Steinsvagen


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While hiking Saeterfjellet above Kjekallevagen, we could see a group of large oil rigs moored about twenty nautical miles away at the island of Sandoyna. They looked super-interesting, and we decided that visiting them would be our next adventure.

We found an excellent anchorage opposite Sandoyna at Steinsvagen, within clear sight of the rigs. The view at night, with the rigs aglow, was spectacular. We spent a couple of days there, checking out the rigs up close in the tender and touring the complex waterways around the island of Haugsoyna on an exceptionally calm and clear day.

Below are highlights from October 4th and 5th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

10/4/2020
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Wind Damage
The line holding our Nordhavn distance pennant parted in the morning’s big gusts.
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Calm
The winds became remarkably calm once we exited Kleppsvagen. We suspect the winds were locally strong in Kleppsvagen due to strong outflow winds funneling from the mountains above through the valley at the northeast corner of the anchora
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Mongstad Refinery
Another pass by the Mongstad Refinery, this time heading north. The refinery is the largest in Norway and can store 9.5 million barrels (1,510,000 m3) and produce 12 million tonnes of crude oil per year (230,000 barrels per day).
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Rigs
Nearing the oil platforms and service vessels moored at the port of Skipavik-Gulen that we could see a few days ago from the top of Saeterfjellet. They’ve been here long enough to show up on the satellite imagery. We plan to anchor nearby and check them out in the tender.
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Bolette Dolphin
The 751ft (52m) ultra deepwater drillship Bolette Dolphin, completed in 2014 at an estimated cost of 650 million USD, can drill up to 12,000 feet (3650m). The owning company, Dolphin Drilling, was founded in 1965 and is one of the oldest drilling contractors in Norway. At its peak in 2013 the company operated 11 offshore rigs with 2 more under construction. The recent oil-industry downturn nearly bankrupt the company, but they survived using a loan-restructuring that gave up control of their prized Bolette Dolphin.
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Steinsvagen
Running the narrow channel east of the island of Steinsoyna en route to the anchorage at Steinsvagen.
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West Venture
The drill semi-submersible drill vessel West Venture can drill to 29,500ft (9,000m) in depths up to 5,900ft (1,800m). When completed in 1999, the 5th-generation rig was the most technologically advanced drill ship of its kind. The ship uses DP (Dynamic Positioning) to hold position over the drill site, rather than being moored to the bottom, and is self-propelled up to 10 knots using the DP technology. The ship’s helm is visible at upper left.
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West Navigator
The drill ship West Navigator (left) and the FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) ship Petrojarl Varg (center) and OSX 1 (right) moored with the rigs at the port of Skipavik-Gulen.
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West Taurus
The 6th-generation ultra-deepwater semi-submersible DP (Dynamic Positioning) rig West Taurus, launched in 2008, can drill to 35,000 ft (10,700m) at a maximum water depth of 10,000 ft (3050m).
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West Leo
Looking underneath the rig West Leo. When launched in 2012, it was one of the largest semi-submersible rigs in the world.
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RigNet
We loved the name “RigNet” on this massive satellite dish on the Floatel Superior accommodation platform.
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Anchor
Huge anchor pulled up on the West Leo.
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Rig Anchors
Dozens of offshore rig anchors ashore at Skipavika Offshore Services at the port of Skipavik-Gulen.
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Skipavika
Modern telescoping Leibherr crane at the Skipavika Offshore Services yard.
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Island Clipper
The platform supply and W2W (Walk To Work) vessel Island Clipper near Mongstad Refinery. W2W is a relatively recent technology where heave-compensating gangways allow people to transfer from the vessel to an offshore platform safely in up to 3m seas.
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Drill Pipes
Hundreds of drill pipes stacked above deck on the Bolette Dolphin.
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Slovag Ferry Dock
The Slovag ferry dock, equipped with a vacuum mooring system that moors the ship by suction, a faster and safer method than having people manually tie the boat off. These systems seem to be really catching on.
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Dusk
Dusk from the anchorage at Steinsvagen with a fabulous view to the oil ships at the port of Skipavik-Gulen.
10/5/2020
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Breakfast with the Rigs
Breakfast in the cockpit at Steinsvagen with the oil rigs at the port of Skipavik-Gulen visible in the distance.
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Grease Fitting
Drilling into the tender steering cable to install a grease fitting to make it easier and faster to keep it lubricated.
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Ildalsvagen
Approaching the narrow channel Ildalsvagen on a tender tour of the complex waterways around the island of Haugsoyna on a wonderfully calm and clear day.
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Summer Cabin
A typical Norwegian summer cabin, with plenty of dock space, in the sheltered waterway Kroksundet.
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Haugsdalsosen
Calm waters looking north in Haugsdalsosen.
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Rotsundet
Entering the narrow and shallow channel Rotsundet between the island of Stauroyna and Dragoyna.
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Skjelsundet Bridge
Passing under the bridge across Skjelsundet between the mainland and the island of Holsoya.
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Fjon M
The cable ferry Fjon M, that we saw a few days ago crossing Masfjorden with tug assist, now operating on its own.
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Jaunita
The 292-ft (89 m) offshore tug/supply ship Juanita off the Mongstad refinery.
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Bastogne
The 570-ft (174m) LPG tanker Bastogne of Belgium departing the Mongstad refinery with tug assist.
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The LPG tanker Navigator Galaxy arriving at the Mongstad refinery.
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Bergen TS
The beamy 144-ft-wide by 820-ft-long (44 x 250 m) crude oil tanker Bergen TS at the Mongstad refinery. It’s a busy place.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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