Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back in the saddle again

Two weeks ago I spent Thanksgiving weekend at Gulch Pond.  Three days paddling on top of all the paddling for the year to date had me feeling like I was due a rest.  Today the rest was over.  I needed to get back on the water.

Ten of us met at St. Philips to paddle down to Topsail Beach and then out to visit the oil production ship, the FPSO Terra Nova and thence the drilling rig West Aquarius.

It took a little time for all of us to get on the water.  We waited in the cove with the West Aquarius on the horizon.

With everyone on the water we carried on down the shore towards Topsail Beach.  A decent swell was running.  Some of us stuck close to shore enjoying the action while some stayed further off shore.

As me made progress south the FPSO Terra Nova came into view on the distant horizon.

Dean and I arrived first at Topsail Beach where the largest waves breaking on the beach were a meter.  We landed and helped land the others in the party.

With the boats hauled up safely above the reach of the surf we stretched our legs and had a snack.  Southwest of us lay the Terra Nova where we were headed some 20 minutes away, depending how fast ya paddle.

Neville and I approached the FPSO and looked around to see where everyone else was.  Apparently, while we were making our way out, four decided they weren't going all the way and paddled back closer to shore.

I paddled to a distance where the ship almost took in the full frame.  The Terra Nova is a floating production platform for the extraction of oil from the Terra Nova oil field on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

After hanging out at the FPSO for a short while we paddled north in Conception Bay towards here the semi-submersible drill rig West Aquarius was anchored.  The swell gave us a good push and crossed the distance in no time.

The West Aquarius recently completed a couple of successful deep exploration wells in the Orphan Basin.  I last saw her in January earlier this year when I dropped in to check her out before she went on station.  This time I had company.

I was warned to keep my distance in January so I suggested to Derrick we not get too close.  I took a few pictures (I hesitate to use the word "shots" in this case *lol*) before we surfed our way back to St. Philips.

It was good to get on the sea again and it was encouraging to be part of such a large group.

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