Running Dublin’s Docks

Running Dublin’s Docks.

The closer we get to a no-deal Brexit, with its implicit threat of a border, either hard, around the six counties of Northern Ireland, or wet down the Irish Sea, the more my dock running PTSD affects me.

Hard or wet, the imposition of a border between Ireland and Britain, means the re-imposition of customs formalities, hence my Post Traumatic Stress Disorderdness.. 

Cuidad Carmen, Campeche, Mexico. May 1998

Cuidad Carmen, Campeche, Mexico.

May 1998

When I had just about given up hope of the Mexican job ever happening, my flight tickets and itinerary arrived from Idrotec.

On Friday 22nd of May I flew Dublin Shannon New York Mexico City arriving in Mexico early afternoon; the connecting flight to Cuidad Del Carmen was the following morning, so I had been instructed to stay at the Marriott hotel, which was in the airport terminal building.

The Mayan ruins in Palenque Mexico.

The Mayan ruins in Palenque Mexico 1998.

Based upon the recommendation of Teodoro my guide from the Mayan site at Comalcalco, I had decided to ask if I could keep the car and drive to Palenque the following day, assuming of course that I was not required for work.

Of course I had heard of, and read about of those most famous Mayan ruins, so tantalisingly close then. And if at all possible I was determined to visit them in person.

DSV Umka

DSV Umka Thursday 4th June 1998.

Stumbling under the weight of my bag and over a tangle of wet and muddy hoses, cables and wire rope, I followed Tom across the brightly lit heaving deck towards the port side mid ship area, where a newly painted blue mezzanine structure had been erected, overhanging the side of the vessel.

He stopped at the base of the stairway up to where a 20 foot container, painted blue and with the Idrotec name and logo emblazoned on the side, had been built into the overhanging part of the mezzanine.

Back to UMKA for a second time.

My first trip on the UMKA lasted from 4th of June 1998 to 17th of July, and was not a happy time for me.

I was completely stressed out about our finances  and conditions on Umka were awful, so awful in fact that I swore I was not going back.

My colleague, Tom from Elgin, had realised very early on that I knew next to nothing about ROV’s, and he very kindly took me under his wing, to protect me from the Italians on day shift and to teach me something of the workings of the Seaeye Surveyor on board.

He was a good teacher and he patiently explained things to me on the few times that we dived during the six weeks of so.

It was very difficult for me to understand the Sonar screen, and how what I was seeing related to where the ROV was, and what it was looking at. It took a while and a lot of stupid (in hindsight) questions before the penny dropped, then what a revelation.

The Bullfight

The Bullfight.

Sunday 7th November 1999.

I’m Irish, so never having had a bullfighting tradition; I shared with most of my countrymen, ambivalence towards the sport.

I’ve never seen one so I’m torn between Hemingway’s tacit support and my old opposition to any sport or activity that renders pain onto an animal.

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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