Weather Stopped Play.
I got a better picture of one of the Jack-Ups on the way out to the Borssele Wind Farm....
... which marked my 3rd trip on the Ndurance.
As we left the shelter of the breakwater that runs out to sea from the Hook of Holland, all the signs (and symptoms - here we go again) of a rough ride, were there. Despite being at home for only a few days, it took a good three days for me to settle back into the ways of the flat-bottomed ship's skittish lurchings.
I stared with some envy at the boats with keels that were making a much better fist of it, cutting through the swell without the corkscrew motion of our motorised barge.
However, things quietened down after a day or two, enough for us to start laying the cable...
... from the sub-station and back in the direction of Borssele where the cable would eventually be terminated.
It was curious to see a variety of small birds I would normally associate with my garden, hopping about on deck and darting for cover when the rain came down. A wren, a couple of robins, a blackbird and what I thought to be a thrush, were among our visitors. It's likely they were also caught out by the weather and didn't get off the ship before we sailed. There was also a bat and, as we got closer to shore, a kestrel arrived with one thing on his mind - lunch!
And it was all going swimmingly (so to speak) until there was a problem with the ROV whose recovery closed the window on the last 5km of cable which we'd hoped to finish and seal before the weather once again, turned for the worse.
It got quite lively on deck as we sat out the 4 days. There were a couple of factors as a consequence of the weather conditions that scuppered our operations. As I understand it, we couldn't risk going into shallow waters with a 2m swell because the clearance between the hull and the sea bed would be out of limits and, in 30kt winds, a loss of propulsion wouldn't allow either the time or room for manoeuvre - we could easily end up drifting towards the shore and dug-in on a high tide.
There's not a lot to write home about when you're sitting fixed to the same spot in the North Sea for 4 days but, I remembered that The Other Wright Brother had inherited, just before I came away, two fabulous competition model aircraft - one a glider, the other a rubber-powered duration ship with a beautifully carved folding propeller.
Each had a transfer on one of the wing panels testifying to their vintage. As a family outing, the vintage aeromodelling and free-flight days at Old Warden were hard to beat. Mass launches were quickly followed by a mass dive for cover as screaming ED and Cox-engined contraptions swooped dangerously towards the crowd. The St John's Ambulance team came into their own on those splendid days - when the weather obliged.