I am in Saudi Arabia for a short job, inspecting a couple of ships. Its quite warm and everything is covered in sand, not really my type of place but I should be able to top up the boat fund and carry on preparing for next summer.
Anyway, I went offshore yesterday and got marooned on a ship overnight. With not much to do I started flicking back on the laptop through old photos. I was surprised to see that I was in Pelican, Alaska on this date – TWO years ago!
Pelican was an interesting place, the sort of place not many people get to as it’s off the beaten track. I remember interesting and friendly people, a library with good WiFi, fresh salmon and good beer. Very enjoyable.
Flicking forward in time to one year ago I found a photo of the underside of the mast where it exits the coach roof, with bits of wood smashed up to make makeshift mast wedges. At the time I was on my way from San Francisco to Hawaii, it was a bit disconcerting when some mast wedges dropped out and creaks started emanating from the mast. I think the change of climate may have caused the wooden wedges to shrink a bit as we headed south. I was happy to have fixed the problem and arrived in Hawaii where I made a more permanent fix once in port.
This year I find myself offshore Saudi Arabia. I haven’t been in these waters since I was a young man working on a pioneering SBM project to service the super-tankers of the day. We managed to achieve amazing things with very little equipment – maybe because we didn’t understand we could fail. There are far more platforms, barges, rigs and workboats around than the old days – it’s a very busy place now.
By this evening I should be back onshore and writing up my reports. Then its back on the plane in a couple of days, back to New Zealand and the winter weather.