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Saturday, 19 February 2011

What Do You Do For A Living?

I cruise around the coast picking up buoys and wash mussels from their bottoms.

Apologies for such a belated entry. I have no excuses for this other than I am naturally fainéant.

So What is it that I actually do? The above description being the broad strokes of the job, I shall elaborate
I maintain the vessel, obviously not all of it, but there's always moving parts to be greased, bits to be sanded, ground, painted, greased, stowed, tidied, lashed did I mention the greasing?
When mooring we (Deck Crew) are responsible for tying up the boat effectively and in the correct position. The Boatswain communicates to the bridge via VHF. One team is responsible for the bow, one for the stern.

As a rule we work from 8am until 5 though this may vary. We recently undertook some contract work on data buoys in the North Sea. The data took several hours to download, water samples were to be taken, sinkers* replaced, chain to be tested. This work saw us go on for longer with shorter beaks. The company (TH) still reforms to having 12 hours rest in any 24 hour period, and all hard work is rewarded fairly.

My first tour was insightful. A lot goes in to the maintaining of Navigational Aids, a lot of it from our part being hard graft and, especially this time of year, cold graft.

I have had a very varied first trip. Buoy Bashing, the salvage of an upturned yacht, water sampling, fire drills, bomb drills, contract work for windfarms, various weather, all variants of cold.
I was on board for 2 weeks before anyone thought to issue me with my warm weather gear.

A View of the Working Deck from the Boat Deck

*Big bastard weight that keeps the buoy where it should be.

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