This trip has been one of the most frustrating that I have been on, which - given my employment history is surely saying something. In historical terms I've been messed about with more than a 50 year old Land Rover on a working farm.
We came on board nearly 3 weeks ago now and thus far have worked somewhere in the region of 20 hours total. I have spent more time watching telly than Gary Bushell and Harry Hill combined (I really miss 'TV Burp!). Due to scheduling errors, weather delays and sheer stupidity (luckily on the part of the client, it has to be said) we have been within a hair's breadth of being sent home many times over. Indeed, we have actually been on the flight list some three or four times now.
But, at last, on Thursday afternoon, it looked like we were finally going to go ahead with our work scope. Even this good news was severely tempered when we heard that, due to lack of rigger cover we would be doing the rig a massive favour if we were prepared to work over and stay on until '10 or 11 o'clock'
Both myself and the one op that was left on board with me were more than happy to oblige in this scenario as we were both fed up with the Discovery Channel and Sky News. After all a couple of hours over is nothing in the grand scheme of things and it meant we would be a day closer to home. That was if it was going to be a couple of hours of course!
The problem with such a request only appears when you realise that it is gone 3 in the afternoon and so it is completely pointless to go back to your room for a quick 'safety snooze'. This problem was made worse as the time went further and further into the evening and through lunch (midnight meal) and on into the next day...
We got the call around 2.30AM by which time we were both past caring for our own sleeplessness. As it happened, we had both managed to grab a little sleep in the TV lounges as they were not too busy that evening. And as it turned out we were correct in our assumption that the work would only be the matter of a couple of hours. This presented us with another worry, now that we had worked through until what was essentially shift change, we were now on Night shift.
So we went to our beds, safe in the knowledge that the rigging work would be completed during the day and we could drop straight onto our next work scope on nights. Plus, this part of the job would be so short that we could get done by lunch. So one 24 hour shift followed by a full 12 hours off (all be it on a different shift) was followed by a part shift and another case of trying to turn around before we could de-rig.
This is where we are now, my colleague and I have de-rigged and packed away today and we are more than ready for our chopper tomorrow. Needless to say the chopper tomorrow is a late one whereas the chopper we were booked on but got scrubbed from was here before tea-break!!
If anyone could advise me as to what time of what day we are on, I';d be hugely grateful...
Neil Hannon Rocks!!