It's been awhile since my last entry. I apologize I have been offshore for awhile now. This last trip has been more of a headache than anything. Last I left ya'll we were going back out to patrol our designated waters. It was going great the first several days. We filled our bladder full of oil, but this time it was different; there seemed to be a huge build up of gas inside the bladder. We had to go offload it even though it wasn't really full of oil. We took our bladder to a barge to be offloaded, which usually takes at least 3 hours if they have nothing else they are working on. Anyway, later that night (around 8 o clock) they called and told us to come get our bladder because the barge was headed for Pensacola. The barge was literally about 1000 yards away from our shrimp boat, but our skimmer is so slow it took us about 15 minutes to get there. The waters were calm when we left, but out of no where a storm came along and made that 1000 yard trip a 2 hour long endeavor on the ride back. The storm took out our canopy we had up for shade. It was rather interesting as waves broke over the side of the boat and my capt. singing the theme song to Gilligan's Island and sideways rain/wind. Everytime we made a little progress, a wave would come along and push us back, we eventually made it to the shrimpers.
After that we had more troubles. The next morning we had a problem. There was a kink in our hose that pumps the oil into our bladder; so we used a winch on the shrimp boat to pull up the bladder and fix the kink. Well, long story short, we got a rope caught on the prop of the shrimp boat that was attached to the back of our bladder. So the capt. of our shrimp boat decided to get the other shrimp boat to come pull on our skimmer (which is attached to the bladder) to free everything, well doing that caused the hose connected to the bladder to rip in half. This made the Shrimp boat capt. quite angry, so he quit right there on the spot and left. (He comes back later) We tried to calm him down but he wouldnt. (Most seasoned shrimpers are just like him its go, go, go and if you can't fix it why are you here.) He was upset that it was gonna take us a day to fix a problem he caused. We got it fixed, and got to skimming for the next several days.
The capt. of the skimmer decided he needed time off so he left for a month and we now have a new boss to get used too. Since he has come on we have had nothing but trouble. In one day we ripped a hose off, our skimming belt also ripped in half (the treadmill looking thing), the hose in turn took out a leg of my canopy destroying our tent for the second time. And our boom somehow ripped in half.
On top of all of this hurricane Alex forced us out of the water, but before we could come in we had to get our boat decontaminated at a barge. The barge took 3 hours to do it, and all they used was a pressure washer on the outside which just knocks the oil from one place to another. Oil doesnt really come off like that. Our boat looked hardly clean but we took our it to dock, and went to the hotel to get some sleep. We came back to make repairs on the boat the next morning and a safety man came over and noticed oil and sheen were coming off our boat, because of the worst decontamination job ever. He took a photo with his iphone, and I left to get supplies. I came back 10 minutes later and there were literally 50 safety men quarantining off our boat. So they boomed off our boat and began scrubbing it down, and preventing me from doing work so I got 2 days off. It really was kinda ridiculous to watch these guys work, does it really take 20 men to clean a 8 ft, blow up zodiac, or 20 men to run boom around our boat, and tie it off? It really was too funny, a coworker got a video of what Im talking about (which will be posted soon). But finally, they got our boat cleaned up and we are now underway.