Happy New Year 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

It’s almost dinnertime here on the ship, but I think I must still be in time to wish people Happy New Year before the big celebrations are over all over the world.

I hope this year is a good year for everyone and even better than last year! 🙂

Cheers!!

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This Is How The Elite Stay In Power. The World Needs To Know

Thanks for sharing! This is absolutely the truth! We ALL need to work together against our common adversary. It’s a real shame how easily they tear us apart over the silliest things (race, religion, etc). Time to wake up and reclaim OUR power and OUR lives!

peoples trust toronto

http://cdn3.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2014/12/EBOOK-thin-ad1-1.png

Greed, poverty, inequality, environmental destruction, war? how do they, at the top of the hierarchy, pull it off? How can a system in which so few make the important decisions, be able to sit comfortably in their pile of wealth while the rest of the world goes to waste? How can a small group of men in suits be able to direct the current in which an entire human society moves?

It?s Simpler Than Most Think

We think it?s complicated. We think that their power is acquired in a very complex, political and scientific way. And it sure may seem that way behind the scenes. But there?s one thing we forget to ask: What is the life force of this system?

With all of the police versus protester conflict and race wars going on as of late, I felt inspired to deliver a message that I believe we need to be reminded…

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Deep Question

I think this is a eally good question from Jason over at his Harsh Reality blog. I think its a good one for posting this time of year. People tend to think more about how they would like things to be and how to make it so around New Years Day. I posted my answer in the comments on his blog. If you’re really interested, you can go there and read it. 😉

Lots of other people made some very good comments too. 🙂

Share Your World

I’ve been following Cee’s blog for a while, but this is the first time I’ve seen this particular challenge- Share Your World. I usually see the photography ones. I decided to try this one out today. 🙂

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why? I like to PLAY in the snow, but I don’t think I would like to deal with it on a non-optional basis. 😉

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house? I don’t think I have any umbrellas (I took this photo at a market in Busan Korea). I don’t really mind getting wet – except for my glasses. I HATE it when my glasses get wet and I can’t see anything!

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together? I prefer my foods separate. Unless it’s something that goes really good together, like peanut butter and chocolate, or beans and rice, or cake and ice cream. Then I might mix them up. 🙂

What is set as the background on your computer? I have a beautiful scene of a small fishing boat harbor in winter. It shows a few bright red boats against the blue water and crisp white snowy background. If you click on the photo, it’ll open up very large! That’s what it looks like on my desktop. 🙂

(It’s not my photo, I found it online somewhere, free background photos, maybe National Geographic? They have some GORGEOUS photos!).

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful for our camp boss who made our Christmas day dinner special. You can see some pictures I took of it I posted on my blog here. I’m looking forward to getting off this ship and going home in the week coming up. I’m told I’ll be on the chopper on the 7th.

Poseidons Christmas Dinner

Our catering department stepped up their game and came up with a fantastic Christmas dinner for the crew. The European tradition is for seafood for the holiday. So we had shrimp, mussels, salmon, fresh tuna and lobsters. Appetizers were various cheeses, crackers and homemade pates. We had roast beef, baked chickens, cold meats, even a roast suckling pig. For dessert we had fruits and nuts, cookies and cakes, ice cream and puddings. Our Italian clients even had a  special delivery of enough panettone for everyone to try a taste. Everyone enjoyed the feast. 🙂

We don’t really appreciate the catering crew enough out here on these rigs. I have to give them all a big hand.

Santa DID Show Up!

We had our doubts that Santa would find us out here. All the way out in the middle of nowhere. Offshore Angola, actually. It’s a long way from where most of us call home. But, even tho Santa may have encountered a few problems along the way, he DID finally show up. 🙂

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Will Santa Make It Out Here?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. 🙂

End of Well

We should be finishing up this well sometime tonight and probably getting underway tomorrow. That means I’ll be even more busy (with less time to blog) than usual.

I’m not used to these drilling rigs yet. I’ve only been doing it off and on for the last couple of years. I’m a mariner, not a driller. 😉

I do find it amazing how fast they get the job done on these rigs over here in Africa. In the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), I seem to remember it taking many months to drill a well.

Here it seems to take them only a few weeks. I’m sure part of the reason is that these ships are the latest and greatest (so far)- 6th generation dual derrick drill ships. They can use both derricks at once, that saves them a LOT of time.

Ocean Rig Olympia

Ocean Rig Olympia

I hear this next job will only take a week or so. That one is only putting down the ‘top-hole’, it’s not the same thing as drilling a well.

This kind of work keeps me MUCH more busy than I usually am offshore. I’m learning a lot, which is always good. I just hope it doesn’t get too stressful (it’s ALWAYS stressful when we’re moving).

It should only take us a couple of hours to get there once we finally get underway. The new well is only about 12 miles from where we’re at right now. What takes time is getting underway and then getting set up again once we reach our new location.

Our drillers and subsea guys have to pick up all the riser and the BOP. We (DPOs and ROV guys) have to pick up all our transponders and then secure our transducer poles for our acoustic reference system. All that can take quite a while.

When we get to our new location, we have to do all that in reverse. We will also spend a lot of time and effort to calibrate all our equipment so that it all works as well as possible.

I’m looking forward to the move, but a little nervous too. :-/

PS- I was on the Olympia last hitch, but these are not my photos, (I got them from googling “drillships”)

Colorful Creatures: Yellow

Here’s my entry for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow. I had some decent photos of the brightly colored fish that they keep at the Houston Zoo. I love to watch the fish swim around and interact with each other.

I really love to watch the jellyfish, but they’re not yellow.

I go SCUBA diving every chance I get (which isn’t near often enough). I can see lots of fish like these when I go. I still can’t name a dozen of them, but there is so much life around a healthy coral reef it’s unbelievable.

 

Yellow: Submarine

Here’s another entry for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge:Yellow. This one is more about things I see at work.

I took the first photo at the Maritime Museum in Aberdeen when I was there in July for the freefall lifeboat course (click the link for more on that). The museum is really great and well worth a visit. They had some great exhibits on the offshore oilfields, the fishing fleet and the square-rigged sailing ships they used to build so many of nearby.

Here’s picture of a ‘NEWT suit’ they use for deep water diving.

I took the next one at the Workboat Show last time I was home. They have it every year in New Orleans and I try to go if I’m not working. The show is a great place to meet old friends and make new ones. The big companies always sponsor happy hours to meet and greet, they’re a lot of fun and probably where most of the real business takes place.

mini ROV by SeaRay

mini ROV by SeaRay

I got to play with the little ROV (remotely operated vehicle) this time. Usually there are so many people trying it out I never get the chance. I worked for Oceaneering for years where we used their big ROVs to do all sorts of interesting projects. Similar to the one in the background of the top photo.

The ROVs were used when the work was too deep or otherwise not available for the divers (even with the NEWT suits).

I think if I ever lose my mariners license, I’d like to try ROV. It was a real challenge to get the buoyancy right, but I think I was starting to get the hang of it. 🙂

Merry Christmas 2014

Yellow: Birds and Blooms

Here’s my entry for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow. I really liked playing with the big, bright, sometimes blaring yellow flowers and the birds with just that subtle touch of bright yellow to set off the rest of their plumage.

2 bugs in a blossom

2 bugs in a blossom

What do you think? Do you like the big, bright blooms better? Or the birds in the background? 🙂

Song of the Sea: Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffett

 

Another classic sailing song. No, it’s not really about the sea, but it’s close enough for me. It’s about hanging out on the beach, chillin’ out in some tropical place, drinking.   margaritas and enjoying life. My kind of song! 🙂

Yeah! Margaritas!!

Yeah! Margaritas!!

Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffett

Nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake,
All of those tourists covered with oil,
Strumming my six string, on my front porch swing,
Smell those shrimp, they’re beginning to boil.

Wasting away again in Margaritaville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt,
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
But I know it’s nobody’s fault.

Don’t know the reason that I stayed here all season,
With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo,
But it’s a real beauty, a Mexican cutie,
How it got here I haven’t a clue.

Wasting away again in Margaritaville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt,
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
Now I think, hell it could be my fault.

Blew out my flip flop, stepped on a poptop
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home,
But there’s booze in the blender,
And soon it will render,
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.

Wasting away again in Margaritaville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt,
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
But I know, it’s my own damn fault.

Yes, some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
And I know it’s my own damn fault.

 

Offshore Saturday Night

I made it to the rig by Wednesday afternoon (I left home around 1330 on Monday). I managed to stay awake long enough to finish my first watch. Since then I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep. It takes me a week or so until I feel halfway normal again after a long trip like that. 😦

It’s the weekend so we have a little bit of a change of routine. Today we had a nice BBQ out on the bow. The cooks did a great job (as usual with the BBQ). They had ribs, chicken, sausage, roast beef, hamburgers, shrimp, salad, corn and all the fixin’s.

There was even a choice of sodas and (near) beer!

The weather was nice, it was already getting dark and there was a nice cool breeze. The clouds had started clearing up (for some reason it’s always overcast here), we could see some stars. 🙂

The weekly BBQ is something we all look forward to.

Tomorrow should be drill day. We look forward to those too, but not in quite the same way. 😉

 

(the pictures are from another BBQ, not tonights)

Rumors

The big discussion I’ve been having with everyone is over the price of oil and how it will affect us (we all work in oil related industries).
I’m sure for most people, it must be just such a nice bonus, especially this time of year. To have the price of a barrel of oil cut in half over the last few months is probably giving most people a little bit extra to spend on Christmas presents.
I think it’s got to be a boon for the world economy. Oil plays such a HUGE part in our everyday lives. Most people don’t even realize.
It’s not only used to fuel almost the entire transportation industry worldwide (there are a few electrically powered cars now), but it’s used in so many OTHER things we never really think about.
Things like plastic, which is itself used in almost everything. Like pharmaceuticals, fabrics, lubricants, fertilizers, chemicals, CDs, artificial limbs, and here’s a link to a list of some other uses.

Of course, I do have a life outside of my job. 😉 I love it when the price of gas goes down and I can think about going exploring around my neighborhood again. I appreciate when the price of a plane ticket goes down. I love it when the prices of all the things I have to buy drop because the price to deliver them to the market drops. (Why does it always seem that it doesn’t drop as much as it SHOULD?)

But, since I’m working in the oilfield (again), on a drillship, looking for MORE oil, when the price of oil drops it’s not usually a good thing. The oil companies we work for definitely take note, and things start slowing down out here.

New projects are delayed or canceled. Boats and rigs are put into storage. Crews are laid off. Like most people, we’re also living paycheck to paycheck.

So the rumors are flying. We’ve all heard about companies already paying millions of dollars to back out of contracts. Projects being cancelled. Rigs with no contracts. People in super-high demand a couple of months ago unable to find work and others being laid off. Companies starting to change their policies so that working for them is not as good as it was last year (they realize we are not as willing to just jump ship if we don’t know we have another job or 2 waiting in the wings).

We’re all wondering if our companies are going to keep their contracts (and so we will be able to keep our jobs). We’re wondering how low will the price of oil go this time and how deep the cuts.

Yeah, I think it’s a help to the worldwide economy when the price of oil drops. I also know that the price of oil affects the entire oilfield and everyone related to it. It’s a HUGE influence all over the Southern US. So many people all over Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, they support entire counties in those states with their paychecks!

The shale boom from Texas up through Oklahoma and the Dakotas (and all the way up into the Northeast) has helped bring the US out of the “great recession” (finally). Shale drilling is already screaming to a halt. The boom in those states will go with it.

So we’re all just wondering, how low can the price of oil go and for how long?

Movie Review: Tammy

I watched a couple of movies on the flight over here today. One of them was pretty funny. It’s not really the kind of thing I normally would choose to watch. For instance, last time I watched the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. 😉

This one starred Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon. Kathy Bates had a good part in it too. It started out when Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) ran into a deer on the way to work and lost her job over it. She has quite the attitude. 😉

Susan Sarandon plays her grandmother who wants to take a road trip to Niagara Falls before she dies.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I was cracking up laughing through the whole thing. Here’s a trailer…

Just in case- there is some cussing in there. 😉

Frankfurt

Anybody from Frankfurt? I’ve got a 10 hour layover here. Is there anything worth doing in that timeframe here?

Back to Africa

I’m at the airport again (lot of time spent here lately). I got my visa at the last minute for me to be able to make my flight today, so spent the morning rushing around trying to finish up last minute things around the house.

I’ll be spending the next 30 hours (minimum) in the air (or airport). I expect they will send me straight to work when I get there. I’m really not sure how they expect anyone to do a good job after being awake for 45+ hours.

Anybody have any ideas on that?

Do you work someplace where they don’t allow you to start work unless you’re awake and alert? What happens if they tell you that you could have slept on the plane? Anybody out there that can actually sleep on a plane (in anything but first/business class)?

There is actually a law out there that says we (mariners) are not allowed to go to work unless we have had at least 6 hours of REST beforehand. That was put into place because the investigators realized that the REAL cause of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was FATIGUE. NOTHING to do with the Captain (except that he should have insisted that his crew got some rest before departure- but we’re all just slaves to the companies now). 😦

Fatigue is always at the top of the list, #1, 2 or 3 of causes of ALL accidents!

In the 20+ years since that law was passed, I’ve only ever heard of ONE company abiding by those rules.

ONE. 😦

I’ll try to get online on my layover in Frankfurt. If I can’t, I’ll catch up again here when I get caught up at work.

WPC: Twinkle

Here are a couple of shots of the twinkling stars and the last eclipse of the moon for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle.

I love trying to take pictures at night. So far, I have not been very lucky with getting my photos of the night sky to come out very well. I just got a telescope to play with. Hopefully that will help. 🙂

 

Twinkle

I just got back from a trip to New Orleans. I was there for the WorkBoat Show. I always try to spend some extra time there if I can. It’s such a great city to just hang out in. There’s so much to see and do and it’s such a creative place.

I saw lots of really beautiful Christmas decorations. Here are a couple of the Christmas trees for the Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle.