Crew Change

I wasn’t expecting to get off so early, but it looks like I will be home by midnight tonight. We left the field yesterday around 4 PM, just got to the dock here in Fourchon around 6 AM this morning.

I was expecting to get off at crew change since the other mate that’s on here now had been wanting to work over and it was time for the other mate to come back for his hitch. Since I am just a ‘rental’, I figured they would send me home. I’m used to working this way, basically never knowing when I’ll go to work or when I’ll get off. I’ve been temping off and on since 2007.

It’s great when work is plentiful, but it pretty much sucks when it’s slow like it has been for the last couple of years.

I got packed last night after watch and got up for my watch this morning just in time to watch them tie up the boat. Now pretty much all I have to do is wait for the crew change vans to show up.

I have a flight set up for 6 PM from New Orleans to Houston. I have a rental car reserved to ย drive home to Lake Jackson. I will have to keep it til Monday since our local Enterprise agencies are closed on Sundays. I hope I can get home early enough on Monday to return it without having to pay for another extra day.

I am set up to teach at San Jacinto again all next week. I will be teaching Tankerman PIC again, in case anyone is interested. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Zero to Hero Challenge- Day 12: Inspired by the Fourchon Shuffle

The assignment for day 12 of the Zero to Hero Challenge builds on the one from the day before. The one for day 11 was to leave comments on 3 blogs you’ve never commented on before. Today’s is to build a post out of one of those comments.

I made a comment on the New England Watermans’ blog yesterday. I really liked his post with the video of Port Fourchon. Here’s the link to my comment again.

His video was a time lapse of his work over the last year. Both offshore and in the port of Fourchon, La.

I liked it because it reminded me of a lot of the same things I see all the time at work. He also mentioned the Global Orion which is one of the vessels I used to work on.

Global Orion

Global Orion

I’ve been in and out of Fourchon more times than I can count. It’s NOT my favorite place! It’s the largest port in the USA for the oil and gas industry and it is VERY busy! Usually it’s a huge pain in the ass to go to Fourchon.

We call it the Fourchon Shuffle. Bring your boat to the dock so you can unload your deck cargo. Oh, your halfway done but there’s another boat that has a higher priority. So, MOVE.

OK, so you go to another dock to get some fuel. Wait, there’s no space there. So, you wait. Wait some more. It’s not like parking a car, you can’t just put a boat in park and walk away (tho some DPOs might think so).

Oh, now they’re calling you back to finish unloading. No time to spare, you have to get back offshore again ASAP.

Oh yeah, you still need fuel so go back over there. This time you can get to the dock. Now you need to go to another dock to load up more deck cargo. You’ve got priority so you make 2 other boats move out of the way for you….

That’s just a short verse, the Fourchon Shuffle goes on and on. They’ve improved it slightly with some additional dock space but it’s still far from ideal.

No one in Fourchon ever gets any peace at the dock. I always just wanted to get the hell out of there and back offshore as soon as possible. At least be able to get some rest again.

Here are a few photos I took in Fourchon recently…

 

Luckily, I don’t spend too much time driving around Fourchon anymore. Lately I’ve been working on a lot of large vessels like drillships and they don’t usually go into port. I only go to Fourchon to fly in or out to the rig. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

PS- the orange boats are the ones belonging to the Cajun Navy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Zero to Hero- Day 11: Be a Good Neighbor

The assignment for day 11 in the Zero to Hero Challenge is to make 3 comments on blogs you’ve never commented on before.

Well, that should be an easy one. I’ve never been a shy one when it comes to saying something anonymously (or even semi). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since I’ve been looking around the blogosphere more than usual for the previous assignments, I do have at least a couple of blogs I haven’t commented on yet.

Let’s see if I can find something interesting now…

A Yankee in the Cajun Navy

I found this blog the other day for the day 9 assignment (I think). I saw his mention of the Cajun Navy and knew exactly what he was talking about and from his blog tagline “A Yankee in the Cajun Navy”, I could just imagine how entertaining he was going to be.

So, today I checked his blog and found this neat video to watch. My computer is so slow it messed up the music but it was fun to watch anyway. I wanted to say more, but tried to keep my comment short(er)… here’s a link to the post and comments…

http://newenglandwaterman.com/2014/01/09/2013-in-review-a-timelapse-review/#comment-1307

Home Improvement

The Eleventh Stack is another blog I found while looking around for the Zero to Hero Challenge. I really like the variety of things they talk about there. It’s a library sort of blog so I guess it can really cover EVERYTHING. ๐Ÿ™‚

I went to look around again for todays assignment and found this post on do-it-yourself projects. I’m a big fan of DIY.

I love to watch all those shows on Home and Garden TV like the Property Brothers and Househunters International. I get all kinds of ideas for fixing up my house and my rentals. I don’t have much time for TV but when I do watch, it’s probably going to be some of that stuff.

So, here’s the post that caught my eye today and my comment…

http://eleventhstack.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/i-can-do-that/#comment-15846

Another Jills’ Journeys

I noticed this one while I was on assignment too and really just checked it out since we have the same name. But the more I look around her blog, the more interesting things I find. She has a really neat series on a trip she took to Easter Island which is also on my bucket list.

I picked her post on the free museum days to comment on. Just because I thought it was funny that we both posted on that, we both have the same name, we both love to travel (to out of the way places). I thought it was cool. Here’s the post and comment…

http://journeysbyjill.com/2013/09/25/museums-open-doors-with-free-admission/#comment-2182

She’s Off Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Well, I’m out of here in the morning. Into the wild blue yonder. Or at least the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). I’ve had a longer vacation than I expected, schedule changed at the last minute.

I’m still not really ready to go back to work, but at this point I think I would need to be off for a few months straight to actually be READY to go back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m in New Orleans for the night, or at least a few hours. Usually, I have to get up at 2 AM, so they can come and get me at 3 AM, so we can be at the heliport in Fourchon by 5 AM, so I can sit around drinking coffee and trying to stay upright and keep my eyes open til around 9-10 AM when they get around to putting me on a chopper so I can finally get out to the vessel I’ll be working on.

Lots of people seem to think flying to work in a helicopter is really cool. I guess it might be, the first few times you do it. It is really nice to fly at a lower altitude and see things better then you can in an airplane but I never really liked it a whole lot. It’s noisy, it vibrates a lot, it’s cramped (more then a plane and you can’t get up to go to the restroom!).

I’m used to it now, it’s just part of working offshore to me. I’m just glad when I can finally get out to the vessel and start my real job. It’s like driving to work in traffic, do you enjoy that part? Or you’re just glad to finally get there? Same thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

crew change by chopper

crew change by chopper

I’m going back to the same rig this time as I was on a couple of weeks ago. I like that. It’s nice to go back where you know people and you’re familiar with how things are done on board. I think my job freelancing is perfect for me since I do get to go back a lot of times to the same familiar vessels, but before I get bored I might get to go to a new one. I also do a few different jobs, so it keeps me on my toes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A lot of ways they’re all the same, but they all have little differences. It takes a few days to get it all straight. I have the hardest time learning everybodys names. It’s not so bad on a ship, when there are only 18-25 crew, but on a rig there might be 250 people on board! Sometimes you might be working 4 weeks straight with someone and never see them til you go home on the same chopper!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with this blog once I get out there. I’m sure it will be at least a couple of days before I can catch up on things, so don’t worry if you don’t see me for a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll be back! ๐Ÿ™‚