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Aug 17 - Finally Back at Sea

Date: Sunday 17th August 2008

Position @ 1200 Local (BST+1): 57°54.7NNorth, 000°38.9 West.
Next destination: Aberdeen
ETA: Unknown.
Distance to go: 60 nmiles.
Distance Traveled since Immingham this North Sea Season. : Unknown.
Current weather: Cloudy but Bright.
Sea State: Moderate
Wind: 15 knots, ESE,
Barometric pressure: 1002.1 Hpa
Air temperature: + 15.2°C
Sea temperature. + 13.9°C

Latest Position - Click to Enlarge Position of the Vessel
Latest Position - Click to Enlarge Position of the Vessel


Up to date position information is available courtesy of ‘sailwx/info’ taken from our Metrological Observations..

Finally Back At Sea

01 - Flex-jet on Deck
01 - Flex-jet on Deck


After spending an entire month in port preparing for the Trenching job in the the Shackleton finally headed out on the 22nd July. The ships relief crew had barely arrived on board and the ropes were being let go. The client Hallin/Sonsub was eager to get us out there and working. The worksite not being too far from Aberdeen was reached within a few hours and Survey work commenced shortly thereafter. The work scope consists of Surveying already laid pipe-work and then using the Flex-jet trenching machine which crawls along the pipe and partially buries it as it goes along..

02 - Flex-jet preparing to launch
02 - Flex-jet preparing to launch


Things settled down and the work started progressing well. We were well treated by the weather Gods and sea conditions were mostly sublime. This afforded the Hallin/Sonsub team the opportunity to really get cracking with their work and they were soon in the groove and operating relatively smoothly.

03 - Going over the side
03 - Going over the side


04 - Flex-jet about to go for a swim
04 - Flex-jet about to go for a swim


05 - Oil Rig lights in the mist
05 - Oil Rig lights in the mist


06 - Oil rig
06 - Oil rig


At one stage we were called upon to to do a personnel transfer with our FRC (Fast Rescue Craft). This was undertaken by the Ch. Officer Allan Newman and his trusty AB's. Conditions were calm enough but the boat they were transferring the men too, the Bar Protector did little to offer them a lee and the transfer was quite difficult. In the end it all went well.

Personnel transfer to the "Bar Protector"

07 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 1
07 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 1


08 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 2
08 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 2


09 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 3
09 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 3


10 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 4
10 - Personnel transfer to the Bar Protector - Shot 4



We called into to Peterhead on Wednesday the 6th August for a brief visit to collect some spares and fresh food supplies. It was good to see land and again but there was not much time to dally ashore and we were soon on our way back out again that afternoon.

11 - Port of Peterhead
11 - Port of Peterhead


When we arrived back in our work area in the early hours of Thursday and attempted to put the vessel into D.P. one of the Auxiliary backup generators would not start. Unfortunately this resulted in us having to return to port for spares.

12 - Peterhead
12 - Peterhead


We arrived back in Peterhead on Thursday afternoon and the shore leave board went up for midday on Friday.  This was welcomed by most on board and the opportunity to stretch the legs and look around Peterhead was gladly accepted.

Late on Friday evening the spares arrived and were fitted and tested and by early morning we were once again on our way out to sea.

13 - Helicopter taking off from Rig
13 - Helicopter taking off from Rig


This last week has seen us operate pretty much without stopping and making good progress. The Hallin/Sonsub team seem pretty happy with the way things have gone . They hope to have completed the job by about Wednesday the 20th August whereupon we should head back to Aberdeen for the de-mob which should take a few days. After that we will be preparing the ship as a dive support vessel for our next job. More of that in the next diary entry.

There is plenty of talk on board amongst the ships crew about the upcoming re-fit period in September/October and what jobs will ultimately be done. We are hoping to get new Radars and a few other bits of kit. Time and budget constraints will tell.

That's all for this issue folks. Join us again around Mid September for the next exciting installment.



Forthcoming Events: De-mob in Aberdeen and preparation for our next job

The next North Sea Diary should be out mid September..


Good bye .

Pa O'Hara
Radio Officer.