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The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Soknown: 4:44pm On Jul 16, 2021
I have been to different places in my life, non is as diverse, deep, and awesomely interesting as the deep blue sea.

My first sojourn into this life started in 2006, after leaving Wilbros's project in Badagry. Wilbros now Acorn was laying a gas pipeline from Escravos across different terrain, swamps, rivers, jungles, roads, and settlements through to Lagos en route to other West African countries.

I still remember Okor-afor campsite, Ajido and Agbado Gas station, our relaxation hub, whispering Palms resort. The project was named West African Gas Pipeline. The company that I worked for was providing ambulatory emergency services and cover for the project so we were following these men from camp to site, swamps to the jungle. I cannot remember the number of times that my ambulance got stuck in the swamp and had to be towed out by an excavator. I was awed by the number of Catfish living in the wild in swamps, we made quite a few catches. Some are as big as a human leg and very delicious in a pepper soup.

Before I jump right in let me state here that the purpose of the thread is to educate, enlighten and add to the body of knowledge on Nairaland, It is possible to be a short thread or it could be a very long one, it depends on the level of civility and decorum in our engagements, the quality of materials that I can muster and the amount of time that I can spare to write. Let us keep it civil folks. I intend to keep it interesting with pictures to boot.

I have been across rivers and streams prior to this time in 2006 but nothing prepared me for this next stage of my life. So I was deployed to the Snepco project operating from snake island in Lagos. The theatre of operation was Tincan Island/Nigerdock. It involves using a Surfer boat launched daily from Tincan port to offshore in monitoring flights from both LOS and the offshore platforms. So basically we stayed in between LOS and the locations. The project was a tripartite contract between A major rotary-wing operator, 3 IOCs, and the government as the regulator of course. Remembering my first days on this project now as I write, this song comes to mind ‘ Oju e ni ma la aa ri o, Oju e ni ma la ari yonu’.

On my first day on the job, there was no power in the house, it was too early to put on a generator. I used the torch on my Samsung J700 ( Samsung J700 was a slip phone that the company used Didier Drogba to advertise back then) I left, Taiwo street, Alaguntan Bus/stop Iyana Ipaja very early in the morning, I got to Bolade, Oshodi at about 0500hr. I got a bus going to Liverpool and we proceeded. The trip was smooth until we got to Mile 2 bridge, there was traffic as early as 0530hr, traffic was moving at snail speed from MTN maritime house till we got to Coconut bridge. I alighted from the bus at Tincan's second gate then walked down to the main gate. I moved to the Jetty gate and presented my letter of introduction to the security, he radioed to the control room to confirm my presence. I was led to the jetty and waited for the rickety ferry. Two ferries operate across the two ends of the Tincan port on the 5 cowry creek. The first rickety ferry is for moving personnel across the creek and the second one is a long barge to move vehicles including oil tankers. The jetty was a beehive of activities as mariners and Niger-dock workers jostle for space in the ferry.

On getting to the island end, The environment felt different. The ambience was great, with cool air, spaced housing, power supply, a lot of greenery, unlike the chaos that I survived before getting to the jetty. I was directed to the control rooms for my ID processing. All done within few minutes. So I proceeded to the anchorage very near the dry dock. The dry dock is a big rectangular concrete box that has an iron gate that can be opened and closed to let the ship in before the water is drained away so that the body of the ship can be worked on.

It is amazing looking at various ships dry-docked, bare butt, and unencumbered by water like a nude model being worked on by the make-up artist. Only that these artists are not the usual soft face, brush wielding, powder sprinkling smiling faces, they are hard faces, with harder hander hands, wielding hammers, wire brushes, electric sanding machine, Chisel, sandblasting machines, and paintbrushes to make this particular iron lady a darling of the sea that she once was.

These are gifted hands that do diagnostic, clinical, and cosmetic surgeries on the various ships, they are named welders, Scaffolders, roast about, deckhand, sandblasters, safety officers, iron scanners, painters all decked in oil-soaked cover-all working tirelessly to return the sea beast to the sea. What fun to watch.
Besides the dry dock where she was, anchored, Delicately Perched on the waters like a bumblebee perched on a sunflower. Paragon of beauty, powerfully endearing, looking delicate like a butterfly wing yet powerful and beastly on the surf.

This boat was a beauty in and out, sitting elegantly on the dark waters but unstained. Sleek and Splendid, petite lady with a big engine, the cynosure of all eyes along the creek, darling of the brave and tormentor of small boats and canoes. Surfer 1822, A Bourbon Interoil made surfer boat. The 1800 series was top of the range then. Later on, I got so familiar with this boat that I could hear the moaning of her engine right from the Tincan gate. We refueled right there at the Jetty, the Seaman or the roast-about has collected our food from the kitchen and that was it. The Seaman removed the rope that tied the boat to the dock, The Captain eased off from the jetty and We set sail, Bon voyage.

My first day on the high sea.
Surfer 1822 ( called one eight two two and not eighteen twenty-two) was a 22 pax capacity service/rescue boat commissioned as a proactive measure to monitor flights and offer emergency rescue in the unfortunate incident of choppers crashing into the sea. Ironically many years later when I needed this kind of service, the contract has been terminated. If you have moved in a chopper to any of the offshore facilities within LOS and offshore locations belonging to the big four IOCs, we were on the floor of the ocean monitoring your smooth passage like the guardian angels that we were.

The boat was manned by four men, The captain, the medic, the seaman, and the diver. We have on-board top-of-the-range navigation equipment and also rescue equipment. The Captain is responsible for getting us to the designated position on the sea and also the day-to-day running of the boat, including general correspondence, logistics supplies. Thuraya was top of the range phone then, we had two on board because there was no cellular coverage on the deep sea, even with the Thuraya phones, we have to wander around on the sea looking for strong signals.

The medic, which was my humble self. was responsible for evacuation equipment and supply, general maintenance, daily, a weekly and monthly test of the equipment, and stock inventory. I was the lead personnel for emergency and rescue operations. I coordinated medical drills, real recovery, resuscitation, and evacuation of victims and was also responsible for the welfare of the crew members.

The seaman assisted me and the captain in whatever roll we deem fit. While the diver was to dive into the sea to rescue victims and sometimes to declutter the keel and underbelly of the boat.

It was awesome fun to watch as the boating ease out of anchorage into the open creek passing incoming and outgoing RoRo, tugs, tankers, and canoes. Outside of the creek, the boat kissed the waves as she picked up the pace, racing past the mother ships who were too big to enter the port but had to berth at the harbor serviced by small boats. It was April so the sea was relatively calm, the boat rod rode and surfed in what looked like an endless journey to nowhere, it took about 45 minutes traveling at 35knots/hour to reach our designated position.

I wondered how they knew the particular spot we were supposed to be, there was no Bus stop, skyscraper landmark, or street name. Well, there were coordinates and compass, perfect guidance.
Sometimes we drifted from our location and had to ride back to the location.

So the waiting game started before the airwaves buzzed,
5NB*** 1822, come in
1822 go ahead.
5NB*** Switch to channel X
5NB*** Departed LOS @ ***** approaching ******, ETA *****, ** Souls on Board. Endurance ******
1822, Roger all that.

The captain logged the information in his book, and our business for the day commenced. We know the distance between LOS and each location so if a particular bird forgot to tell us of her flight, we track her down because the pilot was sometimes too occupied with flying that they forgot to tell big brother on the seafloor.

Before my field postings, I have worked in the call center so I was very fluent in NATO-phonetic alphabets, the 26 code words, thingy. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, Xray, Yankee, Zulu. So following discussions on the coms was easy for me.

The first day was not too bad for me as I was not seasick, I had bought peppermint sweets or candy if you may, the day before so anytime I felt sick I was popping sweet in my mouth or going to the deck for fresh air and sunlight.

After 1 week, I stopped feeling sick altogether. The rotation was one week on – one week off.

29 Likes 5 Shares

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by KallmemrB0: 5:09pm On Jul 16, 2021
No picture.. Nothing to prove your stories


Asking for pics is not a crime because its a life I have actually experience in full... I know I have gone abit far into the deep blue... Into the international waters with Great nautical miles to count
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Soknown: 12:58am On Jul 17, 2021
There she is.

7 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Adlac(m): 9:36am On Jul 17, 2021
Interesting.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by hustla(m): 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
Hmm
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by peppermint7(m): 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
Cdx
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by hakym619(m): 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
cry
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by wewillbealright: 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
Following
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Igbofirstfarmer: 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
Good
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by minoc: 9:37am On Jul 17, 2021
Beautiful read.

4 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by MANNABBQGRILLS: 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
It is amazing looking at various ships dry-docked, bare butt, and unencumbered by water like a nude model being worked on by the make-up artist. Only that these artists are not the usual soft face, brush wielding, powder sprinkling smiling faces, they are hard faces, with harder hander hands, wielding hammers, wire brushes, electric sanding machine, Chisel, sandblasting machines, and paintbrushes to make this particular iron lady a darling of the sea that she once was.
You write so lovely.
We can relate to life on the sea.
It is always a beautiful experience each time.

scientistbf:
Yawn
Yes yawn.
This thread ain't for lazy readers.
Happy yawning o smiley

10 Likes 5 Shares

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by olufolarin2222: 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
This should be more than 450 words essay we are being taught in school, summary will be appreciated

3 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by McOluOmo: 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
Madiba Madiba

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Soknown: 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
Thank you Mods, I just realized that my topic made the front page.

3 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by victons(m): 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
I fitn't read to the end.
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by pafestula(m): 9:38am On Jul 17, 2021
Who get time to read this your epistles? Credit alert go follow after reading? Abeg I get better things to do today.

3 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Hogabo: 9:40am On Jul 17, 2021
Read m

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by PrimadonnaO(f): 9:43am On Jul 17, 2021
A nice little tale that was of significance to the OP... smiley

2 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Allbutty: 9:43am On Jul 17, 2021
.
Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by scientistbf: 9:43am On Jul 17, 2021
Yawn

3 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Mide3367: 9:44am On Jul 17, 2021
Following

1 Like

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Dotman2210(m): 9:46am On Jul 17, 2021
Interesting read, welldone bro

2 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Vinane: 9:49am On Jul 17, 2021
Woe

1 Like

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by LegalWolf: 9:50am On Jul 17, 2021
KallmemrB0:
No picture.. Nothing to prove your stories

He told you to be civil before he proceeded, this is really annoying. Must you comment?

10 Likes

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Prism(f): 9:50am On Jul 17, 2021
Wonderful write up @op
Your write up was quite interesting for me because I am able to visualize what I read. Don't be discouraged. Pls keep the story going! Cheers!

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by LegalWolf: 9:50am On Jul 17, 2021
Please go on. You’re an amazing writer OP

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Memoir, Life And Time On Nigerian Waters Through The Eyes Of A Nurse. by Dayotheeone(m): 9:51am On Jul 17, 2021
good story but too long, this is more of story telling than an educative write up

1 Like 1 Share

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