Western Geophysical III alongside in Valencia, Spain, 

1966. This vessel was almost state of the art at the time!


Heading up a mountain south of Valencia, in

Franco-ruled Spain, 1966. Station Montsia. 

DT spent three weeks up there.

Larry Slagle on top of that

mountain  - fantastic views

 on a good day, of which there 

were many. We were working 

in conjunction with the Western Geo III

After Valencia we moved over to Huelva, on the Atlantic coast. This was sherry country, and Party Chief, Jim Strayhorn, being more or less a local, certainly knew where the good stuff was available.


NSN's Office in Kristiansund; the 

building (centre-ish) with the black 

tiles if I recall. Normally resident here 

were Klaus Keilich and Paul Tzanos.

Click on photo for more

Home for many a happy month. The GPS differential relay, and Argo base station on Stokkoy Island, Western Norway. This is where DT began  writing novels. Anyone 

know of a good publisher?


In full survival gear, about to notch up a few more flying hours, offshore Sweden.

 With Klaus, working for OPAB, with the rig Treasure Hunter



Treasure Hunter, drilling in the Baltic sea off Sweden

Swedish Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Two of our base stations were located here

Bit of a storm brewing in the North Sea


Geoff Metcalfe's base station at Sinop, Turkey. Black Sea seismic operation with Western Geo, for Texaco.


Geoff has visitors. Where's the 

mint sauce then?

More snow and rain than there was 

sun in Turkey. Wolf Engleman & Joe Lock were on the Western Sea, Phil Thompson & Angus Maclean manned the other stations.

L to R: DT, Wolf, Phil, Angus. One presumes that either Geoff or Joe took the picture.

Haugesund, Norway, home of the NSN office under Klaus Keilich

Hard at work. North Sea pipe-laying 

ops on the DBL1601. I believe the 

other operator is Denny Blanchard.

DBL 1601 again. Looks like a fairly quiet period for Mike Hamilton.

Kavala, Greece. Base for an ongoing ONIX rig location project.


Click on photo for more

Klaus Keilich on one 

of the Thasos Island stations.

ONIX station at Akra 

Prinos light, Greece.

Klaus with locals and 

client rep, setting up. 

West Africa

Spanish Sahara & Ivory Coast

Ready to roll. Dennis Cooper heads 

for his vehicle.


Click on photo for more

He could have been heading for here...

 ........ or to  here.

Spanish Foreign Legion fort in Spanish Sahara, later, Western Sahara

Unbelievably Africa. Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast - now known as Cote' d'Ivoire


Click on photo for more

Bill Justice surveys town from the Hotel Ivoire roof. We didn't get to stay here too often, and many didn't want to! Better "facilities" available around town, especially the area appropriately named Treichville.

Another view from the Ivoire roof. The hotel featured the only ice-skating rink in Africa.


Don't imagine the Ivoire used 

this laundry, but other hotels more than likely did.

Most base station journeys involved at least one river crossing.





Grand Bassam didn't involve a ferry, and yes, we did have a station here ... as we did on the beach which formed part of Club Med. Had a base op quit from there, didn't like nudists prancing around. Peter Studer had no such qualms!

The local market. Now we know we're in Africa.

Stringing the radio antenna on Grand Bassam station.


Nigeria - oh oh!

Bristow Helicopters coming to pick 

me up?

En route back to Port Harcourt.


Someone made a poor job of putting 

that one up!

Loading dynamite to blow an 

abandoned dry hole. The casing 

would shear at the sea-bed, and we 

usually got loads of fish for supper.

Right, then, where's the chips?

Note the ship's eng in the background. I thought all American vessels were dry!


Click on photo for alternative view

Ocean Master II, drilling for Mobil Oil Co. out of Port Harcourt, and later Fernando Po.


The drill floor on Ocean Master. A 

dangerous place to be on any rig, 

for the unwary. Antenna and shoran 

were installed on the catwalk atop 

the derrick, quite an experience when 

they were spudding the legs to jack up!


Shoran equipped Marine Service, which was used to set a majority of the Mobil locations, at least, early on.

It could certainly rain in PH. View from our apartment, at 14 Hospital road.


Gulf Oil Co's Rig 59 drilling on location.

Refueling at Opobo heliport

Relaxing at the Port Harcourt Club - long 

sleeves and tie required after dark, old chap. As for the ladies.. well, it wasn't the mosquitoes they had to worry about!

Helicopter operations area at Port Harcourt airport 

during Hamatan.

One of the many production fields offshore Nigeria's 

Eastern Region.


Lots of rivers to negotiate in the 

Gabonese interior, too.

Preparing to set location buoys for Elf from the Sprayfish; but not at that speed, I hope.

All over West Africa most base station 

operations involved rivers in some way, unless you had a rich client with 

a helicopter.


Clearing space for the tower 


Occasionally, other forms of transport 

were put to use.

Raising a 60ft aerial mast

Dave Brown at the beach party, 

obviously well oiled!

Party Chief Jack Lane & wife, Tina,

 at the beach party. Shortly after, they sailed their catamaran from Tenerife  to Puerto Rico, along with Bob Malloy  & Jerry Naylor

Libreville airport: Isobel White, DT, 

Norman White, Joe Lock, not sure.


Click on photo for enlargement

About to set up camp 

somewhere in Gabon

A well loaded Alouette III

An alternative form of 

transport was more the norm

Here come the day's supplies

Cameroon rather than Gabon, but 

interesting CV. As well it makes 

no mention of fluency in English.

Air Afrique DC10 departs. Always a 

good feeling once you were on your way.

East Africa


Maputo airport, far side, Russian "Hind" helicopters still in evidence. The Mozambique job required just an 

ONI technician onshore, Western 

operators running the system on board, once it had been installed.


Click on photo for enlargement

The Maxiran base stations were 

battery-operated, & unmanned, due to civil war situation. Despite solar panels, batteries needed to be changed regularly, hence the need for personal helicopter. Couldn't have had a better pilot than Antonio Gordhino.


Some stations were located on lighthouses,  with limited access. Antonio would hover alongside with the assembled mast slung below, releasing it once it was secured to the rail.


At the start, Antonio would land down on the beach, but with a bit of coaxing he was soon hovering close to the tower.


Click on photo for more

He could certainly scatter the locals 

with his low flying, although these 

appear to be old hands.

But with flamingoes, height 

didn't matter!

Lovely country, great flying, pity 

about the politics.

Heavy seas. Antonio would keep asking if there were any batteries we needed to go and change. We usually came up with something.


Western Ocean, small boat in a large sea, and poor radio comms. We had a couple  of tense moments, trying to find it before the fuel ran low.

A town called Xai Xai - pronounced 

shy shy - on the banks of the Limpopo river.


Click on photo for more

Flow testing a well offshore Nigeria.


Welding the 48 inch, Ocean Master II

North Africa


Aboard AGIP's Scarabeo 3 checking location offshore Libya - Loran C & Transit Satellite system.

Gun string deployment on SSL's 

Seismariner, off Libya.

Tobruk in 1963, not a lot of change 

since the Desert Rats left in 1944


Click on photo for more

Top of Page