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