Jan 14 2019
I am right now in West Texas for work. Must say this parts of Texas have its beautiful side and its hmmm not ugly but boring side.
We where told to stay at a hotel in Midland/Odessa which should be the closest place to live during this time.
When I was still waiting waiting in Toronto for my flight down to Houston I was informed that this was not the correct hotel. Midland/Odessa was about 2.5 hours drive from where I should work (5 hours rive a day is a little much.
We had to start searching hotel at once, with help from our US company this was solved….. We still had to take the 2.5 hours drive for two more days. In the end the closest hotel was hmmmm only an hour away (60 miles)…. Not to bad. The name of the town is Fort Stockton.
This part of Texas is quite depressing when you drive through some towns. most of the houses have not received any maintenance the last 40 years it seems.
The nature or view is quite boring, just low trees/bushes… On the other side you can drive for almost an hour without seeing any house, That I love.
Together with colleaguesI did some sightseeing when we had a Sunday off.
After a late breakfast we left around 10:30 and headed west to an old cavalry fort. Town name is Fort Davis. This town is up in the mountains. To come there gives you a wonderful drive through valleys and up and down some nice hilly surrounding.
We would like to visit the museum but as it was closed due to the budget between the president and the government.
Here some info about Fort Davis:
Established in 1854 and serving the Texas frontier until 1891, provided a strategic factor in the defense system of the American Southwest. The Fort’s garrison protected settlers, mail coaches, wagon trains, and travelers enduring the San Antonio-El Paso road, and, until 1861, soldiers stayed busy driving Comanche, Kiowa, and Apaches from the region.
The Fort’s location, at the mouth of a box canyon on the eastern side of the Davis Mountains, provided a suitable advantage for fending off attacks, mustering troops, and staging defenses. Abandoned for a period after the Civil War, the Fort’s primitive structures had little to offer the Ninth U.S. Cavalry who arrived in 1867 to reoccupy the post. In two short years, however, permanent quarters, barracks, a guardhouse, and storehouses were raised and by the end of the 1880s Fort Davis harboured more than 100 structures and quartered more than 400 soldiers, including the famed Buffalo Soldiers.
After Fort Davis we drove to a town named Alpine which should be nice and …..
Yes it was but when we where there no one of us knew/remembered what we should look at. The town had a huge university though and it looked really beautiful.
After this we headed for Marfa which are famous for the light play which occurs on clear nights. As for today no one can explain this phenomena.
Here some info about the Marfa Light:
Referring to the Marfa Lights View Park east of Marfa, James Bunnell states. “you might just see mysterious orbs of light suddenly appear above desert foliage. These balls of light may remain stationary as they pulse on and off with intensity varying from dim to almost blinding brilliance. Then again, these ghostly lights may dart across the desert…or perform splits and mergers. Light colors are usually yellow-orange but other hues, including green, blue and red are also seen. Marfa Mystery Lights usually fly above desert vegetation but below background mesas.
Then we went to the McDonald Observatory Center which is close to Fort Davis up in the mountains. On our way there we even got stopped by the police due to speeding (I was not the one driving) It was a Georgia guy. Anyway the drive up there was beautiful and the view when arriving was nice but it was quite cold and everything was closed so we could not go in for a guided tour.
After this we all was tired and went back to our hotel for a 2 hours brake before dinner. It was a wonderful day and it is nice to drive around and see the nature in West Texas.
Nov 10 2018
No, we didn’t forget our promise, to show you a movie from our Sardinia holidays in September.
Although I’ve been travelling the last two weeks and hardly had time to spend some time with our Freja-theCAT site, I finally got around and put together a movie! (Well, Diana was pushing me….)
Some episodes are of course from M&M’s who spent the two weeks with us. The cute gecko for example, which she filmed with her mobile, after a lovely dinner in a restaurant in Santa Maria Navarrese. Gorgeous, thanks again Michi!
I was lucky enough to catch a little ray with my underwater camera – hopefully it’s visible on the movie. I’ve still to learn a lot apparently, but it’s coming slowly.
We can’t wait to do some more movies – especially under water ones….unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until next year. Filming the bathtub might be a bit too boring…. J
Please enjoy the pictures!
Sep 24 2018
Sep 15 2018
After completing the sailing licence a while ago, Patrik decided he wants to learn to fly…..with a drone! ?
Yes, he’s got a new toy since Monday and is happier than a little child on Xmas Day! Nevertheless, it took him a while to get the thing started. At least the lights are beautiful……but how the heck does it fly ⁉️
Almost two hours of intensive fiddling about later, the drone was finally in the air! Ok, it was a bit wobbly and bumpy at first, but hey, practice makes perfect! The next day he went to the vineyard close to us, to do some serious exercise and – ta-daaa – here comes the result!
Not too bad, after such a short time, eh?!
Well, next we needed to find a suitable name for the little thing….YES, of course it needs a name! Even our lawnmower was baptized, he’s called “Sleipner” ?
Anyway, after being torn between “Dragonfly”, Stella (“Star” in Italian), “Hugin” or “Mugin” (the two ravens of Odin – the Nordic God – had), we settled for “Farfalla”. It means “Butterfly” in Italian ?
Of course Farfalla is accompanying us to Sardinia. We hope to get some exciting films and pictures out in the sea! Hopefully, Patrik practiced the “touch-down” part properly…….. ?
Sep 01 2018
As it turned out this week I had to jump in and help our supervisor and service team once again. I didn’t mind I must say.
Some of the guys and the only woman we have is on holiday, others are out on work. This time I received a call from the woman who is responsible for this new power plant. She was on holiday when the customer contacted her, with the info, she was needed in a hurry.
As she was in Finland on holiday and knew that I cover for her last time, when I was in Falls City Nebraska, she thought why not call me and ask if it was OK for me to go.
This Power Plant is a new built and has been an ongoing project for 10 years (over finance crises and all).
Four – five weeks ago the old Power Plant on Rhodes had a fire with the result that 1/3 of the electricity which should serve the island was gone…. Not the best during high season.
At this stage it was no discussion for the authorities to pull the thumbs out and let everyone finish it up and start to produce the electricity needed for the island.
What do you say when the question comes…. can you travel to Rhodes Monday next week????. Hmmm for me I said for sure I go. Of course a lot of work, but there is always time for a swim in the ocean and all the good Greek food……mmmmmm fantastic.
So Yeah, I booked my trip and arrived Monday evening. The local crew should be ready Tuesday morning.
I arrived on site Tuesday morning and the team I should supervise was ready and had started prepare a little. This team was just fantastic and among the best site team I have ever seen. After a while I had to ask from where they came. They informed me that they came from Albania and worked since years in Greece (Fantastic and I thought they come from Greece and I had asked them a lot about Greece).
I had the privilege to work with them for two days. After that it was time for me to start up the exhaust gas cleaning system for the engines. This as well went as a clock work. Now the island Rhodes have a top modern Power Plant which emit no emissions.
It surprised me that when talking to the locals they where really concerned about the environment.
I did not believe/knew that the green thinking had become so strong in Greece.
I applaud the people of Rhodes and that they take the world pollution serious and can see that it is needed to do something.
Jun 16 2018
I am right now in Barcelona and have visit Luna Azzurra yesterday together with Michael from Clipper Marine.
The visit was a last inspection of the status of repairs which we wanted to have done from Clipper Marine before we take her over. As it turned out it turned out. What a luck, cause the whole engine have been lifted ashore and been totally overhauled (two new pistons and cylinder liner, bearings, cylinder head including valves) So in the end a new engine which we even have to run in. Could just imagine what cost all this would be for us.
When we arrive in the morning the service team was still working on the engine with some last adjustments. In the end filling up oil and coolant. First after lunch was the engine ready for a first start and it work perfect.
When the engine was up running we could finally enter inside as well to inspect whats have been done. Control of inventories and a few open issues. Seems like the old owner left everything except personal belongings. A lot of tools and spare parts was left for us which is perfect. Of course all the kitchen inventory was there as well, we will not have to bring anything with us for our sailing over to Loano.
First at five in the afternoon was the inspection finished and with a handshake Michael and I finished the deal. Now it’s all the paper works left which we hope to have ready soon.
I add a few pictures now from Luna Azzurra and I will try to take some more from Barcelona before leaving for the airport today.
In the end of the day I had a wonderful dinner in Barcelona.
Jun 02 2018
Now I am finally home again. The trip took a few days more than planned. I had the flight home booked for the 29th of May but due to extreme heat some work took a little longer than planned.
So I had to postpone my flight home until the 31st of May. Landed in Zurich on the 1st of June early in the morning. So for me the whole first day was to keep awake as long as possible to come back in our own timezone as quick as possible.
Here comes as well a few more pictures from my trip overseas. As I wrote in my last post. This power plant is a working museum and I add as well a few more picture of these old beautiful engines. At least for me as an engineer it’s interesting.