A typical day on site for this particular load-out begins with the alarm at 5.30am, which signals the need for me to gather my stuff, grab a coffee and drive out to the port. At such an early time, the roads are quiet and the drive provides time to go over the scope mentally, preparing for the day ahead. Arriving at the port at 6.45am, things are kicked off with a toolbox talk, which clearly enumerates the tasks of the day, setting out what lifting, welding and securing needs to take place, by whom and at what time. This is followed by consultation, for example, if we are lifting, I will liaise with the crane operator, the banksman, and the foreman of the loading crew to ensure we are all clear on the intended operations.
After that it is a question of marking out the location for the cargo and laying down suitable dunnage. With the stevedores the next task is landing the cargo, ensuring that it is in its correct location as well as dunnage is positioned correctly. Once landed, I will then set about marking the locations for any stoppers or D-rings which require to be welded to the deck and move onto the next unit to be loaded. There is usually some discussion with the stevedores with regards the lashing arrangement and what, exactly is required. We then move onto the next unit and repeat until the end of the day, when all loading is complete. I tend to then remain on site for a period, to ensure that any outstanding questions from the welders or stevedores are addressed and answered, after which start the drive back to the hotel. Once there, I will set about drawing a “map” of the next few units to be loaded with reference dimensions to the bulkheads, other units etc., as well as noting the securing arrangement. This repeating of the CAD drawing allows the information to be fresh in my head and tailored to suit the actual location of the cargo and vessel condition. As the day ends, I will sign off already preparing for the next early start – keen to progress to the next stage of the scope and deliver to a satisfied client.