Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Yup, I'm in Peru, and no, it wasn't planned, which all in all, is pretty normal to be honest in Seismic at times !

Piura Street scene

The week had started badly enough with me having to go through my very first tooth extraction, an experience which i would rather not repeat again in a hurry, and this was then followed by the fateful phone call asking me how long it would take me to get ready to travel to a vessel in Peru, rather than head off to the Office in Bergen. So here I am, busy sailing up and down the coast of Northern Peru for my sins, fighting with the local Fishermen who keep throwing fish at us (I kid you not), a fairly strange way of doing a discard me thinks !
Its my first time in Peru to be honest, and so far I am pleasantly surprised, even with the odd fish being thrown in my direction. Lima airport was amazing, very modern, very easy to get round, and very helpful staff....a real eye opener, especially as I had travelled from the delights of Paris, and we all know what a shining example of an Airport that is.... although I guess CDG must be improving slightly, as this time they had managed to send my luggage with me, rather than to Baku, or some other destination of their choice.
From Lima, I travelled to Piura, and then after a stay there, travelled up the Pan American Highway (sounds grand, but isn't) for 3 hours before eventually arriving in Mancora, whereupon I was picked up by a boat and sailed for the big nasty Seismic ship running the gauntlet of the Flying Fish from the local fishing fleet, who obviously believe they own this part of the Ocean, and consequently believe they have the sole right to sail and work in it. To be honest, its no different from dealing with Scottish and Spanish fishermen in the North Sea; minus the thrown Fish of course, as there is of course no Fish left to catch in that area, let alone waste throwing at anyone !

Rice Paddies

 Anyway....to the photos. just a couple this time, as I shall expand the story and post more photos when I am a little more organised. The first is just an early morning street scene from Piura, and the 2nd is taken from the window of the vehicle I was in when travelling to Mancora.......You would think you were in Vietnam with those rice paddies wouldn't you ?

More will follow.


Monday, 13 February 2012

10 days to go.....maybe ?

Its about 10 days to go before I once more depart civilisation and head off to the Boat, although this time there is a twist to my departure, as a) I don't know when I'll be actually heading off, and b) I don't know where I'll be heading to. A strange set of affairs bought about by my Company deciding to work for a large American Oil Company. Nothing strange about that I hear you all say, and thats normally the case, except when you work for these particular Boys (The Oil Company), who in their alleged wisdom have decided that anyone who wishes to work for them, has to take on a daily basis, a pretty aggressive anti malarial drug, for the 5 weeks we are offshore. On top of that, they will also randomly test us to make sure that we are taking this damn stuff.

Scurdie Ness Lighthouse, Montrose

Now lets step back and look at this demand. We are currently working some 75 to 100 miles offshore, which as far as I am aware is a little out of reach of the average Mosquito, unless Angola breeds a super long distance Mosquito of some sort. So apart from the Crew changes onshore (where I am more than happy to take this anti malarial shite for that small period of time), I would say the chances of you seeing a Mosquito is as rare as rocking horse pooh. Secondly, this anti malarial drug does have side affects, especially for people who take it over an extended period of time, and make no mistake, 5 or 6 weeks is an extended period of time in anyone's eyes, except of course for this Oil company who rather arrogantly, think they know best.
Luckily the Seismic Company I work for, although being French (Only joking !), are enlightened in their way of thinking, and told all those who did not wish to take part on this Job and the abuse of your individual freedom and rights, that they could stand down for this Project, which I very gladly took the opportunity of doing so, along with several other Colleagues, as I for one, suffer from, how can I politely put this ?..... "The running trots" after about 5 days of taking this drug....and thats just the known side affect that hits me, heavens knows what other crap is happening to my Body in the meantime. So there you go, I am now officially standing down, and waiting to be redeployed somewhere else for my sins, for the period that we are unfortunately working for the Evil Empire.
Just as a side kicker to all of this; this well known American Oil Company recently spent 50,000 Greenbacks on research, on producing a test that would detect whether an Individual actually took this anti malaria drug....money which I would have respectfully thought would have been better deployed in the actual real fight against Malaria, but Hey, what do I know about these things !

Arbroath harbour

Anyway, enough of the rant and on to the Photographs. Again, both these Photos were taken from my 2011 Calendar offering sent to my poor Family, and selected unfortunate Friends. The first picture shows Scurdie Ness Lighthouse which stands guard over the entrance to Montrose Harbour a little North of Arbroath, here on the East coast of Scotland. The 2nd offering is of the small Marina/ Harbour at Arbroath, taken on one bright ( a rare commodity in this part of Scotland !), early Summer morning last year. There used to be tons of Fishing Boats in that second picture, but thanks to the radical and forward thinking policies of the EU, the fishing Boats have been wiped out here on the East Coast....another wonderful example of what happens when people, with no particular experience believe that they know best.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday, Busy Sunday...

Its been an incredibly busy weekend here in Scotland, and I am absolutely exhausted if truth be told. Firstly there was the 6 nations Rugby on Saturday, where unfortunately Scotland lost to England (as they normally do, but they live in hope !), then of course this was followed by various games of Football in the Premier league, the highlight of which was Swansea's thrashing of West Bromwich Albion....2-1 !

Dunnottar Castle

Saturday is currently being followed by an equally busy and knackering Sunday, starting with Wales beating Ireland in the Rugby..... a cracking result if I may say so, not that i am biased in any way by being Welsh (large grin across my face at this point), and this has now been followed by Manchester Utd (boo hiss) pulling back a 3 goal deficit against Chelsea to draw in the game they were playing. Next on the Agenda its the darts (just kidding), and then the Superbowl, where heavily pumped and steroid filled individuals, with more body armour than the average soldier in Afghanistan is currently wearing, throw themselves at each other head first, while one member of their team throws a small lozenge shaped ball at a very fast moving individual in his team 400 yards away or something. If that individual is unlucky to catch this projectile, he is generally rewarded by a couple of the Defenders hitting him so hard, that not only does he not know what time of day it is, after he has recovered (If he in fact does), but he actually lose's any comprehension of what week it was before the impact occurred. Its a wonderful spectacle (the game that is, not the Guy getting hit....honest), and being a Brit I am completely sold on the whole experience, which means that I will be staying up, and getting progressively more inebriated until the very early hours, and then eventually go to bed and miss out on Monday....Go Giants Go ! Its a damn hard life trying to watch all this sport.

Queen Vic's well

However, before I see the game, I actually do have to get off this lardy ass of mine, get something to eat, publish this crap, and make an intelligent comment on the photos I have downloaded....easier said than done is all I can say......but here goes anyway.
For the last couple of years I have been doing a small Calendar for what is essentially a captive audience....my family, and what few friends i have! 2011's theme was Postcard Scotland, and the photos are taken from that. The first is of Dunnottar Castle, which lies just to the south of Stonehaven. The photo was taken in the evening sun, which just caught the fortifications in its golden light. Again, in post processing I had to bring out of the under exposed dark outcrop on which it sits. The 2nd is Queen Victoria's Well situated in the Glacial valley of Glen Clova in the Angus Glens. This Well was constructed by the local populace when they heard that Queen Victoria was going to pass through on one of her travels from the Balmoral Estate....whether she did actually drink, or take a rest on her journey at this edifice is not really known, and I am not sure if anyone these days actually gives a toss anyway, but it makes for an interesting foreground for a Photographer.

Right....I'm off for the Superbowl, catch you all later.....