Archive for the ‘transportation’ Tag
I’m back at work tomorrow, flying up to Inverness and then hire car to Invergordon, I’ve never stayed in the town of Invergordon before, always on a rig, so I might have time to explore a bit, If I do i’ll try a snap a few off and show you the place.
I’m joining the Maersk Resilient which is a large Jack-up, it’s one I was on a couple of xmases ago.
Here’s a shot of Invergordon from a rig’s point of view.
Here’s a shot of the Jack-up in the first picture I took a long time ago, I’ll be surprised if its still there.
Some of the locals just carry on as if nothing is happening.
I didn’t get around to posting an iPhone Friday yesterday so thought I would do a iPhone post today combined with a Hank update, there isn’t a great deal to see as most of the work has been carried out under Hank, things like new adjustable suspension all round, drop spindles fitted on the front, lowering the car by 2 1/2″ , rubber bumpstops and new gators fitted all over the place.
Here’s the bits you can see.
New Stainless steel front bumper and clear indicator lens.
New rear stainless steel rear bumper and rear light lens, these and the front bumpers will be coming off when Hank goes into paint but would rather make sure they fit now then when he’s got fresh paint.
New steering wheel and a Gene Burg gear shifter.
Have a great weekend.
Morning all, I thought I would introduce you to my other passion, as you may of read in my last post, I’m a bit of a petrol head, or maybe I should say a bit of a frustrated petrol head, see I love cars, love working on them, would love to restore one, love everything about them, the trouble is I don’t have a garage, well not one big enough to hold a car, so it makes it very difficult to work on it, I have however spent the weekend turning my small garage into a workshop, and i’m really pleased with the result. So now when the weather is warmer and it stops raining I can drive the car up to the workshop and work on it, albeit still outside but better than not being able to work on it at all.
Now I suppose you would like to see my pride and joy.
It’s a 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, imported from sunny California, this is it as I purchased it just over a month ago.
As I work on “Hank”(thanks to my wife) I’ll post more shots, I will be showing Hank at Carfest in August this year.
Well after another successful rig move in the North Sea I thought it was about time I shared some more details about how and why we move these things, Why? well that’s easy, drill more holes! Get more Oil/Gas. Actually it’s not just that, a lot of rig moves will be to work on and repair sub sea assets, more about that if I ever find out more about that.
This last move was a re-entry, meaning we were putting the rig back on a location that had been drilled/worked on before. Sounds easy? Sort of, That is if you get it on the correct location, it’s easy to tell once you send a ROV down because you will see the assets on the sea bed, Tolerance on this sort of move is about 1 meter, on the other hand if it’s an open location, (meaning nothing on the sea bed) tolerance is around 5-10 meters.
For those of you who don’t know, a Semi-submersible (half above water, half below) drilling rig is held in position by 8 or 12 large anchors, around 12-15 tons, these are spread out around the rig evenly, So after the normal safety talks and meetings it’s time to start, we normally use 2 or 3 AHV’s (Anchor Handling Vessels, a Big Boat) These vessels all have Nav systems onboard, basically a laptop where they can see the rig, the anchor positions and themselves and the other AHV’s all live, if they move in the water they move on the screen.
For the first part of the move the AHV will come in close to the rig and we will past down the PCP (Permanent Chasing Pennant), This is a collar permanently attached to the anchor chain and a 150 meter cable with a socket in the end, once passed down the the AHV it is attached to the boats work wire.
Here you can see a PCP wire cable running down the leg and into the water, when it appears again, it’s the short bit of chain and then the collar.
The AHV’s work wire running down the deck. I took this shot while we were just standing by, if we had been working I would not be allowed on the back deck.
Once attached, the AHV will proceed out to the anchor following a line on the nav screen.
Now another thing we had to do on this rig move was De-ballast before any anchors were recovered, why I hear you ask? Either you asked that question or were so bored you have already gone onto the next blog, but i’ll tell you anyway.
So what happens is, the anchor is lifted off the sea bed, brought up to the stern roller of the AHV, checked out and then the rigs large winches will haul in the anchor chain and store it in the chain lockers, but what do we do with the anchor then? we need to put it somewhere, so we rack it on these things.
Just under the fairleads (the wheels with the anchor chains going through) is the cowcatcher, (not sure if thats the real name for them) this is where the anchors are racked, they hook under the CC and the winch pulls tight and they don’t move. Now some of you will see the problem here, I’ll show you another photo of the rig we just moved at transit draft, meaning it’s de-ballast.
Now you see the problem, if we don’t de-ballast, the fairleads and the cow catchers are under water and we can’t see them to rack the anchors. You can see here how the rig floats in the water when it’s at working draft by the marks on the legs, this is now at transit draft, up on the pontoons ready for towing.
Now to get the rig up to transit draft is just a matter of pumping out all the water and up she comes, now you are waiting for me to say, Ah but it’s not as easy as that, and no it is really that easy. Oh but there is one sticky bit, the whole process of de-ballasting can take up to 12 hours and during a 3-4 hour period when the cross braces are coming out of the water is the critical time, during this time the rig is very unstable, no helicopters can land and no cranes and work, in fact if like me and you had to many mince pies at xmas you have to get yourself a PP (Porky Partner), now during the critical stage your PP must be at the opposite side of the rig to you, I work forward so my PP has to work aft, he wants to go to the mess for lunch on the port side, I have to go sit on the starboard side, it’s easy once you get use to it, during this very rig move I forgot to tell my PP I was going for a salad, I was in the mess and suddenly in he walked, the look of shock and horror on his face said it all when he saw me………..eating the last of the chocolate double ripple ice cream. Ok I just made that last bit up but the rest about the helicopters and cranes is all true.
Once all the anchors are racked and a boat is on the tow bridle we can start the move, here is a racked anchor. You can see one racked and the other chain where that anchor has been removed.
It’s as simple as that, all in a days work, or 10.
P.S. You know I don’t mean the dummies bit.
Yes i know its not friday, I was traveling all day yesterday and sort of lost track of time/days.
We got off the rig Thursday lunch time, after landing at Haifa we got our ride to Tel Aviv, checked into the hotel, had a meeting in the foyer to decided if we should good to the gym and then a swim, or head up town to a bar we know on the beach front.
The taxi pulled up out side and the 85 year old driver asked where we wanted to go, after a three way conversation with us/driver and a member of the public I think we had it sorted, I don’t think the driver could see very well as he thought he was the only car on the road and the 30MPH signs said 70MPH. He spoke in Hebrew all the way, showing us markets and bus stations and other places of interest. (I think)
After watching the sunset (see pic) we found Mikes Place, located right next door to the American Embassy, after a nice greeting from the barman, three pints were ordered and we took a seat outside. A few more pints later we ordered dinner and just as it was arriving the air raid siren started, I wasn’t sure what it was at first until people off the street started to run inside, then it all seemed to go quiet, and then we heard the explosion, it was huge and you could feel it right through your body. Not long after the siren stopped and all was quiet and still.
That was one of the quickest dinner’s I’ve eaten in a long time, we decided to get the bill and leave, we weren’t sure being next to the American Embassy was a good thing or bad.
Things seemed to go back to normal very quickly, I suppose they have to when you live is this sort of environment, otherwise you would spend all your time in a bunker.
We found another bar and sheltered in there for the rest of the night. We found out later that the missile had landed near our hotel, so I think we made the right decision.
This is coming into land on a rig to drop off a passenger on our way to Haifa.
Just heading out of Haifa you pass a Martine Museum, I haven’t ben yet but it’s on my list, this is a German U-Boat.
Sunset over Tel Aviv
A nice bit of Art-Deco. (I think).
We got another break in the weather and checked out the East Lift.
Built some ten years later than it’s sister on the West Hill, (we didn’t find the West Hill Lift until our last day) the East Hill Lift was first opened in April 1902 and carries passengers up the cliff to the picturesque glens. The East Hill Lift is the steepest funicular railway in the country with an angle of 38 degrees (1 in 2.8 gradient). There is a tank underneath the two cars that is filled with water at the top and emptied at the bottom. The original Victorian cars are still in use today.
I’m not sure if the tanks are still in use today, didn’t see any under the cars and the turn around is very quick.
Short but steep.
Great bit of Engineering.
View from the top of the Old Town, the Old Town is full of Antique/Junk shops of which we spent hours in.
Although I don’t like cruise ships, I thought this looked pretty nice, It also gave me an opportunity to try some night shots with my new camera, I don’t carry a tripod and was on a boat myself, so I had to steady my camera by hand and try and dampen some of the vibrations, I think it worked ok.
The Magnifica was constructed by STX Europe in their shipyard at Saint-Nazaire, France. She was built at a cost of $547 million.
The vessel is 293.8 metres long, with a beam of 32.2 metres. The 93,330-gross ton vessel can reach a maximum speed of 23-knot (26 mph) Magnifica has 1,259 cabins; 2,518 passengers can be carried at double occupancy, while 3,605 can be carried at full capacity. A crew of 1,027 operate the ship and provide for the passengers.
Magnifica was identified by the shipyard hull number T32 during construction. The IMO ship identification number 9387085 will remain associated with the ship throughout her life, even if she changes names or operating companies.
Magnifica was floated out of her drydock in a launching ceremony in January 2009. A 72-hour sea trial period was successfully completed on 17 January 2010, despite poor weather and 50-knot (93 km/h) winds.
- 22,000 square metres (240,000 sq ft) of public-accessible area across 13 decks.
- Three swimming pools, one with a retractable, all-weather roof.
- Four restaurants and a buffet.
- 17 bars and lounges.
- A 1,160-metre (3,810 ft) spa and wellness centre.
- Entertainment facilities included a 4-D cinema, a bowling alley, and a billiards hall.
Yesterday I took the kids to The Reach it’s a climbing wall complex, looks really good with 750 square meters of rope climbing and up to 450 square meters of bouldering, when we arrived we had to go through the normal HSE stuff, but when it came to actually climbing we couldn’t do it unless the kids could tie themselves off, so I asked if they could do the training to learn that skill, yes but it’s £35.00 each, I said thats ok I’ll pay, Oh but it’s a two day course next week, ok i said can i book them in, yes but only if an adult is with them, ok I said I’ll join to, oh ok I will have to check if you can? 10 mins later we started all over again with another person, eventually we paid a registration fee and admission and the kids were allowed to go bouldering only, while they were having fun I filled out forms, my son’s girlfriend had to ring her mum to get permission. I talked to the admin person and told her they had all been climbing before at the ‘Cave’ (Another rock climbing place) and that we came here because the Cave had closed, she told me the Cave was going to re-open and maybe we should go back there. Now I understand about HSE and all that, and I understand they have to cover themselves if anything goes wrong but throughout the whole time we were there it felt like they did not what us to join, If they just put up a sign saying 18 years and over it would of been so much easier.
Rant over, to cool down we had a walk along the Thames and found this.
The MV Royal Iris is a twin screw, diesel-electric, former Mersey Ferry. The vessel was built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton (Yard No. 1448) and launched in December 1950, costing £256,000.
Her engines were produced by Ruston & Hornsby Metropolitan-Vickers. Propulsion: 4 oil 4SA, each six cylinders driving four generators, each 300 kW/300v DC-connected to two electric motors, each 730shp and 2 shafts. Her maximum speed is 12 knots. Her weight is 1,234 gross tonnes. She is 159 feet long and 48 feet wide, with a draught of 9 feet.
The Royal Iris ran her trials on the Skelmorlie Mile on the River Clyde on 24 April 1951. Arriving in the River Mersey on 28 April 1951, she was initially owned and operated by Wallasey Corporation and carried the Borough coat of arms on the front of her superstructure. Upon entering service on 5 May 1951, she was licensed to carry 2,296 passengers on normal ferry duties, or 1,000 for cruising. Originally painted in a green and cream livery, the ship was distinctive in having a forward dummy funnel near her bridge and two exhaust stacks amidships, on both sides. Onboard amenities included a dancefloor and stage, tea room, buffet, cocktail bar, even a fish and chip saloon. The latter likely affording the Royal Iris the nickname “the fish and chip boat”.
On Friday 7 September 1951 the battleship HMS Duke of York was under tow on her way to being broken up at Gareloch when she collided with the Royal Iris off Gladstone Dock. The Royal Iris was temporarily out of control and the floodtide carried her against the warship. The ferry was approaching the end of a cruise organised by the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Some people were hospitalised as a result of the accident.
In 2002 the vessel was towed to a berth on the River Thames near Woolwich, awaiting a possible refit as a floating nightclub.
On Saturday, 6 February 2010, it was reported that Police and the RNLI had been called out to her berth on the River Thames, near Woolwich, after a passing vessel noticed she had taken on water up to her passenger deck. At the present time, it is unclear how long she has been in this state. There was evidence found to suggest that squatters had been living on board. Also found on board were various items of drug paraphernalia.
The Kid’s though the sign ‘LADIES POWDER ROOM’ was so cool.
Both taken with my iPhone 4 with Camera+
Last week in Amsterdam I stayed in a Hotel moored in the harbour before joining the rig, the view out of one window was this Ex-Russian submarine 4711 (Zulu V Class Submarine B-80, project 611) It use to be a Museum ship in the Dutch Navy port of Den Helder. It was brought to the Netherlands by submarine enthusiasts. Exploitation was probably to expensive and the submarine was sold and is now in use as an occasional party location. Unfortunately the interior was dismantled and all original instruments were taken out to make room for it’s new purpose.
The view out my other window was this, The MV Sirius is a Greenpeace ship named after the star Sirius. The Sirius was built with modern specifications at the Boele shipyard in the Netherlands in 1950 as one of 7 pilot vessels. The ship, originally owned by the Royal Dutch Navy, was sold to Greenpeace during 1981 while in dry dock. The ship was refitted, repaired, and repainted. It took ten weeks to paint her. The ship’s colour scheme was soon changed to a green hull and rainbow colours and a white dove of peace with an olive branch was painted on the bow. Sirius was refitted with more modern navigation systems, communication equipment, lifeboats, and rafts. The pantries were turned into outdoor engine rooms and the mess room became a storage room.
Just a quick collection from my recent Amsterdam visit. All photo’s taken with my iPhone 4 and processed with Camera+
One of the dock side cranes, not sure how old this is, but love the round concrete counter-weights.
Something you see a lot in Amsterdam.
A very cool car.
At last on the way home.