Now, Where Was I …?

20 Nov

Oh I remember. North east Scotland. Old ship.

Well, we sailed off into the northern sector of the North Sea with a view to surveying a small segment of it but our charterers had made clear that there would be other vessels on the patch and we would be bottom of the food chain.

Never mind the other ships, our big problem was the weather. It just would not let up. It didn’t blow hard enough to send us scurrying for shelter but it didn’t drop below a force seven for a lot of the time and that meant the swell was too big for us to deploy our survey equipment.

I don’t know if you’ve ever steamed back and forth across the same patch of steel grey sea for eleven days but it does nothing for your temper,

or your glamorous image.

We did manage some survey work and I have to thank the survey team for making sure that my first line on this ship (with whom I am only recently acquainted) was so close to a platform that we could have painted it as we passed. OK – it was actually a bit more than half a mile away but from where I was sitting -in the dark- it looked an awful lot closer.

‘Bloody hell, who put that oil platform there?’





A good time for a pressure cigarette … except that I gave up two weeks before this picture was taken. Aaaaaaaaaaargh!

That was about it on the excitement front – unless you count the unexpected and lovely moment when I stood in silence with two of the survey team and watched the sun slide down behind a cloudless horizon leaving us with a nanosecond of green flash dancing on our retinas.

‘Oh no,’ cried one of the chaps. ‘I’ve got my camera right here, I knew it was going to be a green flash, why didn’t I take a picture?’

‘Richard, my dear, life is for living, not photographing,’ I told him and ruffled his hair, the little tyke. But in case you are wondering what a sunset on the oilfields looks like … Here’s one I saw earlier.




Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Shedward Seawards


Tags: , , ,

6 responses to “Now, Where Was I …?

  1. jules mc

    November 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    This is great. You look beautiful but knackered in the photos. It might be a mundane life for you but it looks really exciting from where I’m standing. I’d love to be out there, on the boat, to see what it’s like. Xxx

    • Lorraine Gouland

      November 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      I truly wish I could bring you away for a few days.

  2. sean ahner

    November 21, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I agree! The oilfield was very annoying! But when you see the sunset looks like i think you will relax.

    • Lorraine Gouland

      November 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Sunsets, sunrises and starry nights are always great at sea aren’t they?

  3. Observer 40

    November 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Having done a few lines in my time I know just how you feel,however it’s great when you find a big vessel approaching on your give way side and you call him up and politely tell him to bugger off ! I agree with Jules you do look a bit knackered in the photos but your strength must be returning because your hair seems to be returning back to what I presume is its normal colour ! !
    Keep up the good work and safe sailing.

    • Lorraine Gouland

      November 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      As long as said big ship abides by the rules and does bugger off…


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