søndag 26. juni 2016

Midsummer in Norway

It's that time of year, again. Middle of summer, and the sun kind of never really sets. Well, it disappears under the horizon, but most unwillingly and just barely. A little bit further north of here the sun will be shining all day, and all night long... 24/7 like. It's a little bit annoying, but very nice as well. Dark all winter, and good daylight all summer no matter what time it is. 
The birds like that as well, as the breeding season can be stretched a lot. Seabirds up north have some busy days just now, as all them new kids are being born and raised. 

Time Passes Slowly for these women sitting in the aisle inside of this shopping center in Middlesbrough as they obviously did get some kind of treatment done to their nails as other people were hasting by. I did not study the happening too closely, but did use the opportunity to snap a few with the old M3 rangefinder. Long exposure times... or at least longish. 

I am out there on my tiny little island of Ona just now. Went out here on thursday evening, just me and my wife, and planned to stay over the weekend. It was summer solstice this last thursday, and we thought they might have made a few preparations for a party or something out here for the big day. And they had, but they also had decided to have the party on Saturday instead, just to get some more people to join, I guess. And a lot of people there was for sure. 
A big tradition up here on the north western part of the country is to make a huge fire for this special day, or night. Some places do have a more spectacular fire than others, but there's always a good fire down by the sea around more or less every small village around here. 
In my home town we have been known to have the biggest and most famous fires of them all, and this year the builders wanted to break the world record. You see there was a bunch of people further south in Norway building a big bonfire a few years ago, but they used a crane and did all sorts of cheating stuff just to get a world record. Nothing like the traditional way to build a thing like this, which should be done by lifting stuff up to the top using only manpower. 
So, the boys and girls from my home town decided that this year they would break the record again, and still they would not use cranes and that sort of stuff. 47,40 meters up in the air they ended... and of course a new world record. The highest bonfire built by man, and as usual it's a spectacular sight to see. As I was out here on the island of Ona I did not see it burning down this year, but I still had a great time out here watching our local bonfire burning. It was great, but very different to the one back home. You can see a time lapse video of the big thing burning down over here, if you like. But it's also very impressive to see how they actually build the thing, the young lads and girls from my home town. I have not been able to check the two links, but I hope there's something there to watch.
As you might understand, it's nothing we take lightly on, making a nice and spectacular bonfire back home where I come from. 

A sunset from the Shetland area a bit earlier this spring. Nothing great, I know, but there's still the old light in here... and a few clouds and a stripe of light down there around the horizon. I like sceneries like this one. 

Well, the weekend is over and as we started to pack all the things and stuff to bring home from Ona my wife suggested that I just stayed here for the week. She will be back on thursday evening anyway, and as I did not have anything special to do this week I was very easily manipulated to think that it was a real good idea. So here I am, out on the island more or less all alone with a few of the locals and a couple of cameras. And some film. I hope to use them well, as the stock in my drawer back home has really started to shrink lately. 
I did order some more a few days ago, but maybe I should have waited another day or so... as we all know the British Pound went a bit down the other day. 
Well, I do not intend to make this blog into a political thing in any way but also feel that I have to mention it in some kind of way. Whatever happens over there, I truly wish it will be for the better to all of you living there. That's my only wish, to be totally honest. The same thing goes for this as it did for the last voting where Scotland wanted to get out. I don't have the right to vote, and therefore I can and will not say too much about it. 

At some beach somewhere in old England, as we like to see it. I guess the beaches and the people will still be the same the next time I decide to go over there for some kind of holiday. I know a girl moving over there a few years ago. She's got her own family somewhere around Manchester these days, but did not express herself in the most positive of ways when the result of the referendum was broadcasted. It seems she's a bit anxious she might get kicked out for some reason at some point in the future. 

I'm not a football junkie or anything like that, but like to try follow a few of the matches in the big events such as the european championship going on just now. There's a few great things going on there, and the performance of the underdogs is very much fun to take part in. North Ireland, Wales, and not to forget Iceland. Iceland, this tiny place way out west in the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland, the land of a few people scattered around, art, music, volcanos, ash clouds and now football. I love to watch them play, and tomorrow they are up against England. Must say I'm a bit diverted about how I would like the outcome of that match to be, but let's just say that any way it ends, there's some good in it. 

As I told you I got a couple of cameras out here to get into some good use during the week to come. The german thing capable of producing square 6x6 negatives, and a german rangefinder of black color. I think I only got a couple of more films left for the Leica, but luckily I brought a few of 120 format. I really hope to be able to snap a few good frames during the next week. 
Also, I hope to have internet connection good enough to post a few entries in the blog. Time will be no issue, at least :)

tirsdag 21. juni 2016

There's plenty of them around here

The houses on stilts I mean... down by the sea at the old coast of Norway.
This is a special type, as they used to hang the fishing nets inside them to wash them in fresh water then leave them to dry off until next time they would be used. 
You will find them all over the place, but not in the same amount as 50 years ago. This one is located in a very sheltered area for the sea, but the wind will be hammering quite roughly onto the thing during wintertime. The walls up there are built with obvious gaps to let the wind through, probably to let the pressure a bit off the construction, and at the same time get the moisture out as the net dries. I'm not an expert, as you might understand. 

I snapped this years ago, only for documenting purposes I would think. 50 years from now you will not find too many of them, and that's just a fact. These buildings are not used for hanging nets anymore, because these days there's not too much fishing going on anyway, and those who do make their living from fishing will use modern nets not in the need of any special care like washing and drying in houses on stilts. 

mandag 20. juni 2016


It takes a few days sometimes. To recover from a couple of weeks working more or less around the clock giving you nothing else than a stiff neck, an aching back and sore muscles. The money is the same, so that's definitely not a reason to put all that effort in. Neither will anyone walk up to you one day and tell you how pleased they are for all the energy you put into things at work. Neither will the same people ever mention all the bad decisions and wrong things you did... so that might be both positive and negative, I guess. 
Anyway, I put it on the account of Pride. It's all about how you feel inside yourself when the day is done and you go to rest. 

In a few days, a little bit later this week, I will be out here on this small island called Ona. It will be different to when I snapped this one, because in the summertime there will be a lot of noisy people out there. Other times of the year is more quiet, just like this day. This one's for Michael, as he likes to see our small houses on stilts :) Sometimes the sea reach well into the internals of this house, as one quite well can imagine. I guess they just sweep it all out and carry on after the tide has gone out. It used to be a boat house, but these days someone has converted it into some sort of cottage. I don't think I could sleep very well in there during the winter storms...

Been at home for a few days now, and feel that I can start functioning again. Ever so slowly.
I have even been out for a couple of walks, but not yet with a camera in hand. Things take time, you know. I have made a couple of plans, though, so maybe some day soon. 

To get there, out to Ona, one would be in the need of getting on board a couple of ferries. This would be the first one. Or, in fact this is one of the two ferries crossing this part of the sea. It will take you to the island called Harøya, and from there you would need to drive even further towards the old Norwegian Sea to get to the last ferry. I know, I know... it's an odd snap of a ferry, but was the best I could do on this day a few years ago.  It's on film, of course. I think I like it because of that grating up there... It's just another weird thing I got. 

I'm at the cottage at the moment. Charging my batteries, as you need from time to time. Sitting outside in the nice summer weather just letting the old sun warm me up, listening to the sea making summery sounds come to life a few yards away. Calms me down, it does. And that's just what I seem to need, right now.

tirsdag 14. juni 2016

Long time no see, I know

It's been all about work lately, as you might suspected?!
It turned out we were getting quite behind schedual as the days went on without getting the parts back from here and there. Huge charge air coolers and stuff that we had to ship away to get them cleaned, as that's not a job you would be able to do onboard anyway. Need to have special washing machines and things, as you might know. Ultrasound and what have we all inside them machines, I've heared.

I brought a Mamiya RZ67 for a nice walk a few years ago around the outskirts of Kirkwall, Orkney. Found this very decayed farmhouse and a couple of outbuildings scattered around inside a bunch of trees. I had the 37 mm very wide glass attached, as you might also see from the results. Well, it's snaps, at least... on film you know. Medium format even.

Well... then you just have to really start working when you finally get the chance. The ship is due off on friday, so it's about time we start to get a few things put together I would say. 
Then, of course, sort of disaster strikes. Discovered huge trouble on one of the engines, and a lot of things had to be done quite quickly. Cracked pistons is nothing you would like to have flying around inside the engine room, I can tell you. I have seen that happen once, and I surely would rather not like to see it once more.
A cracked piston, and we actually discovered the tiny thing before something bad happened. I call that either luck or some very qualified work. 

Another one, from inside one of them outbuildings. Seems to have been used as some sort of workshop some time ago. The car is gone though. Only the aft silencer and a couple of wheels left of the thing, it seems. It's got a lightleak as well, you see. 

Anyway, that only meant that we had a diesel engine huge as a small cottage to bring apart and put together as well, but with no added time to get the job done. 
I will probably not be taken for exaggerating the terms when I tell you my crew really start to feel every muscle in their bodies when they go to bed.
Luckily, there's only one more day of work now before we leave it to a bunch of fresh lads coming on thursday morning. 

It will be nice to see them come on board, believe me.

tirsdag 7. juni 2016

Festival on it's way, apparently

Another day at work should be done then. Finally.
You probably know the feeling already, when you got this amazingly long list of stuff that absolutely need to be done within a certain timeframe and in the start you seem to have plenty of time to get the things done. Then you, for some reason, ends up doing a zillion other things instead. Serving other people to make them able to get their things done before the time is out... and at the same time your own list of stuff to do is certainly not getting any shorter at all. Rather more the opposite like, because someone will find new stuff hidden. Things you will have to deal with at some point. 
I am right there, right now. Getting disturbed from all kinds of directions. Today it was the class company wanting a full day of my time. The class company would be the bunch of guys doing the MOT kind of check on the vessel. A check that will take the best parts of three full days, usually. Yearly stuff, of course... but it always seem to fit very badly in with my planning. 
Well, the same company will need my full attention tomorrow as well, because then they want to check that I'm able to do certain checks myself, without having to call the class company to take certain (quite simple) checks. 
It's more about the paperwork side of it, as more or less anything will be these days, and less about the practical side of things. I suppose they would think I'm able to do the checks just as good as they would do. I think I would, to be honest, as I have seen these guys in action. But then again, who could check a million things very closely within just a few hours? You would need super eyes, I think. So they will need to go by the spot-check method. A little bit different to have the time to check everything a bit better, as I might would be able to do. 
So, exam tomorrow morning then... but first I need to find out what he might ask me about! I got a few clues, but then again you never know with these guys. 
So I hope you will cross fingers for me. I have no intention to do this a lot of times the next few months!

I found this scene over there in Kirkwall a couple of years back. Wasn't very hard to find either, I have to admit. I was at work over there back then. Days with a different urge to them than the ones I am going through at the moment. But very well, they will soon be done as I'm due to travel home in just a little bit more than a week from now. I think I will rather enjoy the feeling!

Did I mention the upcoming viking festival a few days ago? Probably not, but it will happen over there in the area around the church with the doomsday stone more or less glued up against it's wall.
I might need to load a film into the black rangefinder and pad over for a good look at things at some point. 
A full bunch of people intending to become vikings for the next few days unloaded their vans just on this very quayside today. Unfortunately I did not have the time to watch them for a long time, and absolutely no time to take any snaps of the fun that unfolded in front of my eyes. 
They loaded a massive dung of supplies onto the deck of a boat which took them over to the small island where the festival will take place this weekend. I might take a stroll over there some time tomorrow if the weather is a bit on the nice side. I might get a few snaps of something, with a bit of luck anyway. At least I still got a couple of 135 films somewhere. HP5 and Tri-X I think. There's nothing left to load the Rolleiflex with, but OK... I will need to make it without the help from that black box then. 

Hey, look what I found on one of them hard drives. A decent snap of the cottage by the sea stuck on film and all. I know, I know... looks a bit messy right here, but then it was snapped during building the thing. These days there's even a very, very tiny outbuilding there to the left, and a rather nice deck and all outside from the door towards the sea. I might even post another one at some point. 

søndag 5. juni 2016

There's heat coming from above!

Sunday, and my day off. Well, only on the paper of course. It's a wish you got, from time to time, that your day off is going to be just that. I don't see that happen until I'm on my way home from here to be honest. There's too much stuff going on everywhere to just call off and get away for a few hours. 

You can believe it, or just let it be, but it's way too warm over here these days. The ship gets heated up to unbelievable temperatures through the day, making it more or less impossible to get any decent sleep done. 

The engineers washing a seawater cooler some time around two years ago. I should know, as these things come up for cleaning one time every year, and I know for sure that these two guys did not do it a year ago. I also know that we did the same job just a couple of days ago, which would indicate this was more or less exactly two years ago. Clever, huh? Oh yes, it's film. No idea which type, or which camera or anything else, of course. It's a long time since this happened, you know. 

Starting on my last full week tomorrow morning, which I have to say feels quite good. One more weekend to go, then I'm going home on thursday the next week. 
But there are things to get done before I get that far, mind you, so you will have to read a bit more about this bla bla I'm afraid. 
The helicopter deck is slowly coming together, piece by piece. They had to stop the job at some point today though, as one or many of the neighbours obviously didn't like the fact that we used the sunday for working. The police showed up and all... and they were not as polite as the police in Kirkwall. I can tell you that much!
They were not asking for the chief engineer anyway, so I was rather calm about the whole thing. I did not snap them up though...

Same day, same engineers, same cooler and the same pressure washer in use. And the same photographer using the very same camera as the snap above. It was on the same strip of film, as you might have figured out long time ago. It's wet work, cleaning the coolers. But they will get some hot coffee when their done wetting themselves. 

Sure, I know. I should get to bed. It got fairly late yesterday, and I can surely feel I'm not 20 anymore. Sleepy as heck, I am. I will do something about just that, quite soon. Just have to post this thing first. 
Cool snaps, huh??

lørdag 4. juni 2016

We are exactly 92 millimeters away from doomsday

You probably didn't know, did you? That living life on earth as we know it is totally and fully managed from over there at the tiny spot of Avaldsnes on Karmøy, just up there on that small hill by the church I posted a pixelated snap of a few days ago. 
There's a stone up there, even though I forgot to tell you all about it the last time when I seemed to be totally lost in old viking history. 
The stone has been there for a long time, and is a standing sort of thing. One end put into the ground, and the rest is visible to the eye on any day, protruding from the ground at an angle leaning towards the old church wall without touching it. Luckily!
The stone itself is from times well before any christian churches was built over here, and therefore we would have quite strong reasons to believe it has some kind of pagan history and traditions connected to it. 

There you go. The stone I'm talking about, leaning towards the wall of the old building. All snaps of todays post were made on my iPhone yesterday, as we tend to do these days. Well, sometimes we do, at least. 

We can be absolutely sure though, that the christians would have thrown all sorts of spells over the thing before the church was put up over this place, but then again... back in the times we are talking about now they could not be absolutely sure the spells and prayers would work. 
They might have felt quite comfortable, but obviously not a fully 100%.
You see, this particular stone had an inscription on the surface way back in time. The words, or the runes to be more precise, is not very visible today but some time during the 17'th century they were duly noted by someone able to write. Priests, probably. They deciphered the text into the words "Mikjael Mariu næstr", and made up a story that this would mean that this was The Virgin Mary's sewing needle (from the last word næstr, which they believed came from nest, or sewing in the old norwegian language). 
Well... today they have asked people even more familiar with the old words, and by combining all three of the words from the stone the whole thing seems to be pretty much self-explanatory according to these people. The "næstr" part of the inscription will mean "the next (of rang)", just like we use the word these days as well. This will make it the full meaning would be something like "Mikael, next to Maria". So, what would they get out of that then? 
Having reading the Bible a lot more than myself it seems like they quickly came to the conclusion that Mikael would be the arch angel supposed to blow his horn to lead the souls in for doomsday, and that this would be the reason why they have called this stone the doomsday stone through all those years. 
The church tried to calm things down by giving the stone a very different name and meaning, but the other story has also been known all the time up to this day. 
As a footnote to the whole thing I can also inform you that the stone used to be quite a bit taller than it is today. The priests here at Avaldsnes have been known to watch the stone quite carefully since the church was built back in the days of the 1200's. They have also been known to climb up there at night time with hammer and chisel, knocking the top off the thing as it has moved closer to the church wall. The top of the stone is really battered and very unlike the rest of the stone. 
But who could possibly blame them? I mean there's probably not a man in the world who would just stand and watch the horror is about to happen when the quick fix lies quite obvious in front of your very eyes. Better not take any chances, I would say :)

See? See that gap between the stone and the shadow it casts on the wall when the sun shines at an angle towards the thing? Kind of freaks you out, I would think!? The germans who stayed over here for a five years period around the middle of last century wanted to tear the whole church down to keep our friends from England and thereabouts away from bombing the city of Haugesund. They thought they would use the church as an aid for aiming their bombs at their targets. Luckily there were people around with power enough to keep them from going for the idea. The sollution was to cover the whole church to kind of make it blend into the terrain. I got no idea if it was a sucess or not. At least the building is still here.

So, the stone got two names these days. On the map, and if you ask people within the church and such, you will be told it's called Virgin Marys sewing needle. Ask more or less any other person, and you will be told it's the doomsday stone. After all, there's a lot more punch and oomph over that last name, I would say. 
Even the king who had the church built was a bit afraid of the stone even though he made all the efforts in the world to make it switch from pagan to christian. He made sure the wall of the church was duly adjusted to avoid the stone to touch it. There was a few more stones as well, but they seem to have been taken down before building the church. This particular one was not touched, and still stands where it was put, a couple of thousand years ago or so.

See what I mean? 92 millimeters folks, and that's it! Obviously the old priests at Avaldsnes has done a nice job keeping things under control during the centuries... 

Today, there's a distance of 92 millimeters of free air between the stone and the church wall. That should be enough to keep everything in nice and good order for the next few years, I would think...

torsdag 2. juni 2016


Sometimes you end up feeling like something else. And that's not in the most positive meaning of them words, mind you. Like an idiot, for instance.
Like an hour or two ago, more or less, as I was making my move towards the church I told you a little bit about a couple of days ago. Camera in the bag and all. Well, that's what I thought I had anyway. I did not even check, because I was absolutely 100% sure. I just grabbed the old bag and went on, by foot as you do when you're working on a ship. Nothing wrong with the old walking on your old feet, by all means, but when you're walking to get something done you wish you ended up having something else in your bag other than this rotten digipixelatorthing I found laying there when I opened said bag. And hey, guess what... the battery was drained as well! I need to quote good old Alanis Morisette... Isn't it Ironic?! 
Oh and yes, just to make it absolutely brilliant I should be the one to know there was no battery, because it drained out just at the end of the FRC trip a couple of evenings ago. The trip I have yet to tell you all about, as a matter of fact. Read further, friends.

Well, I thought the M6 kind of RF camera was in that bag, full of quite fresh film and all. Truth is that it wasn't even though I looked twice. 
There was a few lenses fitting the thing, and a couple of rolls of film for sure, but no decent camera. Only the pixelrenderer with no good batteries inside. No german rangefinder number M6, though. 

Just found I had thrown it out of the bag some time yesterday and put it to rest in that other corner of my cabin. I'm back now, you see. Back on the ship with no film at all wasted.
Good thing is we're still staying around this place for a couple of weeks, meaning I will get another chance tomorrow afternoon some time. It's a nice spot you see, over there on the other side of this bay.  

The FRC trip? Oh, it was nice thank you! 
FRC means Fast Rescue Craft, by the way, and all them offshore ships should have one on board. Them orange small ones, you know. We threw our FRC overboard just before we arrived here, because my department got some work to be done on the thing during the next couple of weeks. 
Before one starts working on plastic stuff like that it needs to be tested, of course. So I called the captain just before dinner a couple of days ago just to check if he wanted to join me. As I suspected he was thrilled to bits, and out we went some time in the evening. We also brought along one of the two ROV tech's on board as well, just in case any subsea operation should be needed at some point. Luckily we got no good use of him other than being good ballast and counterweight on board. This guy is from the Aberdeen area, and has claimed for years that Norway is his old fatherland. At least that's what he keep saying. He's not too sure if that's the case, but I'm quite sure he feels that way. I mean he is rather serious about it. 
So we took him by sea, just to show him the town of Haugesund here one the west coast of the country. We also managed to have a good look on the new FPSO, the Glen Lyon, which just now as I write this is on it's way over to the fields west of Shetland where we used to stay. It was strung up alongside inside this town to get the last few things sorted out before they went west to what would be it's home for a good number of years. 
It's that same FPSO we were supposed to help installing during the months to come. Before they threw us out of the contract for unknown reasons, as you of course would know by now. 

An enourmous amount of 0's and 1's was used to make this snap. Luckily the Fujifilm camera is able to count fast. Why is this company called FujiFILM these days, anyway? Well, I might better leave that be, for the moment. This is the new one, the Glen Lyon, snapped from distance using an old Nikon lens. It's massive, that new orange bunch of steel going to be moored out there in the North Atlantic Ocean. The town of Haugesund in the background, and a few normal sized offshore vessels and tuggers gathered around it to help them make their way across the sea. 

And another one, a bit closer this time.

It's a big lump of steel, as you might notice. They were having a fire drill just as we were passing by. I can now be the first one to inform you that they had used this one single item from the old FPSO, the Schiehallion... it's the fire and gas alarm bell believe it or not. We are talking about exactly the same bloody annoying sound of this one as on the old vessel. 

Here she is, the old one, the Schiehallion as she used to appear from the fog in the district of Schiehallion field west of Shetland until some time in the summer of 2014. Right now there's nothing located at this very spot, but in a few days there will be the new Glen Lyon attached to them old moorings for some 20 years, or probably even more. I can do nothing but wish it some good old luck. It will need it, because it's not the most pleasant place to be anchored. I know a couple of few things about it, as it happens. As you see, this scene was seen through a decent camera. It was probably about time they decided to change that old thing out. I have to say I'm quite happy I did not work onboard this one through it's last couple of years out there. 

If I had some brains this evening a couple of days ago when we went testing that old FRC, I would think of bringing some kind of film camera. I would then probably be the last one having film snaps of the old Schiehallion vessel, and the first one having the same stuff taken of the new one. Maybe even one snap would be enough to be both the first and the last snap taken on film of the new thing, for all we know. Can't see there's any chance of having people onboard that big thing bothering too much about wasting film and things these days, or what do you think?
I missed the opportunity, to be honest, and now it's too late as I probably never will see the thing again. Ever. 

OK, one more. This is from "Smedasundet" in the inner harbor of Haugesund. It's a nice place, believe me. I might need to test the FRC some other day as well, and could try to take a few snaps a tad more to the left then. There's a lot of stuff going on there, as you would guess. Bars and stuff there on the waterfront of town. There's houses and sea houses in this area, as you see. I noticed my friend Michael over in Ireland was a bit anxious about this fact that we got wooden things spread around our coastline standing on stilts and stuff. I might need to post something on just that, as there's probably a few people from the other side of the sea wondering about this strange way to build these things. Wind and sea and such, you know. Weather we are used to struggle with over here as well. There's probably some differences anyway. I hope to be able to say something wise about it some day soon :) Watch this space...!