Well three weeks of newly engaged bliss led to hard good bye this morning for both of us. By far the worst part of the job is the good byes. I did however get three weeks to study for my test and enjoy being with my now fiancé. However this brings me to the title of this post. Maybe a little too much bliss and studying was done, as I didn’t realize my flight was booked for tomorrow, instead of today like it needed to be. Imagine my surprise at the airport this morning!
However my string of good fortune and mojo, luck, karma, etc held. I was able to change to a flight at the counter and even thought it was going to be expensive I do have to go to work. Then an angel named meg gave me an early Christmas gift, and waived the change fees, and got me all lined up for a flight. I am going to do everything I can to pay it forward this month, that is right after I find some wood to go knock on!
I ended up getting off the boat a week early this time and I needed every second at home! Aside from just settling into the new place a couple other bigger things happened in my life aquatic. First and foremost I asked a certain wonderful therapist to marry me and she was nice enough to say yes. It definitely gave me yet another thing to truly be thankful for on thanksgiving as I can not imagine my life with out her and luckily now I do not have to.
I also just today I finished my exams for my license upgrade, going from 500 ton mate to 1600 ton master. It feels good to have taken another step to further my career and I am excited to see where things will take me. I have roughly 25-30 DP days left until I can submit for my DPO Unlimited so things are coming together nicely in the license department.
So tonight the therapist fiancé and I are relaxing, I will soon be cooking dinner, and we are enjoying my last night home for a month. Look for a new time lapse video coming soon, hint hint it will be a glimpse at the variety of instillations and vessels a supply boat interacts with on DP!
Shell recently floated out their Prelude Floating LNG facility, the largest floating object on earth. The coolest thing is, they are already planning a larger version. Here is a great time lapse video from Gcaptain showing the float out from its graving dock at Samsung Heavy Industries. Pretty awesome stuff.
A nice afternoon by the waterfront, available now on http://www.newenglandwatermanphoto.smugmug.com
This is home to me
Well if you are a reader of my blog for the photos, or have a mariner in your life, or are looking for some maritime décor for your home, have I got something for you! As some of you already know my photography has been available for a little while and it still is! Currently unframed 8×10 prints are right around $12! So grab the empty frame sitting in the closet and you have a nice gift for yourself of the maritime inclined person in your life! So check me out at http://www.newenglandwatermanphoto.smugmug.com
Even when not at work I’ve always got an ear open and listening for maritime events, I’m definitely not one of those guys who doesn’t even look at a glass of water at home. So the other night I was emailing away when I heard about a vessel on fire in the oil patch requesting assistance. It turned out to the be the Ocean Patriot a ROV and dive support vessel owned and operated by Oceaneering.
Ocean Patriot working an ROV at the Shenzi field
As it turns out a friend of mine was on one of the primary assisting vessels. He’s the chief mate of the Stim Star III, and no stranger to lending a hand offshore, having already assisted in the rescue of several people off a sinking sports fishing vessel just a few months ago. Via emails he gave me a run down on the situation. The Ocean Patriot suffered a fire in their auxiliary engine room that could not be controlled by the fire team. So the engine room was sealed and the CO2 system was activated. Of the 42 people onboard all but the 15 marine crew were evacuated to a second assisting vessel the Lily Jane. The Stim Star III was asked to stand by due to their large fire fighting system, after all they are a well stimulation vessel that carries thousands of gallons of fairly nasty and flammable chemicals. The other vessels standing by included the Christian Chouest, Amber, Forte, Harvey Pacer, and Harvey Hurricane. He also sent me a few pictures from the scene.
Courtesy of Capt. Jesse Winterbottom
Courtesy of Capt. Jesse Winterbottom
As of yesterday the Ocean Patriot had been towed back to fourchon and all crew was reported safe and well.
Something that people outside of the industry always seem to want to talk about immediately is “what about the holidays, do you just come home for those?” The answer is no, and lets talk about something else, like say how your parent’s divorce affected your childhood? The bottom line is in this job you miss things, you miss the special days, and it sucks. However it is what you make of it. You learn that Christmas morning can in fact be in November, or January, and that it is the people that make a holiday not the mark on the calendar. On the days themselves little things are huge, the seas laying down enough for the satellite phone to work, a care package, just the little things really. For some mariner’s you get big surprises, like having family come down to the dock you are at, and that is really the best. Sometimes you get a wave as you go by, and that really is something that will brighten your day no matter how the hitch is going.
So when my soon to be cousin Chris told us he was coming through the canal the day after thanksgiving, we all bundled up and waited for him at the east end. Sometimes all the holiday cheer you need is a different kind of holiday picture, with everyone still in frame.
A mariner’s holiday family photo
Coming out of the night
Back to work, down east bound