Friday, November 20, 2009

Sea Stories. Approaching Magadan. 1979

One more old photo from 1979. Motor vessel Bureyales is approaching Magadan. There was winter, stormy weather  in Okhotsk Sea, heavy waves went over the deck and were freezing on the masts, derricks, railings and all other equipment. Bosun used axe, crawbar and hot water to free windlass from the ice before dropping the anchor.

 And tomorrow I am leaving home and go to Denmark to join my new ship Havhelt. She is new for me, but actually is old lady, built in 1977. Small bulk carrier, just above 2000 tons, crew 10 persons. And Havhelt is my first ship under Lavian flag. Area of voyages - most probably Nothern Europe, 2 months on, 2 month off.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sea Stories. Kolyma River. 1978.

Old photo. Black and white, taken by small cheap film camera 31 years ago.
Soviet Union was still alive and powerful. And I was young and worked as Radio Officer on general cargo ship Dalnegorsk registered in Far-Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) based in Vladivostok.

Navigation in Arctic ocean is open just for few summer months, and during this time must be supplied all towns, mines and military bases along vast northern coast of Russia. So we came from Vladivostok loaded with thousands of items of cargo. From needles and sausages to machinery and bricks. Dalnegorsk was not big vessel just about 3500 tons deadweight, but designed for arctic voyages and able to go through ice. Not heavy ice of course.
So we sailed from Vladivostok, passed along Kurile Islands, Kamchatka, around Cape Dezhnev, turned west, and here we are - at the mouth of Kolyma River. Several hours up the river, and we dropped anchor at the Cherskiy town. Small port was occupied by another vessel, unloading boxes with bottles. A little bit wine, but mostly vodka. It is not joke about drunken Russians, it was real and practical. During long winter months life is slow down, and population of northern towns do not have much to do, so drinking is one of the main attraction there. Or at least it was so 30 years ago, and I do not think it had changed much since then.
Berth was occupied, we waited at anchor with also not much to do. One of the days we launched our boat and had picnic on one of the islands a few miles from the town.
So photo has nothing to do with abandoned ship and danger. If forgot that after discharging our cargo and sailing from Cherskiy Dalnegorsk went aground in the mouth of Kolyma for two days. But it is already another story...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autumn - Winter

Ziepniekkalns Forest, 15 minutes walking from my home.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Learning GIMP

When traveling and at home I shoot many pictures, but usually keep them "as it is" from the camera. Just recently I got interested in their improving with graphic editor. Naturally in Linux it is GIMP. So it is one of my first experiments.

There is a lot of manuals and all kind of info around. I started with short podcasts from Meet The GIMP . It is much easier to watch short movies made by non-professional than read long and complicated books.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I love Puppy

   I had some trouble with Puppy yesterday. Oh, no, my dog Zora is well and healthy. I am talking about Puppy Linux. It is one of very many Linux OS distributions. I have it on my old laptop (HP compaq nx9020, Celeron 1.4, 256+512 Mb RAM, 38 Gb HDD). Actually, there is at the moment three Puppies installed and all of them in the same partition. It was easy with Puppies - they are very friendly and can co-exist together. On the booting I choose which one I preffer to run - and here we are.
   So yesterday I started LightHouse (LH) Puppy and was going to watch video but found picture is somehow blurred, with abnormal colors and lost quality. May be there is problem with player? Ok, stop Gxine, start Mplayer - same thing. I rebooted comp to Boxpup - bingo!, it's simple player Xfmedia run smoothly and I enjoyed my movie.
   But what happend with LH? I did not installed recently any new software which could interfere. And after rebooting from Boxpup to LH trouble was still there. By the way, LH and Box Puppies are my old friends, but third position I keep for experiments. For frugal installation I just mount .iso file by clicking on it and copy 3 files to folder "Puppy-3". Next you have just reboot and choose "Puppy-3" from menu. That is all installation. And two days ago I got new last version of Puppy. So now I rebooted to it and opened video file there. Yes, there is same bad picture and it is common for all video files - .avi, .mpg, .mp4, .mov, .flv. (you get all codecs for them in Puppy on default). So I started videoplayer Gxine, opened Menu Preferences-Video-Drivers and there tried some options. Third of them was successful - I got ecxelent video. After that it was just matter of minutes to return to LH Puppy and set proper drivers for it's two videoplayers too.
   I am not so experienced Linuxoid and still do not understand how one OS settings can impact another. May be it was through video card itself?
But in any case computer is running, I got more experience. Happyend!
And there is some information from Puppy Linux official site:

How is Puppy Different?
* Small size, ~100MB! This lends itself to some very useful and unique features.
* 'Live' booting from CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and other portable media.
* Runs from RAM, making it unusually fast even in old PCs and in netbooks with solid state storage media.
* Very low minimum system requirements.
* Boot time is well under a minute, 30-40 seconds in most systems.
* Includes a wide range of applications: wordprocessors, spreadsheets, internet browsers, games, image editors and many utilities. Extra software in the form of dotpets. There is a GUI Puppy Software Installer included.
* Puppy is easy to use and little technical knowledge is assumed. Most hardware is automatically detected.

There is many different Puppy Linux "brothers" known as "Pupplets". You can find what is best for you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tags for Photobucket Pictures

   I have hundreds (may be thousands?))) photos uploaded to Photobucket, they are in proper albums, but I never cared to provide them with tags. And now I started that long and boring job. But I think it should be done, if not for somebody else, then just for me.
   So I spend most of my time now at the computer, searcing Web for crewing agencies and shipping companies, filling in and sending application forms, looking for some other job opportunities, and, now, arranging my pictures.

   One of my pictures.  Riga


Saturday, September 26, 2009

I need job

     I signed off from my last vessel in June of 2008. And it was interesting time since then. I traveled by hitch-hiking to Spain through Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, GermanySwitzerland and France.
     After that I went to Egypt and joined Phoenicia Expedition. Plans were to circumnavigate African Continent, but unfortunately due to some troubles with rudders and other technical reasons and delays, time and favorable weather were lost, and we reached just Hodeidah (Yemen).
     I  returned home, stayed there several months searching for job. But come summer, my back was itching for backpack and in July I left Riga for new hitch-hiking travel to Spain. In Spain one month I worked as volunteer at Flores de Vida and first intentions were to continue adventure. But I left some things to settle back home. And I am still not ready to go around the world just with few dollars in the pocket. )))
     So here I am. Back in Riga and again searching for job. So if you own merchant cargo ship and need experienced Navigator - just try me ;-)))
And having much time now I was browsing Web. It would be the best solution for traveler to have some income through job-on-line. I dropped away all gambling immediately - it is not for me. So far the best suitable looks affiliate marketing. There are many crooks offer "overnight-get-the-rich" programs. But you have to pay  them first - so be cautious.
     In short, I registered in SFI. It is free with great information and support. They use some points to encourage members - it looks as some kind of game. At the moment I have not earned any money yet, but  have not spent any too. And I got some useful information and ideas. This blog, at least partly, also is result of my interest in trying to make some money through Internet.
    Let see what comes next.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I am back home. Resting from my last travel, looking for job and having time to think, to change some things in my life and to start something new. One of such new things is starting this blog. First of all it is for me and about me. It is easier to sort out thoughts if they are written and to understand myself. And if somebody read my blog (I hope  so), it helps even more. I will try to write also about some things which are interesting to me and may be interesting to somebody else. And it is good opportunity to improve my English, so if you read me and see any mistakes, please let me know.
I was born in Russia. It was called USSR that time (for young people it is ancient history already). I live in Latvia and it is my country now.

Riga, Latvia.