Not long after I'd finished the shooting seat with the addition of a footrest, it was time again to pack my bags ready for a trip, initially, to Amsterdam.
A trial run at speed around the yard demonstrated that the second seat was perfectly sound, though that definition might not apply to its future occupants.
Before Janecki z Krakowa and I could go to Harwich to catch the overnight to the Hook of Holland, it was necessary to have a PCR test for which the result was required before embarkation in the evening. The nearest place to offer this speedy service was Heathrow, so Wednesday morning was taken up with a trip to London. There was time when I got back to knock up out of scrap a stand for the new tube bender.
After a couple of tickings-off by the mask police, we settled into the ghost ship Stena Hollandia for an uneventful crossing. I always sleep extremely well on the overnight ferry which prompts me always to promise myself that I will replace the ancient mattress on my bed at home - on which I don't sleep well. Perhaps this time I will.
Our ship for this project is the Spirit. A bit of a tiddler at 90m long in comparison with the Living Stone we were on a few weeks ago. This aerial view which photo hangs on the messroom wall, gives an idea of the layout. The light-coloured block is the accommodation, bridge and so forth. The ring in the middle is the cable carousel. At its 5 o'clock is a small yellow quadrant in front of the cable way. This is where we set up the magnetising equipment.
Our office, which we shared with the Offshore Construction Manager (OCM) is the grey container at the 6 o'clock position, the view from which is the best yet.
First things first: we created an emergency exit desk from flotsam - this will probably still be here if we visit again...
... made a note of the facilities (luckily, neither of us smoke) and set up shop ready for the off.
As the sun set, the crew had finished blowing up the cable flotation devices. Departure from Amsterdam was set for the following afternoon. We had a job to do in the Ameland field off the North coast of Holland. There was only 4km of cable to lay, but the interesting part was that we were going to beach one end of the cable and then draw out to sea, laying as we went. A first for me.
On our way out to sea, we passed some wonderfully nutty Dutch architecture - I imagined this was some sort of venting station?
Another first was going out of Amsterdam via a lock. The two service vessels behind us carried the anchors to drag us off the beach in the manner of the Giant 7 I was on a couple of years ago.
All that remained was for the forward gates to open and then we were off!