Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2013

Probably not a good idea :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:15 pm

A pure peach of a day its been here in Aberdeen, right from the first moment the suns rays spilled through my window sometime after 6:00am. It seems a million miles away from Arnish on Raasay, just a couple of hundred miles away, the grass is six inches longer and the sun has real heat in it. OK, the towels are black with city dirt every time I take a wash and my ears are assaulted by the constant sound of traffic but at least its warm and I’m having a good time. Well perhaps ‘good time’ is a little over enthusiastic but the course is interesting and the company great Smile not only that but I’m hammering the broadband connection here to death Smile Tonight’s choice being techno legend Dave Clarke who’s streaming away merrily in the background as I type.


A ‘banging’ set from 12 years ago in Holland, which, along with a bottle of red wine gave me the enthusiasm to do my VAT return on time.

069  074

Probably not a good idea, my maths is rubbish when sober, let alone after two glasses of red on an empty stomach but ‘The Baron’ has just been announced to headline the EM-it tent at alongside Justin Robertson and Meat Katie so it’s got me in the mood. My festival days are over until the house is finished but Dave Clarke, I could be tempted, again, ‘not a good idea’ Smile

Free fall

Anyways, after the sun awoke me and a nice healthy breakfast of muesli, dried fruit and yoghurt was downed I set off on the 20 minute walk to Petrofac with the rest of the ‘Hybrids’ Smile 



Class got a little delayed as the ‘free fall’ lifeboat was getting launched at 8:30



so we watched that prior to a lesson on ‘boat handling’ prior to the 10:00am break.


After which it was ‘out on the river’ for a spot of training in the open lifeboat, both with ‘Mr Lister’ and the oars, a long session of ‘man overboard’ exercises and rowing.


and a very interesting place the river Dee is indeed, full as it is of oil rig supply vessels from all over the globe.






A shortened lunch break that had me sunbathing and was followed by pretty similar exercises in the TEMPSC, that will be Totally Enclosed Mechanically Propelled Survival Craft Smile



One of those three orange submarine like objects on the left.



A kind of fibreglass sausage with doors on and an engine which allegedly can accommodate some 42 people Smile


Though, most of us preferred the sunshine outside to the noisy interior Smile 



For there really was much to see out there in this busy port.



By the time we came in, around 16:00, the ‘free fall’ lifeboat was due for another launch, designed mainly for use from oil platforms, tankers and cargo ships that may need evacuating quickly these are very expensive and extremely spectacular.










Sadly it’s not on our course Sad smile

That was it really, I wandered back to the hotel past the multitude of ‘supply boats’ and a couple of ‘anchor handlers’ berthed alongside the various quays and docks.



Kind of hard to see in this picture but that’s an ‘anchor handler’ on the left and a ‘supply boat’ on the right, the left hand one having a clear rounded stern for shooting anchors and some frigging great winches for tensioning and recovering them.


  1. Some really great pictures Paul – thanks for your time and efforts as usual! I drive around the outside of Aberdeen now and again – looks like next time I’ll have to head down to the docks for a mooch around and a look see! The free fall lifeboat looks like kids would pay a few quid to ride it! Take care and keep giving the broadband some stick – it’s too good an opportunity to miss!
    Good luck!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — April 30, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    • The free fall lifeboat looks like kids would pay a few quid to ride it!

      Morning mark, I’d pay a few quid to have a go in it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:59 am

  2. You could have the LATEOTR festival in your new shed. It would go down a storm and you could make plenty of money for the new house. Happy to join you as resident DJ 😉

    Comment by Simon — April 30, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    • One day Simon, one day 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:37 am

  3. Howdy, I sent you some Aberdeen post cards your way via Facebook. To retrieve them I would just need to click on them, then drag them to my desktop. But I have a Scottish computer (Macintosh), not a bloody Windows machine. Glad its good weather on the waterfront!

    Comment by drgeo — April 30, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

    • Morning DrG,

      I just don’t get this Facebook thing, I got the pictures thanks, even tried replying but can’t seem to do it. Also tried to tell Robin (V8mbo) to enjoy his pasta marinari in Brindisi but that didn’t work either.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:39 am

  4. always impressed with your taste in music, do you play an instrument/ever been involved with music ?

    still intend to buy you that pint one day too !

    Comment by mike — April 30, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

    • Morning Mike, thinking of going to see these dudes tomorrow every bit as ‘banging’ as Dave Clarke, so them in Kyle about 15 years ago, awesome.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:57 am

  5. Hi Paul, great pics! I have a stupid question so here goes- can the public enter the quaysides at ports, say to take pics , or is this banned?….ive passed by Aberdeen a couple of times and wondered.Likewise at Montrose, as it s a small port. PS i got pics of rig Rowan Stavanger being towed into Dundee today..always enjoy watching the skillfull tug masters and crew at work guiding these things into port.

    Comment by Gordon — April 30, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    • Don’t think you can get in without a pass Gordon and even at that I was questioned by security whilst wandering around.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:41 am

  6. Still enjoying your music mate.
    Bet the TEMPSC wouldn’t accomodate 42 of your colleague in the picture! 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — April 30, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    • Bet the TEMPSC wouldn’t accomodate 42 of your colleague in the picture!

      Actually Lloyd it would!!!!! it used to be a 50 man lifeboat but the MCA now realize that average oil worker is rather large so derated them all.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:43 am

  7. Strange you mention the wicker man festival… had a notion i may take a look this year

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — April 30, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    • Well worth going to the Wickerman even if you don’t like the bands Steve, it’s a great atmosphere there.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 5:44 am

  8. On a wee bit of a tangent Paul. What is the new pier like for lying overnight , little 26ft fishing boat. Was thinking of coming over to Raasay House Do but ferry too late for work. Weather maybe too shabby…SW and a little strong. cheers Ali

    Comment by applecrosslifeattheedge — May 1, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    • Good shelter, plenty of room and look forward to seeing you both if I make it back from Aberdeen in time.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

      • Thanks for that Paul. Not decided yet as work on the Bank Hols at the pub may get in the way + if weather not pleasant…. Be over sometime. cheers

        Comment by applecrosslifeattheedge — May 1, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  9. I was up in Aberdeen too for a couple of days, visiting a friend and checking out a 4wd that I bought from a dealer in Glasgow. Waking up to a clear blue sky at 6am and then hearing the beat of the choppers overhead as they all started their runs out into the North Sea brought back many memories of my own trips on them when I was working offshore, as have the pictures you’ve posted reminded me of my 3 yearly refreshers for HUET and the associated courses, though I did mine down at Warsash. Driving out past the docks this morning I saw a couple of seismic boats tied up, a reminder of the years I spent aboard similar vessels.

    Comment by Justin. — May 1, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    • Hi Justin and welcome aboard, glad you found your own little spot of paradise and hope it all works out, also pleased to have kindled a few memories, we’re all not getting any younger hey 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

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