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  1. #1126
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    This actually explains quite a lot.

    A clean colon is a happy colon.

    Try it sometime, instead of projecting shite on here.

  2. #1127
    Thailand Expat DrWilly's Avatar
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    If that’s how you clean your colon then your bathroom must be a horror story.

    tax would approve.

    I'm wary about losing too much weight however seeing as I've just bought eight pairs of those camo shorts and want to get my money's worth.
    no chance!!!!

  3. #1128
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    I sailed there past the Old man of hoy into Stromness. luckily in summer climes.
    If visit Stornaway The Crown one of few remaining drinkers used to be good.
    Same shit, different ship-download-jpg

    Same shit, different ship-rtyu-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Same shit, different ship-download-jpg   Same shit, different ship-rtyu-jpg  

  4. #1129
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    Mendip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    The planks cover the steel deck for protection is my guess. What's the printer/plotter for? Is paper still used for something other than Reg's ass?
    Yes, exactly that. Containers and other equipment are secured to padeyes that are welded to the metal deck.

    That isn't a printer/plotter. We rarely plot anything these days as everything is delivered digitally, but there usually is a plotter somewhere... but not in the laundry room.

    That thing has a fluffy spool and a temperature control.



    My guess is that it's some fancy machine for ironing sheets... maybe Stumpy knows? He's pretty good with laundry!




    After crossing the Moray Firth today we approached Wick and the nearshore is now dominated by huge wind farms. My photo doesn't do justice to the size of these developments.



    The wind turbines are even on the beautiful cliffs around Wick. I'm convinced that in a few decades time people will look back on this rush to install wind farms and wonder what ever were we thinking.



    And further on a bit and the end of the headland which I think is John o' Groats, the north-easterly tip of the Scottish mainland.



    It was a nice day for sight seeing, if a little chilly, but a good job that some were still working.



    A bit further north and we were readying to round the headland at John o' Groats and change to a westerly heading to enter the Pentland Firth, between the Scottish mainland and Orkney. I've been admonished by a Shetlander friend for calling these 'channels'. The name is 'firth' in Scotland.



    The Scottish mainland to our port (left) and the Orkney Isles to our starboard (right).



    On we pressed.





    We'd been slowed to less tan 3 Kts as we crossed the Moray Firth but as we entered the Pentland Firth the tide changed and we had the current behind us... and we sped up to over 11 Kts. There's extremely strong water currents in this part of the world.



    A little Orkney fishing boat off to our starboard. I think that David's 'Old Man of Hoy' may have been just behind that headland behind the fishing boat. It would have been nice to see it.



    The Old Man of Hoy is a 449-foot (137-metre) sea stack on Hoy, part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland. Formed from Old Red Sandstone, it is one of the tallest stacks in the United Kingdom. The Old Man is popular with climbers, and was first climbed in 1966. Created by the erosion of a cliff through hydraulic action some time after 1750, the stack is not more than a few hundred years old, but may soon collapse into the sea.
    This photo not mine and looking south I guess. I'll have to try and remember to look out for if I'm still on the boat on the return journey.



    I would have to say that after being used to the Norwegian scenery, I found the Scottish and Orkney landscape a bit underwhelming.



    It was too cold to watch for long but I noticed the end of the Orkney Isles through my starboard-side office port hole, a while later.



    It didn't take long to round the northern coast of Scootland at 11 Kts and a few hours later we rounded Cape Wrath, the north-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland, before heading southerly into 'The Minch', towards Stornoway, our destination.





    A bleak and barren place... not for me.



    Once into The Minch we were beam on to the 3m westerly swell. This boat rolls like a bastard and my evening gym session was well dodgy. The treadmills are aligned fore and aft and staying onboard was no easy matter.

  5. #1130
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    stop fooking bleating, you aren't on a cruise. Now where is that Flippa strip poker session you got invited to last night. Fuk its like pulling teeth. I've not heard mention of a gangway yet.

  6. #1131
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    How's your cabin mates cleanliness Mendy?

    Only asking as I once shared sn apartment with a chap called Satnam from Solihull, nice bloke but fvvk did he stink even though he had two showers a day...

  7. #1132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    I once shared sn apartment with a chap called Satnam from Solihull, nice bloke but fvvk did he stink even though he had two showers a day...
    You are not supposed to have your nose there..

  8. #1133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    After crossing the Moray Firth today we approached Wick
    When yer Wick feels like an eel that a Moray!!

    FYI

    The stack was first climbed in 1966 by Chris Bonington, Rusty Baillie and Tom Patey over 3 days. In 8-9 July, 1967 an ascent was featured in a live BBC outside broadcast, which had around 23 million viewers, surpassed 3 weeks later by World Cup Win for England.
    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    your brain is as empty as a eunuchs underpants.
    from brief encounters unexpurgated version

  9. #1134
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    Stornaway in 1990 Sundays no ferry no pub and no tv in moSt preSbyterian homes.
    I was elf sufficient in dock , I think it less dour tanks to KKY XTC AND C4 but the devote are rife.

    PS Hebridean watch are cracking down on freelance egg and spoon schmugglas

  10. #1135
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    Mendip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    How's your cabin mates cleanliness Mendy?
    No problem at all mate, I would say probably as good as mine, maybe even better!

    He's Pakistani, lived in Oslo since further education. Nice guy, and he's the senior staff geo so I am of course being very nice to him. I've been doing this a long time.


    That's Stornoway in the distance off our bows. We're surveying a route for subsea electricity cable across The Minch between Stornoway and the Scottish mainland. There is no plan to go alongside in Stornoway which is a shame, just a couple of hours would be nice to visit as I've never been to the Hebrides before. Next Wednesday there's a crew change in Ullapool on the mainland, involving a 4 to 5 hour drive to Aberdeen Airport. Rather them than me.



    Stornoway is on Lewis and Harris, the biggest island of the Hebrides. I discovered today that despite it's name, Lewis and Harris is strangely enough just one island. Lewis is the northern, flatter part where Stornoway is located...



    And Harris is the southern part that is much more wild and mountainous. You live and learn.



    And off our stern I could just see the Scottish mainland. The cable route we're surveying is just over 80km long but the mainland isn't that far away in a direct line, maybe around 40 to 50km.



    There was some weird lighting this morning.



    The survey ROV was hard at work all day.



    And at the end of my shift, sunset over Harris. I'm quite enjoying being on my first day shift for years.


  11. #1136
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    You getting much gym time in and how's the food??

  12. #1137
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    ^ Gym every night instead of the evening meal, I've been going for it.

    The food is Ok, nothing special. They do constantly keep leftover puddings in an fridge for snacks... cheesecake, creamy rice pudding, chocolate brownies, etc. I've so far resisted but it could become a problem as the job goes on.


    Yesterday things were plodding along nicely...



    Until an eagle-eyed lookout on the bridge spotted a string of buoys across our path and it was all stop.



    There's been a string of crab pots across the cable route for several days now. Fishermen were notified of the survey weeks ago and should have kept the area clear, but obviously not. It seems that no-one can contact the owner of these crab pots and consequently we have been doing the survey in blocks, either side of the fishing gear. That gap in coverage will have to be filled at a later date at great cost. This is where the profit in these jobs can just disappear, depending on the contract.

    So, up the ROV came, so we could leapfrog around the obstruction.







    These new survey ROVs are latest generation and a game-changer in the offshore survey game. This one is very similar to the one on my last vessel, and probably started out with the exact same design.

    Stable survey at 3.5kts is no problem with the sleek hydrodynamic design.



    What a beast!



    But it doesn't matter how good your ROV is when there are fishermen around.


  13. #1138
    Thailand Expat DrWilly's Avatar
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    I'm surprised they didn't just barge through if the warning had already been given.

  14. #1139
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    We're not worried about damaging the fishing gear, our concern is damage to the ROV.

    Getting snagged in the heavy rope can cause serious damage and if any survey sensors are knocked it can mean recalibrations, test survey runs, etc etc. It can all take hours.

  15. #1140
    Thailand Expat DrWilly's Avatar
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    Aaah. Gotcha.

    Sail through the bastard pots with ROV up

  16. #1141
    Excommunicated baldrick's Avatar
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    Pull the pots and feast on crab

  17. #1142
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    Pull the pots and feast on crab
    I think many offshore types go to sea to escape crabs, not our esteemed subhound,netscope navigator and dog rescuer extraordinaire of course.

  18. #1143
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    We finished up the nearshore area at Lewis yesterday. This is where the electric cable will make landfall close to Stornoway. We can't get any closer with this spread so a nearshore contractor will complete the survey of landfall at either end using a small boat.



    The new electric cable is to upgrade the grid to carry the extra produced by wind farms. You can just see the top of one of the awful wind turbines above the hill at landfall. Scotland and the islands seem to be covered with wind turbines, both offshore and onshore... on cliff faces and mountain peaks.



    Stornoway in the distance within a naturally well protected harbour.


  19. #1144
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    you never know, you may get to work on Xlinks, bit warmer

  20. #1145
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    In very recent years the wingman and I have toured parts of Britain during our pre- Covid peregrinations. We did Glencoe via Lomond and the Isle of Mull in 2017 and Cornwall the following year. I was quite unprepared for the sheer number of those fucking windmills festooned around the countryside desecrating the land with their absurdity. But when we got to Cornwall, driving along the North Cornwall hinterland it was enough to break your heart. Wanton vandalism and for what? The impact of this insanity will not alter the trajectory of the planet one jot and generations to come will, as you say, Mendip, wonder just what the fuck we were playing at in destroying their heritage. Each of those monstrosities sits on a bed of a thousand tons of concrete. Fucking criminal.

    But, just out of interest, where are you taxed Mendip and are you keeping up your NI contributions.

  21. #1146
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    ^ Furthermore the turbine blades are made out of some composite that isn't recyclable. Damaged and written off turbine blades (and they are often damaged and require constant maintenance) in Germany have been simply buried on farms to get rid of them.

    And I am all above board, pretty much. I work through my own UK and Norwegian registered limited company, so pay personal tax in Norway and personal and corporation tax in the UK. As I'm non-resident in the UK this is pretty efficient and very good for non-UK / Norwegian work.

    This particular job isn't great because the work is within the UK 12 mile limit and every day working counts as a day in the UK, but it's only supposed to be a three week-ish job so no worries. I also pay Aussie tax on rental income from an apartment.

    In the past I tended to fly a bit close to the wind regarding taxes but over the past few years have become a bit of a worrier and keep everything legit. I am certainly good for the last seven years, and more.

    Thankfully I've kept UK NI payments going throughout and will be fully paid up in around five years time. That's a no-brainer if you're paying Class 4, or now Class 2 NI.

  22. #1147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    the awful wind turbines

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    desecrating the land
    There's worse sights desecrating the planet



















  23. #1148
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Furthermore the turbine blades are made out of some composite that isn't recyclable.
    That was then, but you could always dump them and "create some reefs"


    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Wanton vandalism and for what? The impact of this insanity will not alter the trajectory of the planet one jot and generations to come will, as you say, Mendip, wonder just what the fuck we were playing at in destroying their heritage.
    Wind Turbines last for "generations to come" ?

    Good news

    Sadly only the usual uneducated nonsense and not so

  24. #1149
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    We had a crew change in Ullapool this morning. I haven't been here for nearly 30 years when one of my sisters lived in Glasgow and I drove up with a couple of mates from the West Country to visit her, and then on to the west coast of Scotland.

    During the night we made the 70 odd km trip across The Minch from Stornoway for the crew change (and then we returned to Lewis to complete that part of the survey - having been told that the crab pots had been removed).

    It's a nice part of the world... to visit. I couldn't live here.

    The view inland, up the fjord (?) after we'd moored up, I don't know what you call them in Scotland but it's a glacial U-shaped valley whatever the terminology. Maybe a loch, can they be connected to the sea?



    A pair of jackdaws joined us.



    The boats in these small ports are always interesting. There's a bolder/debris grabber on the back deck of that small barge.



    And a fishing boat displaying the Saltire and the Lion Rampant flags. My research indicates that it is in fact illegal to fly the Lion Rampant flag as it officially belongs to the King or Queen of Scotland and an Act of Parliament passed in 1672 makes it an offense to display the flag, however I didn't bother saying anything.



    And the headland that protects the harbour from the perennial westerly winds.



    There is only one decent sized mooring at Ullapool harbour and we had to vacate before the ferry from Stornoway arrived. This was due at 09:40 which meant a very rushed crew change, brief handovers and rapid loading of supplies before we were off. I didn't even get a chance to get off the boat which was a shame as I wanted a chunk of Ullapool rock to add to my collection on the shelf in my office at home.

    The ferry foot passengers have the luxury of an elevated, covered walkway to embark/disembark their vessel while our crew had to walk along the dockside to a waiting bus, exposed to the elements. And it was, of course, raining.



    I can't help feeling that this is a bit optimistic.



    And before we knew it, we were off again.



    The new skipper had to navigate around the headland and then head out to sea.







    The scenery is beautiful kin this part of the world but the isolation does make me feel a bit strange. That's a bit odd because when I'm at home in Korat all I do is sit by the pond with the dogs so maybe an isolated West Coast village should suit me... but I don't like the thought of everyone knowing each other's business.

    I wonder if it'll be another 30 years when I visit again... probably not as that would make me nearly 90. I've been feeling very old today after discovering that in the early 1990s I used to work with the mother of one of the guys on the boat. I hate getting old.



    Anyway, at least the scenery was nice as we headed out to sea!



    A cloud covered mountain that doubtless has a name.



    And three hours later we were overtaken on our port side by the Ullapool to Stornoway ferry that had caused our hurried crew change. The ferry does 18 Kts that must have been mighty uncomfortable for the passengers in the rough seas. Serves them right for rushing us.


  25. #1150
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    Fjord = Sea loch or firth.

    Highlanders and islanders can adopt a taciturn demeanour which guards their privacy when they want it without causing offence. And the usually isolated pub/ hotel bar is never bothered by antisocial behaviour not least because getting barred means social exclusion so everyone is mindful of others and their needs.

    I had a friend whose father owned a small hotel in the Highlands. Never had any trouble in all his years of ownership.
    Last edited by Seekingasylum; 29-02-2024 at 09:46 AM.

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