Thursday, 30 August 2007


It has been an I N S A N E five days. (No really, I cannot possibly impress upon you exactly how insane it has actually been, even with the capitalised, spaced out letters!) And to think that I was supposed to get off the boat on Friday. However, that fell through, and on Saturday morning one of our streamers (one of the eight 6km long cables with hydrophones, that we tow behind the ship to pick up sound signals) chose to dive to the ocean bottom. This particular ocean bottom in question was a good 1100m below the surface. Predictably, all hell broke loose.
That wrinkled up yellow thing you see floating in the water? That's not supposed to be wrinkled, it's supposed to look like a nicely rounded balloon. Well, sort of. And it has been crumpled and crushed into that huge hulk of scrap merely by water pressure at a great depth. Without going into too much detail, let's say that this was the worst stint on the back-deck that I've ever done.

Thankfully, there were a few people who made life a whole lot more bearable under the circumstances. And there were movies. But I must admit House of Sand and Fog wasn't the best choice under the circumstances. It has brilliant acting amidst equally brilliant cinematography, but is one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen! The only light moment came when the Russian workmate I was watching it with found it extremely hard to believe that she had a similar accent to Kingsley's representation of Southern Caspian English! It is rather difficult to keep a straight face when you hear someone say 'I don't talk like that' while talking exactly like 'that' :P.In between all of this Gameweek 4 came and went, and I did exceptionally well with 55 points. Way above the average of 41 this time! And with it, I landed a solid third spot!! The only trouble is, it will probably only get worse from here. Almost at the same time, F1 yielded the perfect result that I was looking for at Istanbul! A Ferrari 1-2 with Massa in front!! I think someone was trying to compensate for the kinda luck I was having with the more pressing matters at hand /:).

Eventually it was Tuesday afternoon and I was packing with the all important question still hanging unanswered like a dark cloud over my head. Will the weather calm down to permit a chopper to land on the Trident's helideck? And when I was just about through, I ran into the Chief Officer, who just happened to mention in passing that the helo ops would very probably get cancelled :O. I was aghast!!!! The option was to wait for a couple of days, and even after that, the weather was predicted to only get worse :((!! It is probably the worst possible thing that can happen to you, having to pack your bags without knowing if you would have to unpack everything again the next day.

I got on shift yesterday, and headed back to the backdeck, wondering if this would be the last time. Not the best thing to have on your mind when you are trying to concentrate :). By the time I got off at midday, all the gear was almost the way it was all supposed to be. A couple of hours later, I was in the heli-reception, waiting for my chopper. Another half hour, and I was actually on it :). I have, without a doubt, never been this happy, relieved, grateful or exhausted while lifting off from the Trident :-<. It took three flights, the chopper out to Barrow Island, then an ancient looking fixed wing (that looked like it had a flat tyre!) out to Karratha and then another jet to Perth to get back.And when I got out of the cab in Subi, I was still wondering if the keys I had in my hands would open the gate :|. (I hadn't been able to recognise the set I'd been sent.) But it turned out that my misery had run its course :). Got a really good night's sleep and took the day off today. The forecast was gloomy with possible hail, but it's been bright and sunny all day :).

Just for the record, for the first time in my life, I'm living all by myself in a house.

Currently: coming back to life...
Listening to: Dido - Thank you

Friday, 24 August 2007

The long forgotten

It was like hearing a gunshot. No, more like feeling a rush of malevolent air. A feeling that something was about to hit him. Injure him terribly, leave him beyond repair maybe. What would you have done? If you could, would you wrap yourself in a blizzard? Hoping that you were quick enough to freeze the hurt before it found its mark. Maybe he did, but the effort cost him. He cannot be sure though. You see, he cannot remember. But there is always that lurking emptiness. And he's afraid that if she asks him, he wouldn't have an answer. Then it would be the same thing all over again...

Grosse Pointe Blank: watch.

Feeling: not much
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Nothingman

Monday, 20 August 2007

In the end

All seven down! Argh. But not the worst, there's definitely been worse :). So I'm finally done with The Deathly Hallows! And really, the best part of it by far is the fact that it is finally all over for good :-<. Now I can happily go back to Life of Pi that has been left on hold for some time!

The first half of this book was much like the previous two, slow, irritating, hard to get through. But then it got better. There were parts that almost reminded me of the older books! But then I suppose some of it had been written earlier, but whatever. It was very weird :), all in all. I can't really make up my mind if I wanted this kind of an ending. But I suppose if anyone was looking for twists and turns, they weren't left disappointed. I am rather curious to know if this one can really be considered a 'children's book' though...
Okay, now a little bit of fantasy football! :D Gameweek three got done over the weekend, and my first real gamble paid off!! Before the games started, Downing, one of my midfielders was declared doubtful with an injury! But I figured might as well play him, and guess what? Got me 3 bonus points!! :D. Ended up with a single digit rank on our league for the first time \:D/ and now I'm only second on the boat!!

Feeling: strained
Listening to: Aerosmith - Dream on

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Crew change

Yup, everything went off as planned, quicker even. Six choppers in and out in no time. And I'm still here. Here being the boat. No, there's been no mistake, I'm to stay back for another week or so :-<. The only saving grace really is that I've known this for about a week now. But it hits home only when all the old faces are gone, and new, unfamiliar faces occupy the familiar chairs... It's a shame really, I'd just gotten down to single digits when I found out.

Oh well, didn't have a whole lot of time to brood on it. A lot is usually happening at crew change, but in the middle of all that, somehow, a TV set and a DVD player managed to hijack my couch! I mean, the couch is not exactly huge, and I don't even have the space to hook up the TV! /:) And I still don't know exactly how they got there!

Currently: bummed
Listening to: Chicane - Overlap

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Gameweek 2

It does seem like there hasn't been much happening in my life lately doesn't it? Which is kind of true too... Let's see, since the last weekend I've gone driving in the boat a bit. Which was good. On one of those occasions, the maneuvering was so taxing that by the end of it my left arm was semi-numb with pain elbow up. Which wasn't so good. Though it did generate that purely physical (and a tad masochistic) sense of achievement... Then I got stuck on an MOB crew almost by mistake. No, not on standby, an actual drill! And once we were in the water, that's when I realized that I was the one supposed to be doing the driving!!! Not what one might ordinarily categorize as good, but was undoubtedly awesome fun :D. Then for the last couple of days there's been crane training. I'm supposed to get certified as a driver. I think I did too... though not entirely sure if the instructor's last nod was a 'yeah you've passed' or a 'yep, there's no way in hell I'll certify you' :|. But it was pretty interesting. Given that I've never gone anywhere near the crane driving stations ever before. The whole thing moves! As in you, your controls, the little landing thingie you're standing on, it's all actually turning with the boom of the crane :D. And it's high up, so it's nice and windy. The people down below look appropriately tiny, and you feel correspondingly high and mighty... The speed of the movements however, was decidedly short of even my modest expectations.

Right, so getting back to the point, EPL!! Fantasy football! (Yay.)Another bunch of games done with, and this time, I did better! Actually I got less points than last time, just 38, but the average was barely 25 \:D/. I suppose the red card awarded to C Ronaldo (I still refuse to call him just Ronaldo :|) had a fair bit to do with that. And I had Forssell on the bench, again. And he got five points, again :|. But, what has me really excited is that Tevez played!!! I didn't have him, but so what?! And, Berbatov very obligingly developed a groin injury, so I've promptly dumped him and picked Tevez :D. Perfect eh?! I know, I'll never make it too far in the league, these Argentinians will be the end of me. Let's see how long I resist the temptation of getting Mascherano and Heinze:|.

Currently: fourteenth! (again joint :|)
Listening to: Long Beach Dub AllStars - Sunny hours

Monday, 13 August 2007

Gameweek 1

Yeah, there's gonna be one of these every now and then from now :D.So the English Premier League has kicked off and at the end of the first week we've got our points! For our teams on the Fantasy Football that is. Well, I haven't done too badly. My 42 points are marginally above the overall average of 39, and if I'd had one of my subs playing instead of on the bench, that would have been 6 points more :-<. But who would have thought Sunderland and Birmingham City players would be the pick of the lot! Oh well, there's 36 more weeks to go. I'm just trying not to get carried away and make too many wild transfers every week :|.

Currently: nineteenth (joint :P)
Listening to: Moby - 18

Friday, 10 August 2007


Sleep, I find, is a great leveller. I have never felt anything as strongly upon waking up, as I might have felt before falling asleep. Not fear, not sadness, not joy. Except maybe regret, but that's just those few moments for having to actually get out of bed.... (and that's there no matter what :-<)It's a good thing I wake up about 6 hours before sunrise on average, or I'll never be in a state to enjoy them.

Currently: going boating!! (hopefully.. all fingers, toes, everything crossed :-S)
Listening to: U2 - All I want is you

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Yours madly,

Oh, wow, look at you now
Flowers in the window
It's such a lovely day and I'm glad you feel the same
'Cos to stand up, out in the crowd
You are one in a million
And I love you so
Let's watch the flowers grow

Because my inside is outside
My right side's on the left side
'Cos I'm writing to reach you
But I might never reach you
I long to teach you... about you
But that's not you
Do you know it's true
And that won't do
You know it's you
I'm talking to
Sometimes, I'm just glad how madly some things make me happy :D. It's a dangerous high :). But for once I'm not worried about falling...

Currently: truly.. madly..
Listening to: Travis - Flowers in the window/ Writing to reach you

Monday, 6 August 2007


I sometimes wonder, does everyone have such days? All those wishes in the back of your mind, stuff you don't really put too much thought into, they all seem to come true. And instead of feeling content, happy even, you are left with the deepest sense of regret, wondering why oh why weren't you wishing for something else!!

On a completely unrelated note (honestly!), saw another whale today! This one was trying to get to the other side of the boat. Seems a simple enough thing doesn't it?! Apparently not. It first paced us for a half hour before thinking (possibly) that we were going too fast to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre, and heading aft. But the 6 by 1 sq. km spread once again proved too much for it, and then began the extremely slow and careful overtaking. The image of two heavily overloaded trucks attempting to overtake one another on an uphill section of a highway comes to mind. As an astute member of our crew pointed out later, someone should have told the whale that it could swim under the boat...Anyway, in the meantime the whale came within a few hundred metres of the ship, and I realized that by a cruel twist of fate, this was probably the tiniest whale I've ever seen :-<. Two hours, and that's the best shot I got!!

Currently: amused
Listening to: Linkin Park - Leave out all the rest

Sunday, 5 August 2007

The trap

Imagine a gigantic piece of machinery... or better still, imagine a glorious ship. With sails.. a galleon even, if you wish. The bows slice through the deep blue with effortless ease. (The beautifully carved mermaid on the prow mocking the sirens...) Fair winds puff the sails so full, it's almost flying over the ocean.
Imperceptibly almost, the winds change. You do not even realize. It's small things first. Little signs, that make you wonder if you should be paying attention to something. A deepening foreboding that things are going wrong.

By the time it stalls, settles into the gloom of the water that has turned suddenly dark with the falling sun, you already know you've been here before. The terrible stillness, the most terrible thing about it being the familiarity. In this boat there be no oars. :)

The lord of madness sends shadows to recruit you. You desperately look for the tiniest draft of fair wind before they apparate into something more substantial.

Currently: floating...
Listening to: Chicane - Saltwater

Thursday, 2 August 2007


Does that look like an ordinary picture? Look again!! Okay, now look very very carefully :P.

Somewhere in the middle of all that gray water and gray sky, are two little jets of white, pointing upwards. Yes! I finally managed to take actual pictures of whales!! I've lost count of the number of times that I've actually seen whales. Really, but too many of those times I've had to come away without pictures simply because the creatures were too far away for my old L1 to get any kind of a decent image. And on the several occasions that they were close, I didn't have a camera handy :|. And on a particular 'whale-watching' trip, when I did have my camera handy, there turned out to be no whales /:). By the looks of it this time wasn't too different eh? Fortunately, I have proof to the contrary :D.That's a humpback. Yes, yes, it could be better, but till one or more of them choose to pop their heads out right next to the boat (and not while I'm sleeping :|), this will have to do. (Psssst, don't tell anyone I said that!)

Currently: conflicted...
Listening to: Linkin Park - Shadow of the day