Monthly Archives: September 2015

Big Lift wowser

From our friends at gCaptain.

Ship Photos of the Day – 22 Vessel Heavy Lift and Transport

A total of 22 vessels built at several Damen shipyards were loaded aboard the heavy lift vesselHappy Star for delivery to Rotterdam later this month.

For Damen, the shipment marked the largest transportation of stock vessels ready for sale. The shipment included several already sold vessels, such as two Fast Crew Suppliers (FCS) 2610 vessels to service offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

Following the initial loud-out and departure from Shanghai, the Happy Star made calls at the Vietnamese ports of Hai Phong and Da Nang, followed by Singapore to pick up additional vessels.

“The Damen stock-vessels are ready for operation, though they can still be outfitted with client specific options,” Damen says. “Upon arrival in Europe, the vessels will receive final touch-ups and cleaning before delivery to clients or distribution to various Damen shipyards.”

Shanghai Loading


2. Shanghai loading

Shanghai Departure

4. Shanghai departure

Ha Long Bay Loading


Ha Long Bay Departure



Da Nang Loading



Da Nang Departure


Singapore Loading

11. Singapore departure

Photos courtesy Damen Group

For a change

 From our friends in luvvydarlingland.

Police are investigating after ‘Allo ‘Allo star Vicki Michelle was injured during a fight on allatsea’s spin-off show.

Allatsea’s ‘Bit On The Carpet’  had to be taken off air 10 minutes early after a fight broke out between American reality TV personality Farrah Abraham and former contestant Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace.

Michelle, 64, had to be taken to hospital after apparently becoming caught in the crossfire when champagne glasses were thrown.

A source on the allatsea show said: “There was dart-throwing and ball-throwing and  op-throwing. Security had to rush in. Vicki went to hospital to get checked out, but she’s OK.”

Michelle later tweeted: “Been checked over … going home now. B****y hurt! But thank you for worrying, I’m OK … I think!”

A spokesman for the security company  said: ” We’re not really bovvered about this kakk but seemingly they received a report at 10.55pm on the evening of Tuesday September 22 regarding an incident which is alleged to have occurred in the Dog and Hammer pub in Maragate on Mud. The incident occurred a short time before the call.

“Apparently someone is  currently making inquiries to establish the exact circumstances of what happened and will release further details when appropriate.”

The trio were panellists on the show presented by Dick Hymensnapper, but it soon became clear there was no love lost between Abraham and Horgan-Wallace.

The exchange began when Clark asked Horgan-Wallace: “Do you miss Farrah being in the house?”

“No, I don’t. She was just horrible,” the former Big Brother 7 star responded. “She never took accountability for anything she did because she’s a silly little girl.

“It’s just pathetic. She’s just nasty. There’s one thing standing up for yourself and being a strong woman. There’s another thing being a nasty horrible b****. You’ve got your cheque, get on your plane and f*** off. No one likes you here.”

Abraham hit back by slow-clapping Horgan-Wallace and saying: “Well done. Good job.”

An allatsea spokesman said: ” Bit On Carpet was interrupted his evening due to an incident on the rug.”

Hymen tweeted: “Apologies, we had to cut transmission due to reasons out of our control. Thanks to our loyal audience and viewers.”

Horgan-Wallace tweeted: “Thanx for the concerned tweets I’m fine at home There seems to be a lot of misconstrued stories I will set the record straight I’m tired now.”

Like anyone gives a fig any way?

Port and starboard

The following handy ditty is courtesy of this month’s Viz comic. The tedious conundrum that mariners face remembering which side is port and which is starboard can now be solved by remembering this simple verse. Fankyoo fankyoo Viz!

“Starboard’s left? No, that’s not right.

Right can’t be port but left just might.

Port, said right, is left you see,

And starboard-port-is wrong to me.”

Making bacon the happy way

Saturday in Westbrook.

The North wind’s a blowing albeit with a bit of East in it too.  This has brought the para-surfers out in force,  Westbrook beach with the wind from the NE seems to being them en-masse. Margate Roads is nowhere near as busy as it’s been of late, perhaps they’ve scooted off to find a quieter anchorage to watch the footy in? The lack of sun and paltry 15 degree temperature has, thankfully, kept the lard-arsed and the numpties away. Purgatory it be when the sun’s strong and the beach muppets come from afar, blocking the roads and waddling whale-like about the place;  all tattoos, rolls of ugly  white fat  and plenty of mean tood. All very ghastly. All very Britain-moderne.

Allatsea has been busy rekindling the urge to go all ‘Good Life’, sort of, these last few months. Home curing ham and bacon to be more precise.

The dry cure methods, although reputed to be the THE way to do it for the best results, have never really delivered for the Towers. The results have been, er, ….OK ish at best. All edible and no-one died of food poisoning or indeed, even reported having a dose of the squits or similar, but they certainly were nearer to a  description of  ‘disappointing’ rather than ‘back of the net’. So with that in mind the ‘wet cure’ approach has been put into use. There are a zillion and one  recipes out there in tinterwebby land  if you google ’ home cure bacon’ (or similar), and that’s just for the ingredients and ratios of the brine, let alone timings and temperatures and drying routines and storage protocols and shelf life and  so on, it can be all very intimidating and doubt causing from the word go.

The following works well… far anyway.

The Brine.

For each litre of water add 100g of table salt, 2-3 grammes of saltpetre (get it from Amazon and have accurate scales because in higher doses it doesn’t do you any good), 50 grammes of dark brown sugar, 10-15 grammes of peppercorns, assorted whole spices and whatever else takes your fancy. Mix together enthusiastically and cool to around 4-8 degrees centigrade. You’ll need a litre of brine for every kilogramme of pork .

Meat and Method

Place the pork (any joint can be used but the Towers uses, so far,  loin or belly and to now the largest weight done in one go is 3kg) into a food grade plastic tub (ceramic/glass pots will do too but don’t use metal) and cover with brine and make sure the meat is completely covered by the brine. If necessary ballast the pork down with a non metal lump weight on the top.

Put the whole lot in the fridge or somewhere nice and cool and leave for 36 hours. It won’t hurt to leave it longer (up to a week in our experience) but it will taste significantly saltier especially if you use a brine ratio which has more salt in it than the 10% by mass identified here. Then remove the meat from the brine (discard the brine), wipe the joint with a paper towel or whatever to dry it and then hang it (use a meat hook or clean untreated string) somewhere  cool and well ventilated but away from smells as the meat will take a taint easily, for around 36 hours. It’s ready to eat now but will improve with putting in the fridge and leaving for another week. When it’s stored in the fridge the drying out process does continue. This is in our humble opinion, improves the product. Smoking would also add to the curing process and give a different taste but to date we haven’t attempted smoking. It’s on the cards though. Have been trawling Amazon and  EBay and a decent bit of kit can be had for around £150. Of course if you’re in the slightest bit practical you can make your own. This, naturally,  is far beyond the abilities of yours truly.