A sailor looks back from 1964 to 20102/50

A working day in the galley in the 60's

It is 5:30 and the galley boy is urged out. He rubs his eyes in despair, but there is no mercy here.He goes to the toilet across the corridor, then back and does some morning care over the sink. Gets onclean clothes, a white t-shirt and strolls towards the 1st chef's cabin. There are galley keys hanging on a hook right oninside the door. It is important to be careful, but he usually wakes up when the door opens. It will berustling with keys. He rolls back contentedly and sleeps on, now he knows that the "galley" is on schedule.The gun boy puts sea legs where he strolls wearily and stubbornly towards the gun.The galley is unlocked, on with lights and fans. Stove and frying pan are set on good heat. OvensLikewise. The coffee pot has been with water in and on the plate all night, so here you just have to pour coffee.

Two "fish ball boxes" then let it pull. Meanwhile, he goes downstairs and picks up two bags of potatoes.They are run in the potato peeler. The coffee is ready. The blessed coffee. The gun boy is young, 15years, but he has learned to appreciate black coffee in the morning. He unlocks the door to the pantry.The fair boy, also a fifteen-year-old, enters the galley from the pantry with coffee pots like himfills up. The crew has coffee from 06:30 to 07:00. Grace the fair boy if the coffee is not on the tableto 06.30, not to mention if the galley boy should fall asleep. Was a lot of "old" grumpy guys increw mass, sour faces and traumatized war sailors who sat and looked empty in front of them.The gun boy finds bacon that was cut up the day before and goes down to the fridge and picks it upsome tray with eggs. Put it nicely on the counter by the frying pan which is now hot. The coffee is ready,potatoes finished, and eggs and bacon are ready to use. The gun takes a few sips of the scorching heatblack coffee and grunts happily. Something he had noticed from old guys. Time to urge the 2nd chefor second chef, or just second as he was called.

Second was responsible for the breakfast care. Hewas young and one of the "guys" and often a "cheer boy", so he could be tough at times, but weis in the sea and then it's okay.The gunman sits down to peel potatoes while a sleep-drunk second drinks coffee. Heput bacon in the frying pan. It mills and roasts. He swears because of the scroll. The gun is filled withthe aroma of freshly brewed coffee and roasted bacon. A scent that spreads beyond the ship where we roll over oneinfinite Pacific. The gunman takes a stainless steel bag, goes down to the fridge and picks up milk. It mustspoon on the buttocks so that it is ice cold. The fair boy fills up aluminum jugs with cold milk andget it on the table.The time is 07:30 and breakfast is ready, the crew comes in thundering, some banners, otherscoughing and raking. The gun boy and the second chef take turns backing up. Two fried eggs and some slicesbacon, three to four depending on the size.

There is mumbling about a stubborn shipping company followed by cursesover byssefolka. Some people seem so frustrated with their lives and life situation that they let it go beyondhe who stands on the other side of the cafeteria counter, but everyone gets theirs and it calms down. Under- officersthe fair with the stall, carpenter and repairman is served on a platter in his own separate fair. It wasbecome a little more talkative in the crew fair now. In the meantime, the officers' maid had been andfetched coffee, now she came to get the rest. Second, licked off a rough, but was told toshut up otherwise he got the egg in his face. But after all, they had a good tone. It was a bit of a galley-the jargon. The gunman was a little more careful about what he said. The guards arrived at 08:00.At 08:00, time to urge the 1st chef. The gunman takes a mug of coffee and knocks on the cabin door and turns it on the light.


The chef grunts and the galley says the time, while he devoutly puts the coffee mug on the table, thenafter washing cups and stains as well as cutlery, as well as the floor in the mass. It is tiledwith drain, then scrubbed with ata and rinsed as in a barn. He turns out approx. 14:30 to get readycoffee. The girls control themselves, but everyone gets a rest in the middle of the day.At 15:00, the coffee is ready and carried out of the fair. Cake plate as well. Form cake this time. Two sliceson each in the crew fair. There are cakes on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The other days it isserving with bread cheese and jam. The coffee break lasts until 15:30. Officerspika picks up coffee andthe cake pan. She has slept so is angry like a toad. Salongpika is coming too. She's angry.The second chef is urged out, he too is grumpy. The galley rushes out and lies down to rest. Secondbegin to cut onions for the evening, fried sausages with mashed potatoes.

He also makes desserttomorrow, often a pudding, or a porridge and the like. The dessert also comes under 2.the chef's field of work. He is happy when the steward says there is fresh fruit for dessert the next day. Furtherhe cuts cold cuts and puts up salad, pickled herring and the like for supper. The fair boy covers up. There is bread next to the heat. Coffee and tea.at 16:00 the 1st chef arrives, drinks coffee, while he waits for the steward who usually comes in fourthe time. They plan the next day and both go into the freezer to take out goods. If it's Sunday, the galley goes with itthe steward to fetch canned food, sardines, mackerel in tomato etc. to the crew fair. It must lastone week. If something is empty, nothing new will come until next Sunday. The second chef despairs when hehear the steward will have pancakes for every man for breakfast the next day.

The steward then plays off a couplegroviser before he goes to his. That's pretty much what we saw of him. If he did not work in the provisionsthen. Then the galley was happy to join. He got an hour of overtime for that. The 1st chef cuts the sausages, frys themand onions. Second stock mashed potatoes. Brown sauce from dinner is heatedAt 17:00 the galley is urged after two hours of rest. The bus gang eats in the evening.17:30 there is supper for officers and crew, The girls get their dishes filled by the 1st chef.The crew gets backed up on the spot during some comments. Second cooks bear the bear andcertain space and be glad they get food. Offshore, officers and crew eat half an hour earlierand galley people later.At 18:00 comes the last, the shift change.

2. the cook and the galley back off. The 1st chef gives instructionsand spoons out for the day. The second chef leaves shortly afterwards.The gunman washes up, scrubs and rinses the floor. Dumps rubbish.19:30 The gun boy and the fair boy talk a little. They're wondering about it with the girls in Japan. If itreally is so that they are skewed or have "it" across the bottom?But one thing they at least agree on: "Now it's fun and thank God tonight!"June 9, 2020

Tropical night

It so happened that when one sailed on the tropics in one's youth, one fell "in love" with itone and the other port. Not so little dizzy and crazy became one. This is from one of the port stays. In ahectic tropical night, anything can happen. I was 17 years old. The music thundered and the dance floor was fullwiggling bodies, the women writhing like worms. Is preferably the nice ladies buttocks one noticesto. The shop was a half-roof with a table underneath, the rest an open space. A thunderous and noisy orchestra.Personally, I was a regular guest at the place when we called at this harbor quite often. Consequently, also “fixedlady ”, many benefits with it. Was kind of taken care of a bit. We were just as old. I must add that I sailedin this tropical speed for a number of years and consequently the same lady for just as long. It was a suffocating heat, howeverwith cold beer in the glass and a smiling, cheerful and exotic woman at the table, everything went well. We drankclose that night. We ended up going over for drinks. The dance and ecstasy mixed with alkorus weresauced together and one became both dizzy and drunk. The end of the visa was that we bought a bottle and went homeher. We were both excited and tall.


Drunk and crazy, we tore off our clothes and hoisted ourselves just that. There stood the United States with the rest of the world as spectators. The war and all its horrors came into playthe living rooms of people via tv. Everyone felt powerless and most disgusted.But, something was "good." Industry in the USA and the rest of the world went very well, including Norway. The dollarswas stable and thus the world economy. Unemployment was low. Many made money from the war.Even denominations owned shares in the war industry. When a Catholic bishop in the United States discovered it, tookhe killed himself. For a Catholic, suicide is tantamount to a one-way ticket to hell, but he tooknow clearly the chance that our Lord made an exception.It was just a big mistake with it all.

Many Americans were killed. It came for manycoffins, draped with the nation's flag home to the United States.Country music resounded in the room and people drank and danced. The orchestra was classical. Cowboy hats,boots and braces, fiddle and guitars. The vocalist a woman wearing carpenter pants and imitating DollyParton as best he could. She was actually pretty good. The mood was high and the alcohol flowed.Some had probably ingested other things besides alcohol.That's when I spotted him. A waterlogged, lame young man .It was as if his legs did not followeach other. He was heading towards me and carrying the counter. Trouble was my first thought. He settled downnext to me. I looked tentatively and nodded at him.

Tried me gently on a smile.An incredibly water-stained face with a wild staring glass eye branch towards me. His fresh eye that sentme a trying look looked incredibly sad. Carefully I lifted the glass- He did the same and sort ofsmiles came from the side of the mouth and face that was not water-soaked. The contact was closed.“Helo I am Dan who are you? what`s your name? and where do you come from? ” This is how we startedour conversation and friendship. We were the same age, both in our early twenties.Even though I was over 21 which one had to be to be served alcohol, one sometimes had to show ID.When the US authorities had stopped making ID with a photo, one had to next to itAmerican have one with picture. I was no narrower than using the conscription book, a red casewith a picture of a frustrated marine guest! Bar girl accepted it.Dan and I treated each other to drinks.

I told about Norway he about the USA and about which"Mule" that sat in the White House. Dan thought Norway was a communist state and I spent some time on itto convince him otherwise. We even support the Viet Nam war, I said, at least the authorities.Dan became silent. I felt like I had stepped into the salad. After a short break and a few sips of the glass,Dan asked what the red book I showed to her behind the bar was. Said as it was that there was oneconscription book and everyone was called up for military service in Norway as here in the USA. That was it, tooclosest I could come to a comparison. I used it as an ID as it contained a picture.He studied book and picture. He actually seemed impressed. Did you meet Russians, he asked. Yes, I said. Wehad constant contact. Communists he mumbled back. Then came what I was afraid would come.Dan said he was discharged to the army and after recruiting school, training camp, he was sent to prisonViet Nam. He was active.

By that he meant that he was fighting. "In action" Not against a bureaucracy anda corrupt regime from an office in Saigon, but he fought against a ruthless, well-equipped, motivated andcynical enemy of flesh and blood. Regular North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong. I was embarrassed thenI thought of my conscription book and my service in Northern Norway. Observed some Russian vesselsand contact with submarines. What was it about Dan's little glimpses of stories?He had only weeks left of service in "Nam" when the machine guns, the sea of ​​flames and the explosionhe took. He did not remember more, but added a little sarcastically, "the bombs and the nap palm came from our ownfor security reasons ”. So-called "friendly fire". "Jaggu, I said kindly fire, look at me," he said questioningly,with an ironic but ugly grin.Half the face was as if burned away. Some cruel scars with a wild staring glass eye sort of a bit onoutside of the skull. Shoulder and arm were torn away.

Now there was a new shoulder of porcelain and an arm of steeland screws. He shook his head a lot. The upper body also badly burned, he opened a little on the shirt.As if that wasn't enough, one leg below the knee was shot away. Parts of the abdomen were also tornup. Dan had chronic pain and was on strong medication. He did not tell details, noa lot anyway, but added that "Nam" was a hell that did not seem to end. “I have become a monster,not a woman can bear to look at me. No, no one can bear to see ”. Even my old friends have turned me aroundthe back. Most of them were war opponents, but not all. They had fallen in the war. The girlfriendmade it end when I was in Nam`en he added and looked down. Dan straightened up patting me on the shoulderand said I was a good man. We toasted. They had hung some awards, medals on his chest in Nam. "But who cares?" He added.  Yes who cares? after many strenuous and long hot days.


Was a small piece of boat one was on so came to many nice little and great places on this tropical cruise. Once in a while you got a day off so you couldshop or walk on the beach or simply sit down at the first shop. Many ways to use oneday off on. It was the beach this time. I went with the fair girl, a beautiful blonde and a well-turned one fromthe high north.In light summer clothes and hand in hand, we walked through the village and towards the beach. On the way we gotwho so often in such small ports accompany a young boy who was to show us and make sure that nothingshould happen. Tiresome with such people, but we gave up getting rid of him so he dilted in advance. The advantagewith going with the fair girl was that one got peace for small "tanned", smiling and well-turned girls withtoothpaste grin, which would otherwise charm and praise a lonely sea boy.

There were beautiful young girls, sothe temptations were many for a youth from the cold north .. They waved and smiled, the fair girl, and Iwith, waved and smiled back. The respect was mutual.A beautiful sight met one, swaying palm trees and a chalk-white beach about as far as the eye could see. Therewere not other people, except for a few fishermen who we glimpsed far away. The young boy showed usto something resembling a small lagoon, was almost a cove. But, shallow and little waves and hardly dangerouselectricity and little or no shark danger. At least according to our private "pilot".We undressed and got on swimwear. Shorts, t-shirts, underwear and slippers, as well as a summer dresswas thrown to the ground.

Wristwatches and some "lunatics", (local currency), were put in a pocket. Bagenwith some beer and snacks we put in the shade. Then towards the water. Our "friend" stopped us and said he should fiton "our cases .. There was some fuss, but the end of the visa was that he rough clothes and shoes down in the sand.He then gave some notes as a thank you for the "help" and almost to get rid of him. We "marked" the placewhere the cases were buried.It was some wonderful hours in the sea and on the beach. The lady and I had a relationship and it did not happenless strengthened by a day off like this. We bathed, ate salty peanuts that we rinsed down withlukewarm beer as well as costing us in the shade under the palm trees. The sea life was just wonderful.It was getting late in the afternoon and we found out we wanted some proper food and a "quick round".Lots of shops there on the sting of various kinds, I must add. But where were our clothes? We firedand rough in the sand, not here not there!

Had he been sloppy rapping them while we were in the water?We hardly agreed. Then we would have wanted to discover it. Or would we? Was quite concerned abouteach other out there in the sea or on the shore .. Finally we gave up looking.Pretty sluggish, we strolled in the "street'n". People there were admittedly lightly dressed, but that two whites were so smalldressed, they were clearly not used to. I came in swimming trunks (was not swimming shorts at the time)lady in bikini, barefoot on scorching sand and gravel. Some young girls waved us in at one of the "bars",a simple cottage with palm leaves above. We explained what had happened. The ladies flirted and laughed and camewith two cold beers. It tasted heavenly.

Soon the eldest came, found out she was the proprietor,with a floral summer dress and an old shorts and t-shirt. Not quite clean, but done at bestopinion. They did not have slippers the size of mine. Remembered they laughed heartily at my big feet. Girlgot some sandals on her little female legs.We stayed seated for a while and had a really nice time. Wepromised to come back with money for beer and clothes a little later in the evening, which we also did.What had happened you never know, but lose an old watch, some clothes, as wellsome "thousand" "lunatics" can be tolerated, but he "pilot" annoyed me. We should have marked the place properly. Everything was so similar. But, we agreed that it was a great day off The clothes and the clock as well as the lunatics? Yes, it was not rapped, while we were in the water, yes then it is there still. There it can just lie.The day was well worth it.

then drove me straight to the quay and they were friendly but nervous in their voices and asked me to forget this onethe trip and again did not mention anything to anyone at “El Caballo Loco”. I promised. It was easy for the shopshould I not return to… .Safe back in the cabin I lit a cigarette with my own hands andpoured me a tequila and swallowed it with a cold beer. Talking about messing things up. Thoughton the bar owner, with the same name as our master, what "position" he might have in the underworld ?.Probably had a high "post". Told myself that Jesus saved me. In fact, he did that night.Got me then a few hours of sleep and woke up with anxiety, which chased through my body, as welldome hat and peasant remorse. That one could be so stupid.January 24, 2020Leave a comment

March 13, 2020

Religions and the black pot

Religion has always been a theme in human history, major religions have emerged, and then passed awaybe replaced by another. Today we have several major world religions that are worshiped and practiced in variousways. In organized democratic and secular societies, the different faiths work side by sideside in work and daily life. Well and good and that's how it should be. In several cases it is unfortunatelysome who use religion as a tool to acquire power and wealth. It creates conflicts,distrust and social unrest. As a sailor for many years, you constantly came in contact with people whobelonged to different faiths and one aligned accordingly. If one showed respect, something one shoulddo, things mostly worked well. But in some cases, authorities were very difficult when we stayedseen as non-believers and thus second-class people.

With experience and diplomacy, one learnedand deal with such situations so that it settled. Some are light and manageable, while others to say the leastnicely, is very quarrelsome and makes trifles a big story, which eventually tends to straighten out. Onecreed bans alcohol. Then it should be easy to confiscate and lock in and seal alcoholon board, which was also done. But a beer capsule in the paper can or in an ashtray in a cabincould trigger a landslide of problems and threats of fines in the heavyweight class. It could be tooprovisions or products from a specific country that we either had to dump or hide well awaywhile we were in that port. Our women who worked on board must have covered their hair and head.They also had to wear long skirts if they had planned a trip ashore. Furthermore, one did not have to goout with rubbish if one or more lay on deck and prayed. Lots of little things to pay attention to.

But firstcame government officials and others who made their entrance with document folders, revolver belts andserious faces. Seemed like they were looking to "take you", for something that was against the countrylaws and religious beliefs .. Fines were obviously considered as extra income in some countries.Heavily armed guards were often placed on board to watch over us infidels. If it wasdining it was a mortal sin to serve pork or anything related to pork. The latter became one in mytime taught up to from a was galley boy so it sits as nailed.In the western hemisphere it usually went well, but came to some African ports, as wellthe Middle East was about being on guard. In the Far East, there was often a mixture of most things in several placesof ethnic groups and religions.

A result of British colonial rule, which moved people from and to inthe colonies where it suited them. Whether those who were moved from one area or country to another becameasked are not known, but they were hardly. Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Chinese worked side by sidepage. It was not a problem, but many of these guys had to be fed on board and the diet wasdifferent. Hindus do not eat cattle (cows), Muslims do not eat pork, the other groups were smallor no problem with. The Chinese were the easiest to deal with because they eat most of itfood you present, but there must always be white rice. Is it weird there is unrest in the world when people


There were airstrikes. A bomb hit the front deck and the ship began to go down. With the survivors camehe himself in the lifeboat. He was 16 years old and not his last lowering. Was torpedoed since -43. Lying in ice waterand oil before he was picked up. That was some of what he could tell me. It was a bad time, he addedto sad in the face. But fun when we came to England, he continued with a twinkle in his eye. And took carelike a sip while telling about the crazy women in the British Isles.It so happened that he was heavily intoxicated. He received liquor directly from the skipper. Stuertenrefused to give him too much. Once I remember the skipper came down in the galley and put a bottle in one ofthe cupboards with the message to give it to the chef when he showed up. It was a bottle of whiskey, WhiteHorse.

The skipper was himself a war sailor and the chef and others with the same story, seemed to be "protected".Sailor Hamre came to me in the galley one morning, very bad from filling. “The gun, go up to the steward to geta box of Aqua Velva ”. I went upstairs and presented my errand. It's violent thenas Hamre shaves, he commented. Send him up to me. So I did and understoodsince sailor Hamre got a bottle of liquor. Stuerten was himself a war sailor and knew where the shoe wasthe pressure.The same steward said that when he as a galley boy went down in the freezer one morning, the steward was sitting therehelelfrosset. He could no longer bear this nightmare, so he ended it that way. Etwar memory of many who burned into a teenager's mind.The stall a real sour pump and hot plug scolded me when I emptied rubbish and it was whirled upover deck. I was terrified the whole guy. In the afternoon he came down to the galley in good condition. He andthe chef had had a dram.

Understood then that the stall was not as dangerous as he seemed. But I keptstill good distance. He and the chef sailed the same boat during a torpedoing in the Atlantic. Both were inoily ice water, but was picked up after not too long. There was a bond between the two guysthere. Coincidentally, they were to sail together again after so many years. They mostly reminisced about the Englishthe girls over the galley bench.We got a trip to Murmansk. Sailor Hansen and I stood in line. He was a nice guy in betweenthe drunken bullets that lasted three or four days, then a few days in the quake and he thought it was a short week.Well we stood there and headed towards Murmansk city. Was a hell to sail at this speed during the war, he said,but at that time there were at least some women here.

He grinned a little strained as if to wipe overthe otherwise painful memories of the convoy move.Motormann Olaf had sailed with the chief during the war, both were firefighters then. When Olafwas out "driving" the engineers were told by the chief to leave him, the captain was silentagree. Olaf was a great guy. Worked for two and knew his stuff. But the alcohol lay like a scourge overhe. Olaf and the chief were torpedoed near Malta in -42.Jungmann Gundersen said he was sunk by a plane in the Mediterranean. He came in a lifeboat with someoneothers. The plane came back made an arc and came towards them. They stretched their hands in the air thenthe machine guns peppered loose. Arms and body parts, blood and gore fell all the way. Jungmann Gundersen miraculously saved himself by jumping into the water.

After a while he was taken up by Spanishfishermen.Another vessel was sunk and captured by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean. They suffered terribly in the camp, howeverhe came home and resumed sea life. I sailed with him in the '70s. He called the Japanese “yellowroots". Never went ashore when we came to Japan. Outwardly he seemed fresh and fast, but what was inhe kept his head largely to himself. Went a lot in my own thoughts and often fell out when talking tohe.Also had the honor of sailing with a woman who had sailed in the bad times, as she called it.Externally no problems to talk about. But she had a bottle of liqueur in the galley, placed in the fridge.She took a glass of milk just about every day after breakfast.

So good when it's cold, she saidhappily. But she worked just fine. Handsome and grown lady. She had a daughter after the war when shecame home, in the intoxication of victory. A child of peace. She confided in me after a few drinks once that she did notante who was the father. It could be the same. It was just so wonderfully wonderful and amazing withthe peace that had come, she said.There were many fates, not all of which tackled sea life anymore and were sent ashore. The kick and blacklisting,but they were in reality very sick people. Several ended up on the barrier in Oslo. Others committedtime suicide.In a large Oslo shipping company I once sailed in, it was said that the shipowner himself held his hand over the boys whohad sailed in his shipping company during the war. It can probably be true because it went over stick and stone as much French as I could.


That Norwegian sailors spoke good English and at times Spanish was a habit.But a Norwegian sailor who spoke fluent French was something new to me. We ate well and he drankto my surprise aperitif, wine for the food plus conac for the coffee. Never drank anything on board, he said.Someone had noticed. He confided in me that our skipper is a "psychopath", the crew some"Pirates", but skilled on deck. By the way, the other officers were some self-absorbed jugglers.Except for the spark. A quiet and calm guy, also a war veteran and up in years.Another time he said something I wondered about, but wisely never asked. And that was why henot sailed skipper. He confided in me that he had sailed for several years, but that the fourth strip toeventually became too heavy to carry. The topic was not elaborated any further and I did not ask for anything more.

But further it was expressed that he had become too old for what he was doing now. Time to throwinto the towel. It was easier said than done because he supported his daughter and her children as well.The son-in-law had been in the army and fell during a conflict in a British colony. The widow's pensionwas not to live off he could tell.The time had come for my enlistment, thirteen months. kept on board. The helmsman remained standing. "Wesailing in England so I'm home every trip ", he said. When I said goodbye to this oceanhonorary man we were both moved.Some time later, the war pension came with post-payment to Norwegian seafarers. I hope he got it that wayhe so earnestly deserved, so that he could go ashore and live some good years with family and friends.An officer and gentleman.I never saw him again.

October 3, 2019

In a workshop in Yugoslavia in the mid 70's

Then I would get to experience Tito's Yugoslavia. Should not go into politics, but this was a different onecommunist state. An Eastern bloc country with its eyes facing west. US President Richard Nixon was onvisit and there was great cheering and American flags everywhere, not much Moscow faith with these guys!Large parts of agricultural production were exported to the west. Labor was also a large"Export commodity", especially to what was then West Germany, hard currency came home. Not everything was subjectstate control, so many engaged in a bit of "private initiative" after the western pattern. From selling fruitfrom own garden to having its own sewing room, small family businesses that went brilliantly.

One could glimpsehope and prosperity among the population. There were restaurants and bars, shops with goodproduct range, and food and clothing were everywhere. Not least in a big great market where most things couldpurchased for an affordable money. People were easygoing and outgoing. The women were nice andbeautiful, we felt more than welcome. A very important thing must be included; it was completely safe to go ashore,no one was ever harassed, whether they went alone or in company. Nor was anyone robbed of anything.What recipe Tito used to create such conditions should be unsaid on my part, but maybe a littleto learn! We only met friendly and helpful people.

The ship lay there for nine, repeating nine months. So webecame well known in the city. Norwegians were well-liked and it's just wonderful when you feel welcome in oneforeign countryThis was a bulk boat of 75,000 tons. It had been hit hard by ore cargo, coal and the like,as well as of considerable bad weather and beatings in the North Atlantic. So there was sandblasting and shifting of steel anda whole lot of work and repairs. The once proud ship lay there now like a wreck that waspicked up from the depths of the sea, stripped of everything called "make up". There was a full upgrade on the deck andin tanks and rooms, as well as in the machine.

Rural in the West Africa 1960s

We went to a cafe and had our traditional espresso coffee and a slibovitch,strongly home-burned from plums which, incidentally, the peasant girls also sold. Self-made and «very good»,the individual obviously thought that her product was the best, but it was strong at least. It workedas if it were the women who worked in the square, the men stood in one of the many bars thatopened in the early morning and drank. It was full swing on the morning twig! Then we went on board where the crewlittle by little he had gotten started with his. We gladly took a piglet or two, or a lamb overshoulder as we walked across the walkway. It was probably a bit of a sight, the pigs were about warm. One ofthe sailors, the farmer's son from the tot, thought it was bad that such small pigs were "beaten to death".

He atethus not by the piglet when it was served! The boys took the rest of the provisions on board with a craneand bar in place in the provisions rooms. There was often a "provisions beer" on the one who was with andbar. The day could begin. It was earthly goods at heavenly prices and top quality. Memorableand fun shopping trips. Must add that the goods were always allowed to stand in peace without supervision in the side street by the square!The food we produced was made from first-class local ingredients. We were also partly on landin the evenings to say the least, so one got inspiration from the local barbecue places, cafes and the like.For example, barbecue skewers consisting of beef, peppers and onions, called "Chaslic". We also fried pigletsand lamb ribs.

We made stuffed peppers with salad, garlic bread dipped in olive oil, usually rinseddown with local «pivo» and a «schlibo». It was for supper this and people were done for the day.Chicken with corn and salad was also served. So we had a really good time, even though the dust storm could standon deck during the day and the boys looked like sweepers when evening came. For lunch also became a more localIntroductions introduced, for example, beans and lentil soup with good bread were very popular. ItYugoslav bacon with local bread and wine was a delight. The homemade order from ourslocal butcher as well, and the salami sausage must not be forgotten.

It also went on a regular Norwegian diet, get incabbage, fresh meat and soup, meat pudding with stewed cabbage and the like. Some Yugoslav workers likeoccasionally ate with us, actually enjoyed the salty Norwegian stew. Stew and white wine, try it.There were many butchers, but we found our husband. His specialties were a delight to the eye and palate. Somesmoked sausages were very similar to the Norwegian ones, only slightly coarser. Similar to the Norwegian Vossa sausage,maybe even better. The bacon was fully on par with Parma from Italy or Spanish Serrano. Ofdairy products were cheeses of various kinds, gauda, ​​rouqerfort, brie etc. Not everything was for our palate,but it was certainly quality product, although we did not fall for the smell and taste.

When one is in oneagricultural land one must not forget the wine, especially the local white wine, it was the purestthe gods' drink. The national and local liquor "schlibovitch", made from plums was good, howeverdangerously strong. Drink unmixed straight down as dram. But one should not take too many before it turns intop, it gained more experience. Otherwise, one could buy pure 96 percent alcohol at the city's pharmacy, but it isanother story.As previously mentioned, we enjoyed a long countryside with both women, food and drink. Butit was freedom under responsibility. Must also mention that some got girlfriends, would be abnormal thoughnot so happened, but strangely enough no one got married as far as I know. It was beautiful women, friendly andheat, so have been wondering a bit about it.

We got along well with the locals and many good onesmemories come over one when one sits like that and reminisces.It was constantly mentioned, without my understanding at the time, that when General Tito is no more there will be chaos,and the Republic of Yugoslavia would be torn to shreds. Little understood one and even less ante one at the time. Oneshould only know what was in the coming of the future. It was with sorrow in my heart and mind for many yearsafterwards sat in my own safe living room and watched this country and the people were ravaged by war and fire.,genocide and division. Hatred was bred for generations to come, wounds that can hardly be healed very muchlong time. To get it done, we bombed them to pieces, presumably to protect against moregenocide and put an end to all madness. Our Yugoslav friends from our good timesin the seventies unfortunately got right.

September 4, 2019

In the name of the law

Once in the seventies when we were lying somewhere on the east coast of the US and loading, it so happened that we got onboard police as guards at the walkway and for the ship in general. I do not know exactly why, but it did happen.Also, it was a lugubrious harbor area. Needless to say, the guard was armed. Was the US thishere. To top it all off, the day watchman was a woman. Beautiful like that. She walked around and talked to people infairs and on deck. She ate her meals on board the same table as the galley people. So beganshe to drop by the galley. I fed her buns, juice and more. The chat went on and she was notjust beautiful but very nice, charming and welcoming. The latter, by the way, are mostAmericans.

She explained that one must not decide to go ashore alone here, even if several couldbe "bad for health" as she put it. It pays to listen to locals so I stayed on board. Wehad lots of ports in front of us so was not bothered with it. Besides, it was the law itself thatcame with admonition. Furthermore, she could inform that the girls at the bars here are all sick.Of course yes. Useful information. The days went by and we got to know each other really well down in the galley where she was bigseen vanket now. From a valve there was also an overview of the walkway, if she did not sit on onechair and snorted at something. I took the opportunity to flirt and court a little. She was pretty and well-groomedwhich I commented on. Women like that.

Got out of her that she was divorced. Sure, that issingle. I was careful what I said, but cautiously pretended to be the same. Admittedly, there was onetruth with modifications, but as a sailor there and then, I considered myself a single. So thiscould look good. Felt now that "sweet music" had arisen. There was a bit of talk among the people on boardand it had not gone unnoticed that the "police lady" was wandering in the galley. Some of the guys kept coming by,sort of to check. I made sure they never got too close or stayed too long. After some thinking andconsiderations, I took courage and offered her a drink in the cabin when she was done on duty andI in the galley. Was very excited. After all, she was the long arm of the law.

I meant that since she wassingle did not hurry to get home. She was both surprised and excited and a spontaneous"YES" came from her. To my great surprise, she gave me a real hug in the middle of the galley floor.With a big smile and her hand on the colt at her hip, she apparently took a trip out and stood bythe walkway, while she waited for supper and utjei and relief for the night. The contact was terminated andthe hormones boiled. The evening came and we went to the cabin. Like listed us through the corridors andup the ladders. Women had been dragged up to the cabin before, but not every port one takes with themuniformed and armed woman in the cabin.

Carefully asked if she could not hand inweapons after the end of the shift. No, it's okay, she just remarked dryly. Well, in the cabin for something good inthe glass and the cabin door securely locked she would shower, which can reasonably be. With revolver belt and colt45 hanging behind the door together with the uniform we took in the shower. She was pure revelation fromoven.That night I was trapped in the warm embrace of the law.April 11, 2019Leave a comment

For thorns in San Francisco

That was at the time I lived in Mexico. A great time in life, but as a sailor I went to SanFrancisco to put me on the line. Or I got a telegram from a shipping company and signed up for Norwegianforeign service mission in Mexico. But this time it was a trip to "Frisco" California. Be some moneyagain so chose bus.There were only Mexicans on board, most of Native American descent. It was not the most prosperous part of Mexico's population that made their entrance on the bus. But smiles and laughter were there all the time.Got a Native American woman by my side. She was not going to the United States, she said, there were just gringos. Badpeople she added with a snort. The woman clearly understood that I was not American.

I was tired, "tough" in my body unshaven and pulled my face after several days on the bus. Tooka taxi to Vallejo street 2501. Norway House, Sjømannshjemmet. Had to wait a long time and well beforehost Jon opened. "Wow, it's you," he said. It was nice to be recognized.After signing up at the right office, Annix pier 29 it was well, and standing on the turn there, I lived somehappy weeks in the city until a boat showed up. I stayed on board for sixteen months, but that's another history.

March 5, 2019

A Different Christmas

Thought this piece is best suited when people are done with the Christmas celebration. Not all ships were there only peace and idyll were on, some there was drunkenness and commotion and raucous behavior on. The story as herefollows are from one of them. Thought it was a bit important to point out and reflect on ancient times.Once over fifty years ago I was hired on a small piece cargo boat. It suited me well.General cargo and loose goods were something for me. Lots of harbor calls and short voyages, merry landings,ladies and fun. Traveled from England at the time. Said "Merry Christmas" and "Good bye", to the ladyand left. “Fast Lady” in Cardiff. Promised to write.

That the ship had arrived this year had been made known, but that it was in such a conditionmore than one had imagined. This was what in the "old" days could be called a "plimsoller", aftertoday's terminology a "holk". But things worked in a way. I was young and it should probably go well.The machine people struggled the most, I got the impression of, at least judging by the language in the crew fair.There was a motley and hard-core gang in that mass. But some war sailors who were quite nice,at least between the filling periods. Otherwise, there were some of what used to be called "spring sailors", ie.that they only managed to get hired at that time of year, when "everyone" else would sign off and stay home.

How they managed to hold out for Christmas is still a mystery to me. The shipping office was onthe summers then desperate to get crew for the ships. It was said that in a sailor town onin the south, the company's people went to a couple of the city's dents in the summer and offered hire. In returnthose who were willing to go out should get an advance.Our second chef was an "outdoor sailor" and had gunpowder in his fists, so he was a good man to have in the galley.Can mention that a sailor complained about the eggs for a breakfast one morning he had breakfast care.The sailor was beaten right on the floor. It was quiet for a long time from that edge.Furthermore, it was a couple of Negroes in the mass who did nothing special except talk about sexwith "sunburnt Stavanger girls".

An expression god knows where it comes from, it means negro girls.Otherwise in the mass there was a mulatto and some Spaniards fighting so the blood flowed when they discussed generalFranco, Spain's fascist dictator at the time. It was a bit of a bunch you have to really say. Springalso some terrified pre-journey boys there who probably got culture shock and maybe also weretraumatized. In the middle of all this "swamp" came the carpenter who was a war sailor andabstainer. A stout and sensible person, a man one could talk to. By the way, he took a littlehand over the first-time boys. Otherwise, it was mostly "rubbish" from shops at home and abroad.

There was hardly a day without any noise in the crew fair. Especially on the weekends. Nosebleeds, cleft lipsand blue veins sort of belonged with. Once a man was beaten and sent to hospital. We neither sawor belonged to him some more. Had it been today, the perpetrator would have been prosecuted, howeverat that time there was never any talk of such. Seemed like part of the crew was frustrated andcursed at his whole existence and let it go beyond his fellow men. The diet they complained about throughoutthe time. It was mostly the same as sewing and carrying. Most often in between.To my great surprise, there was a sale of liquor on Saturday to everyone. Usually on Norwegian shipsat that time, only the officers were allowed to buy liquor.

Some also bought alcohol in the world's salary is supposedly called.A Spaniard sat by himself and sang, almost to the mass; "Ave Maria", so it sounded, whiletears ran down her cheeks. He was big, strong and dangerous so he could sit in peace.In the officers' mass, the mood had reached a strange stage. A big bowl of beer, or whateverwas, was sent around the long table and everyone drank from it! They must have thought they were at a party in Vallhall. INthe pantry sat both girls crying between empty goods, leftovers and dishes. Make up and ditto randtin teary girl faces. The hairstyle hung in fuss. They longed for home, naturally enough, but they had takengood for themselves of the "flydium." A couple of men, good at moving came and helped with the dishes andgarbage disposal in galley and pantry.

So the galley gang could join the party.In both fairs there was what in good Norwegian can be called flat filling. It was sung, ie gaulet, kauketand shouted over a low shoe. Can add that those who crawled on the "Stavanger girls" who had arrivedon board, got after a few days about "full pot". Some had also messed up on land up inbushen. The result was also for these guys full pot, with various rashes of unknown origin, flat liceand a sour one. Or gonorrhea, as it is called. The gangways were eaten by mosqitos and washed inchlorine the next day. The chief mate got busy in the new year.I took a half-emptied bottle of aquavit and two glasses, went out to the four-door hatch on the aft deck.

One ofthe foreigners sat on the hatch and stared blankly into the jungle. I sank in to both of us. “Do you long for ithome ”? I asked. "Can not long for something one does not have," he replied shortly. We emptied the glasses and raisedthem over the rack. It became quiet and both stared into the dense green jungle wall. Because ofthe moisture and heat sifted the sweat from both of us. Insects buzzed in the air. It was getting late. Becomesfast dark at these latitudes.I handed him the bottle and we both drank from it. During the fairs, things started to calm down. Most hadeither extinguished or pulled down on the cabins. As mentioned, some had gone ashore, up in the bush.Despite all the alcohol, no fights at the fairs tonight. Christmas peace descended over ships andsteaming jungle. We emptied the bottle, raised it in the swamp. With an unsteady walk we walked towards the entrance fromdeck. Ships and jungles were shrouded in the clammy tropical night.It was that Christmas Eve.December 27, 2018Leave a comment

Departure at short notice

This is a few years ago (early eighties) and I lived in Mexico. As in Norway, Christmas time a big and festive time. I was home on vacation. Madame and I were childless and celebratedwith friends and acquaintances who probably only Mexicans can celebrate and celebrate. There were days leftChristmas Eve. It was decorated and made preparations for the great feast. Everything was just joy and gloom. Somethinggood in the glass and nice atmosphere. Then came the telegram.We seafarers have tended to be very loyal to the shipping company and the employer. It was nothingexception with me. The shipping company was aware that I had not been home all the time in the world, but about mewould you like to join Hallifax on 22/12 on one of their new liners?

Answered with a new question, "canyou find another ”? and explained that I had plenty of time left of the holiday. The answer was negative andit was after some discussions with the madam that it became yes. She thought that was my jobmost important. We had already celebrated a lot and she had three sisters and a brother with familybe with during the holidays.After an emotional farewell at the airport, I headed for Hallifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Stay therereceived by the agent and a driving snowstorm with subsequent biting cold. Had only sailed onthe tropics for several years, as well as lived in Mexico so consequently had an not proper winter clothes. It workedas far as okay when it was a short way to the car, but remember it was slippery. Got a little warm about the heart then. The ship sails out, heading to Singapore and the EastAs a bonus, she gave birth to a son 9 months later!With this, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 8, 2018

Against the United States of America

It was at the end of May in 1967 that I was called by the shipping company who said I "had to" joinBeirut, Lebanon soon. My colleague had been discharged. Too bad for him, but the timingsuited me well because then I could take a year or so on board and come home next summer. It waspacked in a sweep and a quick farewell round with friends and acquaintances. My mother tried to hold meagain and rather wait until another boat appeared that sailed in slightly calmer waters. AllThe Middle East is a "wasp nest" she said, almost teary in the eyes. I was young and did not think in suchbaner. Little did I know about the Middle East and what a time bomb it really was. I did not careme especially, young and stupid as one was then.

When leaving at that time, as well as when landing, it wasdress code for sailors. No exception for me. Blazer, white shirt and tie, blue striped like that. Lighttrousers, polished black shoes and dark socks. Such was the Norwegian seafaring class at the time. In OsloI stopped by the shipping office to get an itinerary and bring mail. I also got a full five dollars in ittravel allowance which I was told to keep careful accounts of! Besides, they said I got itfood on the plane. It's part of the story that the ship, the spark, got the shipping company's five dollar bill back inuntouched state.

From the shipping company's side, tensions in the Middle East were not mentioned in a word. So put me onthe plane in happy ignorance. First stop was Frankfurt, West Germany. A huge airport. At leastit seemed so to me. But, with high school German, I finally found the new street. When I sat andwaiting there it dawned on me that I was going out of Europe. Surrounded by dark people incolorful clothes, some well covered. Beirut was a stopover. The end of the flight was Kararchi,Pakistan. Personally, I had not seen Pakistanis significantly before. They were not on thisthe time has begun to come to Norway. So the whole scene was a bit exciting.

Then get on the plane,ordered a drink and thought life was wonderful. Arrival in Beirut went smoothly. Remember the heat hitme when I got off the plane and walked towards the terminal. Was greeted by a sea of ​​people and the smell of garlic.After a bit of trouble, the luggage arrived. Had to show the "tag" before I went on to emigration and customs. Folkpushed and shouted. The contrast to Europe was great. The emigration went well, costing twenty Lebanesepounds which was half the English pound. Paid with German marks and got some "crazy"and a receipt back. In customs it was also fine. The only question was if I had a gun!He made a sign with his index finger as if he "pulled off". Terrified, I answered "no" and stayedwaved on.

The agent stood as agreed in the arrival hall and waited with a large sign with his name on itthe boat that lit up the sea of ​​people. He asked for the receipt from the emigration and asked if I did toohad to pay to get through customs? I answered as true was no, and got Lebanesepounds for my outlay in the emigration. Seemed organized here. He drove me to the hotel and took me theremy passport, something I absolutely did not like. He had to have it to get clearance to get out of the countryand on board he explained. Pick you up tomorrow morning. The boat is inside. The hotel was just fine,Arab neighborhood with a minaret across the street.

Arrive just in time to hear the Imamcall to evening prayer. A loud moaning affair. Incidentally ate an excellent meal in the restaurant,which consisted of several tasty dishes and swallowed it down with cold beer. Life was still wonderful. Becameprompted by morning prayer, the same wailing "lament". as well as a lot of yelling from shopkeepers andothers in the street. Then went downstairs and ate a good breakfast. The agent came as agreed, gave me my passportback. He sat down with a cup of coffee until I finished eating. Nice guy. Drove methen to the quay and walkway. Wished me luck with a powerful handshake. He said something in Arabic like.  

Tragic end .

The last northbound cargo port was completed and the cables went. The course was set for Europe. It reignedwith a relaxed atmosphere on board. The days went a lot to cleaning and daily routines in themdifferent ministries. The boys looked forward to Europe. Several months in the tropics with hustle and bustlewith people from land, - loading, unloading, "customs officers and sinners," death gangs ", trouble, hustle and bustle.All this would be spared for a time, the ship was flushed and washed and everyone looked forward to Europe and "Civilization" .Leisure time was spent relaxing by the pool and sunbathing with a cold beer or a long drink, as wellsneak peek at the fair girls. Was so incredibly comfortable and peaceful on board and we enjoyed it and the sun, toosoon it was windy and icy winds that awaited us. It was winter up north.

By the way, no one leftdampens the mood. Some were to disembark after a long time on board. And the rest of us were excitedwhat kind of people came back. In general, we looked forward to landing in several European ports and inEngland.On the coast of Portugal, the storm began and we were made aware of which continent we were onus in. We stomped away so some speed to talk about was not.In the galley there was a "heavenly life", boilers are secured with slingshots on the stove. Grease and power rippledover and milled with subsequent bad smell and smoke. An old chef taught us to sprinkle Ata scouring powderon the plates, then the pots stood better in place. Sometimes it just had to happen, one had enough tostick to the bench so one should not be thrown between the walls. The dishwashing water in the basin splashedup and across the floor, and mixed with grease from the stove made the galley a dangerous place.

Nok entime advice from the "old chef", - coarse salt on the floor.We stressed and choked, the water was beaten by the potatoesin a "quiet" moment. The potato pot had to be carried from the stove to the sink. With wide leg position andsteady knife in hand, there was hot food on the table this time as well. Rough and gray sea chased pastthe galley valves and it roared out as if Draugen himself was on his way. Everyone on board was probably happy whena working day at sea with storms was over. The gunmen, cooks and girls especially appreciated the utjeiwhen everything was washed and secured under conditions as described. The girls had a tough job, servers, setsea ​​bones, washing up, taking the roughest of cabins and day rooms etc. When the evening came I refused the girls togo out on deck to empty trash, it was too dangerous. After all, they were women and “gentleman-the spirit ”ruled in the galley, at least at that time.

So the galley boy was happy to get that job, with a messageabout being careful and dumping on the le side… .Once actually the skipper came down in the galley to seehow it went… sympathetic move.We stomped and rolled across Biscay. There was little sleep and even physical and mental stress during the dayone that can reasonably be tired. At night one clung to the mattress, often lying in a kind"Toad position", a little sleep, a little awake. Then finally sleep before the on-duty sailor thunders at the door andmesses out that a new morning is here. New day new and meandering. Furthermore, a struggle to get in the bathroom anda struggle to get on the clothes when one constantly had to hold on to a place. One lined up in the galley for a new andtough day. I was looking forward to the first port that was in France. Fresh oysters, white wine, espresso andConac. Maybe a nice lady at the table. Well then one should not just look darkly at it. The sea iswhimsical and everyone was aware of that.

But with something "good" at the other end of a stormy day, one looks forward toexistence. Despite swaying and stamping. After rain comes sun it is called.Always liked to go ashore in France. Nice people, good food and drink. Lots of cafes,restaurants and bars and shops. The prices at the time were nothing to speak of. A franc was approx. twoor three kroner if I do not remember much wrong. The problem was the language, but one did well. Are you leavinginto a store, the person behind the counter will sell, you will buy. A new pair of trousers? Well, one points tothe trousers one is wearing pull a little on it. This is just the way to go, then you go out in the new suit. Same ithe barber shop, point to your hair and you will be cut.

That's the way it is all the way. At the bar it's okay for thereeveryone drinks. You learned a lot of words, sentences and expressions. So it went well. If there is onewoman in the game, it was relatively easy. She is a woman you are a man and nature goes its own waytime without significant conversation…. Cozy the French Atlantic ports.The voyage continued to the British Isles. Nice Englishmen and good pub visits. Good selection inthe shops. People often bought suits in England, one could buy a nice one for a few hundred bucks.We also got some provisions on board. Always pleasant in England, one knows the language and English girls aresweet charming and liberating. Everyone was happy with their stay in England. We were happy to get a little extragood time there too.

Then it was on to northern European ports. In Rotterdam the main provisions came and it was a bit of a problem. In the name of justice and decency, there were some who were trained chefs fromrestaurants with knowledge and motivation, but there were few of them in the run-in phase. What tookme a lifetime to learn should now the newly hired learn in two weeks, Norwegian and international standard andquality. Will agree with an old skipper who worked in the office, who stated that “this isa stillborn project »I do not blame the Russians, most of them were handsome and decent guys,but it was the whole scheme and the employment requirement that was wrong. It seemed like the most important thing was to getcompleted the crew list.

The company employed the people who applied and were recommended by the agent in Riga Latvia, hasty actionswhich became completely chaotic. During the run-in phase, the Norwegian captains on board were not only in despair,but also furious. Desperate over incompetent chefs and furious in the office. On a boat the skipper askedabout a new cook when he they had got on board was completely useless. The answer came on the fax machine, itproduced sheet after sheet, it turned out to be a whole cookbook! And message to train the chef! Oneincredible arrogance from the office. The captains sent useless cooks ashore from large parts of the fleet inthe shipping company. There was talk that there was a Russian on "every islet" down the Norwegian coast.

Several of thememployees were not even cooks, but got the job on fake and / or purchased papers. Their goal wasjust to get to work in the west. These guys had no rights and legal protection againstdismissal and otherwise bad treatment, so it was bad and it was actually a pity for many. It wasjust to send them ashore. Where were the authorities and the association? Once upon a time there was a USA trip on a boat,and the Russian had to land when he did not get a visa and enter the United States. Details the shipping company whatsoeverhad not taken into account. The instructor became a chef that trip, it was nice for an old mansailor to come a trip back to America. .Then I went to Riga in Latvia with people from the office. We were going to hire new people and I was going to train themand further follow them up on board .. Am glad I was involved in the hiring procedure for now got reallyinto some good chefs it should turn out.

It all looked promising. Parts of a restaurant kitchen wererented and we got in good contact with the employees, they followed curiously what we were doing. It became onegood tone on the spot. Nice working conditions, we prepared dishes and discussed food and techniques.Something to learn to pick up for both parties. There was naturally a lot of focus on Norwegian cuisine, -meat dishes such as grated balls, chops, meatballs and sauerkraut, etc. Fish dishes of various kinds,breakfast, lunch and dinner. We produced and later in the day we had a nice meal with thememployees in the kitchen who by the way were mostly women. They became almost like our "sensors" they werethe cooks several of them, so it was a fun time.Time was also set aside for theory. Product knowledge, cleaning and hygiene, accounting and purchasing.

Lots to takeunfortunately. It turned out on later occasions during visits to the ships that much I hadtried to learn from me had gone in one ear and out the other in several of the guys. When visiting shipsthere could be some surprises waiting for one. It was everything from cleaning and cookingthe meals, and not least provisions. In a supply room there were fifteen buckets of sour cream,sour cream, about the same amount of pickles and beets. When re-ordering, he only sent inapproximate copy of the previous, result was overflowing provisions refrigeration and freezing room New goods werestacked over the old ones with the result that a lot was destroyed Vegetables and fruits for example. It wasnot everyone who operated like this, but unfortunately there were some ..

These guys were clearly not used to good ingredients, good meat and good fish were in the freezers afterNorwegian chefs and was destroyed. Norwegian chefs were told to stock up before they were flagged out. Severalof the Russians simply did not have the knowledge to apply it. But where was the Norwegian skipperregarding the Russian's provisions? For example, there could be several hundred cartons of juiceon board. We are talking about small orders and short trips. Their menu for dinner always consisted ofsoup, with base, potatoes, cabbage or onions and beets. Possibly some fried potatoes and a sausage snack.Maybe a chicken breast or thigh for Sunday. Further on the table came bread from land, finished cut, closesaid finished dried, sweaty cheese and chewy jam in dirty glasses, old and "curly" cold cuts andbutter well soiled.

This came as dinner service. Often there was no noticeable differenceat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Russians were used to soup and bread, was probably not much more theremany came from. At the same time, it was diluted with fish canning or cheese, for the Norwegian part ofthe order this far from satisfactory. A lot was corrected by training and instruction on board,but very many were not competent for this cooking job. The shipping company stood its ground, ”a lotcompetent and educated people with top papers so they were just instructing them to our standard »,was the answer we got back on board. The captain and I shook things with papers and documentation. kind of small bed for the kid at the other end, a small table and a kitchen hook. Neat, clean and neat. Thewas nice view of the city and the sea.

The girl had dark blond hair, fair skin and brown eyes. Prettyyoung. Water, toilet and shower were shared with others so one had to go out. That was fine. Power wasthief connected I was told. Everyone did. Water connection likewise I understood. People built like thatpass, no regulation here. The authorities wanted people away, but where? The state gave the bluff in thesethe poor people. We sat and talked over a drink later in the evening and I asked if it was notdangerous to live here? Not if you know the right people, I was told. The guys we had met down inThe street was part of the "gang," which "ruled" the area. She knew them well and as long as they accepted meor us if you will, there was no danger. These were the ones she had talked to the day before aboutme.

She quietly suggested that she pay a small "fee" from time to time. If she paid with herbeautiful body or with money I did not ask for. I accepted that explanation, however, in doubt. The hopeon that she paid with cash.I pay tribute to the people who live in the favella. I was there often even went alone. It wasmostly just cheerful people on my hike. My girlfriend was always just as cheerful andhelpful. She never asked, but she always got a good amount of money from me. “Rent food andfee ”, we used to say. She was happy too. It was a happy time in Brazil with her and itlittle girl.In the "favella" there was never anyone who curled a hair on my head.

August 6, 2018

Englandsfarten

The sixties were a bit of a ten-year with major events going down in history, but something I personallybest remembered is the speed of the British Isles with the Beatles fever vibe at dance venues and clubs,- from the local pub to famous scenes with big names and groups. Must also bring all of themnice people and the feeling of being welcomed as a sailor in a foreign port.The main port Liverpool, Britain's largest port city at the time, was the very "Mecca" for usyoung people. It was the center of the world for us back then and it's still bubbling in my blood when I dohears the name.After long and warm weeks and months in other waters, often in the tropics, we finally docked, often ina rainy and foggy Liverpool. Sounds a bit strange, but the English weather we thought wasa nice change from the tropical heat.

It was a relaxed atmosphere on board because everyone knew that here will beone lying for a long time, weeks, often many weeks. Very few were sorry for that. By the way, nothing happenedless to do on board for that reason, neither in the galley nor elsewhere, but a relaxed andpleasant mood sank over the boat. There were often a few days off from time to timelong time at the quay. We were three men in the galley stew, first chef and second chef. Assistant, trade fair man,officers and saloon girl came in addition. Holidays were arranged between the chefs. It was at timesevery other day, at least half days off. If a man got a late night on the town it was onpre-arranged with free until next afternoon, decent arrangement between us. The fair people arranged themselvesSimilarly.

Stuerten was kept informed of what was going on like that at least, butdid not care as long as everything went well. And it always did, we showed that we were worthy of trust.Furthermore, no one was deducted for holidays so no one suffered financially. .The 2nd chef lived in Liverpool so his lady often came on board. She enjoyed herself well, finished food andhousewife vacation. Many had friends visiting, they also lived on board, but then unofficially. Some ofthe girls went to work in the morning and came on board in the afternoon. It was lively in crew a nice barter item. Diligent and creative women in Africa dyed the fabric and sewed clothes from it. Butthe sacks were probably mostly used to transport fruit and vegetables to the market.

Our friendthe ship dealer was a little turned on for it.The Englishman drinks tea, most people probably know, but that it was so important did not occur to me beforeI was ashore in Liverpool for weeks. One of the reasons we stayed so long was strikes and rain. A lotof the cargo were bags of products such as peanuts, cocoa, soy and coffee. This must be kept dry.This could at times be an equally hopeless task on the west coast of England with the Irish Sea offlike unloading the same type of cargo in Bergen. There were cargo hatches on and off, rain showers kept coming.The sailors use the waiting time to drink tea, in addition to the usual "tea time", so the day went onthe way. The point is that in the galley there always had to be a large pot of boiling water on the stove.

Onenice guy kept coming to get tea water for the gang up front on deck. British brewery workersso-called "Dockers" had good days then. They also made money.Englishmen are generally nice people. Chief mate pointed out how important this isthe tea water was, no job if they did not get their "tea time". It was neither night work norworking on the weekends for the sailors at that time. So it took time to unload and load a boat in Liverpool orBritain in general, at that time. But we on board had nothing against it at all. We enjoyed ourselveswork, on board and not least ashore. We had local guides and brought with us a lot we hardly hadclearly on its own. After a theater or cinema visit, we bought "fish and chips" wrapped in newsprint andate with my fingers. It was then swallowed with lukewarm and lazy English "Ale".

Further excited,but strong "Chicken and Curry" in small exotic Indian restaurants. We came from Africa thenwe tolerated that menu. It was the Beatles' fever and full force in clubs, dance shops and pubs. We wereyoung and life was wonderful.It is said that the stew comes from Liverpool. It is the same species as our salty and light type.Furthermore, it is said that the sailors and whalers brought it to the city sometime far back in time. Maybeno wonder in such a big maritime city like this. A person from Liverpool is called just Skaus orSkauser, the city of Skausland. Two of the "passengers", the girls, who lived on board all the time, offeredto prepare "The real show" and that was it. It looked and tasted like our own type,namely salt stew.The days and weeks passed under a gray sky on the west coast of England. We were perfectly fine, howeverbegan to become restless.

We wanted to go to sea, it was probably rural now we thought. Provisions and supplieswas well on board. Unloading and loading finished, only paperwork left and we could go to sea.It was goodbye to scoundrels and foremen, crying girls who promised eternal fidelity only we came back.The guys were also moved, even though everyone knew we would be back in three months. The machinestarted up, the pilot came on board and tugboats were at the side of the ship, it was important to come out with "time"(high tide). There were courses for the Canary Islands and West Africa.It was completely quiet, only the machine's safe steady sound could be heard. We were at sea again.WITH THIS, I WISH EVERYONE A GOOD SUMMER

June 6, 2018

Proximity

Did not regret it because by now one had settled down, close proximity and six weeks off with six weekssailing. Both I and the family thought it was great.Mostly I would say the weather was good during my time on board, but such a small boat was moving throughouttime, with seagoing very sharp movements. For a period of winter we had storms for six weeks.Swinging and stamping day and night only interrupted by stays underground. The voyage to Portugal waspreferably a small week. With bad weather, a few extra days. Then just lie down and ride the weather when it was extraille. It was harsh weather areas, the North Sea and the German Bay, the English Channel, Biscay and aroundCap Philistere. No joke for sailors these sea areas.In the galley, things could go awry during squirming and stomping, but the food came to the table. Onewas experienced and knew the tricks. It could be incredibly tiring.

The ship sailed up on a wave for soto crash into the valley of the waves and slam with a crash into the bottom of the wave. Then it was a matter of holding on. A nightunder such conditions I dreamed that it was full speed with a car right in the rock wall. Suddenly awakened by abump and wet from sweat. It was fortunately a dream and we hit "only" the bottom of a valley of waves, so satnot in a car anyway! Relieved, I lay down on the pillow, found a position, clawed my way back and sleptfurther. In this way, days and nights could go by several voyages, but not always. Then it would not have beenpossible to hold out on board for a longer period of time. We watched movies in our spare time and drank coffee or a beer and chattedin the day room.

There was a nice atmosphere on board, but for me unfamiliar with so few people around. Wewas usually no more than three men watching movies. The others slept or were on guard. Other evenings werewe up on the little bridge and talked to the helmsman. Then one got to see what a demanding job he had.There is a lot of traffic in these areas. The helmsman drove a boat and the rest of us drank coffee and solved"World problems." The bridge became a social meeting place.Once in port in Portugal, it was time for landing. It was often three and four days in Aveiro. A nice cityup in Rio Aveiro in the north of the country just near the Spanish border. The reason it could take time was waitingproduction of cargo, further it came ann on the tide. The Portuguese are nice people and we stayedfamiliar with several on site.

We also found some nice restaurants and bars. Good stay andmemories from there.It was mostly the same people one went on board and went home with. We got to know each other welleach other. Even though the ship was small and we went in so-called "sling speed", there was little replacement of people. Weenjoyed us on board. Most came from long distance and were well grown so we had a lot of life experience and thatbecame a bit reminiscent. Occasionally young people were on board at times, he almost got goosebumps when heheard our stories from a long life at sea in all waters. Some stories were well seasoned whenthe youth were present, which was not really necessary.

The experiences and stories werefull enough from before. We relaxed on board and called it retirement. It fit well for a periodwas the average age over fifty years on board. It was the sea's old toilers who sailed their last years into onewell-deserved pension. We had a very nice time.After three years on board, this ship was also flagged out. Some of the old men became pensioners others gotrent elsewhere. Personally, I went from a 2000 ton to a 127000 ton. The first was a new oneexperience the other was back to ancient times. Those were good years and many good memories from the little onethe struggler who backed back and forth between Portugal and Holland.

May 7, 2018


So much is said about Africa.

Myths and truths, black magic, natural medicine, and breathing. It issomething exotic and exciting that draws towards this black continent, but remember there is also moderncities, with hospitals and hotels all called urbanity and a modern society to. That's all well and goodwhen you want to relax and shop, but if you want to experience something more, you have to in the village and in the bush. Haironce been there once a magical drag comes over you, you will always feel like coming back.British colony gentlemen said «Africa calls». Something's going on with one. This time we were invited hometo some of our African sailors, the "Croo Boys" mentioned in previous history. There should bebig party in the village. Or "Croo Town" as it was actually called.

It was a good distance out in the bush thenwe had arranged a day off the next day.We went out as a small expedition. First through alleys and narrow streets with open sewers, withink sheds and cabins built from what was available of material, plastic, cardboard, plank andwave gaze. Food was cooked over half a barrel of oil, rigged as a grill. You get creative by having little. Hens,skinny dogs, naked and half naked kids were everywhere. There were many a little schooly andcritical glances from the adults, but also smiles and laughter came out, plus the eternal hand that came out;and followed by the words "give me something", it belongs with .We went straight through what one for goodNorwegian calls a slum area of ​​the worst kind. The smell was bad. Why they chose that path tocome to his own village I do not know completely. It was probably a shortcut, but it was hardly safe.

We carriedon many items that were "dash" (gifts) to "Headman" and others. We also dragged on mineral waterand ringnes bottles and other. It was incredibly humid and hot that night. The darkness comes in quicklythe tropics and the african night are literally answered. We trudged on to what corresponds to oneNorwegian forest road, sweaty and impatient. It had become dark and lots of strange noises from bushes and bushes!Tropenatta comes fast, not very nice to be the system in the queue where we took the train in responsenatta. One could hardly guess the outline of the man who was walking in front of one. Last place in the row we changed and chattedwith the man in front to confirm that one still hung with! Or at all was there! We were without thatsome would admit it there and then very nervous.

So just a flashlight strip up there, oursafrican friends went very fast and for a while tore the anxiety in one and one wondered if we were fooled in atrap. We finally arrived at a cluster of cabins and small houses. There were torches and bonfires (a halfoil barrels), music, shouts, laughter screams and shouts! Fascinating but strange and a little creepy. They talkedalso a language none of us understood anything of. There was a full party and what a party! It was like being taken out of oneTarzan movie from the thirties! What it was that was celebrated I have never realized, but the Africanscan do it with partying and dancing.We were received with shouts and cheers, waiting as we were. Many of the guys we knew, calmed down a bit then. Thehad worked on board.

There were handshakes and hugs of half-naked sweaty bodies, and the words"My friend" one heard all the time. Was then presented to families, wives and children who crowded around us,they were waiting for the goodies we were carrying, so it was "give me something" or "dash me". The children gotcaramels and candies glued together in the tropical heat but it did not matter much,The "mammies" (ladies, wives and others) sugar tea and canned milk from the brand Norwegian Viking Milk, the boys got cigarettes, liquor and Ringnes export lager beer. Include T-shirts and caps withshipping emblem made great fortune. There were lots of young ladies who were very so flattering andcurious. Of course, they had seen white men before, but it actually seemed like it was the first time.We were the center and were heartily honored by it.

Formalities were over and contacts ended. It isstraight to the point, the party was underway. You can safely say that.We were served food and drink, out of pure courtesy we ate and drank. The food, meat on skewers and something in sauce.Certainly not for our palates, but spicy food gives a strength "both here and there" we were told.It was "good for you", a true ordeal you ask me. As mentioned, we had drinks with us,but was of course also served local brew, by Europeans called "Jungle Juice". Must be Africananswer to the Norwegian rate! Except that this was supposedly palm marrow chewed by women, spit in onevessel and filled with water to ferment. We drank it and it tasted absolutely horrible. Imagine being lukewarmhalf-fermented "rate" in a steamy heat with pepper flavor and fire in the throat.

Damn does a lot forthe courtesy and guilt of the brotherhood! What kind of meat was on the skewer and in the pot I have no idea, tooknor the chance to ask about the origin. but it was called "bush meat". It was further servedrice next to it, it was at least good ..This is probably the first and only time I have danced around a bonfire half naked and sweatingNorwegians and African women and men! Glad no one at home saw us! Then it would go against theirsSunday school lessons. By that is meant that it is the blacks who are "savages" but here it was without polite but firmly corrected: San Francisco is the name.All the time you were a Norwegian sailor ashore, you lived at Norway House. Or "The House" asit between sailors became hot. It was an old mansion in a fashionable neighborhood. From othersfloor was the view of San Francisco Bay.

From a couple of bedrooms, one even looked straight out at Alkatraz,the island with the infamous prison where countless stories have emerged and a lot of films have been made about it.Norwegian shipowners bought the "House" in 1947 when there were many Norwegian sailors left on the west coast of the United States afterWorld War II. These guys did not have much interest in going home to the old country.The shipowner's thought was mostly that it was cheaper to muster people from there than to send them from Norway. OnIn this way, the shipowner received seafarers from the place, little or no travel expenses, and the seafarers received the "House".The shipping companies did not buy the house to provide shelter and well-being for seafarers ashore, as in fact someland crabs thought. But right should be right, here it was board and lodging for a cheap money.

It wassimple but good standard. Some of the sailors got married and started a home and family. The United States became their newhome country. Norway became more and more remote for most people. Norway house was later taken over by Velferdenfor the Merchant Navy, but operated in the same spirit and direction. Incidentally, the house was driven all the way into our time, howevereventually mostly with seafarers of foreign origin on their way to or from their ship. They endedNorwegian outdoor sailors.It was reportedly a big scuffle in the neighborhood when the city's best citizens in 1947 heard thatit was to move sailors into the neighborhood, but despite protests and lawyers, it became a sailors' home.It must be added that a very good neighborly relationship arose when things calmed down.

The sailors had their saythemselves to be peaceful, kind and helpful. In all the years, neighbors and others called to get onehandshake for incidental work. Everything from moving some old heavy and upscale furniture from oneliving room to another, to go errands or paint some window posts. Some seemed to have a small rag jobto offer as a pretext to get someone to talk to. There were huge houses and apartments with furniturecharacterized by ancient splendor and grandeur .. It was with awe that a Norwegian sailor stepped into the living rooms, and itturned out to say something like "They" to the walls. Apparently it was a bit lonely in the neighborhood. Even a lotprosperous, but they clearly tempted a rather sad existence in the midst of all the wealth. Some hadeven sandwiches, tea and whiskey ready when the "workers" arrived.

They were usually generousthe checkbook when the job was done, seemed like that to a Norwegian at least. The magic dollars got peopleto do many missions. Friendship and intimacy were forged, the sailors felt welcome.It is a good feeling when you go ashore for a long time. Furthermore, ship traders who needed often calledhelp to shovel provisions and equipment for one or another ship. It was a good payment, but very hardjobbing It was usually an American who was the supervisor and when those guys start something it isfull run until the job is done. But the provisions jobs were especially popular, among some like itdecreased with money at. The "house" became my abode for short or long periods. The times weregood and it was good with hires. There was no problem in indulging in a longer stay ashore.

Furthermore, it was good money to earn while you were on board so the economy was solid when you musteredof. You could also do work if the days were long and you wanted to, even if it was illegal. Sailorshad a residence permit, but not a work permit and was therefore considered cheap labor. It matteredjust to walk quietly in the doors. According to Norwegian conditions, the payment was good. The United States is a fantastic nationin its entirety. Only there is reason good enough to pattern of going ashore there.In San Francisco, in fact, part of the time was a bit routine, but one relaxed and enjoyed it.There was breakfast in the house, often with some good stories over the cup of coffee. If one or morehad been to town the night before, it was often something interesting to hear. Got the impression that theythe vast majority turned out for breakfast. It was pleasant mornings. Sunshine outside and good coffee.

A springmost often in good company and the day could promise well.Those of the boys who were looking for a job and were eager to get out to sea again took the bus down to the piertwenty-one where the rental office was located to see if anything vacant had appeared. Often followed because it was nice towalk along the quays and towards the well-known "Fisherman's Wharft". There was life and stirwith shops, bars and restaurants, jugglers and musicians. Likewise museums and sailing ships,fishing boats and other vessels. It was wonderful to walk there, completely anonymous and free. Then one gladly left onetrip up to the Norwegian Seamen's Church, or the church as it is also called. It was always nice toget there. It was nicely located in one of the city's steep slopes "Hyde Street".The famous cable car, which is a well-known brand in line with the "Golden Gate" bridge, leftup past our church. On its way in its round with China town which was probably one of the highlightsthe drive into town. There was also a nice view from the church. The pastor and housewife were great people.

Today, as in earlier times, there is full loyalty to the ship's management. Here on board so loyal that on indirectorders from the ship's captain were all cut short. "It will be hot where we are going," said an adultcaptain tell. After decades at sea, I have never seen such an obedient and cheerful gang. Thehopeful young sailors are more reminiscent of a troop of foreign legionaries.With sunburnt muscular bodies and meager shells, it was a harsh reindeer coming from the coldnorth.It is rumored that the steward is stingy, not on the diet, but he refuses to buy sunscreen. Why should hethe? There are twenty liters of soybean oil in the provisions! "After Sun," what kind of jealousy do you have thenpotato flour! Bad with "business" with that guy.When one talks about the sun, it seems that we have departed from our childhood doctrine, because here on board worshipwe reach “RA”, the sun god.

But what a blessing the sun is!For those who do not know, the steward is actually the oldest man on board, he does not like it much, but it is nowsuch. In earlier times, it was often the skipper or captain who one might say was a gentlemantheir best years, that is, a little into the fifties. Was always referred to as the "old man" about the skipper, today it isanother it is referred to, so times change.Yes, we have free time here on board, by all means, eighteen hole golf course, so do not come here. In between southernAmerican robbery stories from the veterans, yatzy, ludo, chess and video in the mass.Pork and steaks, chaslic and burgers are grilled. A festive line baptism is also included. Thewas a sad moment when King Neptune, Poseidon, the ruler of the sea, gave a baptismal speech. Python pier,large glass, was ingested.

"Bottum up" and ice water over the stud. The last outdoor sailors have been baptized.There will hardly be more.We did not notice the line at the equator, funny yet so nice and clear it was in the weather. Wanted a manforward on the ground with scissors to cut it over. But, no one lined up. The youth understandnot quite the seriousness of this.Sunshine and twenty-eight plus degrees outside, but in the galley no daylight lets in. At the lunch break posesstuerten on the promenade deck wearing shorts from British colonial times and soybean oil. Then it was good to besailor.Thoughts then fly to Brazil's exotic coast, wondering if Maria remembers me? Sure, it's justfifteen years since last!

She is a hazel beauty with dark eyes, raven black hair and eyelashesso big that one can hear her blink!In a few days there will be samba on the radio, then comes the scent of jungle and steaming rainforest. So oneweak coastal strip in the distance, yes we are in truth: BOUND FOR RIO GRANDE

February 11, 2018

Malmfart

MalmfartIn the early sixties, I was enlisted in an ore boat that sailed, but unloading ports were likemost often in England. Otherwise we drove around. Brazil, West Africa, the Mediterranean, Italy and North Africa,otherwise there was a lot in Canada we took in the ore cargo. Also went to Luleå in northern Sweden, it was just beforeChristmas and we sailed rough in the ice. In the summer to Økslesund. Both ports were pleasant trips to Sweden.For me as a youth it was exciting and pleasant, but would rather have something more exotic.In the UK we became well known and often met the same people, read the ladies, from time to time.The time under land was often limited to an evening or two, maybe three if one was lucky. A lot shoulddone next to the daily. Supplies and storries arrived. You should also have time on land. Says himself


Towards Christmas and Japan in the 70's

For a long time, it was sailing on the west coast of the United States and Canada and over to Japan one sailed on. ToIn Japan we brought, among other things, paper and lumber, back to the USA there were electronics, cars and other things.Great speed with nice and pleasant ports on the west coast of the USA and lying time in monn. We got to know each other wellwith the locals. Many made American girlfriends, some even got married over there.The ports in Japan were usually small places, at least by Japanese standards. Here, too, it wasmany "girlfriends" on the go. It usually took from ten to fourteen days until one was fully unloaded andloaded.

Then most were happy. The same was true on the west coast, also called the "party coast". A coupleweeks in the US and Canada, as well as in Japan, held for most. It was then good to get back into the sea.The crossing was usually counted from ten to twelve days.The Pacific is called that beautiful. The baptismal name was probably taken out on a sunny day. Said sea is large andat times not quiet at all. What I have to tell here is from the voyage in December and crossing and arrival toJapan. At that time in the northern area, there may be storms that can get even the most experiencedsailor to doubt whether he would ever be allowed to return home.

The storm began from day oneafter leaving the quay in Canada, and it was constant until we were in port in Japan two weeks later.Wise from injury, most of the Christmas preparations were made while rural on the west coast. It waswell, for this promised to be a memory trip of the unusual kind. It was now only focused on thosedaily meals and to stay on your feet. The boilers were firmly stamped on the stove. One usedpreferably the large pots so that the contents do not overflow or "jump out" when the ship stomps.Something it also did at times. There was smoke and rustling from the stove and the bad smell of burnt grease and power hitagainst one while one dried up. Cloth cloth was dandered on the floor around the stove to receive grease and spills.

It was important to keep the floor clean and dry. A slippery floor in the galley could be fatal. Spilled onestill grease on it was sprinkled with salt before one dried up. "Eat scouring powder" under the pots onthe stove also did its part to make them stand firmly on the plate. Scouring powder could be used for many things.The meandering was violent and the stomping almost made the intestines come up in the throat.At the same time, one felt that the ship should simply be smashed to pieces. Occasionally sneaking the eerie andanxiety seeps into body and soul. It was just a matter of getting stuck so as not to be thrown between the walls. Wewould not have a tjangs if something were to go wrong in this weather. For my part, a prayer was sent in silenceto the top.

Sometimes we lay dangerously over to the side and then were thrown back.Hot meals were of the simplest variety, but of usable quality. Our girls also did just thatmost necessary. Did not benefit from having water in the laundry bag in such weather. Joined with some berth pulling and emptyingtrash cans. No one went out on deck. Otherwise, the reader can try to imagine what it is like to stand bygalley bench to cut meat and vegetables under such conditions. It must be experienced to get it fullunderstanding of such a difficult and dangerous situation. Knife in hand, stay on your feet, lean againstbench, set sea legs, stand at an angle, then cut and shear!It was almost hopeless for the boys to sit down to eat.

But they had to have food and it came to the tabletime every day. Situations like this we had been in before. Outside, the dim daylight reacheswinter so far north arrived a few hours in the middle of the day, we glimpsed the sea like a gray wall fromthe valves. It could be like standing at the bottom of a ski jump and watching the runaway come crashing downagainst one. We sailed the famous Great Circle. It was far north. I shuddered at the sight of itgray icy sea. The rest of the day was answered and one heard only a roaring sea and a howling wind. lay in front of us.It so happened that we were old known most of us on these edges, with the consequences result thatmentioned in the introduction, that several of us had girlfriends and "regular companions" ashore.

Personally, I undertookthe job and call the shop "spring" to invite the ladies on board for the Christmas celebration. Add that they likehad to bring some extra girlfriends, we were nice man on board. The captain approved the visit.The enthusiasm was great at the other end of the thread. This promised well. Formalities with customs officers and othersgovernment officials went well, as was the custom in Japan. It is not a Christian country, but they celebrate onekind of Christmas here too. At least the trade stand. There was therefore no work on the sailors. Consequentlywas a quiet Christmas and New Year celebration under land in front of us, something we really looked forward to.A large Christmas table had been made with hot and cold food.

Best varieties of drinks were taken out and presented.Plenty of beer and mineral water, tea, coffee, cookies and confectionery as well. It should not be lackingsomething. Not even female company. Even the gunmen arranged it.To us, it seemed as if they were floating like revelations from above. Beautiful and well-groomed wearingfluttering gloves and stylish dresses. There were smiles and warm soft fragrant cheeks. It was good tobe a sailor. It was Christmas and we had come to Japan.

December 12, 2017

Strandhugg Champerico Guatemala

Sailed for periods on the west coast of the United States and Europe with lumber and paper. We could also take cars andbulk. Was here in the seventies. On the way to Europe we could drop by Mexico, Guatemala andBalboa and Panama. This is from Guatemala.We had arrived at Champerico, a small peaceful place with friendly and welcoming peoplehuman beings. We were ready to unload paper rolls from the US. far out on the reia. The Pacific waves werehuge and we duvet violently at times. One saw only white beaches foam and rainforest in there. Couldas far as I know, a distant pier that protruded into the surf. Some nice Gualtamaltekers came on boardand the conversation went loose and steady.

Personally, I speak Spanish so fritted them out about most things. As if thatwas it safe for us to go ashore? there were riots in the country. Here was safe and well I was told.Cold beer, rum and cola and lots of great ladies. Was told that the girls came from far and near down to"Village" when there were rumors of ships on the reia. We were more than welcome. It sounded promising.The message was passed on.Asked if there were a lot of sharks here? "Yes a lot" was the answer. So no swimming, sharks, swells andUnderwater currents are not favorable conditions for such. So the invitations looked like scorching sun, butdangerous. Became the stall rigged to a shark line.

He had done this before. A large meat hook attacheda few meters of wire, so that the "fish" would not bite over the line which was later attached to the wire, apiece of frozen beef liver that released a lot of blood when it got into the water. Everything was ready for big catch.The boys already secured parts of the shark. One wanted the spine for a walking stick, one the mouth for decorationand one would have the skin to what I do not know to date. (shoes?) The chat went on and we waited. It lasted andmanaged, is certainly a trick shark. The crew did their thing, the chef with the supper, but hewas out on the poop to check occasionally.

Helpers and women from land

At the time when one was on general cargo ships and sailed at regular speed, it was mostly the same ports we arrived at.regularly. It had its benefits in many ways, one became known at the local level andthere were always a few days of rural.Under land, people often came on board and sought work while the ship was in port. Some presented only onecondition and it was getting food. Others for what one wanted to give them. It's in the cards that it was in itthird world this occurred. Most brought with them certificates from other ships or from the ship itselfwas on, but with another crew at the time the certificate was printed. Some had nothing to show andcame at the back of the queue. It was very strange what was in the certificates and recommendations.

In a "certificate" as onesteered on a Norwegian boat had written it said something like this; "He lies, steals and drinks",furthermore, he is lazy. Can with this I recommend him. " The poor man who showed the paper, which was written onNorwegian, of course did not understand any of it. By the way, he was illiterate anyway. I felt sorry forthe poor man who stood there with a sincere and hopeful face. We took him into the galley and gave himthe job of washing and peeling potatoes, further incidental work in our field. We did not regret itthat guy. He was hardworking and honest. As a reward, he received a few dollars, food and clothes to take home eachevening, plus cigarettes. I tend to say that I hired him on his good name and reputation. Men have itJesus.It is part of the story that he got a new and different certificate when we sailed from there, both in English andnorsk.

By the way, he came on board and worked every time we called at this port. Then he could tellthat there was plenty of work on other ships while we were away. It was a good man who took care of itthe family working full time on Norwegian and other ships. Norwegians were the kindest and paid the best.He promised us, with a sly smile in the corner of his mouth, a place in heaven! It was a young man, so maybehe walks around and still works on ships.Elsewhere, someone came in with papers stating that he could work for "eat, old pants andshirt »Furthermore, that he had no tongue and consequently could not speak. Then found out that hewas punished by their own once and expelled. They had simply cut off his tongue. He hadfurther an ugly scar or a "gap" lengthwise in the middle of the head. They resembled an old onemachete-hugg.

We felt sorry for the guy who otherwise looked strong and awake, so we gave him a hug.We did not regret it. As mentioned, he could not talk, but we still communicated well. Withtime taught one to understand the grunting sounds of the guy. Some of the crew thought the galley had become onegalehus.It was not always one was as lucky, then it was only with a few days trial. Some could toobe long-fingered and then it was right on land. Wise of injury, we did not report it. Police health beatthem in that case, and it was painful to look at and completely unnecessary treatment, for such small offenses. But wehad to have people we could trust. Most of the time it went well. These people would continue towork on the ships and then it did not help to try thief tricks.In some cases where the person in question had been on board and worked for a while and the ship became well knownwith the person, it turned out that the person in question enlisted as a regular crew member in Norwegian I'm glad I got to know these nice people, but sorry when one sees the incredible differenceand the skewed distribution in the country in question, not to mention in the rest of the world.The people on this earth clearly do not achieve this with distribution and social justice.But there is still something called faith and hope.

October 31, 2017

Long China

It was in those times when a special group of young people in Norway was to have an "armed revolution" in the country.The Cold War was very charged and in Vietnam the fighting raged with all its horror and brutality.The bombing of North Vietnam was massive and relentless. Stones were thrown at embassies andChairman Mao Tse Tung in China had become the great role model for a number of young people in Europe andNorway. Some of these even switched to eating rice instead of potatoes and bread, in pure loyaltythe Chinese people. As far as I know, these young Norwegian students soon got bored, so did the potato andthe kneip bread soon returned to the table. It was the left-wing radicals who let their voices be heardthe country.

Although mostly for deaf ears, but it was loud. We sailors did not stand on any left-hand side,but just sailed on where the ship took us. This was also the case when we received orders for China.Western propaganda had not gone unaffected so we were a little skeptical of that trip. It was onepure "enemy land" which was the destination. No one on board had any experience from that country, so itwent on what we had read and heard as well as information from the shipping company. It became even more "scary" thenthe port we were going to is located close to the North Korean border. Western propaganda andthe news picture had left its mark on us, no doubt about it, but everyone was looking forward to the China trip. Now gotwe an opportunity to see a glimpse of this country and the people who lived and worked there. This wouldwithout a doubt be a long and exciting trip.Provisions and bunkers came aboard Rotterdam.

There were large amounts of provisions and storries thatcame on board. It would be a stay in Singapore where there would be bunkers again and further takenon board fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables. Large amounts of beer and mineral water also came on board as wellditto boxes of liquor, tobacco and cigarettes. We were ready for sailing. First stop wasthe port of Casablanca in North Africa. It was the drug bauxite the Chinese were supposed to have. A substance that becomesused in the aluminum industry. It was a yellow ugly fabric that was loaded in bulk and that was dusty and neededin everywhere. It was a small landing. Personally, I had been there before and consequently knew the sellerswho pulls in one and bothers, everything they have to fix and fix.

Tiresome you ask me, but the market has a lotfine leather goods and brass works. The sellers chatted a kind of "Swedish" (Swedish-Norwegian) and bullied terribly.It was good to get on board again that afternoon. We looked forward to some quiet days at sea.The ship sailed east all the time and the clock was consequently pinned forward.The days were spent working and at times joint activities in my spare time. These were the captain's obligatory revolvers. Furthermore, two saloon and two air rifles that were used forcompetitions on board. This was sealed up at the skipper's. They drank coffee with sugar and creamas well as smoked American cigarettes that were on display. Furthermore, the Danes ate sweet biscuits and lotsto greatly enjoy themselves. All our fearful suspicions about the authorities and the bureaucracy were thoroughly remediedshame.

Was Chairman Mao right? Is the vest a paper tiger? But gifts like pens and lighterswith shipping emblem they did not accept. In that field, they were consistent all man. Two police soldierswere put as guards on board. They were supposed to stand by the walkway, but they mostly sat in the officers' day roomgood chairs drank coffee and ate cake.They got smoke from the ship. They seemed to thrive. Warm and goodin. They spoke good English and it was interesting to talk to them. They willingly talked away about itmost. They were well oriented. One could, among other things, tell that in Norway pays a tax andthe prices were high. In China, no one pays taxes and everything is cheap, he proudly added. And the latter was trueat least, probably the first one too.Landing was smooth enough. There was only one sailor's club, but it was large in returnrestaurant and a number of small shops where everything could be bought. Silk and art, porcelain as wellcanned and liquor and much more.Everything was produced in China.

It was an impressive oneproduct range. It was mostly women who stood behind the counters, although it was not always easy to tell the differencethe people when everyone wore matching clothes, so-called Mao suits and hats. And for us, asians andother ethnic groups in the starting point equally. It was further impressive to see them useabacus to calculate and to give back. It went incredibly fast. Everything was really cheap. I havestill porcelain vases and figurines insoap-stone in the living room at home. Everyone got Chairman Mao's little red in Norwegian and we could choose reading materialNorwegian from a large library. It was free. I was a little modest, just took Mao's little red and somemagazines. Mao's red is still on the bookshelf at home. Otherwise in the bar and restaurant it was cleanUN. There were sailors from all over the world. East and West Germans were united and they sang so loudly.

If the UN and the nations of the world had agreed as much as people were at the Chinese club wouldthere has been peace in the world, that matter is clear. But must add that the cheap Chinese liquor enoughdid his part for the good tone. We could take a "taxi" up to the club free of charge, on board again as well.By the way, these drivers did not take tips. After a few days we chose to walk, had become warm in the sweater.We could also go where we wanted, no restrictions on that. We could photograph as much as we couldwould, but must add that there was not much to take pictures of. It was an industrial city with lotsapartment blocks. There was not much more to see, there was almost no car to be seen. It was buses orpeople cycled or walked. It was crowded with people everywhere. On the quay, there were people hiking all the time, on boardand ashore from ferries and ships.

They carried their belongings in a bundle on their backs, cookware and pans hung andrattled on the outside of the pack where they ducked hurriedly towards the destination. It wasas a whole people were on the move. According to our friends, the guards on board, everyone in China had a job. Thewe actually believed in. There was full activity on the quay. Spills from the unloading guys took on a lot of peoplekaia seg av. It was painstakingly swept up and taken care of. Nothing should be wasted here.Speakers shouted around the clock. There were certain slogans and excerpts from Mao's red. It was tiring tolisten.The stay lasted almost two weeks and we had a great time at the club almost every day. It was traded,eaten and drank. Everyone agreed that it was a great stay, even though there were no ladiesavailable. The course was set up for Japan so the latter was still not so dangerous. The stay in Chinawas informative and interesting. We did not meet Chairman Mao, but we felt he was there in spirit.


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