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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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13 April 2024

Another Early Start.

This time to Abu Dhabi. I'd never been to the Middle East before (before I was born, Pa, with the rest of the family, had been posted to Egypt) so this was a new adventure.

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Before I went, I had some stainless manifolds and 'T' pieces to fabricate, and for this...

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... a set of tungsten tipped hole cutters was an excellent buy. With the mill down to 50rpm and with plenty of cutting fluid, the cutters went through the 2mm steel like butter. I've had so many of the cheaper hole saws break, or the mandrels just twist off, it was nice to have confidence that the job would get done without problems. As always, you get what you pay for - a lesson which seems never to be learnt.

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The Etihad flight out of Heathrow required a silly-o'clock check-in, so the previous night in T4's Holiday Inn Express was a good start, although the outlook was pretty bleak in the morning. With the forward-looking camera dialled up on the seat-back TV screen, I noticed that we were taking off on runway 27R - indicating a right-hand turn for the crosswind leg of our departure. We turned left. Maybe I've been out of the game too long, but it seemed a bit rum to me.

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Our Airbus a380 punched through the worst of it in short order...

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... and the seven-hour flight went very quickly.

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With the last of the day's sunlight, we touched down in Zayed International, only a short taxi ride from the dock where we were to be working.

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Abu Dhabi's skyline is impressive...

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... but comes into its own in the evening. The ship we we're loading was the Isaac Newton - one of Jan De Nul's fleet. Single cabins...

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... and a tempting line in homemade cakes, was a promising start to our expected two-week stint.

previous post Starting Back.

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