Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Capernaum   11 comments

A few years ago I was lucky enough to visit the Capernaum, which was a fishing village in the time of the Hasmoneans. Located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, it is where archaeologist excavated two ancient synagogues built one over the other. A church near Capernaum is said to be the home of Saint Peter.

Now all this is pretty amazing stuff and I for one would not miss out on a day sightseeing, unfortunatly this day started with one almighty hangover which called for loads of water and a good pair of sunglasses, now to most this is not a big problem, however what I managed to do was take shots of the whole day with my exposure turned right up, because I kept my sunglasses on.

Ok so you are wondering where this is going, well I finally bit the bullet and have got Lightroom 5 and by the look of things so far, I have managed to save a lot of very over exposed photos.


Nazareth Tour11-33-12


Have a great weekend.

i-phone Friday   18 comments

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).



Posted November 17, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Another Bolt   26 comments

The weather in the Med this time of year never fails to amaze me, lunch time today I was walking around the helideck with my shirt off (not a pretty sight) listening to music, I had to keep an eye on the time because I didn’t want to get my slap head burnt, now eight hours later we are WOW (Waiting On Weather).
This is the storm front on the radar.


So again I venture outside to try and get a shot of lightning before the rain hits us.
This is the result, again shot hand held, with ISO set to 500.


Posted November 8, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Cargo   18 comments

When offshore we need supplies, and lots of them, from spare parts to food, fuel and water.
All of this stuff is brought out by boat, during rig move operations we can’t get supply boats in because the rig may suddenly move if an anchor is lifted, or a AHV puts on a bit to much power, so we can get short of stuff, like ice cream, and that is not good. So as soon as the move is finished in they come, sometimes one on either side of the rig and both cranes working overtime, anything to get that ‘double chocolate ripple’ onboard.

Here is an small anchor handler being used as a supply boat, in the North Sea we use purpose built very large supply boats.


Zoom in a bit closer and you can see some of the gear that needs to be lifted off.


Zoom in even closer and check out the guy chilling under the sun umbrella, cool…………hang on he’s eating our bloody ice cream!


Posted November 6, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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No Rest   22 comments

Well I managed to get off one rig, had a night in Tel Aviv and then straight back out to another, at least this one has slightly better wifi.
Short flight out, this is us leaving, it’s from an active military base so no photography allowed, so of course I had to take a snap.


Then I saw our escort and wished I hadn’t.


On the way we flew over another rig, this is a DP (dynamic positioning) rig, meaning it does not use anchors to stay on location, instead it uses large thrusters and satellite positioning (GPS), no good for us, our job is to put down anchors, luckily there is not a lot of them as they are expensive to run, about half a million dollars a day.


Posted November 4, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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A Long Day   22 comments

These guys are coming to an end of a 12 hour shift, a quick repair on the crane and then it’s dinner, TV and bed.
The deck guys on any rig work hard, as do the cranes, without one the job would soon come to a standstill.
From passing anchor pennants down to AHV’s to moving gear around the rig, getting the drill floor ready, stacking the drill pipe, unloading supply boats, working on the BOP to readying the casing that goes in the sea bed, also general maintenance and keeping the place clean.
Don’t get me wrong, I work a 12 hour shift also, but my day consists of coffee and donuts, and a computer screen.
Just the other day I was disturbed from my solitaire by a lot of shouting, on opening my door of my air conditioned tin shack and after a quick sip of my ice cold water I said to the guys struggling with a crane lift “you guys look hot” and with that there was a lot of hand waving and shouting in Maltese. I think they were thanking me for showing my concern.


The complete crew on any rig I have been on work very hard and always make our stay as as pleasant possible.

Posted October 30, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Bolt from the Blue   32 comments

Hey Mark, fancy going out and doing a job in the Mediterranean they said!
After the weather we have been having at home I jumped at the opportunity, Warm weather, sunshine, no rain………..not a chance!

We’ve had rain like I’ve never seen before, last night a huge lightning storm, which isn’t good for our GPS equipment, today we had to stop Anchor handling for a while because the rain was so heavy the boat couldn’t see the rig.
More lightning today,
I’m sitting in a tin box on the roof of the pilot house surrounded by antennas, the thunder is so loud my ears have popped, (I’m sure they will start to bleed soon) I need a coffee but afraid to go outside and down the steps in case I get hit by a bolt. (Lightning not a dropped object) and there is water coming in through the air vents, which I have now covered in bubble wrap and duck tape, but now I can’t breath.
I still love my job.

Took this shot last night, hand held and just kept shooting until I captured some lightning.


Posted October 26, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Haifa at Night   18 comments

Here is a second shot I took just after yesterdays cruise ship post, another hand held night shot. Top right you can just make out the lights of the Bahai Gardens.



Here is the Bahai Gardens the day before,The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa comprise a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The geometry of the complex is built around the axis connecting it with the City of ‘Akko, which also has great historical and sacred significance for Bahá’ís. At its heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith. I still have not walked through the gardens, but next time im in Haifa, it’s a must.


Top right in this shot is the cruise ship.

Posted October 2, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Magnifica   21 comments

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.

Posted October 1, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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Nazareth   8 comments

Post and run today, i’ve been busy since my return from the North Sea, and today is no exception, so here is a quick look at the inside of the Basilica of the Annunciation, I’ve posted about the Basilica before here so check it out if you haven’t already seen it.

Have a great weekend.


Posted September 28, 2012 by rigmover in Israel

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