As I was home on leave from m/s Atlanta Forest I could not sit on my laurels to wait 6 mths for the next contract to come so I went looking for some replacement jobs and when I told the employment center I was subsequently contacted by the Owner of Lotte Shipping that had one boat, m/s Anne.
He interviewed me in a local lunch bar and all seemed go fine although at the end he made some odd comments about the work I did understand but would come very clear to me later.
So, then I signed on Anne in Turku as Chief Officer, and departed for Hamina partially loaded with granite stone slabs to load more of the same stuff. As the ship was so small we did not need any pilot and we did our own piloting through the archipelago. Me and the Captain split the watches 6 by 6 hrs, in addition the crew consisted of a Chief Engineer, two AB's & a Cook.
M/s Anne was a German built general cargo coaster, 52m long, and could load around 1197 tons. She had one big hold and 2 hatches. This was my first job as Chief Officer and it was a new challenge as I was in charge of loading.
Eventually in Hamina I had to leave a few slabs ashore as we were fully loaded and the loadline was at water level. We would have had the space but rules are the rules. Once the hatches were closed and we were making ready for sea a port state inspector came by and inspected the landside loadline mark and asked if I could discharge some water to get the plimsoll out of the water (it was maybe 1-2cm under). I quickly pointed out that we had a slight list and if would have been even keel the mark would be out of the water. The inspector was satisfied and left.
Eventually we left for sea and headed for UK. The trip felt like an Ocean crossing as she made only 9-10kts. Once having discharged in UK we picked up a return cargo in Norway and came up to Raahe to discharge and load steel for Denmark and Norway. Here the Owner came onboard and signed on as Chief Engineer. We loaded on deck huge steel pipe segments about 10m in diameter, they almost covered the bridge windows and made us look like a gas carrier.
During this trip we had our payday and the Captain handed me the payslip. I was a bit confused as it was missing most of my overtime. When I asked the Captain about it he replied "talk to the Owner". Well, said and done I went and asked him what this was all about and he said that I had agreed to "overlook" some of my overtime, then he just waved his hand and said lets talk about it later. Now all his vague insinuations, in the lunch bar where he had interviewed me, came crystal clear to me. I got a lot of overtime doing 6/6 watches so it amounted to a fair bit of money.
I had never come across such incidents earlier so I called up the union rep and asked him what I should do. He told me to keep my cool and ask for what is mine. Some time later the Owner emerged on the bridge and wanted to negotiate about my hours and I told him straight out what was the case. He got angry but had no ground to put his arguments so he went away, at same time I think I've made himself my enemy for life.
Anyway, when we got back to Finland there was another Chief Officer waiting on the jetty to be suckered and so I signed off.
Some time later my best friend Jari was there working as an AB and the Captain had told him that it was the only time he had slept soundly while I was on duty. I think that was the best reference I ever got...
International Transport Workers' Federation and Flag of Convenience Shipping (Multinational Industrial Relations Series)
World capitalism and the world international;: Paper read ... at the biennial congress of the International transport-workers' federation, held in Stockholm (Sweden) from 9th to 13th July 1928