Friday, July 1, 2011
Makes no sense
We, meaning our tug and barge, are on charter for 2 months with BP.
Yep, I know, we're working for the devil.
Anyway, being on charter means BP pays my company a "day rate", or a bunch of cash per day so they (BP) can have us (tug and barge) at their beck and call, to do with us whatever they wish.
I've been in this industry a long time but there must be so much I do not understand.
When I came to work a little over three weeks ago, we sat in an anchorage for over 2 weeks.
But still getting paid by BP.
Finally, and as luck would have it, as crew change Wednesday got closer, the powers that be, at BP, came up with a job for us to do. Of course they did.
Our orders were to load the barge at a dock in Texas City, TX, and take the product about 400 miles, by way of the Gulf of Mexico, to a small town north of New Orleans, LA.
We gathered the best minds on the boat, well actually, we gathered every mind, and came to the conclusion that if we left Texas City as scheduled in the wee hours of Monday morning, we would be arriving in the New Orleans area late on Wednesday, just in time for a somewhat normal crew change. And in reality, the only thing the crew really cares about as crew change day approaches, is crew change.
So, off we go, towing our barge in a calm sea, the spirits of the crew on the rise as they prepare emotionally and physically to get off the boat. We are about 70 miles from the entrance to the roaring Mississippi River, when our phone rings.
It's BP on the line.
"Never mind," they said. "Just kidding," they insinuated, "we were just messin with ya. Could you turn around and go back to the same anchorage where you had just been for the LAST TWO WEEKS?"
So we turn around, and head back to Texas City following the same route, in reverse, that we had just taken for the last 2 days. We accomplished nothing.
Spirits sank quicker than a penny thrown into the deep end of the pool. Phone calls were made to family, explaining that we would be a few days late in getting home, and trying to give a reason. We burned about 20,000 gal of fuel on our trip to nowhere, and that's all on BP.
Sometimes this business makes no sense.