Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Plan the paddle; paddle the plan

After visiting the Dorset Paleoeskimo site at Stock Cove, Cathy, Hazen and I continued our paddle into Bull Arm towards the Hebron GBS (Gravity Based Structure).  The GBS will be positioned in the Hebron oil field of off Newfoundland to exploit that resource.

We kept guessing at what point we'd catch sight of the GBS and finally we did sight it some distance off.

At the entrance to Mosquito Cove where the construction site is, I noticed a sign indicating it was a restricted area.  I thought about it and resolved it didn't apply to small craft like kayaks so I started to paddle across the cove and caught sight of the top sides.  The previous picture was the GBS, this was the actual production module and crew quarters.

The wind was blowing pretty good out of the cove with numerous white caps.  Edging into the wind I got closer and ...

... closer till it almost filled the field of view of the camera.  To say it was massive is an understatement.  The topsides itself is 110 meters high.  I imagine that would be to the top of the derrick.

So far so good, I was either undetected or no one cared about a guy in a kayak.  I was making my way across the cove towards the head there in the distance where I thought it would be close enough to get a decent picture.

I arrived at the point of land to grab a picture.  I dared not tempt fate and go further as I may have been pushing my luck because as you can see ...

... if you click on this to enlarge, I was well within the construction zone marked off on the blue chart.  I edited in the position of the GBS in red.

The GBS is 120 meters tall and 130 meters in diameter at the base.  They started the GBS in drydock and then after they had slip-formed so high that it would float, they towed it into deeper water to continue slip-forming with concrete, topping the base off with the part now sticking out of the water that the topsides will be fitted to.

Bull Arm is the ideal site for this construction as 100 meters off of the coast the water reaches over 500 feet in depth.

Cathy and Hazen didn't follow me across the cove so we met up again as I returned.

The wind continued to blow at our backs for the 9.3 km paddle back to camp which we knocked off at an average speed of 8 kms/hr, arriving back at the campsite where we hoped the others had things in order with wood collected for the evening's campfire.

A shortish paddle of 6.2 kms from Chance Cove to the campsite and a 26.4 paddle to and from Mosquito Cove gave the three of us a respectable 32.6 for the day.  It was the plan I proposed earlier in the week.  I was pleased and appreciated the company of Cathy and Hazen to see the plan completed.

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