Offshore operations

The boat quest has rather come off the boil lately. Have not had time to do any boating, looking at boats or writing about boats. I have been concentrating on earning the money to buy our dream boat.
Which is why I am sitting on a tug boat off Angola. We have basic email facilities but no internet, which makes blogging impossible anyway.
I am expecting to be in Luanda tomorrow and will be able to post this article then.
Watching the operation out here, it occurred to me that most people have no idea about the extent of the activities, or amount of people involved in the whole process of getting that precious black liquid up from where it hides.
We are at the moment some 200 km NW of Luanda. The water is about 1500 metres deep.
There is an established oilfield here. Huge tankers are continually arriving, mooring up to the large mooring bouy, receiving thousands of tons of oil from the floating production platform, and heading off to deliver its cargo to a distant part of the globe. The boat I am on assists with the mooring and unmooring of the tankers and various support tasks.

Connecting up to a tanker

Many people are employed out here in the field, on the production platforms and on the other boats. There is one craft that is a base for transitting stores and people. The crews out here work usually 5 or 6 weeks on, and the same period off.
I am engaged in some safety training and coaching for the company that operates the tugs, so I am only here for two weeks. I will be heading off to another tug operating in a different field off Point Noire in the Congo for another two weeks.
The Captain on this boat is Dutch, so naturally I have picked his brains about Holland and boating there. I think in the end I will buy a Dutch Steel Design boat of some sort or other. He tells me there are many boats for sale at the moment there. So what better place to head for on our next trip than Holland. And that will probably be somewhere around September this year.
I will keep you posted, if somewhat sporadically.

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