Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lows & Highs

Today is a turning point for my current hitch. On one hand I change from night shift onto days, but on the other I have to work long hours with only short breaks for sleep to rotate around. It's nice to think that in 12 or so hours we can have some daylight after a week of darkness, but it serves to remind us that we have still another14 days to go. What has made matters worse is a quick phonecall home to find that Rachel isn't back yet and to hear Oscar cry out "daddy" in the background before I had to cut the line.

I'm really looking forward to Friday because it is my halfway day. And then on Saturday I'll be on the single figure countdown to Wednesday, February 10th when I get off the rig. That's assuming the chopper makes it out (on time or at all) because the heli operator has a woeful record for keeping to a timetable in the Danish sector.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Where I Lay Me Down To Sleep

As promised here are a few pictures to help you understand where I spend my time. Please click on the images below to get a larger image of the North Sea and my cabin. I am currently in the top bunk, but will be swapping to the lower one later today when the day shift crewchange.

Ensco 71 Cabin 208

The room is somewhat Spartan but with time we'll make it our own. It does come with an adjoining loo (with a sink, toilet, shower and faint odour of urine), a porthole that gives me a view of the lifeboats, a couple of lockers and a desk with an LCD TV. And yes, that is an IKEA PoƄng chair. How exciting - I got to use the Scanadanavian keyboard for real!

State Of Play

Things are OK here. I've only seen 60ft of drilling and now it looks like I've got a week of light work. By which I mean I'll be watching a computer screen and doing little else. Truth be told that's what I do 99% of my work day, but the current operations mean that I don't have to be super vigilant.

The only real problem of the job is that we have 4 to 5 people crammed into a 2' by 10' space, and all the chairs make it hard to get through. And the noise means I can't really concentrate. But that's only while we are drilling, which won't be for another week, so at the moment the job is a big and sweet piece of cake.

No leftovers on oil rigs. The other night I had the best offshore pizza I've ever tasted, and the night cook has started to make a evening-type meal for those of us going to bed at 6am. It's all very civilised out here.

Fourteen days left.

Friday, 22 January 2010

A Whole New World

I'm four days into my hitch and have got over the worst of shift change - going from my natural state of being on days to a nocturnal lifestyle - so I'm in the frame of mind to share my thoughts.

I have to say that the food is good (there's your answer Julia!) so I'm being careful about the size of my portions. The cooks here would happily fill your plate with steak, fried chicken, roast pork, tacos, meatloaf, roast vegetables, scrambled eggs, sausages and cover it all with gravy if you let them. I'm not getting anywhere near as much exercise as I used to for HDC, but there are plenty of steps and stairs to climb, plus I haven't found any potato salad or cheese cake in the galley yet, so I'm not in danger of blobbing out. Aside form the usual smoking and non-smoking rec rooms (with TV, DVD player and Wii) the rig also has a a gym and a sauna. There's also a small shop (called the "bond") selling toiletries, sweets, fizzy drinks, perfumes and fags. All tax free :)

I'll save a description of my room for another post. I've taken a photo of it but I can't get a wifi signal strong enough to upload it.

Seventeen days to go.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Rigward Bound

Up at 4am, taxi at 420, airport at 5. Am now sat on the Ryanair flight to Billund and wondering what I've got myself into. At least the flight has only 20 peeps on board so plenty of room. More later - the safety demonstration is underway and I'm getting evils from the trolley dolly.


Monday, 11 January 2010

Something's Happened!

I have just received my travelling dates for the Ensco 71, and I can now confirm that I will be away from January 20th to February 10th and again from March 3rd to March 24th. You can keep track of my coming and going on the Tripit widget on the right of this blog.

For some reason I thought this posting would be more momentous, but after all the build-up it's not as exciting as I thought it would be. Ho hum.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Still Here

I'm currently stuck in a bit of a limbo - all my bags are packed and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the phone call/text/email/signal flare - and can't make any plans for anything further than 24 hours away.

As wonderful as the internet is if you are into Hello Kitty, pr0n or Star Trek, there doesn't seem to be much information on the comings and goings of the Ensco 71. So, dear reader, I can not tell you why I have not been sent offshore yet, but I haven't.

What I need to do is make arrangements to visit someone who's a couple of hundred miles away. It'll be like lighting a cigarette at a bus stop - it always makes the bus appear. With this in mind does anyone want to play host to a mudlogger with ants in his pants?