Hoping Not to Meet Harvey

I’m heading out to work early in the morning. I have a 2 AM wakeup call so I can meet the bus that will get us to the dock by 5 AM. That’s where we’ll hop on the crew boat to take us out to the rig I’ll be working on for the next 6 weeks.

I was so excited to finally be going back offshore for a halfway decent hitch. Six weeks sailing as DPO will do wonders for my mindset (and my bank account). All was going well (with just a few minor annoyances) until I happened to hear about Harvey.

At the moment, it’s just a tropical depression. Hanging out just to the North of the Yucatan Peninsula. Predictions are for it to strengthen over the next couple of days. Even becoming a hurricane by landfall (Friday).

Of course, no one can ever predict what a tropical storm or hurricane will do with 100% certainty, but it has me worried about my property. I’m even a little skittish about my own self going out to join this vessel that I really have no idea about.

I’ve never sailed on anything like it before. For one thing, it’s round. Here’s a picture I got off the internet.

But it is a semisubmersible dynamically positioned drilling rig and I’ve worked on plenty of those. I hope the ballast system isn’t as convoluted as the last one I worked on. 😦

I assume it’s much bigger than it looks in that photo. According to the specs, she’s 100 m  diameter. Built in 2013, so shouldn’t be in too bad of shape (unless she’s been stacked for a while). I haven’t found anything yet about her contract status. Hopefully they found a decent contract and she’ll be working for a while.

It’s been way too long of a dry spell for so many of us out here. Let’s hope things are finally starting to turn around. 🙂

If you don’t hear from me in a while, it’s just because I might not have much internet access or time at work to get online. I’ll be back when I can. Hope you’ll stick around. 🙂

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Maritime Monday for April 17th 2017: Big White Cloud

In between trying to keep up with the #AtoZChallenge, I still managed to read the weekly post from Monkey Fist. There’s always such interesting stuff in there. My favorite articles this week (other than the stuff on John Cale- who has long been a favorite of mine) was the stuff about the weather. I also really liked the photographs. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

Since leaving the band in 1968, he has released approximately 30 albums. Of his solo work, Cale is perhaps best known for his album Paris 1919, and his cover version of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah“. Cale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Velvet Underground in 1996, and […]

Source: Maritime Monday for April 17th, 2017: Big White Cloud – gCaptain

Rainy Afternoon

Oh boy! I was at work this morning up in Houston. We were doing some training exercises when we heard the rain start. That was around noon.

I left in the rain at about 3:00 PM and drove all the way home (about 70 miles) in the rain. I could hardly see in some spots. It’s after 4 now, still raining, thundering, lightning and no signs of slowing down.

The weather report says it will be over by 9 tonight. It’s already cooled off quite a bit and I’m enjoying that. 🙂

Flower of the Day: March 6th 2017

Since I’m not sure which flower Cee is picking for her flower of the day today (I see some tulips and daffodils and maybe a lily), I am posting a favorite photo I took a while back. These are tulips.

The flowers in my yard don’t look this pretty. At the moment, they are just starting to bloom. I have citrus trees, narcissus, miniature roses, mums, petunias, clematis, lilies, and a few others. The ones that grow best are the weeds (clematis vines cover everything)!

I was going to work in the yard this weekend and start planting. I have grapes, raspberries, pomegranate and lots of flowers to plant. It’s been raining all weekend and so I’m waiting for things to dry out. I think that’s what killed so many of my plants last year. It rained so much right after I planted them. I hope we don’t have floods like we did last year again (supposedly a 500 year flood), but the forecast is calling for rain all week and there are flood warnings out for the rivers again already. 😦

This Morning’s Floods

I drove up to Houston this morning to go to work. It was nice enough when I left the house about 0530. It started raining just past beltway 8 on the way in. I made it to the intersection of 288 and 610 and they were turning people around. I tried to go ahead and get on to 59, but the water was too deep and I had to turn around.

I had to backtrack to beltway 8, took that to 59N and then tried again. It was close in a couple of places, but I made it all the way up to work only to find out the power was out there and so they had cancelled classes for the day.

Yes, they had sent out emails, but I have to leave the house at 0530 to get to work by 0700 considering traffic, weather, etc. I don’t have any way to check email once I leave the house. 😦

I’m fixin’ to turn on the weather to see if it’s still predicted to be dangerous to drive in to Houston. I’ll still plan on heading in, but will try to call a friend who lives near there to see how things are. I hope they’re working tomorrow, I can sure use the money.

Here’s what it looked like…

 

I’m sure glad he was able to rescue that armadillo! 😉

 

Saturday Sail

I’m going sailing again tomorrow. I signed up to go a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get at least a couple of sails in while I was home this time. My time off work is running out way too fast. I hope the weather holds!

Last I checked, it’s supposed to rain. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it doesn’t. The wind should be just about perfect for a day out on the bay. I’m not going to quit if we get a little sprinkle, but I don’t really enjoy being outside in a hard rain either.

I really hate it when my glasses get wet and fogged up and I can’t see!

I’d better get to sleep soon. I wish I didn’t have to get up so early to do these trips! To be on time at the dock, I’ll need to get out of the house by no later than 0900. That’s cutting it close.

So, I ought to get up at 0600 to get everything done before I leave. Ugh! 😦

Gorgeous!

After the last couple of days, I was glad to wake up to some sunshine! I’m heading back out on Galveston Bay for another Icicle Race today. The weather report shows sunny and cool. Just the way I like it. 🙂

8am 9am 10am 11pm 12pm 1pm 2pm
Forecast
Sunny
Sunny
Sunny
Sunny
Sunny
Sunny
Sunny
Mostly Sunny
Temp (°F) 40° 43° 48° 51° 55° 57° 60° 60°
RealFeel® 38° 43° 49° 54° 57° 59° 60° 58°
Humidity 86% 78% 68% 59% 50% 44% 40% 39%

Yuk!

The weather here has been back to dull and dreary winter. Rain, rain, and more rain for the last 3+ days. I haven’t even been able to get out of the house for a walk.

I don’t mind an occasional rainy day. I have plenty to do here to keep me busy. But when it goes on and on for days, I start getting antsy. I want to go outside. I want to see some sunshine.

It’s supposed to be nice again tomorrow. I sure HOPE so. I’ve signed up to go sailing again tomorrow and really looking forward to it. Last week was a blast and this will be another race in the Icicle series.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rain ends TODAY. 🙂

Brrrrr!

Today is the last day of FRC class.

A cold front came through Galveston yesterday and dropped the temperature at least 20 degrees.

That’s not too bad when you’re sitting in a nice warm room, cuddled up in a blanket. But when you’re out on the water, running around in a tiny little speedboat, it’s a different story.

I had a pretty good time on Monday playing around with the boats. Today we have to go out again and practice search patterns. I’m not looking forward to getting cold and wet today!

I hope it all goes quickly. I’ll try to get some decent pictures to post here later. 🙂

Oh Sunny Day!

Wow, I can hardly believe it. It’s sunny today!

That might not seem like such a big deal, but I’ve been working here in Angola since July and this is the first day I can remember that it’s actually been sunny out. It’s still not totally clear, there’s a large bank of clouds off to our west, but it’s much better than normal for this place.

I’ve wondered before, what’s going on with the weather here. It’s always the same. The seas are nice and calm. There is usually a low swell, always from the S to SW. It’s usually about a meter but every once in a while can get up to 2 meters. It really doesn’t feel like much on this size ship. I hardly even feel it move.

The wind is almost always from the South to Southwest but not as steady from that direction as the swell is. It’s almost always under 15 kts. Some days like today, it stays under 5 kts all day. 🙂

The sky is almost always overcast. For some reason, there’s always a low lever layer of flat grey clouds. I’ve flown in the helicopter out here for close to 2 hours and never saw the ocean til we dropped down onto the rig. I’d be interested to learn WHY it’s like this all the time here. I haven’t really had the time to look into it.

Every time I’ve been here before, there’s been almost total cloud cover the entire time. Once or twice I’ve seen the moon at night (this is my first time on day shift here). Today, there are a few nice puffy cumulus clouds around but the sky is blue.

It’s a REALLY nice change! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

stormclouds and rainbows from the 8506

stormclouds and rainbows from the 8506

Catching up

Wow! I’ve been busy the last couple of days… I did manage to get off the rig on Tuesday morning. Confusion with crew change up to the very last minute. The original plan was to change out at Fourchon and fly from New Orleans to Houston. Plans changed Monday noon time. Now we were going to have to fly out of Lake Charles. So, scrambling to change my reliefs flights so he could get to Lake Charles by 0530 to catch the helicopter. Flying from there added about an hour onto the flights since we had to stop in Fourchon to get more fuel. They made it to the rig and we all got off, had some interesting weather on the way in. Lots of squalls, lightning in some of them. I was glad when we landed.

So, from Lake Charles, they picked me up and we drove straight to the airport in Houston. I had some time there to relax a little bit before my flight to Boston. I got in after midnight and didn’t get to sleep until about 0200.

The blogging workshop was great. I got a lot out of it. We did some critiques of the blogs some of the others had started already. I met a bunch of really fantastic, interesting people. We continued our fun and conversations over drinks and dinner at the hotel. So, another late night for me 🙂

Today we started the actual travel writing workshop. We learned some tips to help us catch the editors attention and some rules for great photos. There was about 100 people there. Again, I met some of the most interesting people. From all over the world, Australia, Italy, France, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, and all over the US. Happy hour tonight (with free drinks and snacks) helped us get to know each other a bit better.

I’ll try to catch up and get a few more things on here tonight but will have to stop soon, another early wakeup tomorrow 😉

I’ll try to get some photos on here in the next couple of days, I’ve got a great view of the river from my window. The moon has been full and I managed to get some decent shots from the window on arrival. Last night I went back downstairs (outside) to get some better ones 🙂