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22 Sep - A quick job comes up

Date:  Sunday 22 September  2002.
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 57° 08'N 002° 04'W

Wind:  Northerly, Force 4
Barometric pressure:  1024.2 mb
Sea state: N/A
Air temperature:  14.0°C.
Sea temperature: 13.6°C.
Weather: Cloudy, fine and clear.

The Ernest Shackleton is alongside Duthies Quay, Aberdeen.

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

There had been talk last weekend of a short 'job' coming up, but by Monday afternoon it was thought to have been postponed. Then, on Tuesday morning, orders were received to mobilise at 1100, sailing later in the day, to conduct a seismic survey.

The mobilisation proved to be swift, with two small containers and four banks of nitrogen gas bottles arriving shortly after 1100, and all being secured on deck by early afternoon the vessel departed Aberdeen once again at about 1600.

The job was to set of a series of seismic 'bangs' in the vicinity of the drilling rig Ocean Princess, and then the data would be used to help in the direction of the drilling for the well. Once on station communications were set up with the rig and once all was in place all the firings were made by a radio link to the ship. The seismic signals were picked up on the rig, via a receiver placed at the end of the drill string.

The job did prove to be fairly short, being completed early on Thursday evening and then the Ernest Shackleton made full speed for Aberdeen once again, arriving in the early hours of Friday morning. Demobilisation was complete by 0600 on Friday, and then with little sight of further work in the remaining 48 hours of our charter period, preparations were made for getting the ship ready for the forthcoming refit period in Portsmouth.

By Sunday lunchtime the vessel was ready for sea once again, and the intention was to depart Aberdeen for the last time this year and steam south to Portsmouth.

Forthcoming events: Refit at Portsmouth. The refit is due to last until about the 21 October 2002 and I will try and write further updates during this period, along with some pictures of the vessel out of the water in the dry-dock.

22nd September 2002