Carrying on with my ‘from the air theme’. This time as the title says its Morocco, for the first 10 minutes over land I didn’t think I would get a single shot with the cloud cover being so thick, but lucky for me as we got closer to town the cloud thinned and then disappeared altogether.
This had been my home for the last 17 days, great crew and a very successful rig move.
Making the most out of this harsh dry land. Fancy an apartment by the beach like this?
Of course if you have access to water it makes all the difference.
Even on a small scale.
Being close to a river will always help.
Or just stick to Goats and trees.
After joining the rig in Gibraltar we sailed down the coast of Morocco past Casablanca and finally finished up just below Agadir, just east of the Canary Islands where the rest of my family were sunning themselves, so close and yet so far.
Once we were close to our final location our helicopter taxi service started again, guys that you had got to know were leaving and new faces appeared on a daily basis and the rig started to get more busy.
These helicopter pilots are good but sometimes they need to brush up on the odd technique, like landing on the deck at night. Lucky for me I was allowed to take my camera out and watch, now i’m not really that much of a helicopter spotter, although I do think they are a great bit of kit and I’m still surprised they can fly, cool to watch but not that cool to fly in.
As always safety comes first and during the six landing and takeoff all helideck crew were in place and at the ready.
Its a lot closer than it looks, I had to lock my hands around the hand rail and grip my camera while the fire crew pushed me forward to stop me from blowing over with the downdraft.
It’s been a very busy week, I have my Nephew staying with me, and I have been showing him the sites of London one pub at a time, it’s very exhausting work but someone has to do it.
Back to Gibraltar.
After my walk all over and around the ‘Rock’ I hunted down the guys I was travelling with and looking forward to a long cool beverage was glad to find them near a pub, but just as I got there we had the phone call, we were to join the ship tonight and sail to the rig over night, oh well it was fun while it lasted. We left Gibraltar some time in the early hours and sailed back towards Malta meeting the rig on way, once boarding the rig our boat was swapped over with the tow boat and then that one departed for Gibraltar, towing with one boat was very slow going so by the time it was back to join the tow the following day we hadn’t moved very far. It was another couple of days before we went through the Straits of Gibraltar and ended up being very good timing as it was one of the guys 25th birthday and he had purchased 5 very nice cigars, we finished off the day chilling under the helideck smoking fine cigars and watching the sunset over the Rock.
Have a great weekend.
After Malta comes Gibraltar, well in my case it does, after we pulled all nine anchors in Malta, the rig sailed on it’s way with the help of two AHV’s. At a wind in your hair speed of around 3 knots there wasn’t much point in staying onboard, as we were not needed. After taking the ‘Malta from the Air’ photos we found ourselves in a rather nice hotel on the beach, finding the one and only shop that sold swimming shorts and buying a pair of the loudest ones we headed for the beach.
Early morning flight back to the UK, home for a week and then back to join the rig in Gibraltar.
For those who don’t know, Gibraltar is still part of the UK and on the other side of the runway (middle left) is Spain, you actually drive across the runway to get to either side, lights change to red, you stop, plane lands, lights change to green norman business resumes.
Of course you can’t go to Gibraltar without going up the rock, last time I was here my son and I walked up to the top, along the top of a crumbling wall, once at the top and the mist cleared we realised there was a cable car and a road, I didn’t make the same mistake this time, straight to the cable car, once on top you are met by one of the locals.
I did however give myself a challenge coming down, I first walked up to the Mediterranean steps and once found them decided to brave the walk down, now you may think walking down is the easy bit and for some it would be, but I’m old, unfit and have an old rugby injury, so two and a half hours later I finally made it down, it was worth the sunburn and my left knee swelling to twice the size, but next time i’ll walk up them.
Just a quick post before i’m off again, The good people at CHC Helicopters allowed me to use my camera on the flight back to stunning Malta so I took the opportunity and snapped away, it’s not easy though, trying not to get the refection of your bright yellow survival suit in the window, especially when you are my size.
Our ride to land, thanks CHC.