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 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.



  1. You've made a good decision I think.

    My brother used to work for a large oil company and he spent a lot of his time in Gabon and Nigeria. Came back with malaria, struggled for some years with his health, the malaria didn't help, and he then left this world rather unexpectedly. It's been years ago, we're pretty much over it. But apparently the oil companies (or perhaps it's the same one) thought they'd better do something to prevent their best workers from popping off ;-)

    I agree with you that they could have spent the money better. Ah well, what do we, mere mortals, know.

    1. Hi Carolina, sorry to hear the outcome of that story.
      I think with this Oil company, they are making sure that they in fact do not get medically sued and incur the costs of someone getting Malaria.....that is more the reality of this situation.

  2. First P, those two photos are gorgeous!!! The light was perfect - such a stunning lighthouse shot, is it still manned or automatic? I love the cottage buildings around it. Any photos with fishing boats are always great, sad they've mostly gone. These sailboats are attractive, fabulous shadows on the water - must be lots of wealthy sailors in your area!!!! Sad the fishing industry has suffered - where have they all gone?

    As for anti-malarial meds. I take Malarone, which is a combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride, and recommended as first choice here in the US. It's more expensive but apparently has fewer side effects. Dosage is 1 tablet 2 days before arriving in the country, 1 each day while there, and 1 daily for 7 additional days after returning home (this last part very important!). I used it in Southern African countries in 2010. Did notice a sore throat and a bit of a weight loss (didn't complain about the second!), and my pharmacist said those are both known side-effects. No trots or vomiting though, and I was eating different foods, and plenty of them!

    I took Malarone again recently for SE Asia trip - it's now a generic and cheaper. Had no sore throat problem or any other side-effects, and again was eating very different foods in Thailand and Vietnam. In June I'll be back in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and SA - so will definitely have to take the same med. Don't like taking any drugs but mosquitoes LOVE me here at home and will definitely seek my English blood in Africa! Also, have to get a Yellow Fever shot this time as a brand new law in SA demands you have it to re-enter if you leave SA for another country, which I'll be doing.

    Sorry you will not be able to take this job...............but look at the extra time you'll have now to wow us with more beautiful photos!
    Myself, I'm heading to Hawaii this week and hope to capture the exotic scenes and sights of the islands - my first time there - hope to whale watch, volcano climb and lava hike etc.

    Happy week - Mary

    1. Mary, Thanks for your kind words, and yes its malarone that we take, and with the same dosage you have taken before. Unfortunately over the years I have been taking it for, I am now fairly sensitised to it, so exhibit the "weight loss" side affects after 4 days of use, so for me 6 weeks would prove nasty to say the least....sigh. Hawaii eh ? Wonderful, I shall be looking forward to seeing the pictures, and comparing it with what I will see in "The descendants" ! Enjoy the trip, at least you don't need Malarone !

  3. Beautiful photos. I wouldn't want to take that drug either!

  4. It is something special with lighthouses and always a lot of history. Great picture and a delicate blue sky.

    Thanks for your visit:-)

  5. Superb shot of Arbroath Harbour. It's a shame that the lifeblood of the place is replaced with just pleasure boats. I stayed here once for just under a week back in the early 90s and my opinion was that it was a cold place ! I remember trying to capture that (poorly floodlit) scene after dark ... didn't quite work out for me either !!

  6. I like your work very much! I will be following you!

    Greetings from The Netherlands (Holland)