Going Home from Baku.

Going home from Baku.

From March 2003 to September 2015, once every four weeks, I got to go home for a month on leave.

Most of that time was spent working in Azerbaijan’ s bit of the Caspian Sea, on a big red boat called the DSV Akademic Tofiq Ismayilov, operating out of Baku. DSV is an acronym for Diving Support Vessel, and that’s exactly what it did, everything on board was directed at supporting the saturation diving efforts of various companies over that period, but mainly McDermott’s.

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A Surprise Trip to Paris.

An Surprise Trip to Paris in 1979.

It was in October 1979, that over a foggy winter weekend I drove my bosses, 80% seatless  Peugeot 604, crammed to the roof with dress  jewellery, from A  Ltd., the consignor, to A  SARL , the consignee, in Rantigny, France about 60 km north of Paris.

I was the manager of the Ro-Ro and Deep Sea Export Department in R  Ltd., based in South West Dublin.

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The early days and my nascent Diving career.


Some fifty five years ago, I was seven, and while on a family holiday in Killala Co Mayo, my parents bought me, after much whining on my part, a full diving kit consisting of snorkel, mask and fins.

The memory of my first diving equipment is clear. Blue rubbery type plastic, but not modern pliable rubbery plastic, the old stuff, that was almost as unflinchingly non-malleable as the material used in the making of buckets.

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In July 1989 the diving company Algosaibi, asked me to take a diving team to the Red Sea, for a civil engineering job. I readily agreed because a new environment would break up those excruciatingly long 110 day trips.

My day rate was increased as I would be supervising the job.

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Algosaibi Agreement, two years off Diving & Starting With Oceaneering in Angola.

 The neurologist showed me the scans and the lesions, and for the first time I fully understood what a bend was, there were physiological consequences!

The gas forced into solution in the tissue of my spinal-cord during the dive, had not been given time to come out in decompression, so it expanded where it was, forming tiny bubbles, which caused lesions in my central nervous system (CNS) and some reduction in faculty, even though that reduction was so tiny as to go completely unnoticed.

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