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21 Jul - SteveB signs off.....

Date:  Sunday 21 July  2002.
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 57°41.3 North, 001°41.1 East. On the CATS Pipeline near the North Everest Platform.
Next destination: Port of Aberdeen for BAS Crewchange.
ETA: Thursday 25 July

Current weather:  Overcast, cloudy, stormy, blustery and grey
Wind:  Northwesterley Force 7
Barometric pressure:  1014.0 mb and steady
Sea state: Rough
Air temperature:  15.2°C.
Sea temperature: 14.1°C.

No Position Reports are available during our stay in the North Sea since we cease doing meteorological observations.

Map of North Sea - Click to enlargeClick on map to magnify detail.


I have been accused on more than one occasion of writing too much rubbish in the weekly annals of the Shackleton webpages. To that end, I am going out with few words but more pictures. Since this week, RRS Ernest Shackleton has maintained a steady and constant pace through the scheduled programme of work, there is little or nothing 'untoward' to report in this otherwise busy week in the North Sea, offshore Aberdeen.

Alongside Sedco 714 - Click to enlarge Alongside the ETAP CPF Platform - Click to enlarge

Above: Left - alongside the Semi-Submersible Sedco 714 and right, the ETAP CPF Platform. Taken in the middle of a summer's night - remember, we are working 24 hours a day ! Click on the images to enlarge them.

Bell 214 Helicopter - Click to enlarge

This was a very 'meaty' chopper called a Bell 214 from Aberdeen Airport. It is carrying - would you believe, 15 Souls on Board and is a direct decedent of the same Bell Helicopters used in the Vietnam conflict in the early 70's. This very impressive machine was able to land on our helideck even though the ship had started pitching and rolling quite a bit. Easily within the working limits of a Bell 214 !

Wavey-Davey's Last Weekly Whit-spot.

Davey Says :- 'A man walks into this bar ...,
                         ' ... and it didn't half hurt !!! '

Question : - What's worse than Raining Cats and Dogs ???
Answer : Hailing Taxis !!!

Thanks Wavey Davey.  Have a good leave !

Fire extinguisher - Click to enlargeThe usual round of 'planned maintenance' has been ongoing again this week, and this is in evidence as I unloaded the 'webcamera' to find all these additional shots. Our camera is not only for capturing those images for the weekly web offerings, but a very useful tool when trying to describe something technical which defies description, like fire extinguisher placements, like cooling elements, like Fast Rescue Craft inner workings... as the old adage says ' a picture is worth a thousand words '... Enough. I take your meaning and will 'shut up' forthwith ! Here are the pictures. !!!

A cooling element - Click to enlarge
The FRC - Click to enlarge The void space - Click to enlarge

Above: Clockwise from the top - A cooling element, the infamous void space (see Diary for 28 April )and the Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) inside and out. Click on the images to enlarge.

Behind the scenes, there is a constant barrage of small jobs that keep the Officers and Crew busy during the week, and apart from opening up and inspecting the void spaces ( see April 28th ) once again, we can only guess what the Deck Officers were doing with a bathroom tile, a ruler and all the Safety Posters which seem to be springing up around the vessel like a dose of measles on a small child!!

Safety Poster - Click to enlarge Bathroom Tiles - Click to enlarge

Above: Safety Posters and Bathroom Tiles! Click the images to enlarge them.

And finally, just to prove we are still doing the business out here in the North Sea, here is a really good picture I found in the camera of one of the ROV guys preparing the 'bullet' for the recovery of the ROV and one more of a 'gaggle' of Officers in conference on the bridge on Sunday morning. It must be important... like what they are planning for their leave, or what to have for breakfast ! Click on the images to enlarge them.

Preparing the 'bullet' - Click to enlarge

A final postcard from the Bridge.......

Forthcoming events: Complete the workscope on the CATS 36" Pipeline (see above map) and then to Aberdeen Harbour for the BAS/Stolt crew-change. The off-going Crew would like to wish all their friends, family and relations in the readership a prosperous Summer. Farewell.

Contributors this week : A final thanks to Wavey-Davey for adding to our insanity with surreal jokes.

Diary 9 may be written on 28th July 2002 by Mike Gloistein. Just now I am off for some well-earned leave !

More from me next season ...

Steve B