Capt. Gregory C. Daley

OCEANS
MASTER
EXPERT
WITNESS
PHOTO
GALLERY
COMMERCIAL
PHOTOGRAPHER
DELIVERY
CAPTAIN
SEA
STORIES
SEA
VIDEOS
REFERENCE
INFORMATION
<< Home

Life At Sea


  Qualifications

  Contact

























































































Sea Stories
Amelia, Louisiana to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

September of 2008 we delivered the Jo Lynn Tide, a Fast Supply Vessel of 175 feet overall length (FSV 175). She has four main engines delivering 1800 HP each for a total of 7200 HP. She has a bow thruster which can function raised as a tunnel thruster or can be dropped down to act as a 360 degree azimuth thruster. Her top speed is around 20 knots. She can be controlled by two dynamic position computers to operate safely near structures and ships.

Our crew of 9 consisted of three captains, three Engineers, and three AB'S (Able Bodied Seamen). The voyage was 5,500 nautical miles which lasted 21 days. We stopped in Trinidad to refuel.

We left Louisiana traversing the Caribbean in the middle of hurricane season. We were tracking two to three different hurricanes for the entire trip to Trinidad. We were able to pass by many of the Windward Islands attempting to avoid multiple hurricanes. The seas were uncomfortable for about a third of the voyage. It was quite an experience.

The pictures on this page are cropped from a full size picture which gives a better perspective to what is being shown. To see a picture full size, simply click on the picture and it will appear full size in a new browser.


Click on picture to see an enlargement. The departure date was set for July 1. Then the delays started Ė July 15th, July 31st. It was a combination of Exxon domestic needing the Jo Lynn to finish the work stateside with rig Erik Raude and Exxonís rig West Polaris not yet ready in Brazil.

July 30th I got the call to be there Aug 1st for a departure by the 5th. We didnít leave until 8/26th!!!! During that 25 day period I stayed in what is called the Tidewater Training facility, otherwise affectionately known as the Tidewater Prison Camp. In reality, the facility has improved immensely and the food and people managing the facility could not have been better.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. This is a typical quarters room with 4 racks, 2 desks and 4 lockers. The rugs were pulled up due to mildew and were in the process of being replaced.

This is one of two training rooms we converted to an office for the 25 days of preparation we were to accomplish.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Checking out our equipment. No, the sextant is not the primary navigation tool, but it is great to have one aboard should all the electronics fail, since you canít see land for weeks at a time.

Plotting the 180 waypoints I created to bring us from Amelia to Rio de Janeiro.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The Jo Lynn Tide finally arrived. The push was on to prepare the boat and depart in as little time as possible. There is a lot of give and take in the prep work. The sooner the boat gets underway the more money she will make. This is offset by the safety of the boat, the cost of doing repairs and modifications in Brazil vs. in the States and the needs of the client.

ďBlackout PanelsĒ were installed over the lower levels. Actually, they were thick Plexiglas covers designed to protect the windows from being blown out by heavy seas. Losing a window low forward would introduce a lot of water into the boat and make sinking very likely.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The engines were given a thorough inspection and made ready for the voyage.

Three large empty P-tanks were loaded in the rain. I loaded my four big bags and two small bags walking in the rain. Thereís a policy against the crew using company vehicles to load their personal effects. Go figure.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. All the drills were required before we departed. They were witnessed by an onshore safety captain. This is the engineering crew and one AB.

Our final safety briefing from the Gulf of Mexico Operations Manager Bill Scott.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. After a tremendous effort for preparation, everyone is dog tired. We have our clearance. Gangway is brought onboard. Lines are thrown off bits. We depart at 1215 on Tuesday 8/26. We are finally underway for Rio. Good-bye Tidewater Amelia. We were all pleased to see this view!

Next time you hear the phrase Louisiana bayou people, here is a visual image you can remember of what a real bayou family looks like. Oh, and if you go too fast and make a wake, they will shoot at you!

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. We saw four large river dredges up close and personal as we proceeded down the bayou for the Gulf of Mexico. You get a feel for the massive amount of cuttings per hour a dredge like this can make.

The work it takes to keep the waterways open to service the rigs to bring gasoline to your car is massive. Very few people really understand the complexity.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. BUT Ė no email and no satellite phone. The connector came loose of the antenna when we were trying to improve reception. The old adage Ė Donít fix what isnít broken Ė holds true. Actually Iím glad it came loose here and not half way to Rio. We diverted to Port Fourchon to make repairs.

Next stop - Trinidad for refueling. It was good to finally be underway. The Gulf of Mexico was the smoothest part of the trip. We managed to bypass many of the storms.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The whole alphabet was against us Ė Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine. We played dodge ball with several of the hurricanes. We even cut south into the Mona Pass, entering the Caribbean early, to avoid Hanna and bypassed the Virgins and Leewards, which were on our original voyage plan.

This is my rack and desk area, where I am sitting now building this webpage. If you stretch far enough, you can reach anything in my stateroom. Itís not quite the luxury of the cruise ship in Greece! I did buy some good sheets and a comforter to make my house more of a home. My bed is very comfortable and well positioned in the boat. I sleep well in it under most conditions.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. South of the Dry Tortugas, Through the Straits of Florida, Down the Old Bahama Channel, Through a narrow shipping lane all along the north side of Cuba and on to the south side of Inagua Island we pressed on. The dots on the other side of Cuba are forecast positions of Gustav. Cuba blocked the effect of Gustav on us.

At sea for so long, you canít accumulate trash and you canít throw it over board. But you can burn it. Here is our well used burn barrel. Raw food doesnít burn well, but that you can throw over board, so we had a slop bucket in the galley to collect that food.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Ever had your hair cut at sea? In the middle of the Gulf of Mexico? Near Cuba? Tom is giving me my first haircut at sea. I learned it is better to do it yourself. Iíve never used clippers on myself before. It was a steep learning curve with some pretty short hair, but I think Iím getting the hang of it.

Several days at sea, prop, prop shaft, oil, staircase, and burn barrel are riding well. Of course all is welded down to the deck.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Several days at sea, prop, prop shaft, oil, staircase, and burn barrel are riding well. Of course all is welded down to the deck.

We had auto-pilot authorization and used it. 5,500 miles is a long way to hand steer. But it looks good in a posed picture.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. First ďstopĒ was Martinique, a French Caribbean Island that made Zouck music popular, a French Caribbean beat music played in many nightclubs in Paris, France.

One of the main cities on the islands, St. Pierre provides an island village setting for a very old and famous church.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. One of the main cities on the islands, St. Pierre provides an island village setting for a very old and famous church.

Good bye to Martinique, so many islands, so little time.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Proceeding south along the coast of St. Lucia, passing Marigot Bay, a favorite hurricane hole of boaters and home base of the Moorings (a sailboat charter company), the Pitons begin to come in view. Maneuvering the boat has the distinct disadvantage of not being able to take the pictures of what you would like to take. The pictures do not come even close to describe what it is like to approach these by sea.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Between the two Pitons (the Gros and the Petit Pitons) lies what I consider one of the jewels of the Caribbean. This picture does not begin to describe the hidden beauties the resort Jalousie holds. The beach rolls up to a life size chessboard on the lawn and then up to a huge swimming pool and then up to a beautiful resort. The food is incredible. The last time I was here, I couldnít believe the quantity and quality of the food set out in the breakfast buffet. It was literally 100 feet long. Anything you could possible want for breakfast was there.

There was another vessel in the anchorage with us. The name is Copasetic. It shows the kind of money this island resort attracts. Of course, you can get here by air and taxi; you donít have to use your yacht to visit.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. I believe this was one of the houses used in the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean. More of that to come in the next island, St. Vincent. This is probably the owner of the Jalousie, though I have no basis to say that. It is a beautiful and majestic seaside mansion.

Sadly, we press on, so many islands and so little time. A week on each island would not be enough to experience them fully.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The north half of the island is a volcano. It looks inactive, but it sure looks more like steam from a volcano than it does a cloud. Who knows? The island Guadaloupe, just North of here was devastated by a volcanic eruption.

Wallilobou Bay is half way down the west coast of the island. Last time it was infested with boat boys. One actually boarded my sailboat though he was not invited. I remember a rain coming and turning the beautiful blue color of the bay to a disgusting brown as all of the waste washed off the island and into the bay. It wasnít one of my favorite anchorages. It is known by this natural arched rock at the entrance to the bay.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. But thanks to Hollywood, things have changed. It is the setting of many of the scenes from the three Pirates of the Caribbean. This was the ďbayouĒ house of the goddess of the sea Ė Calypso. A few special effects to transform it into a bayou setting, but it is the same house.

This was one of the buildings used in the filming. I believe it was the inside of the fort or of the town. Looks familiar?

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. One of the caves used in many of the cave scenes in the film.

The southernmost point of the island is Kingstown, the capital of the island. It has a very busy, commercial port. It has a sign in the immigration office asking boaters to dispose of their plastic trash bags at sea with weights because they donít want trash from other islands. (Hopefully, they have removed that sign since I was last here in compliance with IMO rules). The rock you are looking at is Young Island or Marrying Rock. One of the hotels offers a package deal for weddings including a trek up to the cliff top of the island for the wedding ceremony

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The next island south is Bequia, which is the capital of sail boating in the Caribbean. Sailboats and sailboat people flock to this island, esp. in high season (January).

This September in between hurricanes, the island was extremely quiet and very few sailboats were present. Usually, you canít find a place to moor.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The Devilís Table is quite a name for this local tavern.

Moonhollow was a hotel carved out the mountain. Legend has it that they used stone beds and furniture. Doesnít sound very comfortable.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Legend also has it that a boulder fell out of the ceiling and hit an unoccupied bed. Not many people stayed there after that and it is closed now. But you can buy it cheap!

We started a trip to famous Mustique Island but ran out of daylight, so we proceeded more directly south. It is island of 40 acre plots, maybe 100 or so. Each plot having a mansion with servantsí quarters. It is a planned community and very posh. The mansions are for rent. Very expensive and very beautiful. Basilís is the main bar in the harbor. You never know what celebrity will be there. Macaroni Beach is on the East side of the island. It is a favorite shoot location for Victoriaís Secrets.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. We entered the Gulfo de Paria through the Dragonís Mouth.

The current runs very strong through this pass as you can see it piling up on the rock called Le Chapeau.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Anchored in Scotland Bay (in a No Anchor Zone, I believe) is a shadow boat. These are second boats that big yacht owners buy to carry all of their toys. They have a variety of speed boats, fishing boats, jet skis, and all sorts of toys as well as extra fuel and water. There job is to follow the big yacht around and provide the guests with their toys. Nice life huh. You can barely make out a fishing boat that was tied up alongside the shadow boat. They were towing the fishing boat to the ďmotherĒ yacht.



Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. There are many houses for rent for vacation. Some on islands, Some on the main island of Trinidad.

The harbor of Chaguaramas is very industrial with a heavy oilfield influence.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. We watched this poor sailboat try to enter the lift for over three hours. He tried everything to get the boat into the lift without damaging it. Iíve never seen anyone work so hard and long at entering a lift under such adverse conditions. He tried anchors, lines and a variety of methods. He finally had enough people helping him that they man-handled it into the ways. The current wind and waves were giving him a fit.



Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. We only stayed in Trinidad long enough to load fuel and groceries. Then we pushed off again south into the Bay a Paria. There are many oil and gas fields in the area. Here is an LNG carrier on anchor that we passed.

We saw two whales along the North Coast of Brazil.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. They didn't stay for long, but we were able to take a few photos of them.

We were hoping to see more, but these were the only two we saw.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The produce in Trinidad are huge. These avocados were larger than a large grapefruit and the bananas were huge as well. The avocados were sweet and succulent. They didnít last long.

My favorite Caribbean breakfast. Fried eggs, fried bananas, and avocado.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The north coast of South America is much longer than you would guess (2,000 miles). It seemed like it went on forever. Down in the lower right corner, you can see where Devilís Island is, where Papillion was imprisoned. We didnít get close enough to see it (though I did on a subsequent delivery).

The eastern most point of land in South America was the roughest part of the trip. There was a lot of pitching and sudden movements as well. Only a few got sick. It didnít last but three or four days. Only 1200 miles to go once we rounded the eastern tip.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. 5,500 miles later we were greeted by the famous Sugar Loaf guarding the entrance to the Rio de Janeiro harbor. Literally translated it means the River of January.

On the western edge of the mountain is the famous Copacabana Beach. We managed to arrive on one of the very few days without sun. It was never this cloudy and foggy again the whole time I was in Rio.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. On either side of the entrance to the harbor are ancient stone forts guarding the port. If walls could talk. I'm sure there are many sea stories these walls could tell. This fort is on the west side of the entrance.

This fort is on the East side of the entrance near the port of Niteroi where Exxon based their operations.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. A closer look at the western fortress.

There are many rocks and obstructions throughout the harbor. After a few passages we got the hang of it. It is a scenic harbor with the mountains, city, airports and all. The water is filthy dirty though.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. There was a continuous stream of ferries carrying people and cares from Niteroi to Rio. Niteroi is a little more laid back living than in the city, kind of like New Jersey vs. New York city.

The green building is the old federal wharf. It has a very large clock in the tower. I never had a chance to go over and inspect it more closely.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. From our anchorage we rode a shore boat to a dock landing. We passed a few of the fishing boats operating out of this area. It always surprises me how colorful foreign fishing boats are.

Most wrecks are not cleared. They just sit and rot over a long period of time. No telling how long this boat has been here. It's seen its better day.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. I shot this picture out of a side window while passing by at 60 mph. That is how I saw most of the city of Rio. I really didn't have any time to just stop and do some sightseeing.

I thought this was the building we were going to have our work visas validated. Instead, this work was done by our agent downtown.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The world famous statue of Christ with hands outstretched over the city of Rio. To me it appeared he was saying, My God, what have I created now!

This is the only bridge between Niteroi and Rio. You can imagine the backlog of traffic during rush hour. This is why the ferries are still so active. It is about a six hour drive all the way around the harbor from one side to another.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. There are a few fixtures in the harbor that never go away. One is this jacket being built in Niteroi. It has been there for years and probably still is there. My suspicion is that it is too large to be floated out of the harbor. I hope that's not true.

Another fixture is this jackup marking the entrance to the Niteroi harbor. Sold to a Japanese company who evidently was not pleased with what they purchased, the jackup was abandoned years ago. It has been continuously stripped by folks stealing things which can be resold. They say it will be dismantled soon. We'll see.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. This area north of the bridge was our original anchorage. The Paul Muril is the first boat on the left. The Jo Lynn Tide is the small boat to the right of the Paul Muril.

Priceless. Four Tidewater officers from the VS-480 Paul Muril and myself Captain of the Jo Lynn Tide along with our agent are on an elevator in a strange building in Rio to have our passports stamped. The agent crammed us all in there and then pressed 9. The elevator stopped between the 5th and 6th floors and would not budge another inch. 5,500 miles from Louisiana to Rio through hurricanes and storms and we were stuck for 20 minutes in an elevator. They had to pry the doors open from the outside and we had to physically climb up to the 6th floor from our stuck cab. We took the stairs up the rest of the way. Priceless.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Consultant
Expert
Photography
Deliveries
Instruction
Stories
Videos
Reference

Captain Gregory C. Daley
PO Box 3826, Lafayette, LA 70502

email: info@CaptainGreg.net

(337) 456-5661
(337) 237-7777
(310) 463-6626

(Office)
(2nd Number)
(Cell Phone)