A blessed life on the water....
Dampier Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
December 12th, 2006 – by: genetravelling
I used to work on two different rigs - both off the North West coast of Western Australia. Its a 45minute helicopter ride out from Dampier onto the rigs.
The rigs sit in about 130m of water and are usually 25m off the sea level. Storms and cyclones have gone through the rigs where the waves were up to 30m and hitting the platform! I was out there for a couple cyclones but they were not that bad.
Living out here was certainly one of the best times of my life. Not only was the life on the rig fantastic. But when i'd finished work for the two weeks. I had two weeks holiday to do whatever i wanted! That meant more travelling!
The rigs are home to up to around 140men, and usually a few women! They work in 12hour shifts and everyone typically does a 14 day shift.
The rigs are predominantly producing gas, with some light oils... it is sent by pipeline to the shore where it is processed and sent off to the rest of the world: mostly Japan but also China and some other countries.
The rigs are both a couple hundred metres long and wide and about 50,000tonnes all up.
I was lucky to be a supervisor so my job was to walk around all day climbing over the rig and its equipment. Daily tasks were kept interesting with lots to see, do, plenty of friendly, extremely jovial, hard working people to interact with and a beautiful blue ocean all around us at all times.
We'd often get to watch sharks having feeding frenzies, whales rubbing their barnacles on the pillars, eagles nesting in the towers, and massive schools of fish wading in the shade of the platform. It was nearly always hot but the sea breezes did a lot to keep us cool.
It's a very comfortable life. I had my bed made for me, room cleaned and all my clothes washed and pressed for me every day! There was a cinema, lounge room, library, computer room, outside gym, inside gym, and the buffet served three times a day was phenomenal! The fridges were also kept stocked with goodies for a snack at any time.
At lunch time i'd go and strip down on the heli deck and sunbake for 20minutes. Man did that put the pep back in you for the afternoon!
I used to work in the gym every evening then finish with Yoga on the Heli-deck. I used to relish these moments as one of the most beautiful times of my life. It was an emotional joy to pause and reflect while i lay stretching on my back on the landing pad. A fresh brisk sea breeze whistling across the deck, with the soothing mumble of the ocean below, whilst i looked up at the moon slowly rising and the plethora of stars starting to dazzle and twinke above me. It's a startling and humbling revelation to feel both insignificantly alone and yet totally at peace, as just one tiny insignicant speck in the universe.
I'll always cherish this place....
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