Life at the end of the road

March 14, 2013

Simulated yet stimulated :-)

Filed under: daily doings, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Half past five in the morning ‘and I can’t get no sleep’, well, not strictly true, I’ve actually slept quite well, just not for long enough Sad smile My body knows spring is just six days away and wants to be out doing things on the croft or up at the house. That’s not all it wants to do but I’ll have to wait until I get home for that Smile Just like the ‘birds and the bees’ methinks it’s time to be out there lining my nest and doing stuff.

What on earth do folk in towns do at this time of the year if they’ve not got a garden ??? Or more correctly what do you do that doesn’t involve parting with money or putting on weight ?? Me, I suppose if my knee wasn’t hurting would go for a walk but I’m sure I’d soon get fed up of that.

I left my berth on the MV Clifton Smile yesterday for the daily hobble to college and by the time I’d got to the end of Ocean road I looked like a snowman, or at least the front half of me did. However it didn’t last long and was even quite sunny at times, though a phone call to darling wife told a different tale. She’d been telephoned by the snow plough driver to say that he couldn’t get the lorry up Glame Brae and not to attempt the drive south. Again, just like here it didn’t really lie for long and by late afternoon the road was clear, one thing about potholes is that they provide more traction than smooth tarmac Smile Smile

The day at South Tyneside College had been spent mainly in one of the many simulators ‘cold starting’ a huge cruise ship and was very enjoyable indeed.


Yup, that’s how it’s done nowadays, even on our own relatively small MV Hallaig, no wandering around the ship starting generators, engines, pumps and separators,  just several (hundred in this case) clicks of a mouse Smile



Of course you still have to physically check some oil levels but bunker, water and oil tanks or all done ‘on screen’ as are the operation of just about every fuel, water, oil and steam valve.



Scoused Smile

The first time we were in the bridge simulator last year I was well and truly ‘Scoused’ Smile Steering my large ferry through Scapa Flow in a gale of west wind and snow showers whilst dodging submarines, fishing boats and cargo ships I lost control and nearly ran aground on South Ronaldsay Sad smile

The ‘near miss’ being caused by two Scousers ‘full of nonsense’ who’d surreptitiously taken over control of the ship and were using the azimuth pods to put me off course Smile

Anyway, this morning I’m trawling the net for some picture when I found them,

 Left to right: Simon Ashton, Christopher Sumbler, Luke Manning, Dai Coombes, Gary Hindmarch

the two ‘Scousers’ that is, Luke and Chris from Svitzer tugs Smile . Wonder if they’ve crashed any tugs yet Smile

Well, that’s about it really, 6:30 now, an hour to breakfast and I’m starving, all this ‘rabbit food’ I’m eating in an effort to loose some weight means I’m permanently hungry.


Time for another shower, that’s another thing about being in the ‘toon’, I feel permanently grubby, this town muck just aint the same as mud and pig pooh Smile Having said that,



it’s a long while since my hands have been this clean Smile



And I’ve just realized, I can see the town hall clock from my room, not only that but it works Smile

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