Rock And Roll.
I was scheduled to be picked up by a Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) at around 9.00am last Friday. The CTV pushed on and my replacement came aboard, but because the CTV was going to spend another 3 or 4 hours in the field, it was considered best that I waited until they called back around lunchtime. The seas were rough and getting worse, so it wasn't going to be pleasant in a stuffy CTV for any length of time. Around 2.00pm, the CTV came back and then its steering gear went U/S so that was that.
At 5.00pm, when the sea was really revving up for the weekend (Ndurance and this Jack-up had steamed to shallower waters to sit it out until Sunday) the Captain turned the ship to create a calmer lee-side and a CTV sent specially, managed to get me aboard.
It doesn't look like anything in particular, but we had a real roller-coaster ride in 40kt winds and 3mt waves. I got the co-pilot's seat in the cockpit and loved every minute of it!
Back in the Yarmouth Roads, things were a lot quieter, though the Skipper told me the Roads were a lot more dangerous than anything we'd just been through because of the very strong currents and a lack of room to manoeuvre when big ships were passing in and out of the port. He needed all of his 1800hp to keep him out of trouble.
I was still swaying about as if I was on deck 3 days later, but got into some welding to keep me out of mischief.
The problem with Sunita was that she looked as though she was tripping over herself all the time. The radiator couldn't go back towards the cockpit, so the only option was to move the front axle forward. This seemed at first a rather drastic move, but it wasn't as complicated as it appeared.
I made up a couple of extension plates with bolt holes that replicated the chassis casting 6" in front of the original position. The plates sandwiched the casting and the front spring was then bolted to the new arrangement.
The radius arms were cut on the top and bottom flanges and bent outwards to meet the new bolt positions on the axle after being reinforced with plates at the bends.
The brake cable bellcrank had to be accommodated with a new extension as had the rear attachment of the radius arms. A new, longer drag link was also installed. The transformation to the comfort of the ride with the wheelbase extended by only 6", was nothing short of incredible.
Not the best picture, but it shows the radiator in a more vintage position. I often wonder what it would have been like had I gone for 12" rather than 6". I suppose the Ackerman angle would have gone completely to pot, but the only manifestation of my alterations was a surprise tuck-in on a fast and tight left hander - as Counsel found out negotiating the hairpin at Prescott, nearly rolling the car!