They use the helideck, located forward on the vessel, to ‘walk the circle’. It’s 20m in diameter so reasonably generous as these things go. The captain and chief engineer are keen walkers spending every lunch hour power walking around it in serious fashion. Both men are in their late fifties, around 5 foot 8 each and slightly built. They both wear upmarket trainers for the walk, carry blue ship’s issue towels in their right hands folded in an identical manner and exhibit deep devoted suntans. They both sport tailored shorts with brown leather belts and nothing on their tops. They walk in step, purposefully and at great speed. Few words are passed between them and the object of the exercise appears to be ‘Who will crack first?’
Woe betide any fellow walker who causes a break of step or a deviation from the pace. Allatsea did. Inadvertently, He’ll be scarred for life.
Spooling of the 29,000m umbilical continues gently and to now safely at a rate of 6 m/minute. With luck they should be completed by lunchtime on Tuesday and following seafastening etc etc we’ll be off to location to play the installation game.
It’s barely 0800 but already the heat is fierce and nagging and sapping. Very glad this old body doesn’t have to work outside in any physically demanding role. Leaning on a rail and looking suitably quizzical is about the limit of these old bones. The deck crew are a cheerful bunch and the hours spent dealing with what must seem like relentless monotony are dealt with in good humour. It’s nice to see.
Just how expeditiously we get completed and returned to blighty remains to be seen. The weather’s normally the gaffer in these matters but equipment breakdown, cockups and changes of plan all play their part. Allatsea’s got his fingers, knees and eyes crossed that the joys or Westbrook will once again be experienced before the end of the month.
U16 and U15, be completed, it is spoken.
Steve Close at Wester in July and not in Damietta spooling cable.