1 EAGLETON NOTES: Transocean Winner

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Transocean Winner

In my last post I said that I'd show some pictures of the oil rig that ran aground on the Island a week or two ago. I should say that if you want to know about the recent drama then Googling the name will supply you enough information to keep you reading for a week. The principal question is why an oil rig (albeit a very small one by oil rig standards) was being towed around the Hebrides in the open Atlantic when there were gales forecast. 

The evening was overcast and by the time we got to the end of the walk it was almost pitch dark. Most of the photos were taken in marginal conditions.

Well here are the oil rig pictures preceeded by some of the terrain we yomped over to get the pictures.

First sight of the rig
About half way there with a few more valleys to cross
I'd forgotten about the 'over the next ridge there's another ridge' when hiking it's so long since I did any.
We had to go round some of the bogs keeping to the higher ground
Lazy beds from an old township long abandoned.
Strangely there's signs of an old building on top of the stac as well as the cairn.
At last the rig hoves into sight.
One of the tugs standing by.
Oops.
Gaz capturing a wonderful wide-angled photo with the vessel, the rig and the beach.
Supplies just dropped onto the helideck.


31 comments:

  1. The picture of the long abandoned township with the lazy beds touched me much more than the oil rig. It was all a nice little adventure. I hope you will post Gaz's wide angled picture some time soon.

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    1. YP I think the three of us felt the same. Curiosity was the reason for the visit but I don't think it 'touched' us at all.

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    2. Same here, Graham - like Neil, I am intrigued and touched by the abandoned township.

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  2. Those lazy beds make me wonder if the potato blight of the mid '1800s' that devastated Ireland was also active the Hebrides ?
    The decision to move the oil rig was probably an executive one made by a fellow in a cosy office far from the salt laden air.
    Good to view photo's of such quality.

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    1. Heron potato blight did affect the Highlands and Hebrides in the mid 1800s and many people emigrated to Canada and Glasgow in that period. These particular beds puzzled me because they do not look as eroded as 150 years would have been likely to have produced and there was no sign of any old blackhouse remains in the area. If the opportunity presents itself I will attempt to find out.One possibility (which conflicts with my statement about a township long gone) is that they were remotely worked by the nearest township of Dalmore. Whatever, there certainly was an air of things long gone about the valley.

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  3. That trek across those ridges certainly was on hell of a trek. Forget the rig...the natural scenery is just stunning. :)

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    1. A great deal of coastal Lewis is made up of similar terrain Lee.

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  4. Thank you for sharing the adventure. I would love to know more about the abandoned township. When do you think it might have met its demise? Disease, bad weather?

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    1. Carol Heron's and your comments have made me wonder more about what could have happened. My reply to Heron's comment could also double as a rely to yours. I shall, if the opportunity presents itself, try and find out.

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  5. Good luck getting that sucker out of there.

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    1. Well, Red, they did have good luck and it's gone from there and is now in a sheltered bay just over the hill from where I live.It is being examined to assess waht damage has been done and what will happen to it. It was on it's way to somewhere at the far end of the Mediteranean to be broken up for scrap so far as I am aware.

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  6. You should use these photos and write a sci fi book about aliens invading from space. (It would make a great cover.) When you are more wealthy than J.K. Rowling, you will thank me! :-)

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    1. The truth, Kay, is so often weirder than fiction.

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  7. You've answered my question to Red. The sea looks very calm, and perfect for pulling it out to sea again. Was there much damage?

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    1. We don't know yet Cro. They are surveying it with divers at the moment.

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  8. It's funny, isn't it, how most of us readers here want to know more about the abandoned township! You have homework to do, Graham :-)
    I hope no people came to harm when the oil rig ran aground.

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    1. Yes I'm intrigued too Meike. I shall hopefully find someone who knows something about it but it may take a while given my commitments for the next month or two. No one was hurt when it ran aground.

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  9. Are there actually people still on the rig? It looks very....dicey.

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    1. Yes Frances there were people on the rig when we took the photos. They were moving diesel fuel between tanks and so on. I assume they were helicoptered off before it was towed off the rocks.

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  10. You seem to have made a great recovery from your knee operation. It must be great to be back walking again in such a pretty place.

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    1. Hi Helsie, good to see you here. I had actually forgotten what it was like to be able to walk 'normally' and, as you say, it's great to be 'normal' again.

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  11. Oh, and what pray tell is a "lazy bed "???

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    1. Well, Helsie, it's good that you've asked. I forget, because they are so much part of life in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and in Ireland, that people may have no idea what a lazy bed is. The name, after all, conveys nothing useful. In fact I have no idea why they are called lazy beds. In Gaelic (Lewis Gaelic anyway) they are called feannagan. They are strips of ground raised above the peat with drainage channels between them (which is why they are usually parallel to each other). To overcome the acidity of the peat lots of kelp (seaweed) was put into the ground and in them the crofter grew his crops - principally potatoes and brassicas. I only know of one crofter (in Grimshader) still actively using lazy beds.

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  12. It's great to see you giving that new knee a workout, Graham. Like the others I'm more interested in the old abandoned township, especially now that the rig has been safely moved.

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    1. Well, Pauline, I'm certainly going to have to do some research that's for sure.

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  13. So out of place in that area of natural beauty... but well worth the hike for a closer look I would think. Great photos. The scenery is just so spectacular.

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    1. Isn't it strange, Lynda, how we take the scenery we live with every day if not exactly for granted then at least consider it the usual.

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  14. That was some hike. Well done! Great shots too. It is journalism stuff.

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  15. Well now I know what a lazy bed is...never heard of them before.
    This post has demonstrated exceptionally well that your new knee is in fine working order....up and down ridges and walking such a long trek was a good workout.
    Sorry about the rig but like someone above said, probably a decision made by someone sitting in a cushy office.

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    1. Yes, Virginia, and it's a decision that has cost his company dearly.

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