A Travellerspoint blog

Another day at work

28 °C

I have still not adapted to a 12 hour work day. We eat breakfast around 5 AM and start work at 6 AM. Work officially ends around 6 PM and we eat dinner. Last night we didn't leave our computers till after 8 PM.

Today was a strange day. Started normal, then I got drafted to work freight. Having gotten nice and sweat soaked moving heavy pallets of trash and empty crates off the ship and heavier pallets of incoming boxes onto the ship, I returned to find one of my programmers has been drafted for cabinet/counter renovation in the Chemistry lab. After lunch, the paint fumes on our deck were so bad we got driven off the deck. Best description was awarded to "trying to breathe with a two dry erase markers in your nose." So we spent most of the afternoon unpacking boxes in chemistry and xray labs. The air conditioning died for about an hour towards the end of the day and we had to shut down our computers. Normal outdoor temperature is in the 80s and very humid. Our progress today was not as good as yesterday.

Got to drill a hole through one of the nice new chemistry counter tops to run power cables through. I didn't believe the research lead when he said the standard drills would not work and fetched a big drill over. Working with an 18 volt heavy duty hammer drill it took all my weight and almost five minutes of steady pressure to drill a 1/2 hole through one inch thick of whatever that counter top was made out of. My hands vibrated for an hour afterwards. Wonderful non-reactive, non-conductive semi plastic/formica who knows what stuff. Incredibly hard. Left a very fine black powder dust from the drilling.

They are planning a special Christmas dinner here for this Sunday night. It is a bit before Christmas because a large part of the work force is headed home until mid-January. They have already been here from 2-6 months and are taking a break. After Sunday, my group of four will comprise 1/4 of the work force left on the ship. I have already warned the project manager that if we keep getting drafted into manual labor, then our work will not get completed on time. He knows, but I doubt it will actually completely stop.

Posted by pafrag 05:55 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

Living on ship

I have been settling into the ship life a bit more. Half the things don't work, like plugs and lights and clocks and such. Most of the plumbing works most of the time.

For a decent map of the ship, go to http://iodp.tamu.edu/labs/ship.html

If you use the accommodations link on the left side, I am on the Fo'c'sle deck in room RF-19. We work on the bridge deck in the science operations room.

The food I have to say is fantastic. Hardest part is not eating huge amounts because it is very tasty. They feed us full meals (or whatever portion you care to take) three times a day.

This is a picture of the galley.

PC120003.jpg

The only bad part of the ship is the stairs. The stairwells are steep and narrow and there are a lot of them. My knees were really sore this morning from all the stairs I walked on yesterday. And of course, I had to help with freight today. Moving boxes (and I mean pallets of crates taller than I am) is such fun. Reminds me why I became a programmer.

Posted by pafrag 19:03 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Stateroom on ship

Where I sleep

Well, as I said, I would try to upload a photo. Here it is.

PC110001.jpg

And the answer is no, I cannot sit up in the lower bunk without hitting my head. However, there is still more headroom in that bunk than in the upper one.

Posted by pafrag 04:28 Comments (2)

Traveling to singapore

The trip is long. 28 hours total duration with around 22 hours in the air.

Short hop to Houston was very bumpy and way to early in the morning (6:30 AM). Got breakfast in Houston and left for Tokyo. 14 and half hours later we were there. I did get to watch a few movies I had not seen, mostly I read.

A short layover in Tokyo and on to Singapore, another 7 and half hours in the air. This one I watched one movie and slept a little.

Finally in Singapore, at 12:30 AM. Get through customs (really fast and easy). Grab cabs to the hotel, the Orchard, and check in.

Very very nice hotel. A shower room almost big enough for me to lie down in, with a seating bench, shower head in the ceiling and a separate hand unit. Shame we weren't there very long, checkout was 12 noon.

Moved directly into the ship. After the mandatory safety briefings and shipyard briefings and short tour, we got into the room on board. I'll post a picture later. The rooms are supposed to have two people in them, and are slightly smaller than a 10x10 area.

I have a room to myself temporarily, though this will change when we actually go to sea. Currently there are only 6 IODP people on board.

Weather is hot and humid, poured rain this afternoon.

Thursday is over. Work begins tomorrow at 0600.

Posted by pafrag 03:33 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

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