|Fair Weather Fiends|
From the start of this day's 0700H muster, I had a good feeling about today. The weather has improved by leaps and bounds, and the haze has finally given way to the easterly winds. They have not veered to a fullblown ( pardon the pun ) North Easterly wind, which would signal the reign of the like named monsoon, but certainly finding all radio operators at the rigs annunciating a North Westerly wind of 3-5 knots, is reassurance that the extended gloatings of aircraft captains over having dominion of the rig approaches will phase off till the resumption of the South Westerly monsoon in the first quarter of the next year.
|Panoramic shot of the Seligi oilfields|
Obviously with such crystalline visibility, looking around became rather enjoyable compared to months and months of gazing at rigs floating in the murk of haze and mist. We were on a long-haul today on the East Piatu-Belumut Alpha combination which invariably meant that we would be shutting down at East Piatu and the doing a rig start up on internal battery to Belumut Alpha.
|Tangga Barat Alpha and a cavorting logistics boat|
En route I looked down at Dulang oilfield, the sea a specific brilliant blue, with the Tangga Barat Alpha rig accompanied by a logistics boat kicking up quite a plume of froth in its wake as it curved anticlockwise around the rig.
On deck East Piatu, the shutdown was carried out quickly as the captain was in need of a trip to the gents and to raise his blood nicotine level. He left the technical team to do the refuelling and caught me wandering along the maze of staircases wrapped around the platform. He suggested I join him down at the galley and I gladly agreed, feeling my own blood caffeine levels at an insane low.
The galley was a handsomely stocked, replete with a drinks refrigerator, coffee,tea, cereal, creamer and Milo. The dining area was furnished with a 60-inch plasma television and HTIB ( home theatre in a box ) with astro. Just adjacent to the dining tables was the briefing enclosure, also equipped with a plasma televison and HTIB. As the captain and I surveyed the food stock in the galley, newbies herded into the briefing enclosure for the safety video show.
I reached for the coffee jug sitting on the hot platter and poured myself a generous mug. As the brew tinkled into the mug, the comforting aroma made me feel at home in the galley, and I savoured each sip to the last drop. By which time, the captain went to the smoking room for a last drag and we were due for a battery start for Belumut Alpha.
|Floating Storage Offshore Bunga Kertas|
En route Belumut at 2500 feet, the pristine weather held steady. The flight path brought us to FSO Bunga Kertas sitting approximately at the half-way point. The brilliant blue sky, the 3-5 knot winds teasing the sea into tiny ripples, and her distinctively erect flare boom made her a sight to behold on this sunny day.
Landing at Belumut Alpha was, just as with East Piatu, a copilot's approach into the prevailing wind that convinced me that the winds had shifted. I realise that I should be brushing up on instrument approaches, for along with the windshift comes the monsoon, with its own set of operational restrictions due to its attendant weather manifestations, complicating recovery from offshore to our mother airfield.
|Regular evening thunderstorms reflect the shift in weather|
I welcome a change in weather.
A change, any change, hints of hope that maybe other doldrum-laden portions of my life may change and cause freshness to alter my personal landscape.