I’m writing this courtesy of the free WiFi in KLM’s Crown Lounge in Amsterdam airport. It’s the first time that I’ve managed to get in here in all the times that I have been through Amsterdam. The key this time, was my ‘Flying Blue – Petroleum Club’ frequent flyer card. We had all been asked by the company to get one, obviously not for the benefit of access to the lounge but, because having the petroleum card is proof that an individual is eligible for ‘seaman’ discounted air fares – thus giving the company cheap options for crew-change flights!

As I said, I’m in Amsterdam, en-route back to Colorado. I actually got of the ship yesterday, but had to stay in a hotel overnight, as my arrival on-shore was too late to get a flight home that day (i.e. after 12 noon!) It was an early start, and I’ll have almost exactly 25 hours traveling (airport to airport) and almost exactly half of that time will be spent hanging around either Amsterdam or Minneapolis airports. Hence why I’m quite excited about actually being able to get into a lounge, where I can a least sit down in relative comfort for a while. Of course, free internet access and cappuccino on tap are additional pluses!

Minneapolis has always been less of a problem as, like almost all American airport hubs, my American Express card seems to get me into most airline lounges. (You just slip the card between the door and the door jamb, and slide it up until the card pushes the latch in… hey presto! – only joking)

So, what all has been going on between now and my last posting? Well, to be honest, not much of interest from my perspective.

The project that we were on with the Perseus didn’t have much involvement for us for the last few weeks, so we’ve mainly been catching up on maintenance and the like. Even that is a bit thin on the ground given that there has been a tailing off of interest in the Perseus’ systems in the last few month… everyone seems to be on a count-down to the de-mobilisation. There has still been the occasional questions from the office relating to the new-build vessel, Seven Pacific, but even those seem to  be tailing off as I think we’re at the stage where what they’ve decided already is what we’re going to get.

There has been an announcement about redundancies within the company owing to the global down-turn. Nothing specific as yet, other than the figure of 85 staff positions has been mentioned (along side an unspecified number of ‘contract’ positions). Of course, nothing on whether those are ON-shore or OFF-shore positions! The cynic in me is sort of assuming that they are on-shore positions, as there would have been little announcement or publicity if it were only the off-shore animals that were being laid off.

Anyhoo, more to the point, I’m on my way home. For that I’m happy, though perhaps with a little trepidation, as Dazzle says that this leaves job list has 45 items on it…..

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