A day in the life

Date Time Description
09/01/09 0500 Depart home by taxi and proceed to LCY airport.
0615 Arrive LCY, check in to VLM flight to Schipol
0800 Depart on KL210 to Achipol.
1020 Landed at Schipol, cleared inwards, ticket purchased for train to Roermond.
1250 Arrive Roermond and check in to nearby hotel, taxi to Sif Yard
1320 Arrive at Sif yard, meet BartOverbeek the project manager and RoelCorstjens the Sif QA Engineer. Initially we go through the holds raised by our TRN 37 Ra.
The loads imparted by the monopiles and TPs to the deck of the barge La Paz were accepted to be within the designed max of the barge for practical purposes but these are to be officially quantified with support documentation from the barge owners. Loads under the monopiles at the support points were reported as being 21 tonnes per m2 and under the TP 18.80 tonnes per m2. The supports are placed at the barges solid floors so these loadings should be acceptable.
Minimum UK clearance at Roermond will always be greater than 1.2metres.
At Kats clearance will be greater than 1 metre (Tidal curves for the ports were sighted at this meeting).
The barge trim was also addressed in that it will be less than 0.5 metres.
Mooring arrangements at Sif and Kats were discussed. I impressed on them that it is normal practice to submit a mooring plan with line loads included. At Sif and Kats the barge will be moored in barge special ‘barge havens’ that protect the barges from the effects of current and to a large extent, wind (especially at SifRoermond).

Total cargo load for the barge on this first transportation is quantified at 1106.8 tonnes. The barge’s deadweight capacity is 3299 tonnes.

1400 Have a conducted tour of the construction halls. Crane and rigging certification is sighted, and appeared in acceptable order. Cranes and lifting slings appear to be in good order.
1425 Board the barge La Paz which is moored by 30mm mooring wires to hand cranked winches on the barge deck in Haven 9 at Sif. It is already loaded with three Transition Pieces and two monopiles.
The dunnage is sighted as being as per the loadout drawing (as per procedures QP 060 B2021 1 but amended to include the TPs). The barge is a recent build 2006 and appeared in good order. No damage or corrosion is noted. The bilge wells sighted as clear.
1500 Return to offices, sight KATS crane and lifting equipment certification (copies). All appears to be in order.
1545 Last monopole (MP09/A7) is rigged ready for lifting, C of A LC26378/NDC/RGH issued.
1547 Monopile lifted.
1613 Loaded onto the two monopiles previously loaded.
1615 Barge settled, draft aft noted as 1.95 metres.
1700 Walk back to hotel for the night.
10/01/09 0845 As arranged previous day, walk to Sif yard and meet with Bart Overbeet. Overnight an email has come in from Naval Sondhi with some queries. I am asked by Bart Overbeet to go through them with him. I responded by indicating that although this (current) transportation was likely to be deemed acceptable (by me) each point should be formally responded to the client by Sif.
0910 The pusher tug for the transportation is the ‘Taurus’ which had arrived at the yard overnight. I witnessed it manoeuvring a similarly specified (to la Paz) barge very adroitly at another Sif haven (at the same yard) and then boarded it. Certification was not available but I was given a tour of the vessel including the machinery spaces which were very clean and in good order. The tug can control the barge’s bow-thruster remotely via a telemetry cable.
The crew were very experienced and reported that the minimum underkeel clearance through out the 30 hour transport to Kats would be at least 3 metres. Draft of the tug was 2.2 metres.
The three monopiles will be discharged at Kats on Monday and then the barge will proceed to Hoboken (near Antwerp) which is a Sif facility to discharge the TPs. There the TPs will be coated.
Weather conditions for the transport were forecast to be cold but benign with a moderate Southerly wind expected at Kats on Monday.
1035 C of A LC 26378/NDC/RGH issued for sailaway. Taurus manoeuvres the Barge (connected to the barge’s bow) clear of the Haven and moves it downstream to moor it alongside another barge which is moored to the shore. Once done, the Taurus then connects to the stern of the La Paz in pusher tug configuration, un-moors it and proceeds on passage.
1050 Make arrangements to meet Sif representatives at Kats on Monday morning. Informed that the intention is to stow the monopiles on gravel aggregate dykes.
1120 Walk back to hotel. As I have to be at Kats first thing on Monday morning there is nothing to be gained by returning to the UK today and then flying out again tomorrow in readiness for the early Monday attendance.
Thus I make arrangements to travel to Vlissingen (where there are numerous hotels) tomorrow and travel to Kats on Monday morning.
11/01/09 0959 Commence rail journey from Roermond to Vlissingen.
1320 Arrive Vlissingen, taxi to hotel, check in.
12/01/09 0550 Check out of hotel, taxi to station.
0614 Commence train journey to Goes.
0635 Arrive Goes, wait to be collected BartOverbeek.
0705 Collected.
0720 Arrive Hoondert Yard at Kats. Barge and Taurus are secured in the KatsHaven, moored alongside a similarly specified barge to La Paz.
0730 Meet HansFilius who is Sif’s local representative. We together inspect barge mooring arrangement, Gravel dykes and crane lifting grommets. The man in charge of the Kats operation is the owner MarcelHoondert.
The dykes are approximately 1 metre high (levels checked by attending surveyors), 6-7 metres wide at the base and 30-40 metres long.
0820 First monopole lifted from barge.
0845 Monopile landed on dykes (two of), allowed to sink into aggregate, sinkage noted at less than 5 cm. By drawing, a maximum depth of 50cm would be required to achieve support over 90 degrees (a quarter of the circumference), so monopole is lifted clear and the dykes are pre-shaped’ ready to receive the pile. Pre-shape is 4.3 metres long by 2 metres wide.
0912 1st Pile (MP09/A7) landed in pre-shapes, weight off, no settlement noted.
0915 Lifting grommets clear.
0945 2nd monopole lifted from barge. Noted that barge lists approximately 5 degrees at this point.
1105 2nd pile into pre-shape, no settlement noted.
1130 3rd Pile lifted from barge.
1220 3rd Pile into preshape. Informed by Sif that next week (19th) they will double stack piles onto the first layer (except for outer most pile) and ‘monitor the behaviour’. I suggest that I attend for that ‘trial’.
1240 Sif reps drive me to suburbs of Dordrecht where I catch a local train to Rotterdam at 1345.
1428 Catch train from Rotterdam to Schipol.
1520 Arrive Schipol
1855 Depart on VLM flight to LCY
1915 Arrive LCY, taxi to Margate.
2105 Arrive home.

About allatsea

Sixty year old master-mariner. Absolutely gorgeous. Well wedged.....when compared to a Nairobi street urchin. Sorted, in that I haven't been in court recently. Hopelessly optimistic, terminally disappointed. Good with cats and other fluffy things. No musical talent. Generous to a fault provided it's someone else's round. Political centreist with far right and left viewpoints. A green activist from the hydrocarbon position with nuclear leanings. Averse to avarice but always happy to receive lottery wins, gifts, windfalls, legacies, prizes and wet sloppy kisses.
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