Monday, 29 August 2005

A W E S O M E !

And for those who know what it means: 'Kray - awesome'. Haven't got time now, but watch this space.
[7 hours earlier]
Ah, finally! I had the best day ever! I had landed up at the data processing station for another day of office work sitting in front of comps. But surprise, surprise! Barely an hour into shift I was told that I had been cleared to accompany the maintenance crew for a work-boat trip!
For those who can't quite grasp the 'awesome-ness' of the matter: the Trident is a 90 m long ship. It tows cables with sensors behind it over an area of roughly 5 Km by 1 Km. The work-boat is about 5-6 m long. And the sea this afternoon was fairly choppy with waves rearing upto 2 m. A typical maintenance trip constitutes criss-crossing this huge area to replace various components on the sensor cables, in that tiny boat! And most importantly: for the last 2 weeks I have been repeatedly reminded that I cannot possibly go out on these trips since I'm too inexperienced! And there was nothing I could do to make my seniors understand that that was precisely why I wanted to go!
Anyway, so the three other members of the work-boat crew accompanied me to the bridge for a tool-box meeting (briefing) where I was repeatedly told to concentrate on keeping myself onboard and reminded that if I did fall overboard, I had less than 10 minutes to get rescued, after which I would just freeze :D. (Oh, okay they weren't that menacing, but the message was pretty much the above.)
So eventually I made out to the launching bay (they lower the boat into the sea from about 10-15 ft high with towing lines) suitably swaddled in an immersion suit over my coveralls. Once out in the water, for the first few minutes I just couldn't stop grinning :D. One of the other guys, Neil, kept laughing, he said I reminded him of his first small boat trip. The sea was choppy, as I said before, and while it had translated to a benign, barely discernable rolling on the ship, it sent the workboat pitching and rolling like a roller coaster. I'm sure this was actually better than a roller-coaster, for you never know what's gonna hit you! One moment you are riding high on the crest of a huge wave, the next moment the water's gone from beneath you and you plunge down into the void! Boy, it was the most fantastic ride I've ever been on, and this was just the beginning!!

with Stan
As we went sailing up and down the cables, pulling sections onboard every now and then, I also noticed the sea birds up close for the first time. These are pretty large birds, with wingspans reaching upwards of 3 feet. Neil told me that they were called storm pestrels. And to my utter joy, one came and settled on the water barely a metre away from the boat and sailed along with us for a while. I swear it kept looking at us and glaring darkly, it probably thought we were poaching into it's fish supplies :D.
About an hour into the trip the cold was beginning to seep in through three layers of clothing. And imagine what my face, the only part exposed to the wind, was going through. I don't quite know, 'cos I couldn't feel a thing. The salt water sprayed all over us every now and then and the work on the cables meant most of my suit was wet with the cold sea water. My gloved hands couldn't provide much relief to my frozen face. Eventually I started blowing air over my nose. Remember Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day when she blows her hair off her face? Well, I wasn't aiming for my hair, I was just trying to warm up my nose!! The attempt sent Stan, the coxwain, completely overboard for some reason. When we had gotten back to the ship another hour or so later, he was still laughing. (Oh c'mon! not actually overboard!!)
Oh, I almost forgot! At some point of time the bridge of the Trident informed us that they had spotted whales!! I was excited, till Stan told me that while they stay clear of bigger ships, whales usually come sniffing when they hear small boats. He also rather vividly describled to me the possible outcomes of a 10 m whale attempting to satisfy it's curiosiy about a boat half it's size. Of course we didn't see any whales, or I wouldn't be in a state to be writing this.
So the rest of the day I spent dutifully helping my boss teach me onboard data processing. My boss currently is Neil by the way, and he spends almost as much time discussing tactics for the Fantasy Premier League as anything else, so the day sped off like a dream! I love my job! I love my life! It is so AWESSOME!!! :P


Hemamalini said...

I know what's going to come in this space:-|--thats a straight face again:D:D

kray said...

I'm sure you did! But did you know the details?? Where did you disappear for the rest of the day?

Akshi said...

Hehehe reminds me of the grin on ur face when u cleared first round for schlum. As SOD (I think) put it - he knew he was in the presence of happiness. :D

kray said...

I'd say you have a very good memory! That was over a year back :) But yeah, sometimes it feels so great to just be where I am, when I am. And I'm really thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

aaha, this is what you were talking about :).. damn cool. I had forgotten all you people's blog addresses.. and got here through jose's :D
Maybe I should also start my own blog, atleast I would be charged with plagiarism then :D