I’ve been asked how we go about towing icebergs, or to post about ‘Ice Age Continental Drift’ the Movie, but as I haven’t got permission to post about the movie, you are stuck with more of my iceberg stories.
So first of all, we either get asked by the rig to checkout a likely suspect they have seen on their radar, or we see one ourselves that is posing a risk to the safety of the rig. Once the ice candidate is confirmed we go in for a closer look.
Here the captain is checking out the berg to make sure it is possible to tow.
Once confirmed its go for tow the guys on deck get to work.
This is the end of the rope, we use a dyneema rope which is very strong and designed to float (right of shot) with 3 large buoys attached.
The dyneema rope with the buoys attached is dropped into the water, we then pay out this rope as we sail past the berg.
Once far enough past the berg we come back on ourselves. Here we are rounding the berg, you can see the buoys in the distance.
Now around the berg we make our way to the buoys, when close enough the guys on deck grapple them and pull them on deck.
With both ends on deck and secure we now slowly move ahead and tighten the rope around the berg, to fast and the rope may slip right off.
Let the tow begin, we will tow this miles away from the rig to a safe place and release it, sometimes bits of the berg will brake off the bottom as we tow and the berg will become top heavy and roll over, on more then one occasion after coming back from lunch I thought we had replaced on berg with another.
There are some icebergs that cannot be towed.
Ones with sharp pointy sides where the rope would just slide off.
And ones shaped like dogs!
A few more shots of the Scottish coast, it’s the first sight of land for most north sea workers after weeks at sea and although I can only speak for myself it’s always great to see, whether its like these shots or completely covered in snow it’s always a welcome sight.
My thoughts go out to the people of Glasgow after the police helicopter crash on Friday which sadly killed 9.
After the last post I was asked about scale, e.g. How big is that iceberg? It’s very hard to get a scale of anything at sea and more so with icebergs as they are not manmade and come in all sorts of sizers and the birds on the last berg could of been Sparrows or Albatross for all I know.
Now thanks to our friend here we can tell this is a very small iceberg, known as a Growler, the next size after this is a Bergy Bit, then Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.
This next size is a a Medium, you have to remember 7/8 of the iceberg is under water and we are a couple of miles away from the rig.
Now this next one is big, you will have to take my world for it as there is nothing in the picture to scale it against, but to give you an idea, we were in a boat with 27,000 horse power and when the tide was against us we moved nowhere, when the tide changed and was in our favour we moved a quarter of a mile, I think we towed this berg for about 3 days.
Under tow, but not moving much.
Here is a guild to test yourself next time you are walking down the high street and see an iceberg.
While I’m trying to sort out my ‘permission’ statues (see ‘the bad news‘ ) I’ll be posting photos I know I don’t need permission to post and that were taken over two years ago.
Here is a bunch of birds having a rest on an iceberg in Greenland, not sure what type of bird they are but i’m sure they must have cold feet.
If I did smoke, I still wouldn’t light up any where near this beast.
Have a great weekend.