Travelling, arrival and my first week onboard…

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22/04/2015

16:30

So, I’m currently sat at Norwich Airport, ridiculously early (as always) waiting to check in, as, despite the check-in being open, they haven’t got a list of the passengers on the flight…. This could be interesting!

I’m feeling really nervous, my last trip away was amazing and I was accompanied by some fantastic people, this one has a lot to live up to. I am sailing with one of the lovely ladies I worked with before and the other Geophycisit’s I shall be working with are lovely! So all should be good! I’m more nervous that, unlike last time, I shall be on my own shift and have a lot more responsibility than before! It is however, nice to know they have the confidence in me for this though. I just don’t want to mess up!

23:22

So, here I am, snuggled up in my little cabin on the M.V. Vigilant. It feels so weird to be back on a ship, it’s been just over 5 months since I left the Researcher! The Vigilant is definitely more confusing, but I think I’ve got my head around where everything is! I’ve unpacked a little so my cabin feels more homely, I made the mistake of living out of my suitcase for the first part of my last trip offshore and it’s not pleasant! It’s nice to look around the room and see my own belongings. Tomorrows going to be a busy day of ship inductions and pre-job meetings, so off to sleep I go (after an episode of Once Upon a Time).

23/04/2015

21:39

Well, I never got a chance to upload yesterday’s post, todays been a busy day and since we left port, the internet has been painfully slow!

From what I have gathered do far with my offshore experiences, today was a pretty standard start of job day. Despite being on the midday to midnight shift, I was up at 7 for breakfast, ready to sign on with the Capitain (something everyone has to do when you join a vessel). After an induction tour of the ship, which is one of the very few occasions us Geos dress up in our PPE, we were then in organisation mode, trying to set up the job on the ships computer ready for the pre-job meeting. Aiding the ships crew with putting away stores is another of the rare occasions the PPE comes out to play and seeing the amount of boxes of magnums which were delivered had everyone excited! The Vigilant, without a doubt, has better snacks than the Researcher! Now just to not put on loads of weight! Ha.

The pre-job meeting followed, I can’t say it’s a thrilling experience, but vital to get all the information for the upcoming job. The rest of the day was just more time at the computer, trying to sort out silly issues with software, confusing the chart printer and getting a prepared as possible for the upcoming work (including eating magnums). A majority of the job ahead is pretty simplistic, yet a section of it, none of us have done before, so we’re just trying to get ahead of the game! We left Montrose at about 6pm and, surprisingly I feel pretty good (touch wood). It took me a few days to adjust last time I first got out to sea, but hopefully, I still have my sea legs. It definitely feels strange, hence why I’m already tucked up in bed at nearly 10pm, writing this before I watch another episode of Once Upon a Time!

The foods been quite good so far, although, I did have the test of making the chef aware that I’m a pescatarian, which, with a language barrier is always a little tricky! He seemed to be okay about having to cater for me, however I always feel so awkward having to ask them to make sure theres something I can eat, plus, eating fish every meal for weeks on end does get very dull! Being on the midday to midnight shift means I’ll only catch two meal times (we have set times, 07:00 – 08:00 for breakfast, 11:30-12:30 for lunch and 17:00-18:00 for dinner) but there’s always leftovers and I’ll probably skip lunch and have porridge instead, waking up and eating a full cooked lunch will not go down well! I’ve never actually done a shift like this before. My time on the Researcher I shadowed the Geo and we usually worked 08:00-22:00, so the day was a lot more sociable. I’m not really sure how I’m going to structure my day around my shift yet, but I’m sure I’ll work something out!

Anyway, my head is feeling a little bit funny and I’m shattered, so I’m going to chill and I’ll try and get this somewhere tomorrow!

27/04/2015

01:33

Helloo, so, I haven’t written in a couple of days, simply because if I wrote every day it’d get super boring and repetitive! My last two days have been working days! Woooo. We’ve started acquiring data and I’m a busy bee, which I like. We had a fire and muster drill the other day, at 11am, literally just as I got our the shower… I wasn’t aware we had a drill… that was fun! But yeah, basically we just run through the procedures that we’d go through for the event of the fire, which in my case is go to the muster point on deck in PPE (another one of the few chances I get to wear my PPE) with my life jacket and survival suit! Usually you have a responsibility, such as collecting the fire extinguishers etc, but due to this ship being tranship we don’t have that. So basically I stood out on deck in PPE and a life jacket for half hour, but it was nice to get some fresh air!

The last three days have been pretty much the same. I’m up at 10:30, I’ll have some breakfast… I’ve brought some porridge along with me because I miss the breakfast time, but there is cereal and bread etc, there’s always plenty of food! Then I’ll be in our little Geo office for 11:30 to handover from the night shift, then to work I go! On board I’m responsible for data QC and interpretation, so if I’m not happy with the data I have the responsibility to make the appropriate people aware. But mainly I’ve just spent my days at my desk, in my really dodgy chair, which was once a wheelie chair. But as you can imagine, a wheelie chair on a very rolly ship… disaster, so they’ve ripped the wheels off!! And it leans really awkwardly backwards and to the left…. There’s an art to sitting in it the right way!

I’ll usually break for dinner (well, my lunch) at 5pm, then on with work until 23:30 when I’ll handover to the night shift! Pretty straight forward. The main lab is at the other end of the ship, so I spend a fair bit of time going to and from to see whats going on and ask any questions. And obviously I have a Magnum break! There is just so much tempting naught food! So difficult to stay away from the buisuits, especially when I’m drinking tea all day long! Working offshore definitly increases my tea consumption. But I’m trying to mitigate the impacts of the chocolate and ice cream by heading to the gym each night after shift. I try and stay up till past 02:00, otherwise I wake up at 08:00 and im shattered by the end of my shift! I didn’t make it there yesterday though, felt pretty queasy, we were rolling around a lot! Then I’ll just head to my cabin, watch an episode of OUAT and go to sleep…

Until 06:00, when the bow thrusters seem to be tested (due to the fact we’re doing 500m zone work) and I’m rudely woken up!!! You would not believe how loud they are! And my cabin is right next to them!

Aaaanyway, that’s my working day on board, nothing too exciting. Now it’s time for bed for me, I’ll attempt to get this uploaded tomorrow!!!

E x

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