Offshore

My work takes me out on the water occasionally. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual industrial and commercial sites, but I don’t have a normal office job anyhow. When I get on a launch and travel an hour outside the harbour, it’s like I’m in a different world, and for all intents and purposes I really am. A vessel’s place of registry makes it part of that territory, and it’s always interesting to meet the people aboard. Officers and crews from all over the globe take to the sea to earn a living for up to six months at a time, but they all seem to be hardworking and friendly. Grab your passport and see what it’s like to come along. 

Due to the nature of the job, my arrival is always unannounced. I travel out to moored bulk carriers onboard a launch vessel most often tasked with carting supplies and refuse to and from the ships.

Approach
Approach

The crews on the launches are always entertaining, and the trip both ways goes by quickly unless the weather is heavy, Things can get a little dicy, and I’ve ridden out in 2-3m swells. Boarding the vessel happens via gangway, the jump from the launch to the platform always timed precisely with the swells. Trusting your launch crew is imperative.

Superstructure
Superstructure
Gangway
Gangway

Once aboard, I sign in and get to work. Working with the marine industry requires a change in expectations when it comes to timing. These ships work on a calendar, not a clock. I’m left to my own devices after my work is done, sometimes waiting aboard for hours before the launch returns for me. I can usually snap some photos in this downtime, as well as grab a meal with the officers. It’s a nice opportunity to chat with people from different places. This type of work draw an interesting slice of people from the world, and it’s always an entertaining time.

Feast
Feast

If I’m lucky, there is other work happening during the time I’m aboard. Everything from groceries to pallets of engine lube oil has to get out to these ships via the launch boat, so our arrival (and sometimes departure) is a busy time. Sometimes there are tugs and inspection teams from the agent or owners, sometimes there are crew changes that ride out with me. But it’s never boring.

Office window
Office window
Port Side
Port Side
Bridgedeck Aft
Bridgedeck Aft
Bridgedeck Fore
Bridgedeck Fore
Crane
Crane
Heave
Heave
Deliveries
Deliveries

When the work is done, the trash collected, the supplies delivered, it’s time to head back home. Thanks for coming along!

Deckhand
Deckhand
Tug
Tug

5 Replies to “Offshore”

  1. Very interesting. And exciting. I have wondered about taking a cargo ship from the west coast to India. The plane ride is quicker and with some luck Elon Musk/SpaceX will get the BFR global travel even quicker. But slow can be good too. I enjoy train rides across a country for that very reason.

    BTW, apologize for the comments from you held in stasis on my site.

    1. Interestingly, something is preventing my email address from subscribing. Once I changed my subscription email from gmail to my own domain email, it no longer works… I guess I am going to have to ditch WP and go Squarespace after all. Way too many moving parts.

    2. I also regret missing out on the age of steamship travel. If you can spare the time, a sea journey would be an adventure all it’s own. The ships are modern and usually very clean, the food is usually excellent.

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