July 21

MV Toisa Intrepid


Toisa Intrepid, the ship that changed my life, but more about that later. Joined the ship flying from Norwich, Schipol, Singapore, Jakarta and Ambon via regular flights. Then a chartered flight to Tual in the Kei Islands then a helicopter out to the Energy Searcher and finally a lift onto the Toisa Intrepid arriving on 22-07-1995.

Working out of Tual for only three weeks before the well was abandoned this was as good as life on a supply ship could get with barbecues on the beach and a friendly bar. However we had to lift anchors on the Energy Searcher before escorting her to Batam.

The drill ship Energy Searcher was anchored up in 1000m of water but the anchor chains were not long enough so each anchor had 600m of wire pennants added.

When it came to lifting anchors each one was chased out, brought on deck, chain disconnected and wound into chain locker until the wire pennant arrived on deck. This was then disconnected and wound onto the tow drum until the rest of the anchor wire arrived on deck. This was then connected back to the chain from the chain locker, which was then fed out and eventually re-connected to the anchor which was then recovered by the drill ship.

Before the next anchor could be lifted the 600m of wire pennants had to be stripped of the tow drum and wound onto storage drums. With two ships working eight anchors this was time consuming work. Luckily the weather was good throughout.

Eventually we were on our way to Batam where I eventually met the lady who would become my wife.

The drilling operation had taken place in the Arafura Sea. It was in these waters that Captain Bligh and the other survivors of the Bounty had passed through on their way to Coupang, Timor in June 1789. This was relevant to me as the Master (navigator) of the Bounty was John Fryer who was born in the same town as me and had sailed in this area almost 207 years before me!

Live Was Good In The Kei Islands.

Back from leave the Toisa Intrepid was starting a new charter towing the support barge Ismaya from Singapore to offshore Bangladesh which in turn was supporting the drilling activities of an oil rig which was being towed by two Australian ahts ships.

We were only supposed to anchor up the barge on its multi anchor system but the poor performance of the other ships in the strong tides meant that we were kept there to help out. We eventually returned to Singapore three weeks later than expected. Occasional spot charters to Songkhla and back happened.

During my next tour onboard in April we went back to Bangladesh and eventually towed the oil rig back to Singapore for a couple of days then on to offshore Songkhla, Thailand where I left the ship.

I was spending more time in Indonesia when not on the ship because of my new lady. On this occasion after leaving in Songkhla I flew to Singapore then across to Batam to meet up with her after she had traveled from her home in Sumatra. Life was good.

Always Time For a Barbecue.

Returning to join the Toisa Intrepid in dry dock in Singapore after having a propellor and other damage after picking up fishing gear at Songkhla. Charters were in short supply and we spent a lot of time swinging on the anchor as close as we could get to the entrance to the old Singapore harbour making it easier to get a boat taxi ashore. It came as a shock when Sealion said that the ship was being sold and I was destined to join the Toisa Mariner in Brazil, half a world away from where I wanted to be.

Sea trials and surveys were held with the purchasers, OSA I believe, and I left the Toisa Intrepid for the last time on 17-08-1996 at the end of a wonderful thirteen months (divorced as well).

Work Couldn’t Get Much Easier


Mutiny on Bounty, sealion shipping singapore, Toisa Intrepid

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