break i was hell right and apparently from what i heard there was a short meeting that came up , i don't know the details but what came up was that Chief Cook and even the Captain was chewed out by the superintendent and apparently the captain voiced out his disgust over it and even his fury about which one in the crew accused and reported him to the CSM office. ( according to the report , he was accused of manipulation of provisions and "stealing" money from CSM)
Of course i wasn't there when it happened , because I am still technically imposing the "lock down policy" and had been staying on my cabin every coffee break to avoid any further hostilities and harassment from the crew (Specifically from BOSUN "Frog Face" Amican and 2nd officer "Bastard-O" a.k.a. Renan Olis , see journal entry "To Pacify the monster" dated september 2013). I only got to know the details from Mess man Ferdinand Penera.
Honestly I don't think Captain Valeriy Krasikov would do such a thing, He may not be the perfect Ship captain around but I'm most certainly sure he's not a bad captain as what they accuse him of. As far as i know these "reports" CSM gets from the crew (whoever he is , onboard here) are just plain old baseless accusations and if the accuser is man enough and has the balls ( i hope two of them and very large) , He should have shown himself. Since the captain is being accused of such things , he has his right as accused to demand the identity of the person accusing him - its part of any labour laws elsewhere around the world.
Speaking of which , This case of manipulation of provisions and pilferage (stealing) reminds me of the former captain i had way back in Stolt Strength, I think his name was Alfredo Pascual if I'm correct. That I'm sure that i witnessed it first hand on what kind of burglar he is , Stealing and manipulating provisions onboard. Glad I'd never get to see that bastards face ever again.
At night.. While playing the Game Far Cry 2 on the multiplayer along with the other crew members, Chief Mate Sergey Nagornyy came to us at the CCR and shook our hands one by one , to bid good bye for his vacation leave. Obviously He is disembarking along with the superintendent (much to the delight of the other crew members that the superintendent will be disposed now ) on that minute. Frankly and to be honest , he is one soviet guy that I'm looking forward to see again on any ship that I'd be working by in the future. For a soviet guy i do really like this one, I knew that he's a good person , fair and equal treating on other people even to his subordinates ( compared to my own kind ) . In other news related to the disembark of the superintendent , the ban on rest days have already been lifted and we can now relax and enjoy the rest days on Saturday (half day work) and Sunday (whole day no work)
Speaking of the video game "Far Cry 2" , I think i prefer playing that game in multiplayer inside my cabin for privacy rather than on all of us are gathered up in the same room (in CCR). The Wifi connection might be weak when playing in the cabin due to metal barriers on the signal but at least there is some privacy and comfort, aside from that 4th Engineer is getting too personal over this game and saying a lot of offensive rude comments. Honestly I'm getting sick and tired of it hearing those annoying mockery and scorn from his mouth, I'm starting to think that I shouldn't play the game anymore and came up with excuses so they wont notice my disdain.
When this game is being played in the cabin at least I'm spared from his rude mouth and i got some privacy. Tactically in playing the game, i could get a good position and placement as a sniper without the other player snooping around on my computer screen just to determine my location at the map. Being a Sniper would be useless if every other player knows which position I'm located at.
Presently , I read via Ship's email client that another berthing schedule for Lebanon had been put up. Based on the email the berthing schedule will be on December 15, 2013. Unfortunately the schedule lands on Sundays which meant rest day for the whole day will be interrupted. For the moment there is no announcement if the schedule will change, So it could only draw a conclusion that berthing is on schedule. Aside from that the weather is beautiful for the moment (although a bit cold due to upcoming winter season) , So i couldn't see any reason why berthing schedule will be cancelled.
Anyway whether or not there will be changes on the schedule, It is prudent that I remain on "Standby" in case of short notice (which i definitely hate)and put up some drinks and mineral water on the CCR and the bridge as part of my work on the bond store.
December 15, 2013 Sunday
Was playing "Far Cry 2" video game in the morning thinking that berthing might be somehow in the 3pm schedule then A.B. Jay came knocking to my cabin door at 9:30 am and when I opened he said that a one hour notice has already been given to crew to be ready for mooring.
As expected i immediately get dress and waited till someone again will knock thru my door (which is obviously BOSUN AMICAN). 30 minutes later , I wasn't mistaken and BOSUN came knocking informing me that were going to heave anchor. Me and O.S. Del Monte hurriedly went to the forward part of the ship to heave up anchor. A few minutes later We heaved up anchor and immediately followed by mooring operations.
Mooring operations were not that problem in mooring with a buoy compared to a standard berthing on a port facility, from what I recall we only used 2 mooring lines (loose ropes) and 1small mooring rope in the winch . Since Oiler Rogel was missing in the winches during mooring , I'm the one who took over in operating the winches for the time being. The remaining two loose ropes where secured on the starboard side by A.B. Jay, A.B. Homer and O.S. Del Monte.
After securing the mooring ops at 10:30am, I quickly lunch and took a rest for barely an hour and a half before finally going back again to work. I wore my usual gear, clean coveralls , helmet and my "sidearm". When A.B. Homer Mallorca saw me on my outfit, he said that i look like I'm competing on Bosun Amican's outfit. I replied that I'm not competing and I'm the first one to wear this kind of outfit.
It was the same old cargo deck operations and i had to report every now and then to the CCR what was the manifold pressure- nothing more, frankly mooring with a buoy is so much easier compared to mooring operations on a berthing facility - less work on the sense that i don't have to worry about the gangway and visitors coming in. As usual 2nd officer Renan Olis is an asshole when it comes to the radio and even A.B. Mallorca and A.B. Bryan is complaining about it. Once instance (and example)on his bitchy attitude was when he still refuses and orders us to ask what was "Johnny the boatman" purpose on why he wants to board the vessel . Good Thing "Johnny the boatman" said that he's here because the Pilot ordered him to come around.
In other news...
On a brief monkey talk during work with A.B. Bryan , He describes and tells that our former Chief Officer Sergey Nagornyy , was a lazy russian - something close to that kind of bullshit. He even added that some nasty comments like he "can't speak english very well and acts like some ill educated sailor," and shit stuff like that. Have no idea why A.B. Perceives Sergey negatively and I seriously disagree on his comments, For me I viewed Sergey Nagornyy Positively, and he's a good person and has compassion towards his fellow sailors (both soviet or not) compared to our own kind.
December 16, 2013 Monday
Work shift wasn't really that fun this time, and i got to blame "Bastard - O" for ruining it. It all started again when "Johnny the boatman" boatman is boarding this vessel yet again, Of course as the usual I radioed in and asked if we would let him in. "Bastard - O" was hesitant and would not let him in. A few seconds later the Pilot on the bridge said on the radio that "Johnny" should be allowed on the vessel to board because he's ferrying the ships agent.
"Bastard - O" Radioed in and said i should let "Johnny" board and added an unnecessary remark " di mo kasi tinitignan" (translation in english: you didn't even bother to look). Seriously I wanted slice off "Bastard - O" tongue and throw it for fish food when i heard it , Totally no manners at all on radio etiquette , does he think my eye is sharp enough to see who's inside "Johnny's" small boat ? Bastard didn't even bother to say thank you for at least asking on radio whether Johnny should be let in or not.
Anyway i should not be troubled on fury about this and write on what happened today.
I heard from A.B. Mallorca , that while i was away resting yesterday . Chief engineer brought in some few items from "Johnny" , mostly some provisions and food stuff's for himself and was delivered on the poop deck. Well couldn't blame chief engineer that he had to brought all these items for himself, as supplies both on the provision and on the bond store have already dwindled. Problem on chief engineer is that Johnny obviously ripped him off on the money and cost him around 700 U.S. Dollars.
At 2pm cargo discharging was finally over and was immediately followed by unmooring operations. Wasn't really doing the unmooring even though it was only me and BOSUN "Bull Frog" Amican was around on the forward part of the ship. It took quiet a while for O.S. Del Monte to arrive given that he wasn't given an early notice and asexpected BOSUN "Bull Frog" (given on his asshole manners) bitching him for coming in late.
We secured lashing in the anchors both on the port side and star board side at around 3pm and went to the accommodation block to stand by and wait for two hours for the next port.
At around 5 to 6pm we (Me , O.S. Del Monte and "Mr. Bull frog" ) were called to go outside and go to the forward part of the ship to prepare for the winches and standby for anchorage. Seriously it was such a chore lashing and unlashing the anchors , knowing that it was only 2 hours away from the next port and why the hell do we have to lash it in the first place ??? Me and O.S. Del Monte should have kept it unlashed.
Anchored at around 7pm at night, Since there was no mooring operations in these part of Lebanon during at night. We had to wait for another 12 to 11 hours , until morning for the mooring resumed.
December 17, 2013 Tuesday
As expected mooring ops resumed at 5am and we heaved anchor a few minutes later.Mooring wasn't difficult in the forward side and that we just have to drop two anchors (port and starboard side) via "gravity drop" (meaning no aid of machine to drop it off) , from what i recall we dropped about 8 shackles in the water. The mooring arrangement on this port also is called "spider mooring" which meant mooring ropes on bothportside and starboard side of the aft, well good thing for me i don't have to worry about it since my mooring station is always (and permanently) in the forward part of the ship. Let the A.B.'s sweat it out.
During my working shift (12pm to 6pm) , I received a rumour from A.B. Mallorca that there's a possibility that we might disembark on this ship by January 20. I was thrilled on hearing the news given that , i myself needed to go back home as soon as possible on personal reasons. I asked homer if there is some sort of paper notice , to my surprise he said that it came from the computer and no paper notice yet.Of course i have my reasons to doubt homer's claims and i wanted it to see on my very eyes proof on paper the specific date and time we are scheduled to disembark on this ship, here onboard its very difficult to trust people words and most of the time - are just totally bullshit.
On my work , weather has gone ill again and rain is falling very hard. I don't mind the rain at all , the problem is that its winter time and chances are rain water is frozenlycold. The winter jacket isn't really that much of a help since for some reason the material issued by CSM gets wet easily.
At 6pm i was off on my work and went back to my cabin , 3 hours later O.S. Del Monte was banging thru my cabin door , like he's going to crash it down. I was deep asleep and was in the middle of my "dreams" and when i heard in my head the sound of banging the cabin door , i immediately jumped out of bed (literary) and opened the door. It was so sudden that O.S. Del Monte even saw me wiping off the drool on my face.
"What's up ??" that's what i said to him , while wiping my face. "Cargo Ops is finish, wipe off the drool and haul off your ass then get ready for unmooring ops" O.S. Del Monte replied."SERIOUSLY !!!! NO SHIT " i said ..."Yes no shit at all now move and, I'd be waking A.B. Bryan next" O.S. Del Monte said.
Hurriedly got dressed up and putted on my coverall's and went to the forward part, Immediately soon afterward the anchor was heaved, O.S. Del Monte arrived in late and Old Frog face Amican said another insulting words to himsaying "where the hell have you been ?! This is your mooring station and you should be here first !! "
Del Monte wasn't very happy on what came out on his mouth and i could see in his eyes the annoyance over the insulting remark.