The Humber to Norway

3 June, 2009 RRS Ernest Shackleton

Greetings once again, well here we are, floating about in the North Sea on contract and earning our keep.

After a fairly hectic stay in Immingham with repairs and new installations of equipment we finally departed Immingham on Sunday the 10th of May and headed out for DP trials, which were conducted just off the Humber estuary.  The trials went well and on Monday evening we dropped off the surveyor and few others onto the Humber launch and turned our bow northwards towards Norway.

The passage across the North Sea was thankfully calm. We picked our pilot off Bergen at about midday and had great run in picking our way between the picturesque islands in glorious sunshine. We eventually arrived at our berth about three hours later.

We were greeted by the Riebers representatives and given the low-down on what the plans for the vessel were.  We were to spend a few days in Bergen and then depart for Kristiansund further up the coast where we would mobilise for our first job of the season.

On the Friday a good few us were treated to a tour around Bergen curtesy of Riebers, which included a ride on a Vernicular railway up to the top of one of the seven mountains overlooking Bergen.

It was an absolutely clear day and the view from up there was spectacular and seemingly never ending.

Down in the harbour area we were shown around the old parts of city, which are now a “World Heritage Site”.  All the buildings are original wooden structures some over 200 years old. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out.

On Friday and Saturday night we took the opportunity to taste the nightlife of Bergen. There was lots of live music about. We were all flabbergasted at the prices off everything though, which were seemingly double if not more than what we were used to paying in the U.K.  We steadied ourselves, tried not to think too much about it and ventured bravely forth nonetheless.

On Sunday the 17th we departed Bergen for Krsitiansund, the vessel snaking her way once again between the islands as we headed north.  We arrived at our destination midday on Monday midday and were greeted by the client personnel who gave us all a briefing of the scope of the project before commencing with all the steel work on deck. They had hoped to be finished and away later that night but a series of delays, not caused by the ship, resulted in the job taking much longer than anticipated. The work was eventually completed on late on Wednesday evening and just after midnight we headed once again, out to sea.

So here we are moving form position to position taking surface mud samples for analysis.  They are looking for levels of contamination from different installations as part of an environmental impact study.

We will repeating this work at various instaltions up down the oil fields until we sign offbe doing this until we sign off on monday the 8th June.

Text and images by Pat O’Hara