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  1. #351
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    ^ Thanks OhOh... gives some good background. This is starting to crossover with the 'Random offshore pics' thread.

    And one of the many fitness threads...

    And the 'Where's Coco thread'!

    But sadly not the 'What are you drinking today' thread'... not for some time yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    Not too shabby at all. But what's the temp like?
    Around 12 to 13 degrees... and that's with a 10 knot wind outside!

    Nice for this time of year up here... and about as cold as the coldest winter night we get in Korat.


    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Working only for a few days and then heading far south.. Is the job already done?
    The northern part is done... well the data is collected but still lots of work to do.

    The next work will be near the Norne Field, but also Gullfaks and Oseberg are on the list... so don't worry Lom I'll be keeping busy.

    But not so busy tonight!


    I think we have to call in briefly to Tromsø, then will be heading on down to Sandnessjøen for the Monday crew change. We'll be going inside the Lofoten Islands so hopefully I'll be able to get some nice pics.

    The usual Wednesday crew change has been brought forward to Monday since another low is coming across and it makes sense to crew change while the weather is unworkable.

    The predicted wind at Monday lunchtime...



    And guess where the Norne Field is, our next work site.

    Yep, slap bang in the middle of that low... 6m waves through Monday. I can't see us working before Wednesday!


  2. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    about as cold as the coldest winter night we get in Korat.
    No open fires allowed on the flight deck though.

    My post-lockdown commute back to work-587410-jpg

  3. #353
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    What a difference 24 hours can make... this was probably the most realistic Concept 2 rowing I've ever done. With the boat's movement it was just like the real thing!



    During the day we've been threading our way between the islands due to the weather. It started off lovely.

    This is the bridge between the mainland (left) and Norway's second biggest island, Senja (right).



    The island houses... it looks pretty idyllic apart from the weather.



    And the mainland dwellings.



    I would imagine the island people up here are even more inbred than their mainland counterparts, although I wouldn't say it out loud on the boat... the skipper's from up this way.

    And speaking of the skipper... he was lining up nicely to pass under the bridge...



    Not a lot of margin for error...



    And if you've ever wondered what the underside of these bridges looks like.



    And nicely done... inch perfect I would say and another bridge I can cross off my list.



    And a bit later... the bridge to Norway's biggest island, Hinnøya (left). This is part of the Lofoten Islands.

    Unfortunately I was a bit late to the party this time.



    And a few shots to bore people with as we continued on... there was practically no wind this morning and it looked almost magical. You could imagine a Viking long boat coming out of the mist.

    The mist also meant we couldn't see the bladdy mountains.













    But when I got up this afternoon it had all changed... the photo doesn't show it but there was 30 knot winds out there.



    No helideck for me today.


  4. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    And a few shots to bore people with as we continued on... there was practically no wind this morning and it looked almost magical. You could imagine a Viking long boat coming out of the mist.
    They are not boring. They are so far removed from my experiences that this entire thread is gold, and I suspect that the number of replies demonstrates that I am not the only one.

    And yes, you could imagine a viking boat silently emerging from that mist!

  5. #355
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    The voyage continued today... the Norwegians may have shite food and a pretty awful climate, but you can't deny they have some nice scenery.







    Some major excitement this morning... I spotted a killer whale cruising about a few hundred metres from the boat. Called a few colleagues to come and see...



    But to my great embarrassment and much piss taking, it turned out to be a little island with a navigation buoy stuck on top.

    A new pair of glasses is now on the list when I get off this boat.



    And on we pressed.



    We passed a beautiful green hill... noticeable because you don't see much greenery up here. Apparently this was an old sheep farm... but very skinny sheep I would imagine. There's not a lot of grass about.



    And a small salmon farm... maybe these will end up in Villa Market on Sukhumvit?

    Last edited by Mendip; 25-08-2020 at 05:35 AM.

  6. #356
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    And when I got up this afternoon for my night shift we were alongside in Sandnessjøen for the crew change.

    As moorings go, a very picturesque one...





    The Norwegians have more oil money than they know what to do with. Every island is now connected to the mainland by either a bridge or a tunnel. A mate of mine lives on a small island called Valderøy just outside of Ålesund. He said that the cost of the tunnel now connecting the island would have been the same as giving each inhabitant of that island the equivalent of £100,000. Guess what everyone would have preferred.

    Anyway, out beyond our bows there was a lovely bridge across to a tiny island where maybe fifteen people and a couple of sheep live. There must be a lot of ferrymen out of work.



    Sandnessjøen is famous for the Seven Sisters, a series of majestic mountain peaks! And I quote...


    The Seven Sisters

    Climb one, climb them all - or stay on deck and just admire.

    Side by side along the coast of Helgeland, between Hurtigruten ports of call Sandnessjøen and Brønnøysund, seven mountaintops look so beautiful that a local legend claims that they are female trolls turned to stone.

    The tale of a troll chase

    Botnkrona (1,072 m), Grytfoten (1,066 m), Skjæringen (1,037 m), Tvillingene (the Twins) (980 m), Kvasstinden (,1010 m) and Stortinden (910 m) were all daughters of the Suliskongen, who kept them under strict control, far up north. One night he fell into such a deep sleep that all seven maidens were able to sneak out, as young people often do for adventure.

    But Vågekallen, who had been eager for a wife, was lying in wait. He chased them. The sisters fled south down the coast, with several trolls chasing, all of whom were either trying to capture or save them. But none of them thought of the sun, which turns all trolls to stone. When night eventually turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified. They all became the stones and mountains that today make the Helgeland coastline one of the most beautiful in the world.


    Anyway... the Seven Sisters are behind that cloud... which was a bit disappointing.




    But forget all that scenery and Norse mythology bollox, the reason I was looking forward to this crew change was that an old mate was coming aboard, and I'd asked him to get me some decent teabags and a proper mug. He did me proud. He's from Great Yarmouth, so I guess the mud was inevitable.



    I took the mug out of the paper bag the shop had wrapped it in, looked inside...



    Dirty b@stards in Great Yarmouth... some fukker had stuck his old chewing gum inside me new mug!
    Last edited by Mendip; 25-08-2020 at 05:37 AM.

  7. #357
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    Some sick fookers in Great Yarmouth.

    Great thread Mendip!

    Btw Yorkshire tea is a decent brew, PG tips i beg to differ.

  8. #358
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    Mendip
    Thanks for the thread. Things here in Issan are boring as usual and for proof of that I can tell you the highlight of my day is getting up in the morning sitting down with a coffee and reading your story here. I know there must be more to life but it is what it is!

    Anyway one thing has me very curious and that is exactly what is your role on the boat/ship.
    If you were surveying the route for a new pipeline i could maybe understand the need for a Geologist but why are you needed for checking an existing pipeline?

    What are some of the things that might make a planned route unsuitable for a pipeline?

    As for the chewing gum I seem to remember an old song that went something like this, "your chewing gum loses it flavour on the bed post overnight" so the mug should be good to go with gum intact as it won't change the flavour of your tea.

  9. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    And yes, you could imagine a viking boat silently emerging from that mist!
    And Mendip rowing his heart out while singing On we sweep with, threshing oar, our only goal will be the western shore!

  10. #360
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    The Norwegians have more oil money than they know what to do with. Every island is now connected to the mainland by either a bridge or a tunnel.
    A Swedish friend of mine is building them and has been doing so for the last thirty years. Building bridges for the 7 month of April-October and staying with his Thai family the other 5 month. He is very well paid and gets a lot of OT when there is little time left before the contracted completion date of a bridge. Hard work though in a cold and expensive country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    There must be a lot of ferrymen out of work.
    I once in my youth drove by car up to Lofoten, not many bridges then but ferries everywhere. Very time wasting.
    May the bridges I burn light my way

    There is no plan for no deal because we're going to get a great deal - Boris Johnson in HoC 11 July 2017

  11. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    Mendip
    Thanks for the thread. Things here in Issan are boring as usual and for proof of that I can tell you the highlight of my day is getting up in the morning sitting down with a coffee and reading your story here. I know there must be more to life but it is what it is!

    Anyway one thing has me very curious and that is exactly what is your role on the boat/ship.
    If you were surveying the route for a new pipeline i could maybe understand the need for a Geologist but why are you needed for checking an existing pipeline?

    What are some of the things that might make a planned route unsuitable for a pipeline?

    As for the chewing gum I seem to remember an old song that went something like this, "your chewing gum loses it flavour on the bed post overnight" so the mug should be good to go with gum intact as it won't change the flavour of your tea.

    I'm missing my morning cup of tea, sitting with the dogs in our garden at home... seems an awful long time ago now.

    Oh... I miss the wife as well of course.

    My main role is as a marine geologist / geophysicist but I realised a long time ago that to stick with just that type of work would be very restricting. I have inspection engineer's certs now (3.4U) and the great thing about inspection is that it doesn't matter what the state of the industry is, these pipelines and structures still have to be inspected year after year, by law. In a downturn the first thing to go is exploration, and then development of new fields. Inspection carries on regardless.

    As for having to make a route detour for a pipeline... there's the obvious things like a wreck or large bedrock outcrops (we need unconsolidated sediment ideally). The environmentalists are very concerned that we avoid corals (there's a lot of cold water coral reefs off Norway). An irregular seabed can cause problems as it will result in freespans (unsupported sections of pipeline). In this part of the world there are large depressions in the seabed called pockmarks produced by gas and fluid escape from the seabed... these can be many tens of metres in diameter and ten or so metres in depth. There are also iceberg ploughmarks... huge trenches gouged out of the seabed by icebergs during the last glaciation. Pockmarks and ploughmarks will cause freespans and the worst are avoided... if possible. If they can't be avoided gravel is dumped to level the seabed but that is hugely expensive. If a pipeline has to be trenched we need suitable sub-seabed sediment... there's a lot of glacial boulder clay in this part of the world and we want that to be well below the seabed and not outcropping... it's too hard to trench through. Etc ...

    And as for the chewing gum... I didn't fancy drinking a cup of tea with some unknown persons old chewing gum sat in the bottom... especially in these times of Covid. I pulled it out and gave the mug a good wash.

    I have an uncle who once stuck his chewing gum above his eyelid when he went to school... I don't know why because it seems to me a ridiculous place to store it. It dried rock hard and he ended up in hospital to get it removed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    And Mendip rowing his heart out while singing On we sweep with, threshing oar, our only goal will be the western shore!
    I don't know that one... I usually stick to Rule Britannia or sometimes Rod Stewart's classic.


    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    A Swedish friend of mine is building them and has been doing so for the last thirty years. Building bridges for the 7 month of April-October and staying with his Thai family the other 5 month. He is very well paid and gets a lot of OT when there is little time left before the contracted completion date of a bridge. Hard work though in a cold and expensive country.
    Many years ago I was hoping to become a bridge engineer, I love bridges and find their construction fascinating.

    I'm shit scared of heights though so decided to take a different path.

  12. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Oh... I miss the wife as well of course.
    She reads this board 'ay?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I don't know that one... I usually stick to Rule Britannia or sometimes Rod Stewart's classic.
    Good God man, please tell me you're having a laugh!

  13. #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    Btw Yorkshire tea is a decent brew, PG tips i beg to differ.
    They have started selling Barry's in the Oz.

    A top drop and has knocked the PG Tips off its top shelf perch in my kitchen.

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    Not a big fan of yourkshire tea, too bitter
    but im stuck with offive Lipton until i can get to Foodland
    its the tea equivalent of glue sniffing

  15. #365
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    They have started selling Barry's in the Oz.

    A top drop and has knocked the PG Tips off its top shelf perch in my kitchen.
    Never sampled Barry's Loops.

    I'd rate PG tips at a lowly 2/10 when compared to the strength and flavour of Yorkshire tea.

    Seriously if you get the opportunity to tastes it you wont regret it.

    I have a pint of it every morning, a fine way to kick start the day.

  16. #366
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    ^^^^ HW, I must have heard that song a hundred times, but never listened to the lyrics.

    A perfect song indeed for sailing through the Norwegian fjords... although Robert Plant sings a bit high for me to join in on the rowing machine.

    We're out in the open ocean now, so it had to be...




    Two recommendations for Yorkshire Tea... I've put Yorkshire and Barry's on my delivery list for when another mate comes over from the UK. I still like my PG Tips though.

    Lipton must have done some marketing campaign... as soon as you leave the UK, Lipton Yellow Label is all you see. It's all they have on this boat and it's awful.

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    A 200km transit and we're working on a new project. A seabed survey on a new field that will tie in to existing infrastructure at the Norne Field.

    Here's the Norne FPSO about 6km away.





    I can't work at Norne without thinking dark thoughts... it's strange what you remember.

    Many years ago in 1998 I was working on a boat in the southern North Sea when we heard that a Super Puma had gone down enroute to Norne with the loss of 12 people. This obviously hits home to any offshore workers, particularly if you're offshore at the time. It was a few days after Lady Diana was killed in Paris... I remember also hearing about that and watching her funeral while I was on this boat.

    As a consequence all non-essential helicopter flights were grounded in Norway while the investigation was carried out... good news for us as boats can always go to shore for a crew change and I think I left that vessel alongside in Dunkirk. That job in the southern North Sea meant a two hour chopper ride from Stavanger to the boat, via Ekofisk for refueling... awful for me... and everyone else if the truth were known. I absolutely hate going on helicopters, and if I had to go on one every time I went to work like the rig and platform workers have to I would seriously reconsider my job, especially with a young daughter so dependent on me. Luckily I haven't been on a helicopter for maybe eight years now and hopefully never will again.

    A few years after that Norne disaster, in 2003, we lost a colleague and friend in Brazil... the helicopter he was on hit the mast of the construction vessel it was about to land on, then hit the sea and sunk immediately. That brought things home. I absolutely hate the things.

  18. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I absolutely hate the things.
    None too keen on the things myself, fortunately I haven't needed to use them too often. I did the Nice-Monaco shuttle a couple of times, that feels like a very small and fragile machine. On one occasion I was winched down onto a ship under way at sea from a military helicopter. I was not military and not trained or even briefed. I was hooked up and the winch operator asked very politely "Have you ever done this before sir?" When I answered "No" he gave me a firm boot in the behind and I found myself swinging in space. I still remember vividly looking down and seeing sea, then ship, then sea, then ship, then sea. They dropped me exactly where I needed to be.

    I shan't miss helicopters if I never have to use one again.

  19. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Lipton must have done some marketing campaign... as soon as you leave the UK, Lipton Yellow Label is all you see. It's all they have on this boat and it's awful.
    When you have a moment, Google Thomas Lipton who created the brand. Fascinating story. Rubbish tea.

  20. #370
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    A quite amazing line of work, I know it's not without its hassle but people would pay for the experiences you've had/are having. I'm still struggling to get past the lack of booze though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I absolutely hate the things.
    I chopped out most of the original post but kept the essential bit regarding Mendip speaking about helicopters.

    When I worked in Indonesia i.e. Papua we used to fly in from Bali and then the last leg up the mountains was either a helicopter ride or a bus ride.
    The helicopter used to take 20 minutes but the bus ride was a torturous 2 hours on a good day.
    The buses were armoured plated on the inside of the bus and there was a 2 inch gap at the top that if you stood up and turned your head sideways you could just manage to see a little bit of the outside world.
    So choice was always helicopter if they were flying. I loved them.
    My wife came over for a visit one time and we managed to get the helicopter up the mountains and even though we were flying in mist towards the end she loved it as well.
    She was also lucky in that she got the helicopter back down at the end of her stay.

    Another time when I was working in PNG we used to fly in from Cairns to Mt Hagan and then helicopter up the mine site also a great trip.
    I remember one time I was waiting to get off site but the clouds were rolling in and it looked as through they would cancel the helicopter, they didn't but we had to fly very close to the ground through the mountains to Mt Hagan. I remember thinking as I looked out the window that I coul;d almost jump out down to the ground we were so low.

    Mendip has said that he is scared of heights and I am as well but I love flying, not sure why but the height in a plane or helicopter doesn't bother me.

  22. #372
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    ^ Ootai, it's not the 'heights' aspect that makes me hate flying in helicopters, it's the fact that they are just metal boxes with rotors stuck on top... with all of the aerodynamic qualities of a brick.

    Added to that, we're crammed in, cocooned in survival suits and there's always a big b@stard sat next to you, blocking your escape window. If these things do hit the water all the weight is above your head, so the first thing they do is roll over...

    We have to do training every four years which includes climbing out of a mock helicopter, upside down, under water. It's supposed to give you some confidence but all it does for me is confirm how bolloxed you are if one does go down.

    Oh... but to be fair I guess I'm probably one of those big b@stards blocking the escape windows these days!

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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap View Post
    A quite amazing line of work, I know it's not without its hassle but people would pay for the experiences you've had/are having. I'm still struggling to get past the lack of booze though.
    somtamslap, in 30 years this is only the third time I've had a trip anything like this, sailing through the Norwegian islands. For the vast majority of trips all I see is sea, for weeks on end, from horizon to horizon.

    And as for no booze... it really isn't a problem. And that's coming from someone who rarely has a dry day when off work.

    But... I must admit the first thing I'll do when I get off this damn boat is have a pint!

    My trip has just been extended to around 20 September... that'll be eight weeks dry... and I'll be gagging for one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^ Ootai, it's not the 'heights' aspect that makes me hate flying in helicopters, it's the fact that they are just metal boxes with rotors stuck on top... with all of the aerodynamic qualities of a brick.
    A chopper pilot we had in PNG had a t-shirt that read Helicopters don't fly, they beat the air into submission. Pretty true if you think about it!
    That same pilot died in a crash some years later I heard, can't remember his name except for Bob and he flew for Pacific Helicopters who Ootai would know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post

    My trip has just been extended to around 20 September... that'll be eight weeks dry... and I'll be gagging for one!
    But good for the $$$

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