This evening I will be heading north up the island on the train to Nogliki, where tomorrow (weather permitting) I will be taken by helicopter to what was for a short time my home, the Lun-A gas production and drilling platform. I will be on there a matter of minutes before being hoiked in the air on a frog and plonked on the deck of the supply vessel Yuri Topchev where hopefully I will be met by a crew member who will not wonder who I am or why I am there. With luck, he will have organised a hammock for me.
All things going well I will be on the tub for a week, possibly heading north through ever icier seas to the Piltun-B platform, to assist with rock dumping around a subsea pipeline. Rock dumping consists of dumping rock on the sea bed to protect a pipeline, or to give it support where it spans a trench. And there were you thinking it was what happens to a groupie the morning after a concert! Apparently they already have rock on the boat so I don’t need to hand-carry any out on the helicopter, but they have given me two replacement batteries for something or other to take out with me. Having picked them up, I think I’d have preferred to take rocks.
I have packed a thick rope made from marine-grade hemp in case of emergency. Not on the boat mind you, I’m talking about if the weather gets bad and I end up stuck in the transit camp in Nogliki for a few days. Coupled with a sturdy beam (which admittedly would be hard to find in the Nogliki transit camp), my rope could prove to be a preferable option.
I’ll see you all in a week or so. Allow two days for thawing. It’s gonna be freezing out there.