Saturday, February 7, 2009

What You Should Bring When You Go Offshore

Travel Light! There’s no point bringing in your entire cupboard and kitchen sink. Packing up to go offshore should be as minimal as it can be and only the essentials should be nicely tucked in that luggage of yours. Here’s the MUST have list and why:

CLOTHES

I thought I should start with the obvious. The clothes you actually need on the barge should be in three pairs. Three pairs of T-Shirts or collar shirts, three pairs of underwear, three pairs of shorts/pants/jeans and three pairs of socks.

Of course, one of them pairs are the clothes you will be using when you travel to the barge and it will also be the same clothes when you get off from the barge to travel home later for time off – so make sure that pair is the ‘stylo-milo’ one. You don’t want to end up looking ancient in the airport with some worn-out clothes. In addition, you should always bring your coverall. One coverall is good enough.

Laundry is done twice daily for both day shift personnel and night shift personnel. It is taken care by the catering crew so you don't have to do it yourself. Even for those cunts with super clean habits, they can get their clothes washed up, dried, FOLDED and sent to their cabin everyday.

CHOCOLATE & MINT


Other than as a good snack, chocolate and mint can be a useful item to bring offshore. Although with all the good food on board, chocolate and mint is hard to come by. With it you can barter trade for something else, like a pack of ciggarettes and other items you might need or as a sign of appreciation to a co-worker when he helps you out with, for example, fixing your laptop problems, internet connectivity problems, urgent expenses claims or even for a piece of good advice. Your money is no good ON the barge - everything from food to laundry services are provided free here anyway.

FOREIGN CURRENCY

....of course before leaving home, you should have ready the right currency for the country you will be travelling to. I find it easier to have them ready at hand because of the rush I have to go through before I reach the final destination. Some offshore workers have to go through 3 transits and the wait can be between 30 minutes to 15 hours in the airport. With the right currency at hand you can skip the money changer hassle and rush to the nearest bookstore to purchase that new edition of FHM magazine.

Shavers and nail clipper is also a must. You should also make sure you bring 2 pairs of tooth brush. One is enough but you can never be sure that you will be going home on time as scheduled so that extra tooth brush will be a blessing at that sort of situation. Did I mentioned tooth paste...no? Ok, tooth paste too. Big ones.

As the accomodation on the barge is fully air conditioned, skin moisturising cream is another essential item you should bring. I know women usually uses these items, but when your skin starts drying up and your face feels like its going to tear everytime you smile, you will know that you need it. You find yourself starting to put a note like "Buy Nivea Moisturiser For Men - Next Trip" in your organiser. In fact, get the whole package, Facial Scrub, Facial Wash and Facial Moisturiser - All in one package which shouldn't cost more than RM100 - Get those written with "For Men..." so that you won't be too embarrased to pay for it on the counter. While you are at it, also take a bottle of Minyak Cap Kapak (Eucalyptus Oil).

What you DO NOT need to bring however are things like, a towel, a blanket, pillows and pillow cases, spoons, forks, knives, plates and soap - All these things are provided free on the barge. Not forgetting also, you do not have to bring any medicine or multivitamins which you can readily get from the Barge Doctor or Medic at the Barge Clinic. Cun eh...?

MOBILE PHONES AND LAPTOPS

Its always good to have these two technologies as your travel companion. But I have to put these two under the "see the circumstances" category. This is because some oil and gas companies allow them offshore while some like Shell and Petronas have a strict regulation against bringing them in. Well, if you can't then you can't. There's always the phone booth on the barge and also the iCafe. So, no worries if you can't bring them. Besides, its not rare that you will be 4 to 10 hours away from land by crew boat, you think you can find a handphone signal there?

2 comments:

  1. hi Will, I am here again... if i go offshore, my most important item is surely the PC.. notebook, laptop ..whatever... as long as can contact with the outside world, i wont be so homesick...

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  2. Hi reanaclaire, yes indeed, same goes for everyone but companies like Shell & Petronas are very strict on not allowing them going on-board so you are likely to risk having your laptop / handphone taken away at the terminal.

    Homesick is something everyone face here when they come over the first time, but after 3 to 4 trips, you'll get use to it..

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