The admirals great adventure

Emptying the money bank & filling the memory bank

Normal Service - soon to be resumed

08 December 2016
Gap year from travelling - worst year ever !

Spain - San Carles - winter maintenance

15 December 2015
Ian
After getting back from Malaysia I spent 48 hours playing jet lag sleep deprivation wake at silly o clock then sleep at lunch time games.

Then straight back into the yacht owning saddle , a year ago almost to the day we replaced the engine on BA after it was dropped by a contractor in San Carles - that's an on going court case by the way , we won't dwell on it today.

We liked the boat yard as it was a solid concrete yard and the boats securely lashed to the ground , we had the advantage of knowing where all the local services are located so we decided to go back there for our annual lift and scrub.

Our yard list is fairly short , there's the usual anti foul and anodes to be done , the toilet has been struggling with blockages so I'm replacing the hoses for the waste

While the pipes are off I may as well replace the sea cocks as they are now five years old and getting difficult to operate - old age !

The new engine is on 250 hours and will be getting a little love in the form of new filters and a tickle from the Hoover to remove any gingerness from the dog.

We plan on being out for 2/3 days at most , last time we we were here we planned on being out for 1 month which turned into 4 months so I'm hoping all goes to plan.

In my last days on ship in Malaysia I spent a little while watching the weather forecasts on passage weather hoping to get some dry days and light winds.

Now I'm not a religious man but if there is a god he was smiling down on me that day. We had to motor the 60 miles to get to San Carles as there were light head winds ( well spotted David on Surabaya girl) but the sea state was fantastic and the sun it shine all day.

We left at first light eager to be on our way and to avoid a cold night entry into San Carlos and the beautiful Ebro delta. We slipped out lines at 06:30 and headed out onto a glassy flat Mediterranean Sea.

The sun was just beginning to rise as the first Dolphins appeared in our wake , the fishing boats were leaving the port a routine they do each day while most of us are still asleep in our beds.

As the sun rose there was a cloud formation scudding slowly across the sky , Carried by the lightest of breezes from the north west,it formed a frame for what was to be a beautiful start to the day.

Not much sailing to be done as per usual , we did shake the creases out of the main sail as a token effort to appear as a wind driven vessel.

We motored all the way adding another ten hours to the summers engine hour count , by my calculations the engine will be on 1500 hours by the time we leave the med in a few years time !

The transit to San Carlos was uneventful by recent standards , we did see plenty of swimming and flying wildlife on route to the entrance to the lagoon.

We had already decided to go to anchor as the marina is €40 per night even in The winter months and where's the point in paying to just tie up when there is a perfectly good sandy beach nearby.

So here we sit , anchored just inside the entrance to the lagoon , the sun set was equally as amazing as the sun rise this morning and as it sinks beyond the horizon we retreat into the warmth of the saloon and watch the Suns final rays disappear into memories.

We went into the marina at first light in preparation of the travel hoist lifting us out of the water - almost a year to the day we went back into the water. The yard staff at MDL sant Carles marina were as always careful and considerate in lifting BA from the water. Pressure washed and then sat in cradles and lashed to the ground in case of strong winds which here can reach over 80 knots as its funnelled from North Atlantic and the bay of biscay between mountains and exits into the med.

As soon as we were left to our own devices we got stuck into the short list of maintenance tasks. Well it started out a short list and soon became longer as per the norm.

I needed to replace the pipe work and the sea cocks for the heads compartment as they were the last ones to be done way back in 2003 and the toilet wasn't flushing so well anymore which is a sure sign of calcium build up in the pipes.

Once the shower tray was out and the sea cocks exposed it was obvious that the steel tubes which are welded to the plates were not in the best of conditions so I decided while we were out its best to replace them - let the games begin !

welding

Two steel plates replaced - two sea cocks replaced - anodes done - anti foul done and relaunched - small leak from one of the new sea cocks - OH BOLLOCKS 1 !

Back out again replace faulty sea cock and slid back in later that day.

We head for the anchorage only to find the plastic paddle wheel is damp around its base and obviously it's a weakness - OH BOLLOCKS 2 !

Back to the marina and lifted the following day - smashed out the stupid plastic paddle wheel and fitting which NEVER worked (or was accurate when it did) and a welded plate in its place.

Back in the water the following day which was Xmas eve so no chance of getting to the islands for Xmas day and we settle for the lagoon at Sant Carles

The Christmas chicken barely fits in the oven and we use up most of the bottled gas cooking it but Xmas was good we chilled out ate to much, drank to much so pretty much a normal Christmas celebration.

lauren

The surroundings here are pretty , it's peaceful, no other boats , no other people just us hermits and a dog.

Christmas surprise CGG style , I hate missing phone calls especially from foreign numbers - I hate them even more when I phone them back and they tell me I'm made redundant !!

Oil and gas is on its arse , oil has dropped fro $150 a barrel to $25 a barrel , the oil companies can't sell what they are making so why look for more ??

Well that how they see it, so while pump prices in fuel stations are dropping , oil companies are tightening belts and cutting jobs , on 21/12/2015 that included mine.


Add into the mix Andreas mother was diagnosed with cancer just after Xmas and you can see why we aren't celebrating right now.

So 2016 is starting and we will be looking at our options , where to go , what to do ETC and I will be looking for some work - God only knows what or where but I need a JOB !




Work - Malaysia - Miri

02 November 2015
Ian
Miri Malaysia - not precisely a holiday destination , the hotel was good , food was good , everything was good .... Well except the beach with salt water crocs, the garbage which was every where , the noise until the early hours of the morning so really it was bad .

I spent the week rarely leaving the relative tranquility of the hotel room and swimming pool, preferring to eat in the hotel too as hygiene in the cafes outside was completely missing.



The chopper ride out to the ship was fine , just about an hour to reach my new ship, another C- class vessel the Geo Caspian, similar to Geo Coral and newer, considered to be CGG'S flag ship in many ways.

Armed with 2 x 30ft work boats made by Westplas and powered with twin Yanmar engines producing around 600HP and working the Ultra Jet system to enable us to slide over the streamers with out causing damage

So now we are miles from land and doing the usual nonsense of going around in circles with which I wont bore you, Xmas is coming and this crew are home so there is an air of anticipation as December approaches.

No doubt we will be seeing xmas trimmings and Santa paraphernalia starting to make an appearance around the office and the instrument room!

The survey lines are 15 hrs long with the turns taking around 2.5 hrs , so we aren't exactly busy doing maintenance, we cant do any maintenance when we are "on line" doing the survey , all the maintenance is done in the turn , we cant launch at night or in winds over 20 knots and 2m seas - its monsoon season and storms are pretty common.

The area we are working in is 100 Nm from Miri which is in Malaysia and approximately 1400 Nm to China, yet the area has always been referred to as The South China Sea as you know from the numerous TV reports the Chinese have been "Terra Forming" some shallow areas and making them into islands and then building Naval bases there.

Well the Shoal we are working around has an area little more than one meter deep and has a Chinese warship hanging out there constantly and apparently this is the furthest most part of the disputed area that China is laying claim too.

Anyways so far we have avoided any kind of serious contact or communication with this war ship but using the work boat and the radio operators in the instrument room saying "range to target" is 400 meters bearing 120 degrees is probably not good right now.

Im guessing these guys have small boats they can launch so we keep an eye on radar to monitor any activity and to make sure they don't wander onto the survey site.

Week five crept up slowly and it's time to leave the relative comfort of the ship, the flights home came in via email about a week ago and are pretty good as there is nothing over 8 hours.

So the travel plan is :

1 hour flight by chopper from ship to shore
4 hours in the hotel waiting to go to the airport (beer o clock)
2 hours waiting in the airport for the first flight
2.5 hours flying from Miri to kuala lumpur
4 hours in kuala lampur airport (Christmas shopping)
7 hour flight to Doha in Qatar
2 hours waiting in Doha airport ( Christmas shopping)
8 hour flight to Barcelona
30 mins on train to city centre
1 hour on train to home

REALITY :

1 St flight delayed by three hours due to storm in kuala lampur , sleep on floor of airport lobby waiting for my flight. Arrive kuala lampur sprint across airport terminals and mono rails to make final boarding of second flight by mins. Discover Doha is worlds most expensive airport for Chrissy shopping and food.Fall asleep on train ride home tired and hungry but glad to be back after seven weeks away.

Really nice to be met by Andrea and Lauren at the airport and good that they woke me up before missing the train station to get off !

It's really difficult after flying so far and travelling for so long to stay awake , it seems rude to sleep when people have made such an effort to meet you after so long time apart but the euphoria of getting home wears off pretty quick and my natural ability to sleep any where and in any position soon takes over ...... Sorry girls :-)


Work - Kuala Lumpur

01 November 2015
Ian
As a child my parents used to speak of Kuala Lumpur- might as well be in Kuala Lumpur they used to say , well I'm there - I'm in that mythical place.

Oh I sooooooo wanted to stop here longer , the wheels touched down on the Tarmac , the doors opened and we all got out the plane.

I looked at my phone , I had fifteen minutes to get across the terminal to catch my next connection across Malaysia to Miri

I didn't even grab a coffee in Kuala Lumpur - how gutted am I !

Ive Been to Kuala Lumpur- Do I get the T shirt - probably not

Work - Singapore

29 October 2015
Ian
Every once and a while I need to do course refreshers , this normally means a dreary trip to Aberdeen and a diet of fried mars bars while dunking my head in iced water.

NOT THIS TIME

This time I had a stop over in Singapore to do my helicopter escape training (3 rd time) and fire fighting course.



The training centre is run by Swire ship management and has the latest helicopter crash simulator and the tank is outdoors in the sun- I'm never going back to Aberdeen !

It's also right next to the Singapore yacht club , which is where I met up with my old mate from Geo Atlantic days Julien Le Clerc who is now living in Singapore.

julien

So we met in the yacht club and shared a few beers over stories of the good old days aboard ship and the stuff that went on.

yacht club

Vessel Name: Blown Away
Vessel Make/Model: Peter Ibold - Hedonist Steel ketch
Hailing Port: Bristol - UK
Crew: Admiral Horatio Nelson and motley crew
About: WARNING: MAY CONTAIN NUTS
Blown Away's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 5 of 5
1
La Rochelle
La Rochelle
Il D Yeu
Il D Yeu
Il D Yeu
 
1
6 Photos
Created 1 February 2017
A short yard list of work to prepare BA for summer 2016 and the adventures ahead.
13 Photos
Created 15 December 2015
16 Photos
Created 21 November 2015
No Photos
Created 21 October 2015
No Photos
Created 18 October 2015
18 Photos
Created 3 September 2015
some pictures of offshore life
6 Photos
Created 29 August 2015
A file of strange phenomenon seen at anchor
5 Photos
Created 8 August 2015
9 Photos
Created 11 July 2015
7 Photos
Created 28 June 2015
1 Photo
Created 28 June 2015
Beautiful - beautiful port
28 Photos
Created 7 April 2015
54 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 5 April 2015
What a Beautiful city - highly recommended
25 Photos
Created 5 April 2015
Ibiza Island - Balearics - Highly recommended
12 Photos
Created 14 January 2015
Home to more than just the apes
5 Photos
Created 14 January 2015
Moorish Castle in Grenada - beautiful !
10 Photos
Created 14 January 2015
The Castle in almeria - stunning !
6 Photos
Created 14 January 2015
The Balearics Island
4 Photos
Created 12 November 2014
Pictures of the crew and family at various locations
58 Photos
Created 17 September 2013
Beautiful city of Northern Spain
3 Photos
Created 22 August 2013
3 Photos
Created 22 August 2013
5 Photos
Created 13 August 2013
3 Photos
Created 13 August 2013
8 Photos
Created 31 July 2013
3 Photos
Created 27 July 2013
Fitting the Hydro vane
4 Photos
Created 23 June 2013
google maps
3 Photos
Created 20 June 2013
Loved the Helford river - could spend ages here out of season - summer - Its packed !
6 Photos
Created 18 June 2013
The brest a man can get !
12 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
cold - way too cold !
7 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Hygiene - we laugh at you ! Clearing unexploded ordnance in the mouth of the shat al arab river Iraq
27 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
HSE. We laugh at you ! Anti piracy patrols - Mombassa - Tanzania - Dar Salam - Ghana - Nigeria
19 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Simon - sam - holly - lord admiral Horatio Nelson & the repair guy
11 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Ho Chi Minn city (AKA Saigon)
20 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
Seismic research around Australia - great crew - great time - sad to say good bye !
15 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
Ku pang Indonesia
13 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
Bye bye Britain
7 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
A collection of pictures from falmouth - not my favourite place
12 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
Winter in plymouth
7 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
I could live here !
12 Photos
Created 12 June 2013
The endless list
78 Photos
Created 12 June 2013