Waiting...patiently...well not perhaps totally patiently but have no option but to wait to be honest. On Magellan (a jack-up rig), which is currently attached to Shearwater, and waiting for the chopper to lift from the Beach to take me home. Up just after 5 this morning to do a presentation at 6 and struggling to concentrate on anything else now for the rest of the day. Have finished an evaluation report and almost finished another report but got a cracking sore head now so can't really concentrate on something else. Might do some more knitting in a wee while but I'd really love to just sit and sleep. Better wait until I'm on the chopper.
Still remember the first time flying offshore, all bundled up in my survival suit and other safety kit. Watching all these guys falling asleep before we even left the ground and thinking "I'll never be able to do that!" Funny how you manage within a very short space of time. There is a certain skill in being able to fall asleep very easily whilst flying on the choppers or the fixed wing flights. The benefits of the choppers is that they are so damned noisy that no-one can hear you snore or any of those snorty noises that you make when you nod off and your head drops to your chest. Whoever said flying was glamourous lied...profusely!
Thing is - this trip I get to see the chopper (aka the paraffin budgie) landing on Shearwater which I think is pretty cool. Even after 3 years of doing this I still find the whole flying thing pretty smart. Watching something come into land on such a small area of space. Watching the manoeverability of the machines and their pilots. Flying past these structures in the middle of the North Sea that people are working away on. Making a living. Getting on with people in an enclosed environment. Sharing your living space with no, or very little, choice in who you might end up sharing a cabin with. Who you share your free time with?! You just do what you have to. If you enjoy your time it's a bonus but for most it's something they do to provide a life for others.
And when it goes tits up, as it invariably does for a proportion? When the separation becomes too much? Divorce, relationships breakdown, don't survive...they just have to carry on regardless. Sometimes it's a good place to be in those times. An escape from all the shit that's going on at home. Other times it's the last place you want to be. There is no privacy. Can't make a phone call without folk listening in - it's not deliberate, just the soundproofing isn't always that great. Can't come back out of the phone booth upset or crying as everyone will see. Can't let that macho face slip. Can't let folk see the pussycat that hides behind the North Sea Tiger. Surrounded by folk but feel incredibly lonely and can't go anywhere to be alone.
That's when it's hard.