Saturday, 25 February 2006

Daily ramblings

Heh :D! Turns out my boss does believe in keeping his word. So I went on another small-boat outing today! And I figured why it is that I never manage to see flying fish while out in a boat. I'm too busy playing with the surf (when not busy with birds, sections, modules etc. that is) or squinting at the intensely bright sunlight. Whereafter, half blinded, it is hardly possible to notice the tiny fishes.
Oh, and I saw an oil rig!!!!! I know, it's surprising that I've been in the 'oil business' for 8 months and never seen an oil rig before. But then had some kind-hearted chap in Schlumberger Personnel not chucked my name into the WesternGeco bin (well, I hope they have better means of deciding who goes to which segment but I have no way of knowing), I might as well have been living half the year on a rig instead of a ship! By the looks of it, I am very very thankful that things are the way they are :D.

Done with shooting lines finally. When I get back on shift tomorrow, it's total hard labour :( picking up tons and tons (literally) of towed in-sea equipment back onboard. Good luck to me :-S.

Feeling: tired in anticipation :P
Listening to: Tori Amos - Cars and guitars

Friday, 24 February 2006

Of flying fish and a bouncing sun.

Yesterday I turned down a small boat trip. Unbelievable isn't it?! I know!! What was I thinking?!! And I was kicking myself immediately after. Especially when I heard that they'd spotted tons of flyingfish on the trip, which had eluded me on my two previous trips. But I saw some today, and didn't even have to step off the ship. The things are really tiny! But they manage to fly (glide) pretty impressive distances nonetheless!
While watching the sunset today this dreamer thought the sun looked like a big orange ball, bouncing off the helideck :D. Amazingly enough, I had to agree!! Yes, the sea isn't as flat, and the ship is pitching a bit these days.

Hmmm. So I've started cribbing about piddly things like small boat trips again. Life's beginning to show some promise. We also got our off-signing flight schedules last night!! And believe me, it is a biiig deal!! Due to unforeseen circumstances I will in fact, not be staying on in Singapore, but head back home directly. I'll be back in Kolkata on the 8th! I recall making a big deal over my second weekend here. And here we are, at the second-last :).

Current mood: *stop whining and get on with it!!*
Listening to: Tori Amos - Barons of suburbia

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Life, under the shadow....

Watched Sideways last night. Good movie. Totally appreciate Udit's 'must see' rating. It ends in hope. Which is something I like, especially now, since I'm in dire need of it. Dunno what I'm hoping for though....

Life's taken a rather unexpected turn. Wait, that's like the understatement of the year. It's gone and gotten itself a golf club, with the express purpose of whacking me on the head, HARD, and when I wasn't looking. Further, it's left everything around me exactly as it was a couple of days back. So now I'm in that totally lost state where the outside world is completely mismatched with what's going on inside my head.

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now

I wish. I so wish....

Feeling: dunno
Listening to: U2 - Beautiful day

Saturday, 18 February 2006

Propellers, impellers . . . oars . . .

There's nothing like a nice small-boat trip to cheer things up! And as is always the case with these trips, it landed up quite when I wasn't expecting it :D!!Yes, yes, yours truly always has that stupid grin plastered all over his face whenever out in a small boat :P.

Anyway, so I got to wondering today why boats have never featured in my almost-manic interest in things with engines (the car/bike type thingies). Of course it might be 'cos of the rather marked lack of them in my life until eight months back. But my interest is quickly covering the lost ground. It helps that I can actually drive those things myself now :D. As in, I'm not a certified coxwain yet, in fact far from it, but then licence type things have never really stopped me >:).
Paul, Dave, Colin. Quite the cool, trusty bunch :D.
There's another major factor at play here. Friends elsewhere (read on land!) are buying cars. And om pseud ones at that!!! Nissan 350 Z Fairlady's and B M W Z3's and VolksWagen Beetle's and what not. And of course it makes decidedly minimal sense for me to think about buying a car, what with floating around in miscellaneous seas for half the year and pushing papers at miscellaneous offices in foreign countries for half the rest...

Right, boats, and to justify the header to some extent: I noticed a very very major difference between propellers and impeller-driven water jets! The latter are a damn sight faster! And a million times more manouverable! But what's most interesting is, all the small boats, despite the powerful props and jets and all that, always have one wooden oar stowed away. Just in case :D.

Feeling: enthusiastic!
Listening to: Avril Lavigne - Sk8er boi

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Ignite the web!!

Get Firefox!

Muhahahaha!! >:)
The powers that be at the Schlumberger IT services have finally woken up! And included Firefox as a certified web browser!! (They were hithero stuck on I.E. and Netscape /:)!!)
Feeling: ecstatic!!! :D
Listening to: Rob Thomas - This is how a heart breaks

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

White noise.

a.k.a. Completely random thoughts floating on a flat sea
Random, that reminds me of Arthur Dent's daughter from Douglas Adam's H2G2. Almost fell in love with the character, only to have her vaporised by the author's malicious imagination, along with... alright alright, no more spoilers.
At least there were some ripples worth speaking of today. Yesterday the sea was as flat as a mirror. Not even those slight wrinkles you would see on the surface (as in the pic). Even the sea seemed bored :(. Yes, I totally hate a flat sea, no waves, no surf, no rolling, no fun. Of course anyone with the slightest aquaintance of sea-sickness would probably violently disagree. But without sounding rude or anything, I couldn't care less. That didn't sound all that convincing did it /:).
Still on ripples and such other water surface phenomena: I noticed a rather interesting ramification of shallow water currents. A majority of the expanse of water all around seems a little worked up, with small but sharlpy defined waves. But in between, there are these bits where the surface is unnaturally calm. Looks rather like somebody's levelled off the waves with a planer.
There are two certainties in my life currently. One, there will be potatoes for dinner. Two, there will be more potatoes for dinner.
Sudoku is an interesting thing. Lots of people I know have been raving about it for a fair while, but I'd never really tried it out before. But having run out of readily available starting grids, I decided to make myself one. The first time it almost worked out too, (I was like, insaaaaaanely lucky), so I decided it would be nice to figure out how many random numbers you can arbitrarily insert into a blank 9X9 grid to create a solvable puzzle. Obviously, between watching the birds, cables, vessel speed, gun firing, shot records and tape drives, it was a rather lost cause. And my mind kinda boggled when I found out that I was dealing with numbers like 6,670,903,752,021,072,936,960.

Right. I should be happy I guess, half the trip is officially over. Finished 3 weeks and a day. In exactly the same time, I will be in Singapore with a 3 day holiday. But I am feeling strangely deflated. Life never seems to work out the way you hoped it would, does it?

Feeling: sad
Listening to: Radiohead - High and dry

Sunday, 12 February 2006


How is it that some songs manage to conjure up faces every time I hear them play? Couldn't help noticing that these are songs that have populated my 'must hear' lists for the longest time...
Toss the Feathers
A Million Parachutes
Kid A
Funky S**t

And how can I forget some that have never populated my playlists, but make me smile when I think of them nevertheless :D
Oye Bubbly!...
There are of course tons of others - background scores for drams, music for PAF choreo pieces or IITB Gyrations, music for the totally crazy drill we did on bicycles in 11th grade... Each one brings up more faces, sometimes places. And always lots of memories :-<.
Current Mood: nostalgic
Listening to: Sixpence None The Richer - A million parachutes

Friday, 10 February 2006

Common threads

So I finally finished reading The Namesake. Didn't exactly regret bringing it along, 'cos it's a really really nice book. But there's so much sadness in it! Still, it was pretty much worth the last five nights of lost sleep. At the end I was left desperately looking for Nikolai Gogol's 'The Overcoat'. Having read it, I found that there is indeed more common to the two than the quote:
"His name was Akakiy Akakievitch. It may strike the reader as rather singular and far-fetched, but he may rest assured that it was by no means far-fetched, and that the circumstances were such that it would have been impossible to give him any other."
Now to proceed further than the 5th page of Manticore's Secret!
By the way, today's sunset was totally mindblowing :D. The first this trip that I very much regretted having to step away from.
Feeling: stressed out :(
Listening to: Moby - Natural blues

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

A million foaming drops of joy.

Finally got to go out in a small boat today! It did take a while in coming, but on the upside, this was a tremendously lukhha trip (/vetti/jobless). As can be expected from my track-record, I was extremely happy to see the outside of the ship. And from quite a distance too, actually! Far enough for a bit of spray to almost eclipse the 92m Trident :D.


My goatee is now longer than the hair on my head. And if you think that's weird, I'm not the only one. What are the odds...

Current mood: was happy a while back...
Listening to: Three Doors Down - Kryptonite

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Deja vu!

Stepped out on the helideck and a totally unexpected view greeted me! The moon hovering a few degrees above the western horizon, piercing the darkness with it's silky glow. (It was 2.30 am.) I was reminded of an almost identical experience over 5 months back! And no, this isn't someting that would happen to you everyday, trust me :).
A few hours earlier, I had watched the sun set, and this was almost the same, the bright light reflecting off the softly undulating waves and leaving a glowing streak till the edge of the world. Only, the disk was a little short of round, and the world was in black and white.
Current mood: pleasantly surprised
Listening to: Moby - Honey

Monday, 6 February 2006


There's this nice concept here, the instrument room (where I work most of the time) has these tons of monitors arranged in a rough circle all around, and there's this tiny cut-out of the Trident. So the concept is to have the 'ship' moving around from one monitor to the next with each passing day. Coincidentally, there are exactly 21 monitors, so when the 'ship' completes two trips around the room, we get off!!! :D And today it finished two thirds of the frst circle... two down, four to go.
It's pretty amazing how time's simply flying by this trip. I remember feeling decidedly bored by this time during my first trip, and oh boy, was I depressed when I had to get back to Asker from Kristiansund at the end of my second week in Norway!! But now I barely seem to have the time to spare on boredom :). They say the better your life is, the quicker it seems to pass you by! Actually my dad says that, and I'd rather take his word for it :D.
In case you are wondering, yes I did take these pics while within the ship. It's a pretty amazing view, watching the forefoot of the ship go slicing through the water forty feet below, and feeling like you are hanging in thin air, looking straight down.
A smile might make a lousy umbrella, but it does turn your day around. Put a wee bit of fight, and start smiling, your shitty day will end up looking good eventually :).
Feeling: hopeful
Listening to: Everclear - Wonderful

Saturday, 4 February 2006

Conspicuous by absence

Reading this kind of hit home the fact harder. There is no weekend here. There is the saturday and the sunday but there is no friday afternoon before, and no monday morning after. Well, what I mean is, it's like a tuesday morning all through. Or a wednesday, or a thursday for that matter.
It always feels worst on the second weekend. The first passes you by and you don't even notice it. Then another five days go by and you eventually long just a little bit (or a lot, depending on your state of mind) for a break. You shrug your shoulders and carry on. And soon you forget. Or force yourself to forget, which is sort of the same thing, and life goes on.
Current mood: wistful
Listening to: Oasis - Don't look back in anger

Thursday, 2 February 2006

Day in the life of...

... what do I call myself? A sailor, engineer, mechanic, rather expensive labour, all of these, none of these?
Whatever it is, it never fails to surprise me. I have no idea how many people are familiar with the concept of shutki maachh, at lunch the other day I was offered something called balchai (or something sounding like that) in Mayanmese (formerly Burmese). Turns out the two are the same! Small fish spiced up and wrapped, preferrably in banana leaves, and left underground, or otherwise covered with earth for a substantial amount of time. I was so elated on seeing shutki after an extremely long time under rather unexpected circumstances, that it took the first bite into a rather generous helping to remind me how much I hated it :P.
Then of course there's my shiftmate. There are two people on the entire ship who rank below me, totally new trainees. (I'm decidedly senior with all of 6 months' experience :D.) And one of them is my understudy. First shock, he's 8 years older than me. And not so surprisingly I guess, he's married, and has a six year old kid. All that's very fine, and the chap's really rather nice, but when at the lunch table he launches into a conversation about how tough the first two years after having your first kid is, I kick up my chewing speed a notch or two. Five minutes later I'd be explaining to him how to 'acquire quality seismic data', as my boss puts it. Missing the good old days when seniors were actually older and juniors younger :-<.
Being reminded on a daily basis that getting your hopes up really serves no other purpose than very effectively having them deflated right back again. Waiting... hoping... knowing full well that tomorrow will be not too different in some ways, and nothing like today in others :).
Feeling: amused, at nothing in particular
Listening to: Sheryl Crow - Every day is a winding road