Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm saaaaailiiiiiiing aaa-way

Finally! Going for a cargo run today at 11am.. that means we're going to a rig to bring them supplies.

Around there, we (rov people) have a job to do too. There should be a 4 hours window of not-too-big-a-surge so we might be able to do it.

Average waves here in winter are 5-6m! (yayks!) and in the next few days it might go to 11-12m (re-yayks!!!) Like they say "that's where I'll know if I get sea sick or not" :P

What that means is: we only have 3-4 jobs, of a couple of hours each, to do in the 28 days shift, because more than half the time the weather does not allow us to go on deck. When that happens, and I quote, "you eat till you're sleepy and you sleep till you're hungry".. and watch movies the rest of the time...

who said this job was hard??? (ok, rigs are another pace alltogether, but I'm not on a rig yet :P)

I've learned to make monkey fists yesterday (now don't be a perv... it's a type of knot that makes a ball... makes whatever its attached too easier to grab with the manipulators)
and I completed some of the GAMMA maintenance (list of things to check on the rov daily, weekly, monthly...)

The internet on the boat is down (we only get it in the harbour anyway, but even that is down now) so I'm "stealing" the Quality Inn's wi-fi.. we're "parked" right by it :P

That's it for now, be back in port in a couple of days and I'll tell you all about my first trip out there...


Thursday, January 29, 2009


The ship is delayed... it should dock around 3pm instead of noon... I wonder why...

this was St.John's last night...

This is St.John's this morning...
click on pics for better view

Land visibility, about 10m ... On the water? something like 3cm...
hooooo this is gonna be fun!!! XD

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

this ship has sailed...

... without me!

I went to the harbour at 7:45 this morning, to be told by the guard that the Osprey had left at 12:43am... errr what?!

I called the Oceaneering office... the receptionist said "yes, everybody is in the shop, please come too".

Took a cab there, and got some explanation. One of the system on the ship had to be brought in the shop for repairs that had to be done on solid ground. So the ship went on a supply round without Oceaneering personnel on board. The rov will get fixed during the next 8 days... that's what I did today... checked the telemetry can, changed anodes....

No one notified me of the change of plan because all communications go through Michelle, and her blackberry was busted and she didn't get the message... The other guys were all at the same hotel so they heard about it... but not me... :S

The ship will be back tomorrow around noon. Half of the team, the people not from St.John's aka me and 5 other guys, will get on board to work on the second system, there's some repairs to do there too. We'll do this while the ship goes on his supply route, so the amount of work done will depend on weather. Calm sea means we work. 6-7m waves mean we stay inside, watch movies, eat and sleep until it passes... but still get paid :P

That's for the next 8 days... after that, both systems should be operational and we'll go to different spots to do underwater work. From what I saw on the schedule, we should be back in the harbour every 5-6 days! That means I'll get my internet fix regularly :D and I'll be able to keep this blog up to date :)

rov life - part 1, the adventure begins... finally!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm off!!!

After all the twists and turns, I'm finally going offshore, on the Atlantic Osprey, tomorrow!!!

Dat's ma boat!!! :P

well... probably :S

We're meeting with the supervisor at 8am, and he'll decide who will sail away and who will work in the shop for a while. Since everybody else lives around here, I have better chance of going, cause they'd rather not pay for the hotel and have me living on board :P

Good news is, no matter what happens, I should get paid at offshore rate (ka-shing!) and I'll be home in 28 days.. unless weather is crap, or shifts change differently and I come back sooner... gotta appreciate the certainty of this job :P

If we stay out there, I wont have internet... might be able to manage some emails, but that's it. Most likely, we'll be in and out of the harbour which means, even though I sleep on the ship, I'll have access to the surrounding wi-fi connections when docked.

So that's it people, see ya in a bit... going dark in 3 ... 2 ....1 ...

Monday, January 26, 2009


First part of water survival survived...

After dressing in a weird costume, I went up and down ladders, knotted ropes and cables, escaped through a netted chute, paddled in a raft, climbed a net with a knife between my teeth... no wait, that was Jack Sparrow! :P ...I forgot my knife in the raft...

all this was good fun... but tomorrow... hu hu hu! HMG noooo... I'm headed for

THIS:notice the ice surrounding those crazy people?

Hello?! this is me!!! you know: there is no such thing as "too warm"?! Under 20°c is cold weather?!
You expect me to jump in icy water, with 50km/h wind and snowy clouds above???
and survive too???

Sunday, January 25, 2009

psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est? fafafafa fafafafa

Why do these things keep happening to me?

Kinda puzzled about this, I went to the lobby right after the call and asked the lady at the desk if there really was trouble in the room next to mine... of course not...

So I told her about the calls, and she got this worried look on her face, said it was probably a hoax and suggested I change room...

So the whole thing is a joke... but wtf? why would someone call a room (and more so, MY room!), pretend to be the hotel's manager, apologize for an nonexistent trouble and then spend 15 minutes explaining the concept of the boutique and offer free stuff? And then call back to make an appointment, ask questions about colors and brands and so on? Who has that much time to waste?

I mean, I was less than enthusiastic on the phone, more like matter of fact, get to the point dude, cause I thought something was fishy from the start... so the guy can't even say he fooled someone...

It doesn't make sense... people usually do stuff in order to gain something, be it just a laugh... in this case absolutely nothing came out of it...

another I-reject-your-reality-and-substitute-my-own, psycho guy from hell?

Some people collect stamps, I collect freaks... Is it the red hair? the 5'11"? Do I have to dye my hair black to start attracting people with brains in working order??? pfff...
... but in this case the guy can't even know who I am!!! unless he's in the hotel too... too-doo-doo-doo<--that's me singing the Twilight Zone's theme song


There's something weird going on at the hotel...
Apparently, a bunch of teens destroyed the room next to mine Friday night. I got in late and didn't notice anything, but they flooded the room and a bunch of guests complained.

The manager called me, wondering why I hadn't called to complain... and then offered me free nights coupons as an apology for the trouble (what trouble? I didn't hear anything...)
and then he offered me to look at some clothes for the new boutique they plan on opening at the hotel... in exchange they would give me loads of free stuff, jeans, makeup, hair extension, boots, shoes and whatnot... for looking at it and give opinions?...

what's the catch?

Since then he has called me like 15 times, offered coupons for free meals, asked the same questions 3 times (sometimes in the same conversation)... he sounds just weird... now I'm supposed to meet him in the lobby at 7pm, then go to the hotel's conference room, where a model will present a bunch of clothes and makeup, and I will make comments... and then the stuff is all mine??... wtf?!

Will I end up dead in a dumpster somewhere in Nova Scotia at the end of this?

Anyway, more news later... and if not, assume me abducted and lost forever...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

time zone

Definitely, I prefer traveling West than East! I hate that it's 5pm here and only 3:30pm in Montreal! :S (and what's with this half time zone?!?! the most eastern point of Canada is nuts I tell you...)

All it does is that I wake up at 7am, but my brain knows it's 5:30am... which as you know is the right time to go to bed NOT wake up! and I can't fall asleep at 10pm, cause really it's 8:30pm and I'm not 5 years old anymore damnit!!!

All the good shows on tv play from 10:30pm on... too late considering the wake up call... and my dear John Stewart is completely out of reach at 1:30am!!! boooh!!!! (at least I get it in streaming but I have to wait a day for it!!! I'm a proud member of the instantaneous generation... everything now!!!)

Can we find a way to change the earth's revolution? make it go the other way while I'm here? we can go back to normal when I get back promise :D ...

see?! it even screws up the publishing time on this blog! :S

Friday, January 23, 2009


Short n sweet, I'm tired...

Slept 3 hours, woke up at 5am, got on the plane, arrived in St.John's, my room is even better than the last one, met everybody in the Oceaneering office, they're all super nice, got the briefing, might leave on Wednesday, already picked a fight with a co-worker (that will be with me on the ship if I leave on Wednesday), he started it, he's a Maple Leaf fan, we agreed we have a problem here, the skipper on that ship is a Habs fan through n through, that means the co-worker is fucked and I win, HA!

that's it for today, more news tomorrow... I love my job

Thursday, January 22, 2009

take 2 right now

Once again, things have changed... got the call this afternoon, going to St.John's tomorrow morning at 6am!
Good news though, my lost suitcase showed up today... just in time to leave again.. no unpacking-repacking was necessary :P

Tomorrow I'm meeting the Oceaneering people in the afternoon to get the rest of my PPE; H2S Saturday; Water Survival Mon-Tues... and, if I'm approved, embarking on a vessel Wednesday, for 28 days...

I'll know more as it goes of course :S but vessels usually do not have internet, so I might go dark for a month!!!! How will I survive?!?! no google, no emails, no downloading stupid crap, no FACEBOOK!!! arg!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ojoy Ohappiness Obama

At la-a-ast, hope has come along...

I'm way too cynical to be so emotional... but this is such a big step in the good direction that I can't help it...
What I want/wish for my planet and its people is for the whole human race to be color blind, so that we can recognize people's worth and potential based on who they truly are, their personal achievements and qualities... not by the color of their skin, religious beliefs, level of education or what their ancestors did or suffered... and yesterday was proof that more than half of the American population wants that too.

Things are changing...Internet/instant communications have made the world so much smaller, younger generations don't see the world the same way most adults do. They understand the notion of being part of a greater whole more than the older generation ever did or will. And it gives me hope...

It gives me hope that maybe, in my lifetime, things will change... the world will stop fighting over old conflicts, people will learn to forgive and forget and we will start working together to heal our planet from what our parents, grand-parents and the folks before them did to it.

If 60 years is how long it took to achieve this... where will the next 60 years take us? For the first time in my life, I see the possibility of things getting better. With a smart, driven and charismatic man leading one of the world's most influential country, there's a chance that major conflicts will be solved, green energy will finally be put forward and discrimination will become a faded memory...

The future is now,
I believe in you Mr President...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes He Did

"Americans need to embrace a "new era of responsibility" to remake the United States in the face of military, economic and domestic challenges"

“To all the people and governments in other countries, know that America is friend of each nation
Your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy […] we will extend our hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America"

Today is a good day :)

ho! brother...

I'm watching the inauguration and there goes the water works... I'm such an overemotional cry baby sometimes... but it's such a beautiful moment in History... can't help it...

take 2

I'm back in Montreal... 17 hours of transit for 15 hours in St.John's... my head is spinning a bit.

Because of the medical that was added in the morning I couldn't do the Water Survival... after trying to reschedule this week, it turned out there was no place available before next week. There was not enough work in the shop to justify my stay/wait until next Thursday, so I was sent home at 4pm yesterday.

That's where the fun began... The flight in St.john's was delayed for 4 hours because of ice rain and strong winds (more like monsoon winds I'd seen only in Utila before!). The incoming plane circled for 1h30, finally landed, we boarded and had to wait another 2h30 for conditions to improve before we could take off.

My seat was broken, didn't reclined and leaned to the left.. highly uncomfortable... good news is some people got fed up of waiting and left, so I ended up at the back of the plane with a row to myself... and a massive headache.

We left at the time we should have arrived in Toronto... yeah, Toronto....the flight was St.John's-To/To-Montreal... no direct flight mtl-St.John's, so the choices are through Halifax or Toronto, you be the judge of the logic route for me :S ... but I don't buy my tickets so I have no say on the choice of routes...

We arrived in To at 11:30pm, luckily there's a flight for Montreal just about every 10 seconds, so I was able to catch the last flight of the day at 12:30am. With de-icing and delays we landed in Mtl at 2am.... where I found out they had lost my suitcase!

Luckily I left my duffel bag with work clothes, PPE and competency books in St.John's, but all my regular clothes, bath products, combat boots and winter boots are in the suitcase!!! I had a fit of inspiration and decided to wear my running shoes and put my boots in the suitcase... making the 12h transit much more comfortable! .... but now they're all I have left :S so until that suitcase turns up, I'll be slip and sliding the sidewalks with cross trainers...

As for St.John's, a new schedule will be made and I should know this week my departure date "take 2" ...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

more certs...

Apparently, the medical certs I got in Aberdeen are weird (not the results, it is well known that I'm not right in the head)...
They should be valid for Canada, but the people in St.John's suddenly realized that they'd never seen one like that and since they're not sure, I should have another medical evaluation done while I'm there :S
Is anything I did in Aberdeen worth something?! I kinda feel like I've spend 2 grand on wind :S

So Monday morning, at 7:50am, I have an appointment with the doc, then I have to jump in a taxi, get to another city for the water survival... at 8:15am... obviously not gonna happen, so they're going to pre-register me and hope I get there on time, at 9am, for the beginning of the training...

Looks like it'll be a very full/busy week...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I just got the instructions for the helicopter ride... luggage limit: 1 bag/22lbs...

ARE YOU F***** KIDDING ME?!?!?!?

My suitcase alone is 11lbs!! add to that my pair of winter-knee-high-super-insulated-double-lined-mega-steel-nothing-will-cut-through-it-capped-toes boots and I'm already over the limit!!! >:(
That's not even counting the hard hat, work glove, coveralls (winter model that will make me look like the Michelin man's honey) and parka that they'll give me when I get there.. and must bring back with me!

That means that I have to buy yet another stupid piece of luggage, aka a duffel bag, and hope my underwear and toothbrush wont tip the scale.. and if it does, what? they throw my shit overboard??? more like it stays on land and I go without.. fuuuuun...

This job is getting too expensive for my taste...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

le frette

Until Saturday, the temperature outside should be around minus 4 million (at this point it doesn't even matter if it's in Celsius or Fahrenheit!) ... I don't think I'll be going to the Igloofest afterall :(

La différence entre le froid et le frette : Le second est le produit du premier multiplié par le facteur éolien additionné à la haine de l'hiver à la puissance mille.

Aujourd'hui, demain et vendredi, par exemple, il va faire frette, à ce qu'on en prévoyait, hier. À Montréal, on parle de températures comprises entre -18 et - 33 degrés, sans compter le fameux facteur de refroidissement éolien qui, selon nos savants calculs, portera la température ressentie à -1000!
(I still say more like -4,000,000!)

Mario Roy
-La Presse-
click here for the complete editorial

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

one more step...

... and plouf, you fall in...

This is where I'm going... notice the absence of... well... LAND! I bet I'll see Spain from my hotel window :P

going going almost gone!

Finally got the email!!!!
I'm leaving for St.Johns, NL, Sunday afternoon!

Monday I'm doing BSTR (water survival), 2-day version, to complement the one I already have from the UK. Tuesday is "the sea-day portion in Long Pond"... gulp.... apparently those rumors of being thrown in the sea with a "good luck, farewell and try to swim back mate!" are true.... gulp... it's January... did I say gulp?.... worst comes to, I can always climb on a iceberg and set a course towards Mexico hehehe...

If I survive the survival, Wednesday and Thursday I'll be in the office for an HSE "welcome to Oceaneering Canada" day. When that's done I'll be working in the shop, checking out the new Magnum that just came in, all new and shiny, before some pilots get a chance to bang it out of shape.

Friday is the H2S=poisonous-gas-so-don't-breath-it-if-you-don't-want-to-die course...

and then... well... ... ... ?
They'll try to get me offshore asap, but depending on approval and all, I might go home, I might not, I might go on a vessel, on a rig, to hellI hope not?

We'll see in due time... I sure am learning patience in this gig... not really but whatcanyado?

Monday, January 12, 2009


My dad asked my mom if she knew where some jewelry store was on Tashereau blvd... my mom answered : "just Google it" :O !!!

My parents have caught up with technology!!! I'm amazed! ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Is it just me or this new year is made of elastic?

I don't know if it's because I'm stressed or waiting to leave (or both) but the passing days seem to last twice as long... 2009 has been here for only 11 days, but they felt like forever!
I'm almost starting to think that snow should melt anytime now cause Spring is almost here (opening the door tends to put a damper on that thought but whatever...)

I'm restless...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

countdown to the sea

I got an email Monday saying to be prepared to fly next week :)

I was suppose to get the details Tuesday.. that email never came... so this is speculation. I should be in St.Johns next week for 3-4 days, to do the 2 certs I'm missing (h2s + 2 days complementary water survival... I'll finally know if the rumors are true! will I be thrown in the ocean to get back on the raft or is it bs told to scare newbies off...).

Then I'll be sent offshore (probably, hopefully) right away. Where? that remains a mystery... somewhere East/North of Newfoundland, in the Atlantic, watching the icebergs go by... and NOT singing the Titanic song... unless there's a Romeo DiCaprio on board... then I just might... but I'll never admit to it!

I'm not so stressed anymore about what's in store for me offshore. Derek came back from his first job... and he said it was great! good people, no teasing, interesting work, he learned a lot, good food, good gym, a sauna to warm up, plenty of time to sleep and train...
then again, this is the guy who was able to find a good side to stupid jackass #1 so I'll keep some reservation about the wholesome greatness of the life offshore Mr Sunshine portrayed. But if it is like he said.. I'm gonna have fun out there.. can't wait to try it out :P

And no matter what, it's gotta be better than this :

Montreal buried under yet another snow storm...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

new toy

My dad just bought this hot new plaything... My mom asked him to go buy sausages for dinner.. and he came back with this :

My sisters and me have been hinting for a Mac for years... and apparently the idea made its way in his subconscious :D

Not sure what they did to my dad in Tunisia (he went with his brothers and sister), but since his return he is weeeeird! taking our dogs for a walk and petting them (he never cared for our pups! ev-er!), passing a Mac store and getting the latest toy just like that... he's taking my mom to Greece next fall, for a month! he already has the tickets!
I guess he really needed a vacation :P
In the meantime I'll go switch my backups to MAAAAAAAAAAAAC!!! woohoo!!!!!!! and now I just HAVE to change my laptop for a macbook :P

Friday, January 2, 2009


The New Year's pics are up... enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

Hopefully what went right in 2008 will keep on going, what was missing will be found and what was broken will mend...

review of 2008...

I was better than 2007... though worst would have been impossible, unless my house had burned down and my friends had died... I tried to deal with the leftover hurts of that blasted year... some days were easier, most were not. The million broken pieces I was left with are trying to piece themselves back together, but the seams are weak :S No matter how many coats of varnish, I'm now damaged good... thanx J, I shall never forget...

From a career/money point of view it was great! I love my new job at Oceaneering and the good.. more like indecent... money it pays will make it possible for me to buy a condo in 2009! (two if I buy them in Florida! LOL!) *happy dance* summer should be exciting... scouting for the perfect location and construction :) and if the economy keeps on falling and I get a good price, I, maybe, could get a boat too!! I must be the only person giddy with joy at the prospect of this recession :P

The travel book was happily full : Costa Rica, Scotland, London, The Netherlands and Louisiana...
met new people, made friends, realized there is such a thing as the Deep South (Jack-o-lantern anyone? :P)...

I learned plenty of new stuff, took on new challenges and won most of them :)

I now await 2009, curious to see where it'll take me... especially in 6 months or so, when I can apply for a transfer.. Australia? Qatar? Africa? Indonesia?

More projects might take shape too.. we'll see... we'll see...

**and in case you wonder... this was posted automatically at midnight... yay blogger!... I have better things to do like drinking and dancing with my friends on New Year's Eve than writing a blog :P **