Folded PJ’s and weather down time…

Standard

30/04/2015

01:30

I’ve just returned to my cabin to find that its been cleaned and my bedding changed!!! Which is a nice surprise… (On the researcher, I had to ask the steward for clean bedding) I must also add that my pyjamas and some other clothing I had left on my bed had been folded… not sure if I find this weird or not… I think I do.. but hey ho, I have a clean cabin!

We’ve spent a majority of today down on weather, this basically means we’re not acquiring anymore data because the quality is being affected by the weather… But no sitting around for me like I could on the Researcher, I had 79 PDFs to annotate and some interpretation to catch up on. There’s nothing really exciting to report, my PPE made another rare appearance when I went out on deck to help an engineer set up some equipment. Ohh… I actually got a vegetarian meal today!!! NO FISH! This made me pretty happy. But I’ve finished my supply of Reeces peanut butter cups… I’ve eaten so much junk on here, there’s just piles of chocolate and crisps and ice-cream! The magnums and the lion bars are my weakness at the moment!

Anyway, I can hear the sound of the pinger ticking away, so we’re obviously running lines again, so I better attempt to get a good nights sleep before tomorrow! It can be pretty noisy on board, there’s a really annoying creak in my cabin and I forgot my earplugs, but I’ve found just wearing my headphones at night helps a tad!

30/04/2015

22:18

So, we’re down on weather again! I’ve spent 10 hours of my shift sorting out data etc etc and its got to the point where I’m pretty much just making stuff up to do…

04/05/2015

00:59

Well my last attempt to write got interrupted by Game of Thrones, we were down on weather and I’d spent my whole shift up to that point at my desk so I decided I was allowed to join everyone else who was using the weather time to watch TV!

I find it quite difficult deciding what to do when we’re down on weather, which we have been all of my shift just passed and the tail end of my last shift. There’s quite a lot to do as the Geo, even when we’re not running lines, especially as the site we’re currently working on seems to be presenting us with hundreds of boulders to pick! Fuuuunn… But yeah, today, my whole shift has been down on weather and, I spent half of it, if not more at my desk, catching up with interpretation and organizing data, but then it just got to the point where, with everyone else watching tv, I felt I should get a chance to too. Seeing as it is Sunday! Well… was, I guess now its Monday morning. The vessels work 24/7, so Monday to Sunday I’ll work a 12 hour shift, so its nice to take a chance to just chill out once in a while.

Tomorrow (today) is bank holiday Monday! Feels so strange, you loose track of things like that at sea, even what day it is. I only remembered it was Sunday when I put the tele on and Sunday Brunch came on! I guess I kind of have to know the date, for our logs etc, but I just read it off the computer. Even what time it is gets a bit distorted. Especially when you have your lunch at 5pm!

The chef has been really nice lately and has started making me vegetarian meals every other day! I’m so grateful to not be eating fish every day, especially as it always seems to be a whole fish fried, and it’s a faf to be trying to pick around the bones! He actually served Lobster yesterday!! Yes lobster! Not freshly caught or anything, frozen, but still… I didn’t have any, it was served at my breakfast time and I didn’t think that would go down too well!

Anyway, I wish I had something more exciting to talk about, but I’m afraid the days are pretty much the same on board. It can get a bit repetitive, especially if your down on weather… So I’m going to leave it hear for now, speak soon!

Oh yeah, and it turns out, those 79 PDF’s I had to annotate…. I only needed to do 5… 47 less than I actually managed to get done… It took me 5 hours…

07/05/2015

01:12

Today has been spent sitting in the TV room with the rest of day shift watching Modern Family… I think we’ve got through about 30 episodes today… No joke! The weathers been pretty bad, we’ve spent the last two days down on weather. Its been around a force 7-8 most of the day, it got to a force 9 at one point and the swells reached over 3m… There’s been a lot of stumbling around and catching things that have fallen off tables!

It gets quite frustrating being down on weather, don’t get me wrong, after two weeks of working its nice to have a couple of days to relax, but theres just so little to do! Its not like you can go anywhere, the majority of entertainment is TV. It gets quite frustrating. Luckily I no longer feel sea sick! I’ve adjusted to being offshore now, but if it were like this for the first few days, I probably wouldn’t have been able to leave my bed, apart from if I maybe fell out because of how much its rolling around!

Time to attempt to sleep whilst being thrown around, I wonder how many bruises I’ll wake up to.

Oh, my cabin was cleaned again today… and my PJ’s folded!!

09/05/2015

02:31

Mini panic, my laptop had restarted itself and I’d forgotten to save all of this, but luckily Autosave did it for me!

I’m back in my little bunk after a long day working on what feels like the most complicated job and a good gym session. I will admit, I don’t go to the gym as much as I’d like to say I do, but after spending a couple of days sat watching TV because we’re down on weather or a day at the desk working, its nice to do exercise! There isn’t much equipment in there, just a bike (with the worlds most uncomfortable seat) a rower, a cross trainer and a weights machine. Well, I gets that is quite a lot considering how small the room is! A group of us have also started the 30 day planking challenge, which we’re shortening to 15 day, missing out every other, including the rest day… it could get painful!

Anyway, we’re finally working again. I feel like I’ve spent the whole day running between the little ‘office’ I work in and the lab where the surveyors and engineers are. Honestly this ship has a rubbish setup in that respect. The Geo should defiantly be in the Lab with everyone else, but on here the lab is just too small. It is literally two containers joined together on the back deck! But hey ho, we make it work. All the crew (survey and ships) are really nice and everyone seems to get on pretty well which makes everything run smoother! Don’t get me wrong, there are a few ‘heated discussions’ but on a whole, it’s a good atmosphere.

We’re on the final stage of the job! Supposedly 3 or 4 days work, but that’s just an outline. It could take weeks, it all depends on the weather, data quality and how much extra lines are needed. I’d have liked to be home for the election so I could vote, my postal vote application didn’t arrive before I left so I didn’t have that option. We could still watch the coverage on the TV, but its not the same.

That’s one of the things with working offshore. You miss out on things. Don’t get me wrong, getting so much time off is great, but due to the nature of the work you can only take holiday in two two week blocks so its really difficult to plan and agree to things. For example, I’m signed up to run the Race for Like in a week, I don’t know if I’ll make it back in time, and it’s Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich the weekend after. Okay, these aren’t massive events, but as the vessels work 365 days a year, you can miss out on being home for Christmas, birthdays, new year etc etc.  Some company’s run 4 weeks on 4 weeks off, or other regular patterns, but most just work when there’s work. This means you may be sat at home for months on end, or the polar opposite, be at sea for 8 weeks, have 2 weeks at home then head back out for 8 weeks again. Its very unpredictable. But its what you sign up for when you take the job!

Anyway… time for bed. Another busy day for us tomorrow! I’ll actually make an effort to upload this!

E x

Advertisements

Travelling, arrival and my first week onboard…

Standard

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