IN SAUDI ARABIA

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!

Main Street Pelican. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce
Main Street Pelican. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce

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.

Fresh Salmon. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce
Fresh Salmon. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce

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.

Makeshift Mast Wedge. Sailing Yacht Truce.
Makeshift Mast Wedge. Sailing Yacht Truce.

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.

Work Barge Offshore Saudi Arabia. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce.
Work Barge Offshore Saudi Arabia. Photo Ray Penson. Sailing Yacht Truce.

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.

WORKING FOR A BERTH

Almost finished cleaning the jetty
Almost finished cleaning the jetty

An early start this morning, the wind came calling so I pulled the anchor and made for Green Point Rapids.  We arrived early but didn’t have too much current against.  When we popped out the West side the wind had got up to gale force.

Despite best efforts of Mr Yanmars 27 hp we were going nowhere fast apart from bobbing up and down.  Then the autopilot couldn’t handle the wind gusts so we ducked for cover up Loughborough Sound.  I wasn’t sure we would find good shelter but I didn’t want to back track.

First we looked into Beaver Inlet, it was howling so had a look in Sidney Bay.  This looked a little better.  Fortunately I spotted a guy on a floating dock and he offered a berth for a dollar per foot.

Now that’s $36 and I don’t have any cash on board.  So it was agreed I would do some work and helped Jim clean the dock off.  He received 3 hours labour so not s bad deal.

The forecast for tomorrow does not look too good.  Maybe there will be s lull in the morning to make a break out.  Voyage distance 182.9 miles

Logged 29th April 2016.