So, here I am now, in Amsterdam. We spent the day Wednesday in the offices in Zoetermeer again, then moved to a hotel in Den Helder to be close to the airport for our offshore visit to the platform today.
So, we headed out from the hotel at 5:30 am -- which came very early! I went to bed a normal time last night, but I'm not sure it ever got full dark. It was still light around midnight and when I got up at 4:30, it was light out. Not sunlight by any means, but certainly not full dark.
We headed to the airport and learned how to survive if the helicopter went down, then we got suited up in these lovely survival suits:
Let me just say, I am so very glad that it was not too warm today!!!
Then we hopped onto the helicopter and headed out to the L10A Platform (about 65 km offshore):
I took this photo from the helicopter -- this platform was originally built about 30 years ago by Placid Oil International, which was one of the first companies to explore in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. It is amazing to me that it is in such good shape and still in regular operations!
Once we got on the platform, we got to take off the helicopter survival suit, but we had to don more fun safety gear:
then we started a tour of the facility. It was amazing. The guys that work on these offshore facilities work 14 on/14 off shifts. As technology has progressed, they have been able to incorporate lots of ways for them to pass the time - a great workout facility, internet room, movie rooms, etc.
The production manager, Kick Sterkman
led a lot of our tour, assisted by Hank and Tom, who have both worked for Gaz de France (and it's predecessor companies all the way back to Placid) for over 20 years.
All in all, it was a great day and I learned a whole lot more about this industry that I work in. The last thing we did, was load up back on the helicopter to head back onshore:
Then we headed into Amsterdam and here I am now, ready to be a tourist for a couple of days!
(10:00 pm Amsterdam time)