Work - Malaysia - Miri
02 November 2015
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
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 :-)