Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Some Days You're the Painter

And some days you're the paint. You just gotta roll with it either way.

I joined the new boat in shipyard: bottomside and classification society survey this week, followed by the topside (safety) inspection a couple more weeks down the road.

I was pretty thrilled that the shipyard guys sandblasted the hull and back deck and painted both for us.

I was less thrilled when they sandblasted the boat in dry dock right next to us immediately after pressure-washing our vessel mast-top to keel.

That's sort of the way it's been going: get the windows in the wheelhouse taped-up, then watch it rain for three hours. Start painting the wheelhouse, then quit and hope it sticks when a thunderstorm rolls in.

So it's good we have a little time. Apparently we'll need it.

Not least because there's ... well, there's a lot of paperwork with this company, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around the two daily reports, three weekly drills, the monthly and quarterly and 90-day (not the same thing as quarterly) drills, weekly trainers, the three separate monthly vessel condition reports, etc., etc.

The new boat is still under 100 GRT, though it's 170-ft. long. We operate with a five-man crew, which is better than the last crewboat's four, but probably not quite enough to comfortably handle all of the ISM paperwork we're required to do.

Still, great training for the next boat, which will (hopefully) be over 100 GRT.

This company's got them, which is one of the reasons I wanted to work here.

First impressions: good crew with the best kind of friendly, helpful and salty old captains; we don't have to twist anyone's arm to get the supplies we need (heck, we've had five mechanics on board the last week to completely rebuild our mains, generators and bow thruster -- and they're not even broken).

I feel a little like country mouse in the city, arriving on a steel hull from a crewboat. We have an icemaker. We have a pressure washer that is plumbed to fittings throughout the vessel. Our compressed air also is plumbed to fittings throughout the boat.

We have WiFi and satellite TV, and the company pays for it.

We have an honest-to-God satellite phone, and we can use it to call home when we're offshore.

So far, so good. I'm happy to be back at work.

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