Monday, 12 February 2007

Sometimes when you go offshore it's a bit of kerfuffle to actually get there in the first place. You don't always fly out straight from Aberdeen. Sometimes you have to go through the joy that is Norwich Airport. Don't get me wrong! Nowt wrong with Norwich (as far as I know - it's got really good my credit card is now aware after last Friday's episode when dealing with a delayed flight!) but airports aren't good at the best of times and it doesn't help when Norwich really isn't one of the busiest. There's a wee bundle of flights that go out to the gas platforms off the Norfolk coast. You get a morning surge, mid-day surge and then a late afternoon surge. It's mainly small budgies heading out that direction (I think it's the EC155's but don't quote me on that). Last week I had the chopper all to myself on the way out - made me feel like quite the rock star...apart from the survival suit, 4 layers of clothing underneath it, trainers, ear plugs and ear defenders! So one ends up sitting in Norwich Airport bored out of one's skull for around 5 hours between the time of the flight arriving from Aberdeen and then heading out to the platform. All the staff are really fine and will actually speak to you which is quite fine so can't complain there. It's all a tad more relaxed than what happens in Aberdeen.

And then you land on the delight that is Clipper! It might not be the sexiest, newest platform on the block by any means but I will say that it has a really nice bunch of guys onboard who always make a trip there an enjoyable experience. They're chatty, they'll have a laugh with you, and they take the health stuff onboard and love to ask loads of questions - mainly in an attempt to wind me up but it never works...and they know that. It's a bit cramped onboard which made it interesting accommodation-wise when my flight back into the Beach (onshore) got cancelled due to snow (mainly because the rotor blades could ice up - nae nice!) as they had a full POB (personnel onboard) and bugger all space. There was a bit of hot-bedding going on as night shift bounced out and day shift bounced in. Meant the place was busy so I had lots of faces to yap to. I like the place. Most places offshore I like. The environment is strange and can be a bit claustrophobic but the guys make a real effort to compromise and get on with each other and that's what's important.

Must admit, don't think it would work out quite so nicely if alcohol was allowed offshore...!


Lola and Ava said...

This may be one of the most interesting posts I've read on any blog in a long time . . . I guess I never really thought that much about life on a platform, despite having friends who worked on them in their younger days. Can I ask what it is that you do?

I know what you are saying about smaller airports, though. I was delayed once in Prestwick and there was one shop to frequent. Only so many Dairy Bars I could stomach. Our delay took so long that we could have taken the train back to Ely in less time.

Susanne said...

...and she has got a webpage. I am impressed. Very nice indeed ;-) just stopping by to say hi. You look a lot better and fresher in reallive than on the photo you deisplay here.