Thursday, June 20, 2013


It’s been a quiet couple of weeks on this site. Not so much where I am.

Sandblasting, painting, welding, big wrenches banging around in the engine room … and every two hours or so an air-raid siren to mark breaks and the end of the work day.

We’re in shipyard for scheduled maintenance and our (bi-annual) hull and (annual) safety inspections.

Shipyard is exciting: we’ve gotten lots of things fixed, a few things upgraded, and even a couple of nice-to-haves.

Shipyard is tedious: everyone on the same watch, 0600-1800, and a fair amount of heavy lifting. Meals are catch-as-catch-can.

Shipyard is messy: lots of cleaning-up after mechanics, electricians and welders, not to mention the sand and dust and overspray.

Above all, shipyard in late June in southern Louisiana is H-O-T.

At least it’s not August.

One of the things I like about my current employer is that the office personnel generally seem to support the crews in doing the right thing when it comes to complying with MARPOL, Coast Guard and EPA regulations.

But out here in the oil patch you see a lot of stuff that is ... well, cringe-worthy. Sometimes it's laziness on the part of a crew or cheapness on part of a boat company or charterer. Sometimes it's just unavoidable.

Shipyard is a whole 'nuther thing, though. I suspect neither OSHA nor the EPA would be very pleased if they were to camp out here for a few days.

It was good to finally get back to the boat after an extra week off. The first five days we ran and ran, and then I brought the boat over to the Morgan City area from Fourchon.

With one spotlight down and one radar down, the trip up the Eugene Island Channel and through the Horseshoe was exciting, but not as much fun as the run up Bayou Chene, my first.

Anyhow, bottomside is done and new bottom paint is on.

Our topside inspection has been pushed back a couple of days while we wait for mechanics to finish on the boat.

We’re ready for the inspection now, and past ready to get back to work. Where that will be is anyone’s guess.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for somewhere in Texas. Most of the other guys, not so much.

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