27th Sept- 8th August 2013.
My colleagues and I were mentally prepared that we are going through a major shut down at longest span of period ever conducted at this platform. I have completely shutdown my mind from thinking of having a nice pair of raya outfit due to this event of the year.
So, if you happened to wonder how it feels like being at offshore. Here's the idea that I can think of to share here.
The platform was unmanned platform, that was designed for equipment only, and no man to reside on it. So it is just a small platform with big valves as big as 30 inc each. My team was assigned to replace a number of big valves there, that were never been replaced since the platform was installed back in...err.. 29 years back. Hey that is when I was born!
So the accommodation for hundreds of personnel was on a work barge, Sarku 2000. I snapped this pic from helicopter view when we were about to reach the location.
I was lucky to have my pic snapped this trip, because not every single trip that we were able to have this kinda opportunity when boarding the chopper. Strictly no camera actually.
I was the only lady engineer onboard, versus close to 200 pax of male personnel. It was my first year being in this work, and definitely I am still new to some of the key personnel. However, I have to work closely with them for the next two weeks, day and night, whether I like it or not.Scary no. But I have no choice, I have to complete whatever I have started.
So here I am, with a privilege of a suuuuper huge room. Indeed, it never cross my mind that my 2-week stay is this comfy honestly. Because when we commit ourselves to offshore life,then we have to face every possibility of series of uncomfortable routines , be it a good routine or otherwise.
Every single day we have to cross the gangway, the short bridge that connected from barge to the platform. Every once in a while the weather can be rough, and so was the swell. I was very thankful that swaying barge, we talking about 3-5 meter swell that hit the swaying barge did not give much effect to me when boss, colleagues and other crew started showing sign of sea sick and rushed to the platform. I cannot imagine if I was attacked with sea sick, that will be total nightmare to me. huhu.
leaving swaying barge due to rough sea during bad weather
construction crew busy days
As part of our morning routine is to update our boss on the daily progress of the shutdown activities. Yes, the most hi-tech device here was only a telephone in this small room.
Most of the time were spent at site to witness the work execution.When we returned to office, well, office on the barge, we spent our time updating task progress, everything (and yes,updating FB) here.
As all aware, it was fasting month. The most awaited moment was when we break the fast at platform. It was seriously finger licking delicious. Even though our cook was a male, everyday is never disappointing iftar.
The best part was when I don't have to get myself busy being "the lady of the house" to serve the male colleagues. They knew how to be a gentleman serving everyone of us. Ha ha ha.
This shutdown was planned to complete on 8th but with God willing, we managed to complete 3 days ahead the schedule. Alhamdulillah it was a blast!
Eid Fitr was approaching, I decided to stay until first day of raya. We were having nice raya delicacies and taking pictures with the team before the chopper approaching the barge.
All engineers in charge were leaving to celebrate Eid Fitr with their families except for me and colleague, Baem. I felt no regret, for this is the chance that I have to grab, just to get the variation of raya experiences.
This shutdown plan was truly a nerve wrecking thought, for it is still my junior year in this construction field, dealing with people with rough works in a challenging environment. I learnt so many lessons during my stay here, not about work alone, but it has also taught so many things about dealing with people with various personality. But at the end of the day, the wise woman wins. Ha ha.