Sunday, May 31, 2009

you know the weather's s*** when...

... the rig you are on is rocking up and down and sideways like a ship!

sucks for those who have to work but wonderful for sleeping... like being in a hammock :)

I've even seen guys wearing the lil ear patch for sea sickness! are you kidding me?! wuss... ;)

weather's up... we're down :P

This morning the wind started acting up, the waves followed... while the rov was in the water...

We can't retrieve it for reasons I explained in another post so we're just hanging out in the control van, while the rov hangs peacefully in its TMS tether management system, the rov is latched under it, instead of in it. When it's in the water, there must always be someone in the van to check on it... in case a short makes it go nuts and spin like mad or pull on the tether until it breaks... :)

To make things even better, the new supervisor jumped ship 30 minutes ago so it's only Todd and me, not allowed to fly the sub by ourselves or anything... meaning the next 12 hours will be spent reading, watching tv, listening to music, photoshoping and playing Nintendo. We can't even retrieve the rov if the weather calms down, because it takes 3 person to do it!

The supervisor who was here wasn't supposed to be. Mike, the supervisor who was coming in, canceled last minute so the office people found someone to volunteer and fill in. But that guy is starting his real shift Monday so he just left to get on the transfer boat and someone else (still not the right guy, but another fill-in) will arrive tomorrow... supposedly. In the meantime, us two, lil techs, will wait patiently and do nothing :P ok, maybe clean up the work van or something...

j.u.s.t l.o.v.e m.y j.o.b! XD


We're almost finished with the job using the Nemo tools..
once this is done we're going back to drill support.. meaning checking bullseyes every 24h.. leaving plenty of time to do other things, like reading the newspaper, watching the news, taking 2h breaks before and after lunch... ;)

Seriously, we received a new joystick that I can't wait to install!!! The pan/tilt for the camera is much smoother than the crap we have now and the vertical control slider is included on it, instead of an independent slider on the panel.

The way it is set up now, you need 3 hands to work the rov... one for the "bear paw" that controls the manipulator, one for the joystick that controls the rov's cameras and lateral/forward/back thrusters and one for the slider that controls the rov's vertical thrusters that make it go up and down.

The new joystick has the vertical thrusters and cameras side by side on it... which is so much more logical and efficient!!!
you realize the importance of this when you have to go back and forth from moving the manipulator to the vertical slider, as the rov bobs up and down like a drunk bumble bee, when you try hooking a stupid float on a shackle that also bobs like mad because of the heave above... $%#@%&!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Military boys

For some reason (especially in the States) a lot of ex-military guys go into the offshore business when they're done playing war.

You can tell them apart from the others by the way they stand (tall and proud, shoulders back with arms held slightly away from their body like they're standing guard for the queen) and how they say hello...

most people out here will mumble small "hwudoin" or "mornn" or "hulo" when they pass you in the hallways... military boy? "GOOD DAY MA'AM! HOW ARE YOU DOING?" and almost salutes :P

makes me giggle everytime.. not to their face mind you ;)

crew change...

...on the rig is different than the boat. Here we change one at a time, one or two persons per week. This means that all the guys that were here when I arrived are now gone. I'm the only one leaving this week, on Thursday theoretically, if there's no fog or high wind or storm and the choppers can fly to get me outta here....

So I get to meet more people.. not always for the best... I'll just leave it at that for now but imagine steam fuming out of my ears for the past 2 days...

*some people should never take their head out of their ass where it belongs*

now THAT'S fog!

I took this after launching the rov...

you'll have to click on the pic to see it better... my blog's background is interfering...

This is my shadow... projected on the fog... the yellow thing is the umbilical going in water...

this place is nuts!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


It's officially Thursday now... I'm coming home in a week!!! weehee!! :)


I'm drawing tiny fish and shrimps on the work board...

I have a very low boredom threshold... but I'm easily entertained :P


I had to say we were busy and jinx it!

We've done buttkiss all night! >:( We've finished the job with the first tool in a couple of hours at the beginning of our shift.. and now we need the second tool to continue.

Slight problem, the tools are being brought up on deck and down subsea with the crane... which cannot do it at the moment because of the wave action below. The seas are up 4m, which makes the recovery of tool #1 too risky and the lowering of tool #2 impossible if they bang on waves, they might break and then we'd be f***ed big time!

So we're waiting on lady ocean to stop her tantrum... waiting... w.a.i.t.i.n.g...w-a-i-t-i-n-g... waiiiiiiiiiiiiiting ... w a i t i n g.....

I've tidied up the work van that was looking like a bomb had exploded in it for the past 3 busy days, I've asked Tim to sign my competency book, I forgot my NinDS in my room, I went to get cookies, I went back to get more cookies... b...o...r...e...d...

*yawn* *snooze* *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finding Nemo

We're in operation now.. so it's much more busy and interesting :P

We work with a company from Norway called Nemo! They built specialised tools to remove a couple of rusted out covers on methanol pipes, subsea... so, literally, we found Nemo and are now working with him ;)

I know they mean Jule Verne's captain from 10 000 leagues under the sea but all I can think about is the Disney fishy... especially that the guys wear bright orange coveralls (even worst than ours because they're all new and shiny!) with white reflective stripes... so they LOOK like clown fish! lol

So here's my impression of the Nemo/Oceaneering partnership:

It's almost exact, except that, in reality, the rov is carrying the fish.. errr.... tool :P

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


it.... is.... SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!




f*** this s*** I wanna go home!
:S *sniffle*

Sunday, May 24, 2009

look mom, I'm flying!!!!

Flying a two tons sub around flimsy multi-millions dollars structures... no stress...
...Paul thinks it's hilarious...
of course he does, he hates flying! that's why I can get mucho hours :D

I look so professional don't I?! I have no idea what I'm doing... seriously... ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

freak magnet

I was vainly hoping that the amount of people (and the small, but existent, number of women) on the rig would make me a bit less conspicuous... HA ha... dream on sister

why the f*** am I such a weirdos magnet???

Friday, May 22, 2009

gray gray gray

The weather out here is very uncomplicated...
depending on the time of day, it goes to light gray to dark gray to very dark gray with hints of midnight blue... It doesn't matter if your on night shift or day shift.. no one will see the sun for the whole 3 weeks...

sometimes, for 10 minutes, there'll be a hint of stars or moon or sun, quickly covered back up by mist or clouds...

not too bad in the summer.. I'll get my share of sun worshiping back home, but next winter don't look for me in Montreal... my schedule will go something like this: St.John's-Barbados-St.John's-Xmas in Montreal- St.John's-Mexico-St.John's-Guatemala-St.John's-Belize-st.John's-Grenada...

:) yay diving!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

guess who

s'gonna be flying, in about an hour?

it's me


it's me

not you, no

it's me!


time zone

I just realized that my posts are in Montreal time...
I have no intention of resetting my computer to newfie time so please add 1h30 to all "posted time" :P

yeah.. really busy...

cause twiddling my thumbs can only keep me entertained for so long...

my version of margarita on the big rocks:



Margarita on the rocks, St.John's style! XD

summer? really?

The fog just lifted... but it was blown off by a Northern wind that brought the temperature to about -30millions... we're in May right? *sigh*

We cleared some of the GAMMA maintenance but it's a slow night... too cold to stay out much, plus the movie in the lounge was really good at lunch time and everybody's tired so.... zzzzz

more bergs

Got this by email today... yep, it's still iceberg season! that one is 350m (1200ft) long! it's drifting about 100km from the Grand Banks rig. Too bad there's no visual reference for size because that is one MASSIVE piece of ice:

side view

front view, looks like a giant slide don't it? get your dry suit and let's try it!!! WEEEE! :P

Margarita on the big rocks anyone?

Apparently, using little bits of icebergs for ice cubes in your drinks is really fun...
The density of the ice is different so it stays frozen forever... you'll drink yourself silly and pass out on the couch before it melts... I'll have to try that sometimes.. maybe wrap a piece in an ice box and bring it back to Montreal...
now, the real question is... how do I go about to capture a baby iceberg?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5th dimension

The fog is so thick it's like being in limbo... or in a dream... or in Never Land... no way to know where's forward or aft, which way is up or down though gravity helps a bit for this one :P

The sky is uniformly gray, all the way down to the barely visible, ghostily fading, water below... sounds are muffled by the suspended droplets of water...

This is an alternate universe!!!
We exist outside the realm of everything, stuck in nothingness! hooo I'm channelling Stephen King this morning hehe :P


We have satellite tvs in our room... but only about 20 channels instead of the usual 600.. not sure why... but the real question is:

-the male population on this rig counts for about 99,9%...
-they chose (paid for?) only 20 out of 600 channels...

so... how come Spike tv isn't one of them?
but more so... how come Out tv IS?!?!?

is there something I should know? small detail they forgot to mention? that would explain all the mustaches though... hehehe... ;)

the new look

A lot of guys walk around with their pants tucked in their socks...
for fear of ticks/spiders/snakes? cause of course there's lots of those on this metal box lost in the middle of the ocean we call home... new fashion statement? yeah, right... the only fashion these guys know is the Tom Selleck mustache :P...

Apparently it's to be able to put their coveralls on without having their jeans ride up all the way to their knees...
why they don't free their pants when taking off their coveralls? I d.o.n.'t. k.n.o.w. ...

Good morning...

...good morning! we talked the whole night through... good morning, good morning.. to you!
With the rig going 24/7, every time you meet someone,
they say good morning.
Doesn't matter if it's 6am or 6 pm or noon or midnight..
it's always someone's morning :P

Monday, May 18, 2009


The helicopters were supposed to fly again this morning... but the flights were all canceled due to extreme fog conditions... lol!

Apparently the choppers are fog magnets... I believe it no problem because until 6am this morning the weather had been clear, sunny, cloudless, windless and beautiful for at least a week (or at least since I arrived in NL anyway)... the first flights were schedule to leave St.John's at 7am... the fog crept out at lightning speed at 6:30am and grounded them all! XD

Ride home

The helicopters start flying tomorrow! well... Monday.. so that's today I guess, not tomorrow...

I'm still yesterday until I go to bed, when I wake up I'll be tomorrow, or today... ;/ yay night shift!

Anyway.. I'll be going home in an helicopter! How may of you can say that?! XD

Sunday, May 17, 2009

rig boys

Don't get your hopes up, nothing juicy to tell... ;)

There's a good mix of Canadians, Americans, Norwegians around. It's funny the way they act the first time they see me. There's always a double look no you're not dreaming, it's really a girl in orange coveralls you're looking at then there's 2 reactions possible, when I walk into a room. They just stare, not convinced of what they're seeing or, when sitting in groups, they start talking and eventually they giggle (and sometimes turn red! and no I dont, and don't wanna, know what they're saying, thanx)...

One on one they're all nice though, they even open the doors for me :P Of course, most of the Americans will stare at my boobs before looking at my face, but they're americans... what can you expect?
Strangely enough they're the ones (outside of Oceaneering guys) I get along the easiest with.. maybe because they come and talk to me the most... and I also get a kick out of twisting their preconceived ideas about "the nice lil women we need to protect" hehehe

Worth mentioning too: There's a guy who's a George Clooney look alike, but he's really soft spoken so it's hilarious to watch him go.. the look does not fit at all with the attitude.

Back to work now.. we have lights to change (and no it's not me who blew them up!)

I love the night life...

I love to rov-ey :)

It's so great to not need an alarm clock to wake up! I'm off at 6am so I usually go to bed right away, and it doesn't matter how long it takes me to fall asleep, I'm gonna wake up for sure before 5:30pm... So I just build my free time on how much sleep I want or need... wonderful!!!

I am so never doing nothing else but the night shift!!!!!!!!! hoo that's good grammar :P

I FLEW!!!!

I now have two hours of stick time!!!! and I didn't destroy anything!!! I even managed to find the last cod fish left in the North Atlantic! It was hiding in between two sections of the tree... and wasn't amused at all to see my camera :P

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I HAVE INTERNET!!!! IN THE ROV VAN!!! and also in the conference room right by my room :P
I'm writing during my lunch break, which is at midnight cause I'm on the night shift, 6 to 6... it's so freakin wonderful! I didn't even have to adjust my sleeping pattern :P With the time difference (1h30) it's like going to work at 4:30pm and finishing at 4:30am... the time I usually go to bed anyway :D

The gym, also right by my room, is fully furbished (woohoo), there IS a sauna (double woohoo!!!)
There's also a movie theatre (mostly to watch the hockey games), a tv (giant screen) room with leather couches, a babyfoot table and a hyperactive pastry chef in the cafeteria. The food is great and varied... so far no complaint... and the coffee is GOOD!!!!!!!!

My room is big enough, with 2 real beds in it! none of those stacked half shelves for hobbits we had on the boat. I share it with one the guys, but he's on days and I'm on nights so we're never there at the same time (there is no re-entering the room once you left for your shift). I even have a tv and dvd player on the wall.. and half of the channels are for the rig's cameras, including rov.. so I can watch the guys fly Mag33 around when I'm off :)

Only complaint, we can't drink the water... the pipes are rusty so the cold water is orange and yucky... kinda like in south america ;) so there's a gross abuse of bottled water.. with the plastic waste that goes with it. That problem should be solved eventually when they replace the pipes and treat the water to make it potable...

Ok, we're about to get a safety drill.. so that's it for now, more soon (and pictures cause I have my camera! weehee)

ho yeah, there's 142 people on board... 138 guys, 4 girls hehehehehe

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

viva last minute

Got my ticket.. I leave at 9 tonight!

It's been confirmed that I'll have better internet access on the rig (I still cross my fingers cause you can't trust no one on these things :P). If it's the case, I should be able to update this blog more often... but if the shifts are super busy I might end up in zombie mode for the next 3 weeks...

and, miracle of miracles, I have another direct flight to St.John's!!! I thought these things were a myth but apparently they do exist, and on a regular basis too! go figure...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

back to the ocean

I'm going back to Newfoundland tomorrow... but I don't have a plane ticket yet :P this last minute thing is really going for the limit... though I'm sure it'll be in my inbox in the morning I hope!

I'll be on the Henry Goodrich this time.. new people, new systems get used to the term I'm tired of saying rov all the time ok?, new schedule and way of doing things. Apparently there should be a better gym and even a sauna on there! woohoo! but I probably will also have a roommate in that deal, since my gender is represented in limited numbers but still on the rigs, not as rovs but in maintenance crews, administration, HR, etc.

I might get to play with our brand new MAG148, it's so teeny tiny and shiny and pretty!!!! XD
chances are the more senior guys will have all the fun, but since were a smaller team than on the Osprey there's a good chance I'll get my hands on it it's a learning thing you see... gotta learn how to work all types of systems... hehe

So my bags are packed.. I try to go only for the essentials, but it doesn't seem to make a difference in the final weight of my duffel bags :S

That's it for now, got a date with Jon Stewart and my daily dose of HAHAHA and HOOOO no he didn't just say that!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Dijongate??? seriously?!

"What kind of man orders a burger with NO ketchup and Dijon mustard?!" -Laura Ingraham-
"the president ordered a very special condiment for his fancy hamburger" -fox news-

6 minutes of real time footage of the American president ordering lunch, and hours of studio time bitching about it! Fox news and MSNBC are wacked I tell you... entertaining, in a very scary kinda way, but wacked :/

Don't you have a couple of wars, an economic crisis and a swine flu (sorry H1N1 flu) pandemic to cover?! much better subjects to scare the american people into submission... which is your main objective right?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


there is no "I" in team...
unless Apple creates a new application called iteam

thanx for the laugh Mr Colbert :P

Monday, May 4, 2009

you know it's your day when...

.. you go to 3 different stores to buy stuff and in all of them the lines at the cash registers are a mile long, but as you look around, trying to decide which cash (and line) to pick, a new one opens, right at the moment you walk by it...

no lines!

3 times!


Ho My G!!!

Who said that advertising sucks???
I know the point is to sell crap... but sometimes it reaches a higher level and kinda makes me want to change my cellphone provider :P

Life is for sharing... love it...

And it has a special gift hidden inside.. just for Mui ;)

They did another one in January... a flash mob in Liverpool Station! Apparently they were doing it all through the day so more and more people stayed and danced along... damn I wish I had been there!!!! :P

Saturday, May 2, 2009

worth a 1000 words...

From too much sleep to insomnia... all I needed to flip the coin was a virtual slap in the face from my michigan monster...
In line for the movie tonight I saw a guy that looked so much like him... and I completely lost it...
... the mere sight of someone that looks like him has the power to shove me to my knees gasping for air...
what would happen if I saw him again?
would the earth open and swallow me whole?
how do I get over this?
when I still love and miss him after all this time even though he has betrayed me in the worst possible way and left me for dead?


Need I say more? *drool*

yet another chick flick disguised as action film...

ho yeah... and the story's good too... go see it! :P

Friday, May 1, 2009

goo in the ears

After my last trip offshore, there was one priority I needed to address... EAR PLUGS!!!!

A ship is usually not a very noisy place to be, except when we're in operations and it needs to stay in DP for weeks on end.
DP = dynamic positioning ie the ship stays in one spot/one heading, fighting the waves and currents with all the mighty power of his thrusters.

When traveling, only the thrusters at the back of the ship far far away from our living quarters are working... in DP they're all rolling, including those on the side and front... right under our cabins :/

The resulting noise is similar to that of a vacuum cleaner going back and forth... on your bed!
When the seas are up a little, you add to it a rolling vibration, like a roll of thunder, that makes everything (your brain included) vibrate. maybe that explains why I'm so tired after all.. 2 weeks in DP = 2 weeks with no sleep :S

So this week I called my friend the ORL and asked her if she could make me some ear plugs molded to my ear to cut all external noises... nothing we can do about the voices in my head :P
I went this morning... the process is PAINFULL!!! She puts a little foam plug in the ear, stopping 1cm of the eardrum, that puts pressure in the ear canal and feels like a dagger is gently ripping your brain out. Then she syringes in the molding paste.... just a cold sensation that doesn't add to the already implanted dizzying feeling of having 2 tons of pressure on both sides of your head.

7 minutes later shes removes everything which feels weird but oddly satisfying and sends the mold out to have the plugs made. Mine will be bright pink and I'll have them next week :D

They will have a tiny hole in them, so the background noise will be cut out but I'll still be able to hear voices... and my alarm clock! :P

the stars are aligned

Everything seems to be timed perfectly these days... Appointments fall into place in convenient and timely manner... old friends manifest themselves for lunch/coffee/beers and are all free on different nights, shows happen on dates I know I'll be home... cash is piling up neatly in my account, allowing for vacation planning this summer (Florida, Chicago and the St.John's festival are listed for now :P)

Now if I could just stop being so tired all the time... I'll blame my new ultra-comfy Tempur mattress, but I'm turning into a regular Rip Van Winkle :S
I think I really could sleep for about a century no problem...