Drills Today

Wondering if we’ll have fire and boat drills today?
Is it worth trying to go to sleep? Or would it be better to try to stay awake so that you can get some good rest after it’s all over?

Weekly (at minimum) drills are a necessity on most vessels, but boy do they get old fast.

It’s already so hard to get enough sleep out here and then we have to do these drills every week (as well as safety meetings). It’s really amazing but almost every time, we’ll have at least 1 person who doesn’t know where their muster station is, how to get there, or what they’re supposed to do when they do get there.

It’s not like that on ships that have a crew full of professional mariners. They are trained and will almost always do the right thing, even go and check out their gear when they come aboard.

On vessels that have ‘crew’ other than mariners (construction, cruise, fishing, drilling, etc), most of these people are NOT mariners and don’t come from a seafaring background. Even though the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) mandates that every mariner has to take a basic safety course before going offshore, I’ve noticed that all these other people do NOT have to take that course (or others).

THEY are the people who actually NEED that course (at a bare minimum), but of course the IMO and others who make the rules really have NO idea what they are doing when they come up with this stuff.

I’m falling asleep whether I want to or not. Here’s hoping the drills go fast today.


14 thoughts on “Drills Today

    • Glad you like it lizard.
      I’m on a drillship about 50 miles SW of the mouth of the Congo River. Offshore Southwest Africa. We fly on the helicopters out of Luanda. Its about 150 miles NW of there. Cabinda is closer but I think Luanda is the main international airport where we all have to fly into for our visas.


      • Yes, sometimes we do. Last hitch I saw a lot of things. There was a HUGE school of spinner dolphins one day. We thought it was a boat on the RADAR at first. There were whales around a few times. Saw a few schools of tuna. The usual fish that hang around the rig for the food scraps we discharge (blue runners, rainbow runners, sharks, etc). I even saw a mola-mola (ocean sunfish)! Those are fairly rare, I’ve never seen one in the wild like that in all my years sailing. It made my day. 🙂
        I haven’t seen much this trip tho. I have been on night watch so not a lot of time to spot them.


      • Wow! I’m very jealous. A fee friends have seen mola mola but I’m still waiting. It must make an interesting day watch when something unusual swims back.


    • I think it might be more exciting than I want it to be. I hear it is actually very dangerous.
      One of my old crew mates used to call me a wimp when I complained about safety issues on a ship I worked on in Singapore. He would tell me stories about being shot at and kidnapped over here. I never really WANTED to work here, but this is the only place I’ve managed to get hired on to work in all the years I’ve been trying so hard to get work outside of the Gulf of Mexico.
      I would love to be able to explore other parts of Africa. I ‘d love to be able to go on a safari. I used to LOVE watching Tarzan on Saturday mornings, still have those fantasys…


    • Kheleya,
      I’m glad you’re finding it interesting. I’m sure I’ve written about various aspects of life on an oil rig in earlier posts as well as working offshore in general and on some other types of ships.
      You can do a search for ‘working offshore’ or check out the category ‘maritime’ on the sidebar.
      I just wrote a post for the weekly photography challenge this week (fray) about tuna fishing. Here’s the link for that one. https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/into-fray-fishing-tuna-pacific-breeze/
      Here’s the link to the 2nd page of the maritime category, there’s a lot of good posts here, one of my favorites is
      Oh yeah, I think one of my very 1st posts was about the 8506 I was working on at the time, might be just a photo, I hadn’t really figured out how to do a lot of things on here yet (and I’ve still got a lot to learn)
      Let me know what you think. 🙂


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