The day we arrived an old friend of David’s, a nice woman named Maureen, came to visit and after a while she offered to bring a reporter from the local paper along with some children from the school where she works. As promised, the following morning, just as we were refuelling, she arrived with a couple of reporters, whose names I didn’t manage to catch, and two teachers, Mrs Willson and Forsyth, and a small collection of children from the school. Their names were: Frazer, Lewis, Ava, Sanna and Tom. They were all really excited and it fell to me to show them round the boat. I think they were a little disappointed with the inside of the boat. What got them really excited was the drone, which I can understand. We got the drone out and took some footage of the harbour and of us with the small ones. They had also brought with them a selection of homemade cake, scones and jam, which we have tried and they’re delicious. Our parting question was, where could we buy a rubber duck? Turns out, in a building 50 metres away, in the end we got a sheep instead.
At the moment we’re just going past an oil field. I’ve looked at it on the computer and the size of it is, in the most literal sense of the word, incredible. There were about forty or fifty rigs and we could see them from miles away. The metal that must have been used building them. Wow! My dad used to work as a pilot ferrying people back and forth from these rigs to the mainland, so I know a little about it. The huge really bright ones that everybody thinks of are called Nodal rigs, they’re the ones everybody lives on. Then around them are the N.U.I.’s or Normally Unmanned Installations. They are smaller and nobody actually lives on them. Back in Lerwick there was a large ship that was designed to repair the rig we are sailing past. Because of the dropping oil price, repairing the rigs is not economic anymore so the ship is inactive and I think that if you renovated it, it would be the best yacht ever!
David has injured his knee, it’s okay now but it had swollen up hugely. It’s still a bit tender but he can walk and do his shifts.
We’ve also had a bit of engine trouble. About two hours after leaving Lerwick the engine started spluttering. At four in the morning it packed up completely and quit. Nikolay and Magnus spent half an hour in the engine room offering it an improved diet and different working hours. At half past it finally relented and got back to work and started making much happier noises. It turns out the problem was a blocked fuel filter, probably from old contaminated fuel.
It will take us a few more days at sea to reach Tromso.
Note from Mum: For those of you who are wondering how Ben is posting at the moment, he is writing the blog entries on the boat and emailing via sat phone to Mum who is adding it to WordPress and putting the links onto social media. He has Internet when he is in port. Several messages have been sent via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which he will get next time he is in port in Tromso.