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Off Topic Chit Chat Get to know other eflight modelers in the WattFlyer community here in this off topic forum. NO politics or religion discussion please (Holiday well wishes are ok)

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Old 05-02-2014, 08:38 AM   #1
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Default My travel plans scuppered ...

As some know - I am in Crimea ... what used to be part of Ukraine. I travelled out early April on assignment ... I needed Russian Visa as Russia closed down all flights into Simferopol except their own Aeroflot... and any local airline that agreed with using Russian transit ...

I flew through Moscow and the sad act started ... I was told that I should transit via the Domestic part of Moscow Shemovo Airport ... reached the desk and promptly told to leave and report to International section. I trot along there and girl looks at Passport ... Visa ... and looks totally bewildered. I'm told to go to side and wait.

This is not good ... methinks.

Later I am invited to another desk specially opened up for ME !! Same girl, my passport in one hand, telephone between her shoulder held to her ear, other hand typing into computer. I stand watching this ... girl keeps glancing at me .. I try to occupy my mind on other things and not worry ... her shapely legs help with this !!

Finally she stands up .... says : Follow ...

I trot along behind her admiring ... well you know what !

She sits at original first desk computer, tells the long queue to wait .. types in something ..stamps my passport and says - Go.

I stroll to the departure gate and find plane is full load ... blimey - I can't believe it .. you'd think people would avoid such a trip .. but no .. its full.

We arrive at Simferopol Airport .. which I have been through a number of times in past ... Its like a Ghost town ... all desks are empty ... no customs ... no immigration ... nothing ... not even porters. Driver is waiting for me and I leave to drive to Kerch ... about 3hrs.

Kerch is a nice sleepy town which I like ... the drive across is as usual ... odd crazy driver ... mini-buses and trucks. But normal. No military or signs of anything except the Billboards proclaiming the Referendum on Russian annexation.

I have to spend the usual night in the Hotel on seafront before I can travel out to the ship I have to supervise.

Next day the saga starts again. I board the launch that should take me out to the ship ... we wait hour after hour for Border Guards ... they finally arrive ... all insignia and flashes removed from their Uniforms. Only name tags left. The Velcro tabs empty.

The Russian and Ukrainian guys going out with me are processed quickly ... then my Passport comes up ...

I hear Border Guard talking ... What do we do with this ? Do we stamp Visa closed or leave open ... how is he going to get back ashore ? Anyone know what we do now ?

It's finally partly answered by the fact that they then realise they have no Stamp !! It's been taken away because its Ukrainian and they are waiting for the Russian stamp to arrive !! Seriously !

Launch leaves and out we go ...

I am now doing my job .. Loss Control and supervision of Oil Transit ... That's ok ...

I have asked respective agencies and offices - Hey Guys ... how are you going to get my off ... how will I get out of Crimea ... The silence is deafening !!
No-one can answer .........

So dear Wattflyers ... it was nice knowing you all ... I'll try and let you all know what happens ....

Nigel

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Old 05-02-2014, 10:37 AM   #2
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Hi Nigel Me Thinks that if you can, Stay out of Countries that are a Powder Keg, I dont know if you can refuse some job assignments or not, but I would stay out of Hot Beds when ever Possible, maybe its time to look for another job that will keep you Safe and out of Harms way, Good luck to you, Take care, Chellie

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Old 05-02-2014, 11:08 AM   #3
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Dang Nigel, knew you had an interesting job that took you to a lot of different situations but this is way too different. Hope things get sorted out for you!

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
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Do a James Bond thing. See if the British Navy has a sub in the area and tell them you need a ride home. Or commandeer the ship you're on and have them make a loop to get up to Latvia to drop you off.

Seriously though, can't your company come to your aid in times like these?

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Old 05-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
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Stay out of hotbeds ?

In my life I have :

I actually sailed up Saigon River AFTER US military pulled out !

Spent nights in Nigerian jails (twice !) - definitely NOT something to repeat.

Been in thick of Nigerian pirates in late 1970's.

Been on ships amongst Vietnamese Boat People ...

Iran - Iraq war :
Shuttle Crude Oil ships running blacked out from Iran to southern Gulf - shot at by Iraqi's aided by USA warships providing over-horizon tracking .. nice one Sam !
then in same war :
Shuttle Crude Oil ships running from Iraq to outside Gulf with joint USA / UK info fed to us ... with Iran shooting at us aided by Chinese Silkworms !

My wife called a halt to that !!

I moved on to Florida to Central America carrying a certain Col's 'machinery' for a bunch of Terrorists that CIA was supporting ...
We also were in Haiti when Papa Docs son was kicked out ..

I decided that I wasn't too keen on that one ... so decided to work ashore more .. joined a company that sent me out to Saudi Arabia ... and Gulf War 1 sprung up .. as I was one of the Guys picked by Saudi Govt - I had to look after US and UK military vehicle loads of / on ships and also up into Khafji .. in fact I was last inspector in before over-run by Iraqi's ,, and first one BACK in after !
I can tell you stories about M1 Abrams that would blow holes in what people believe !
Pal of mine working same location was blown near 10ft sideways in a Mazda Pickup when a Scud missile came down near him ...
I was coming out od Dharan / Dammam when the first RAF Tornado Runway strikes went out - near took the roof of my car !! signalling start of Gulf War 1... Desert Storm.

Looked after terminal supplying major part of Jet A1 fuel to US and UK air services in Afghanistan ...

I was wanted by a certain mafia group for a while till managed to cool it off ... prove it was not me !!

.................................

My two sons keep telling me to write a book .. !! I don't think some people would like what I might write in it !!

Crimea .. walk in the park !! Wifes not so happy though ...

Nigel

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Old 05-02-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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I can bore anyone in bar talk !!

Nigel

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Old 05-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I can bore anyone in bar talk !!

Nigel

Yikes
Closed I came to that sort of stuff was in a electric power substation in Central America where that substation was patrolled 24/7/365 by military types with loaded machine guns. Those guys never smiled.

Didn't find out til later that the big dent in one of our 120 pound electronic control cabinets came from a bomb. The control still worked, so they moved it to the substation I was in.

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Old 05-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I can bore anyone in bar talk !!

Nigel

Yikes
Closed I came to that sort of stuff was in a electric power substation in Central America where that substation was patrolled 24/7/365 by military types with loaded machine guns. Those guys never smiled.

Didn't find out til later that the big dent in one of our 120 pound electronic control cabinets came from a bomb. The control still worked, so they moved it to the substation I was in.

We were asked to travel to Argentina a few years later on, but refused to go because of safety reasons.

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Old 05-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Yikes
Closed I came to that sort of stuff was in a electric power substation in Central America where that substation was patrolled 24/7/365 by military types with loaded machine guns. Those guys never smiled.

Didn't find out til later that the big dent in one of our 120 pound electronic control cabinets came from a bomb. The control still worked, so they moved it to the substation I was in.

We were asked to travel to Argentina a few years later on, but refused to go because of safety reasons.
Venezuela ... was with a pal on a job ... travelled back to the base in a taxi .. when we wanted to leave Taxi thought he'd have a go at conning us ... his smiled disappeared when a rifle muzzle presented itself at the drivers window ... Out Boys - think we're home !!
We paid taxi correct - he just thought he'd hassle a couple of foreigners ...

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 06:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I can bore anyone in bar talk !!

Nigel
Seems you know a bit about loading ships.

Out of curiosity, what's your take on that Korean boat that sank? From what rumors we've heard around the USA, the captain really overloaded that ship with cargo. I didn't think you could roll over a ship by just steering to violently.

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Old 05-03-2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Seems you know a bit about loading ships.

Out of curiosity, what's your take on that Korean boat that sank? From what rumors we've heard around the USA, the captain really overloaded that ship with cargo. I didn't think you could roll over a ship by just steering to violently.
I was 17yrs Deck Officer on various types of ships .. tanker, bulk, chemical, container, RoRo, Seismic, Scientific research, Acid tankers, etc.
For nigh on 40yrs have been involved in supervising cargoes on / off ships .. through terminals ... some Military - most civilian.

As to the Korean ship .. to be honest - I haven't read about it .. but wil have a look online see what I can make of it.
I do a lot of investigations into marine incidents os maybe I can have a stab at it.

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 07:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Stay out of hotbeds ?

In my life I have :

I actually sailed up Saigon River AFTER US military pulled out !

Spent nights in Nigerian jails (twice !) - definitely NOT something to repeat.

Been in thick of Nigerian pirates in late 1970's.

Been on ships amongst Vietnamese Boat People ...

Iran - Iraq war :
Shuttle Crude Oil ships running blacked out from Iran to southern Gulf - shot at by Iraqi's aided by USA warships providing over-horizon tracking .. nice one Sam !
then in same war :
Shuttle Crude Oil ships running from Iraq to outside Gulf with joint USA / UK info fed to us ... with Iran shooting at us aided by Chinese Silkworms !

My wife called a halt to that !!

I moved on to Florida to Central America carrying a certain Col's 'machinery' for a bunch of Terrorists that CIA was supporting ...
We also were in Haiti when Papa Docs son was kicked out ..

I decided that I wasn't too keen on that one ... so decided to work ashore more .. joined a company that sent me out to Saudi Arabia ... and Gulf War 1 sprung up .. as I was one of the Guys picked by Saudi Govt - I had to look after US and UK military vehicle loads of / on ships and also up into Khafji .. in fact I was last inspector in before over-run by Iraqi's ,, and first one BACK in after !
I can tell you stories about M1 Abrams that would blow holes in what people believe !
Pal of mine working same location was blown near 10ft sideways in a Mazda Pickup when a Scud missile came down near him ...
I was coming out od Dharan / Dammam when the first RAF Tornado Runway strikes went out - near took the roof of my car !! signalling start of Gulf War 1... Desert Storm.

Looked after terminal supplying major part of Jet A1 fuel to US and UK air services in Afghanistan ...

I was wanted by a certain mafia group for a while till managed to cool it off ... prove it was not me !!

.................................

My two sons keep telling me to write a book .. !! I don't think some people would like what I might write in it !!

Crimea .. walk in the park !! Wifes not so happy though ...

Nigel
Man, you sure get yourself into interesting situations. Are you sure you didn't actually kill Colonel Kurtz when you went up the Saigon and they made Apocalypse Now because of you? This whole time I thought it was based off the book Heart of Darkness...but maybe not.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:14 AM   #13
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Move over Indiana Jones.

I would defiantly like to read your book, if you would write it

Sounds like it could be made into a few movies.

Best wishes for your safety.

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Old 05-03-2014, 07:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
Move over Indiana Jones.

I would defiantly like to read your book, if you would write it

Sounds like it could be made into a few movies.

Best wishes for your safety.
Most people get into trouble because of their own stupidity .. sorry to be blunt. Or through lack of sensible precautions.

Don't show wads of cash in bars .. taxis ... hotels ... street etc. Separate cash into ESSENTIAL small amount - rest hide it another place ...

Don't dress up like Onassis when going out from Hotels ..

Check out who's meeting you ...

And one of the biggest rules that a lot of people ignore - particularly in Arab lands - RESPECT that you are NOT in your own country, keep your voice down, do not make jokes that can be mistaken.

Good example of that : In South Africa - I was joking with a guy about flying today and that its like Cattle Wagons ... I felt a hand on my shoulder from a Security guard with a gun .. he thought I was talking about something else .. luckily the guy I was talking to was a local and quickly explained.

I don't mean to be rude - but a lot of Americans get into situations because they will not leave America behind ... they tend to drag a little America with them .. loud voices, try to be 'nice' but people don't trust it, brash acting and the worst is the Saudi part where they separate of into dedicated camps - The locals resent it.
I spent 5 years in Saudi .. living amongst the Arabs .. I never had any trouble .. even when I fell over drunk in the street after a 'visit' to a ship !!

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #15
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Exciting stuff Nigel! Sheesh, now I understand those Top Gear chaps and their antics must seem lame to you Brits!

A lot of us sitting all comfy and cozy in our suburban paradises thinking everything is so civilized don't understand what a big and wild world is still out there.

Edit: You posted while I was typing - My 'wild' reference wasn't in reference to your observation of American's behaviour. I don't think the rest of the world is wild. Well, a lot of it perhaps, but not everywhere. But yes, different, and I agree you have to respect that.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Exciting stuff Nigel! Sheesh, now I understand those Top Gear chaps and their antics must seem lame to you Brits!

A lot of us sitting all comfy and cozy in our suburban paradises thinking everything is so civilized don't understand what a big and wild world is still out there.
You got it in one .. the world aint no cosy little place.

I even got arrested in Washington Airport ...

When USA enacted the ESTA system .. I was registered on it. As a Brit / EU - I can travel into USA without visa. So I fly into Washington from Copenhagen ... Homeland Security at CPH have checked passports etc, and I'm cleared to board.
Immigration at Washington cannot scan my Passport as it has no UV bar or Barcode .. She tells me I need Visa and my ESTA is invalid.

I ask : Where do I get Visa

She says : Not here - you have to go back to origin.

I say : That's a long way back and surely there must be a way to sort an entry visa ?

She says : It is not possible to get a visa on American soil.

I say : I am not on American soil - I am in no-mans land .. that line there is where I came from ... the line over there is USA. We are in no-mans land. Please can you find out if I can get entry visa here.

She insists again that I leave and go back to Copenhagen ...

I again try nicely to get her co-operation. She finally calls her supervisor .. who promptly has me arrested .. my bags are collected ... I'm bundled of to Offices of Immigration.
We actually have a nice friendly chat .. guys I think realise that I'm not Bin Laden !!
I pay $60 fine for attempting to enter USA illegally ... Airline are fined $3000 fir carrying me into USA ...

I have 10 days visa granted and absolutely no security checks whatsoever ...........

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 08:11 AM   #17
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Looking at the news it seems to be kicking off again in the Crimea, good luck getting the job done and getting out of there.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Looking at the news it seems to be kicking off again in the Crimea, good luck getting the job done and getting out of there.
The jobs a season !! Runs from April to December ... once the Russian rivers freeze up - the product flow stops as the barges can't move.
I'm supposed to be away this month - wife has holiday booked and I need to be home to look after the 4 dogs, 4 cats and rabbit. Plus I have more building work to set-up.
It's not only my getting out - It's who's able / willing to relieve me !!

But it's increasingly looking like I'm stuck till they sort out what rules they apply .. Russian or Ukrainian Immigration ..

Wish I'd brought my V911 heli ... I left it at home this time ...

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 10:46 AM   #19
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Default Stories ..............

One company I was with ... we ran Chemical tankers into Israeli port to load up xxxxxxxx ... this was then carried and discharged in Turkish port ...

The discharge was documented as commercial terminal to terminal ... and we used the named terminal for discharge. At back of terminal - there were camo painted trucks loading out ... mmmmmmmmm !!

Anyway .. one time we were loading in xxxxxxx and one of the officers went ashore for a bit of company and a beer ... He was late back, totally drunk ........ and Taxi driver was not amused. I was on board and presented with this drunken Scotsman ... not something you want in a nightmare !!

Anyway - I called over the guard who was on duty to 'keep an eye' on us ... and taxi was suitably recompensed .. In fact he went away with a big smile .. as he was paid-off not to talk about what he saw and what ship etc.

Mediterranean Ship-owner of course.

Nigel

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Old 05-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #20
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Back in early 70's when I was just out of school .. still Mum's boy !!

I left a ship in Kuwait ... and we had to fly via Beirut to London .. It meant a stop overnight .. actually it was 2 days in the end .. in Beirut.

Nice hotel on the seafront.

First night - myself and another decided to talk a evening stroll. Wandered along the street .. and came to a blockade. Barbed wire, sentry's and two heavy tanks with guns pointing out ...

Now we were young and this was 'interesting'. So we stop and are figuring what model tanks they are ... Sentry's are quiet ... keeping eye on us ...

Hatch opens on tank ... Officer pokes head out and in perfect Sandhurst English accent advises us to turn about and go back where we came from. Guy with me is a bit silly - says something ... Officer quietly says "Look" .. as he points up ... to which we note a number of rifle ends pointed at US ...

YES SIR ! and of we went trying not to run.

Story is not over ......... We board aircraft to depart Beirut and we taxied past the girt big hole in the ground where the bomb had gone off short while before !
The Officers wife with us carrying Hubbies Sextant home had big trouble as the Security didn't recognise it .. thought it was something a terrorist would use ..

And to cap it all .. when I got home .. next day watching TV news - the hotel we stayed in took a Mortar shell literally through the floor we had stayed on !!

My mum was not amused .. when I jumped up and said - I just stayed in that !!


(Sandhurst is the Officer Training Academy in UK ... ) where quite a few other nationalities also attended ....

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Old 05-05-2014, 01:51 PM   #21
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Default Bad News ...

Just been informed that I cannot travel .. that I am stuck .. so now I am trying all ways to secure travel permission / Visa ...

Just my luck !!

And NO BEER !! Not a bloody single drop ! No Vodka .. nothing !

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Old 05-06-2014, 08:56 PM   #22
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Nigel, Jump a Ship thats heading out of that Area

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Nigel, Jump a Ship thats heading out of that Area
That's actually the last resort plan we have ... part of my job is to oversee and protect the company's interests in loading out ships .. so if all else fails - we'll get agreement with them that I ride a ship to Istanbul and get of there.

Life's a sometimes !!

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Old 05-06-2014, 10:15 PM   #24
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Nigel,

Wow, you sure have some interesting stories. I'd love to sit in a pub and buy you a pint or two and listen to your tales.

Pat Gagnon

Owner - Nico Hobbies

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Old 05-07-2014, 05:07 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by crxmanpat View Post
nigel,

wow, you sure have some interesting stories. I'd love to sit in a pub and buy you a pint or two and listen to your tales.

+1

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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