My latest African adventure is now in full swing, and despite the not so best start (thanks to KLM luggage services), I am loving it. Saturday was a very long day of travelling, starting my journey at Norwich airport, hopping over the pond to Amsterdam. This leg of the journey was plain sailing until I saw the dreaded word ‘delayed’ next to my connecting flight to Paris. Due to ‘weather restrictions’ I made me final flight from Paris to Dakar by the skin of my teeth! Upon landing at Charles De Gaulle my flight to Dakar was departing in 15 minutes, I sprinted through the airport to the terminal, repeatedly hearing my name called out through the airport tannoy instructing me to board immediately. This inconvenient sprint was the least of my worries as the journey was about to go from bad to worse.
Immediately stepping off the plane in Dakar the humidity hit me. The airport arrivals was utter madness, masses of bodies profusely perspiring and pushing to reach security. The wait was excruciating taking just over 1 hour, I thought to myself in the queue ‘I can not wait to get to the hotel now, to get out of these dirty clothes and have a nice shower’. The madness continued even past security, people desperately fighting to get to their luggage circling on the tiny carrousel. I stood patiently for a little of 10minutes and then a sign appeared on the carousel with my name plastered all over it, instructing I report to the KLM office. I had made it to Africa but my luggage hadn’t, IT WAS STILL IN PARIS!
After being told that my luggage wouldn’t be with me until the following evening I just wanted to burst into tears. I started to panic, as there was no way I could survive offshore for 6 weeks without my possessions. The airport had not a single shop to even buy toothpaste in before departing to the hotel. After a quick trip to port immigration I arrived at the hotel. I washed my clothes in the hotel sink and laid them out to dry in a half hearted effort to freshen them up for the following day.
I was a free agent on Sunday as we weren’t boarding the vessel until Monday morning. Despite not having all of my essentials I spent the day relaxing at the hotel, reading by the pool, taking a swim and catching up with work colleagues that I hadn’t seen for quite a while. At 11pm I had a knock on my hotel room door – my luggage had arrived just in the nick of time.
The last couple of days have been spent onboard the vessel settling into our shifts and preparing to head offshore in a few days time. I am so happy to be back offshore getting my hands dirty once again; doing the job that genuinely makes me so happy. I am looking forward to seeing what the next 6 weeks of work brings as it looks like we have some serious amount of drilling, testing and sampling to complete.
I hope you are all having a great start to your week!