Well, one week here, and to be honest not much done yet.It has been an interesting ride through a sea of paperwork, incompetence and needless delay. We almost go out yesterday to begin the main survey work, but the ships crew spoke no English, and we speak (almost) no Azeri, so trying to convey the concept of navigating lines and to points displayed on a computer screen was not working. In fact I think the captain was a bit baffled as to what we were doing with the new telly we had installed on the bridge for him.. The plus side of being back in the ‘office’ today is that is keeps us away from the snakes that the pipe landfall site is full of
Well, off I go again, this time to Aserbaijan for 4+ weeks. This is my longest trip so far, and longer than I would really like, particularly as it was supposed to be a 2-3 week trip, but My beloved company hasn’t had the balls to say ‘no’ to the clients, so they are driving the plan. This trip will be to survey more oil pipes in the Caspian sea south of baku, where we have been before to survey one of the trenches into which a pipe has now been laid. In theory the trip should be straight forward, but with our aged and very bleeding-edge demo sub, I expect problems sometime. The trip is being paid for by a big oil company, who in turn are subcontracting a survey company, who are then subcontracting me and the demo sub (we seem to always travel as a pair..). If all goes well, I will be spending 10-12 hours every day for the next 30 days or so in a tent on the back of a small boat with no toilet on board. Mmmm, my kind of trip..
So aplogies to those of you who have been getting warnings that thess this site got hacked. This was sadly true, as somehow some extra code got inserted into the index pages throughout my site. This seems to be a common problem with my current provider, so it it happens again I’ll be changing. In ther meantime the files have been moved to their newest and hopefully most secure server, so we will see how it goes..
Ok, I admit it, the temptation got too much, I finally got an iphone…
This decision was greatly helped by my old phone developing a keyboard fault which meant I could only answer calls if I have the bluetooth headset connected, and I couldn’t turn the phone on or off. The new toy is still fab. I picked it up in the uk while I was over there doing some tests in Orkney. The iphone is not available here in Iceland at all, and in the uk only one company offers it as a prepaid phone. As the phone comes locked to the original provider, the first order of the day was to jailbreak and unlock it. This is pretty simple, but took about 1-2 hours, mainly as you need to have a copy of the phones internal software available, which I needed to download first. Thankfully on a previous trip we found out there was free internet in the rather nice Carmelite hotel as well as beer and comfy sofas, so I settled down there with a pint or two to get it all sorted.
The other reason I went to Scotland (other than getting an iphone obviously) was to do some testing and practice with our demo sub before heading off to do a real survey in Azerbaijan in May. This will probably be a 2-3 week operation, with lots of dive time. I am a bit worried that it all depends on our rather aged and unreliable sub working well the whole time, and it will just be me going there for the company, so I’ll be expected to operate and repair it. If something goes horribly wrong I will need to call out a specialist from Iceland, but this will take at least 1-2 days to get them to site.
Mind you, the test in Orkney went well, so perhaps I am worrying unnecessarily. We went to Orkney as there is a very handy oil pipe running into Scapa flow from the east. This was a perfect target for us to work with as it is very similar to the pipes we will be working on in Baku. The only annoyances on the trip, other than the long days and lack of phone/internet comms was that it was also intended to be a training trip, but there was no time scheduled for this.
Well, I have been 42 for 5 days now, and can’t say I have the answer to life, the universe or everything yet. Shame really, as now would seem to be a good time. On the plus side, much to my pleasant surprise, the day after I wrote my last entry I actually got paid. Not all of it of course,that wound be too much to expect, but some of it. Of course I have been waiting for some of my expenses to be paid for over 6 months, so I’m not holding my breath for the rest.
Tonight I am trying to finish of a business plan which needs to be handed in as a final project for my course tomorrow. This is as exciting as it sounds. It is not destined to be a classic of its kind, but hopefully it will do the job. In an attempt to come up with an inspiring and terse vision statement I went cruising on the web (not getting distracted, honest…) and found the irobot mission statement (hopefully) shown at the start of this entry.. Now that sounds like a fun place to be!
And while we are here, have you seen the story of stuff? Nice video, and probably a good use of 20 mins..