Thursday, 29 April 2010

Round and round in circles

Thankfully, those last couple of days did slip by without incident. Turned out to be a very peaceful trip then, work-wise. Trouble with that is, it can only get worse from there. Then again, that's exactly the sort of thinking that gets you depressed :P.Had a reasonably peaceful trip back. Even managed to sort of slip in and out of a fitful half-sleep for part of the trans-Atlantic flight. Which, I think, helped keep me more or less wide awake through the long transit in Dubai.And if only I'd tipped the waitress at IAH a dollar less, or at MSY, I'd have managed to get a copy of what appears to be Nick Hornby's latest, Juliet, Naked. No matter, seeing how I finally got that bloody elusive debit card in hand today, I should be able to grab a copy in the near future. Did find another few bits and pieces that have been waiting for me a few months. Including the PADI OWD card! Which is a good thing, 'cos I managed to lose the temporary one last break. Yup, it was in that wallet :|. Which reminds me, I should to get a wallet. Or not.I was a bit surprised with the silence at the spot I'd picked for my hours in Dubai International. I sat there for a bit, between the end of a movie and switching the music back on again. I could hear nothing! No announcements, no footsteps. No words floating by from a distance. Wasn't for long though. A half dozen flights probably landed right about then and all too soon the peace was overrun by an army of noises. I just hit play and sank back out of the world of background noises.

Currently: looking forward to sleep sans alarm :)
Listening to: Kate Nash - Nicest thing

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Imagining reality

One and a wake-up. Yup! This trip went by quick! Hasn't been bad so far, but I have been busier than usual. Which, in itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing.Could have done without some of the excitement.
Although, to be fair, I am definitely glad it wasn't stuff affecting us directly on the boat.
I find myself rather unduly restless this time. Especially considering a break completely devoid of any plans...
I do have pretty decent flights back home for a change. And by the looks of it, Mt. Unpronounceable hasn't done too much damage to my chances of actually catching them.Now let's just hope these last two days slip by quietly.
Five years old I climbed up on the wall
My mother warned me but I took no heed
Like all creatures great and small
I took a fall and found out I could bleed

These days I'm afraid of everything
Suppose cause everything will die
Thought it was to love what they will lose
So much easier to lie

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning
Actually it's more like most of the time
But every now and then when I am sleeping
I still have a dream that I'm flying

And I wake up crying
Currently: restless
Listening to: Alexi Murdoch - Dream about flying

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Burning the night

There is a reason we don't like excitement offshore. For the most part. Chances are, if it's getting exciting, it's nothing good :(. The events of the last 24 hours or so are proving to be a glaring example.
It's all over the news channels and websites, so this isn't exactly breaking news. A semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit rather close to our location suffered a major explosion and caught on fire late Tuesday night. Most of the crew were reported to have successfully evacuated the location quite swiftly. Most of them have by now been re-united with their families back on shore.We were about 20 nm (~36km) away when disaster struck. The flames over 200 feet high were clearly visible all the way from beyond the horizon. Over a day later, the blaze is still raging on. The rig itself is of course, lost. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported, although a handful of crew were air-lifted early in the operation due to more severe injuries.
But there are about a dozen crew reported missing. Good thing is that the weather's been really calm these last couple of days. One hopes that when the aerial SAR teams join the USCG cutters and several other vessels still searching for the missing at first light, they will have more success than they did yesterday. But of course the longer it takes, the bleaker the outlook :(.
It's humbling to see the flames leaping up even now, the brightest thing on the horizon, even from this far away. All through the day yesterday the flames defied the bright sunlight and remained constantly visible. The jets of water from the fire-boats instantly vaporizing and mingling with the smoke to create a huge plume above the flames rising up high into the sky.
We have our ears on the VHF, waiting, hoping to hear reports of one of the searching vessels locating the remaining crew of the Deepwater Horizon.
Currently: hopeful, still
Listening to: Coldplay - Everything's not lost

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Ash from ice?!

I'm heading straight home from the boat at the end of this trip. Or at least I'm supposed to. Why's that news? 'Cos it's only happened three times before. :) However, now there's this Icelandic menace :|.
Trouble with crew change is exactly that, it's a changeover. So if the other lot don't make it back, despite my flight plans having nothing to do with European airspace, I could stay stuck on-board :(. So let's hope this blows over soon.-
The days are getting longer in a hurry this trip. Or so it seems. By the looks of it, sunrise bumped ahead a good 20 minutes in these last 3 weeks.Wonder what the weather's like back home. It'll be a quick shift into summer.Currently: waiting...
Listening to: Feist - 1 2 3 4

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Maybe the silver moon, a smile rising?

I hate to sound like the weekly news, but there's really nothing to warrant more frequent posts. Haven't been reading much, did watch a few movies. But most of my off time's going into a somewhat insane mountain challenge. Let's not go into the details of that. It's depressing. :)
I guess My Life Without Me would deserve a mention. The last time I'd watched it was at least about 6 years back. It was awesome, but also awesomely depressing! So I've been carrying it around on a succession of portable and some not so portable media since then, but every time I'd plan on watching it, I would invariably settle for something else. By the time I did watch it last week, I'd forgotten much of it. I still definitely love it. And I still just as definitely find it super depressing. But Sarah Polley has one of those hyper expressive faces that's just so awesome to watch!!!
Oh! I also managed to beg, coerce and wrangle my way into a work-boat trip :D. It was good to get off the ship for a bit. A very welcome change of scenery, albeit short-lived.On the one hand, not a lot has been happening, by way of undue excitement on the job that is. But on the other hand, the days seem to be pretty much hurtling past! Good thing? The first, absolutely! The second? Should be, shouldn't it? Why the nagging sense of disquiet then?
It's been a long time since I took the time to step outside into the night. Out here though, close to the mouth of the mighty Mississippi, it's not just the stars that twinkle in the dark. As you look north, the horizon is marked out by an almost continuous string of distant lights of platforms and rigs. Maybe the occasional brighter leap of a real flame, a flare.I wish all the things that make life in general a mess would sort themselves out while I was busy doing something else. Everyone does I suppose. But it hardly ever works that way. More often than not, they go and get more messed up behind your back :-<. Convictions are like words in tattoos. At some point you thought they were the best, most bullet-proof idea you've ever had. And then things changed, and left you looking like a fool.

Feeling: inexplicably bummed
Listening to: The Weepies - World spins madly on

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Living in twilight

As it turns out, so far, the getting bored to death bit is working out more or less okay :). It could be better, I'm not getting as many sunrises as I'd like to, but hey, it could be worse.
The unfortunate part though, is that I'm out of luck with boat trips :(. Just the way the shifts are set up, nothing I can do about that. I did manage one trip out, nice weather, nothing particular to do, a tuned up jet boat :D. Even managed to set a new personal fastest speed of 35 kts >:). (I'm sure I could have done better, given slightly flatter sea conditions.)
The other things keeping me sane these days are the passes around rigs lit up like Christmas trees at night :).Everything would have been more or less cool but for one unfortunate incident back home that sent shock waves out far enough to even catch me unawares.
Currently: floating along, still
Listening to: The Weepies - Riga girls