It’s all in the mind

For years I’ve put her ‘challenging’ behaviour and ‘off the wall’ decision making down to her alcohol abuse and Lawlor cussedness. Until recently whenever a third party would use the term ‘’dementia” to explain her behaviour I would dismiss it as being without foundation. How wrong can a chap be?

Full blown vascular dementia it is. My pocket electronic dictionary has dementia as.


‘a chronic or persistent mental disorder marked by memory failures, personality changes and impaired reasoning’

Yep that sums it up perfectly!

Deep joy it is not.

Change of course, metaphorically speaking. Am back off the sarf coast and laying cables again. Not array cable but export cables. Bigger, heavier, stiffer, brokier. Brokier in that the myriad of optic-fibres wott run the length alongside their conductor cousins, have some way or other, been subject to an event that has left them ‘cattle trucked’. Well and truly ‘cattled’ according to some reports.

This means that the affected section will have to be cut out, removed and replaced by new stuff. That will involve leaving the ends, suitably sealed, on the seabed over the winter until the better weather arrives next spring when they can be brought to the surface and joined and made happy again. Expensive, delayed. Compromised. All pertinent. It also means that allatsea’s attendance here might be longer than he’d hoped for. Bugger and pooh.

Being a decadent so and so, the normal routine is to spend the summer months offshore and then the autumn and winter clutching warming mugs of cocoa whilst sitting by the fire and watching endless reruns on ITV3 or reading. Not so this year. Where did it all go wrong :o)

At seven thirty this morning the Fillipino steward popped his head round the door of the deck office and offered us apple pie and syrup soaked pancakes. This just an hour after a breakfast that seemed to come in only two variations, ‘huge’ and ‘death by calorie’. It’s going to take a bit of effort to keep the weight off this trip.

The cable layer, using an anchor spread of seven Delta Flippers is slowly, steadily ploughing in the cable to a depth of around one and half metres and moving ahead at the dizzying rate of a hundred metres an hour. A quick look at the screen says we’re at KP 2.885. The cutting doesn’t start until KP12 so providing the weather cooperates and there are no breakdowns, there are another four days before the excitement starts. Will allatsea survive? Does he want to? Is there any point?

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Sarff coast cables

Been a bit quiet on the old blog posting malarkey the last few weeks. A mixture of tardiness and location to blame. That and a good helping of laziness from these oldish bones. Allatsea has been warranteeeing on a cable layer off the sarff coast watching array cables being installed at an offshore windfarm. It’s all very challenging when the spring tides are a running with a vengeance, especially when the arrangements as they are, seem to want our lovely bit of floating kit to present itself beam on to the current. Even with 16MW of ooomph available it ain’t a whole lot of good for keeping pale coloured trousers unstained. Advice from the Towers? Wear a robust shade of brown!! That or Pampers!

Should be getting off soon and returning to the bosom of his family and estate. Ahh, he just can’t wait. The delights of a lovely wife, devoted moggies, an aging and dotty mother and the tribulations and worry of dear old nuncy who is looking very frail and weak these days. Bless the old lad. At least, following her indoors persistence at a myriad of closed official doors, we’ve got some assistance from Kent County Council. Folks are going in every day to attend to his ‘every need’, they say. Thankfully. Anyway, digression is in evidence….the main thing wott is being looked forward to is a fridge full of cool beer and rather pompously, Sky Arts. Ooh yes and making some noise with a Yamaha AES620 and a Line 6 Spider Jam.

Talking of windfarms, seems the jack-up Sea Worker has capsized off Denmark on the way to Esbjerg.  That takes a lot of effort, blimey!! No casualties thankfully. A2Sea won’t be very happy about that bit of publicity.



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Maaaaaaaersk blimey!

Blimey……… Maersk Supply Service to axe 20 vessels and 400 workers in large shakeup

Citing “unprecedented market conditions” Maersk Supply Service has announced it will slash its OSV fleet by up to 20 vessels over the coming 18 months.

“The divestment plan is a response to vessels in lay-up, limited trading opportunities and the global over-supply of offshore supply vessels in the industry,” the company said in a release.
The first ten vessels are expected to exit the fleet by the end of this year and will likely push the price of OSVs down even further.

“One of Maersk Supply Service’s prime objectives is to attempt to restore the supply demand balance in the offshore supply market. This is why the vast majority of the divested vessels will be recycled or modified by their new owners to compete outside their present segments,” said CEO of Maersk Supply Service, Jørn Madsen.

Maersk Supply Service will flag its four ‘Stingray’ newbuildings to the Isle of Man registry. A commercial hub will be established in the United Kingdom consolidating ownership and operation of the company’s project vessels. This includes the Stingray vessels and five existing project vessels that will also be flagged to the Isle of Man registry.

As a consequence of the fleet reduction and the flagging of existing project vessels to the Isle of Man registry, around 400 crewmembers will be made redundant.

“We are facing unprecedented market conditions, and regrettably we have to further adjust our crew pool. It is an unfortunate, but necessary step to safeguard the future of our company,” Madsen said.

Speaking exclusively with Splash, Madsen said today: “The present supply-demand gap is expected to widen in the coming year and OSV utilization is expected to decline. This will lead to increased oversupply of tonnage in the OSV segment. It is one of our prime objectives to attempt to restore the supply demand balance in the offshore supply market. This is why we are divesting up to 20 vessels from our legacy fleet over the course of the next 18 months. The vast majority of our divested vessels will be recycled or modified by their new owners to compete outside of the OSV market.”

Commenting on the news, Mike Meade from Singapore offshore brokers M3 told Splash: “It’s not surprising given the fleet portfolio and age profile. They also a have a sizeable newbuild fleet of AHTSs and subsea support vessels to absorb.”

Meade continued: “Maersk Supply have typically never followed the herd and have made moves counter cyclically. Although exposed to the reality of a low oil price they operate a cut above most of their peers operationally so the impact on them is not as stark as the more commoditised players.”

The redundancies will be completed by the end of September.


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A snippet from the Lagos Press

Local Councilors  fear Gender Equality Bill will turn women to prostitutes, lesbians and carpet munchers –  her reverence Good Luck Herder

The reverent entity representing all things of self-interest, Good Luck Herder, has said the Council rejected the Gender Equal Opportunities Bill because some reverences and lesser people feared the legislation could give women unfettered freedom to engage in immoral activities.

Ms her reverence Herder said many councilors expressed deep concerns over the blanket freedom the bill would give women because many of them would ignore their immediate responsibilities of being fine wives to be and turn to prostitutes and homosexuals and other things, urging the proponents of the bill to find a way of replacing some of its languages and words of conflicting consequence.

Her reverence spoke during a forum on political rights of women in Delta District organised by the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) on Wednesday in downtown Harcourt Port.

“The bill was defeated at the second reading when its details were highlighted to the councilors,” Good Luck said. “Some cuntcilors started expressing deep worries about some parts of the bill that they think could give women too much freedom and lead them to prostitution, lesbianism and other social vices. Maybe even going so far as to be interested in licking the old Jackanddanny”

Herder called on all those championing the bill to make efforts and modifying some aspects of it in order to make it acceptable to all cuncilers for enetring the back passage.

“The reason why we’re here is that we think that we should be able to restrategise, we should be able to look at the bill again and see those contentious areas we may need to modify. We should be able to find those critical constituencies within the carnsill that we must have to address.” He added, ” I have no idea what I have just said but it sounds pretty damned impressive in playback.”

“We should be able to look at the narrative of the bill and how it is being presented to the public and change that narrative and make it a positive narrative.” she said, again and again.

“For example, the bill is not a Youba versus Igbo bill. The bill is not a Vegan versus Carnivore bill. The bill is not a penis versus fanny bill. The bill simply seeks to extend to every woman all the rights that are they should enjoy. And if women by virtue of our culture, by virtue of our historic antecedents are being behind, then we need to also drag them into the economy by giving them every right that they can use to be productive members of the society and that is all that we’re trying to do. I for one will be encouraging this by opening a new massage parlour downtown just as soon as I can get the requisite wonga together. I’m also looking to recruit few more comfort ladies so please feel free to get in touch.”

“It has been rejected but we’re talking to the councilors who are supporting the bill to know how we could move forward. It’s not easy to say the bill can pass tomorrow, but we will continue to plead with other members for their support on this bill, we need to get the new business venture up and runnin just as soon as we can. There’s a lot of dirty water out there that needs to be relieved, if you get my drift.” she explained.

“Since we’re doing constitutional review, I will advise that we find a way of putting this bill directly into the Gravy Train Trough because if we just make it as part of electoral law, it could be challenged by anyone with half an education and laughed at out of hand. The whole object as far as I’m concerned is to get things in hand and not out of hand.”

 The bill, which has continued to stoke widespread emotions amongst women, was introduced by Eyesea Opperchoonist and it aimed to achieve, among other purposes, equal access to happy-endings, strengthening of the laws on violence against socialists, ending abduction of underage children, sustenance and promotion of entrepreneurship opportunities, gender mainstreaming and gender equality, as well as female ownership in the adult entertainment industry”.


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Palace, Palace? wtf is Palace?

Despite attending offshore on numerous occasions throughout the year, it’s rare to be on a ship that actually makes a passage from A to B of any distance greater than a few hours. Normally a helicopter or CTV will whisk folks out to any given offshore location and there you stay until time for home and cake. A variation of that is you may be on board for a 5 or 6 hour transit out to location, normally through the night. Not so this time. A proper ‘ahem’ sea voyage of some 38 hours from Hartlepool to offshore Brighton, all very exciting. The weather’s good, visibility excellent, a moderate breeze from the west and a Master intent on keeping site-seeing to a minimum so although Flamborough Head is off the starboard beam (according to the survey screen in the warranty office around 80km), there’s not a sign.

On deck, with a freeboard of 3 metres, the sea’s close and rushing past in an excited and energised way. Tumbling and hissing and invigorating. Wonderful stuff. Always uplifting to an old git like allatsea. Never, ever, boring.

DP trials to witness when we get there, that’ll be 4 hours of gripping stuff. Then the all important question, will we have mobile phone coverage in field? If not…Boooooo! If yes…’Hooray’, but outside only or inside too? Rumour has it Three has the best coverage there but EE runs it a close second. Vodafone and O2 are shite apparently, no news there then.

First day of the English Premier League tomorrow….. lots of folks get terribly excited at the prospect, good on them, I envy them but from here it’s just a big YAWN for the most part. Unless another Leicester type thing occurs this season. Perhaps it’ll be Crystal Palace’s moment, or maybe not?

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Drizzle drazzle

August, Hartlepool, been raining steadily for 24 hours. Grey, dizzly, gloomy. Sigh.

The cable’s on the carousel. A few tests to do, arrangements for departure to be finalised, all a bit up in the air for now. C’mon, let’s get going.

Back at home mummy allatsea isn’t answering her phone……again. Either she doesn’t hear it, or does hear it but doesn’t answer it, or hears it but doesn’t know what it means. Not good. Years and pish catching up with her I guess? Nunky allatsea none too good either. Cognitively all there bless the old lad but the body is failing fast. There’s not much of him. ‘Eat’ they say, but he can’t. Even the super strength nutritional drinks are hard for him to get down. Worrying. Fortunately, thanks solely to the efforts of memsahib allatsea, he is in the system. In the system in that he does have nurses visit him and they’ve hinted that he might want to consider a hospice. A hospice? Blimey, it’s that far on is it?

Sitting on a cable layer, albeit a very nice cable layer is not the place to be when dealing with this development. Always a useless twat at times like this, allatsea is even more so when in this position. Not good at all.

Perhaps time to have a revisit as to career choice? I think so.

On the positive side, the weather looks good for the forthcoming weeks so we may be able to crack on get done and dusted. The boys and girls in Rio appear to be doing us proud and the test match starts today. Good, an unchanged (winning) England side against Pakistan. Go chaps go.

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Brighton calling…..

Tingly hands, sometimes, tingly legs. The system doesn’t seem to like surface pressure of any sort. Even the mildest of weights in the wrong place can produce the tingles. Perhaps it’s the medication? Perhaps it’s all imagined? Perhaps not, more sinister perhaps?

That aside, the cable continues to reel aboard at a rate of around 3km every twelve hours, breakdowns aside. Should get completed tonight. Cable testing and departure preparations to do, then off on the bright green briny.

The industrial North East. Like anywhere there are gloomy bits and bright bits. Where the traditional heavy industry has gone and not been replaced by owt useful, the scars are visible, the gloom tangible, the desperation, frighteningly obvious. I suggested to a co-worker, a chap who is familiar with our locale, that I’d go ashore for a walk after work. He advised me to rub myself in faeces in order to blend in with my surroundings once I cleared the gangway. Kind of sums it up. Actuality, perception and values, all very subjective and arbitrary.

It’s 38 hours to location off the south coast once we leave. Add on a few hours for wet testing the two ROVs once clear of the harbour, best part of two days to get there. Two days then to add on for system trials at location. At this rate, it’ll be Monday before they start laying (installing perhaps a better word) the first of 57 cables for the 2016 campaign. Allatsea will be here for 10% of the campaign. Ten per cent of 57 is a nice round 6. So all being well, the plan is to observe three installations and then, if all is good, go home to Kent. Then a week or two down the line return to observe the new crew (they change out every 4 weeks) install three and then go home again. Should see the summer out offshorewise for yours truly.

What’s that? How long does each cable take to install?

Summed up, around 24 hours each. Eightish hours to pull in the first end, six hours to lay the cable and crop to length, eight hours to pull in the second end and move along ready for the next one. Sounds nice and straightforward does it not? Well, we’ll see eh?

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