wind turbine installation three

Wind Turbine

Installation, part three



ensure on board stewardess
day off catering straight through (2)
flexible deckhand on the same boat
nacelle assemble everything counts
deck interrupt blacksmith
boss turbine exhausting
steel supervisor commission
fit (2) windmill time-pressure
cram bridge (2) responsibility
wage permit (2) crewmember
vessel operate (2) bottom line
hire offshore competitive
 cabin adventure







Who said this is a man’s business?

Nothing on board would work without stewardesses, like Natasha Romanyuk. She helps ensure that everything in the kitchen and dining room runs smoothly.

Natasha Romanyuk: “I studied catering and hotel management, and I worked in a hotel in Holland.

Very sweet, fresh and good!”

Working straight through for four weeks with no days off is a hard school.

But everyone on board is on the same boat. There are no weekends or holidays on the Brave Tern.

The sixty men are under time-pressure: the 80 windmills out in the North Sea were supposed to be finished by now.

The project is a €1.7 billion investment.

Wind and weather have frequently interrupted work on the wind farm.

Now Lee Kellow has to make every hour count. The last windmill is his responsibility.

But the last nacelle, the machine house, is still on the ship’s deck, not on the windmill tower.

Lee Kellow is the lifting supervisor on deck . . . if something happens here, he’s responsible.

But he takes part in the physical labor too.

Lee Kellow: “We’re just preparing to lift the nacelle now. We’re hooking the tag lines to the crane so the crane can control it during the lift.

We’re just waiting for the times to hook things on and hook things off the hook, just to keep a record for the OCM; just for the daily report: what time we’ve left someone on the deck, what time someone landed.”

After twelve, exhausting hours on deck, he still has to do the paperwork in the office — his boss needs the report immediately.

Good people like Lee Kellow are hard to find.

The company recruits from many different professions.

Kell Hansen, Offshore Construction Manager: “Electrician would be a good start. Also, if it’s not installation, it could be commissioning, starting up the turbine, or the cable work.

You need to be flexible.

Also we’ve got blacksmiths, steel construction workers.

Piotr Piekutowski, working out in the exercise room. The assembly fitters need physical strength. Piotr, an officer, is here because he likes it. He’s here every second day.

Piotr Piekutowski, Second Officer: “You’re feeling much better. You feel fit. You’re feeling very happy.

When you’re sitting in your cabin watching the movie every day, you’re only getting much fatter, and you’re not happy. Believe me.”

On the bridge, stewardess, Adriana Shchesnay is cramming for a test to become a deckhand.

She knows she is going to lose her job, like many crewmembers.

Fred Alston Shipping is going to hire Filipinos at lower wages. But only the boss is permitted to talk to us about this.

Tony Cato, Brave Tern Captain: “In general, everybody has a bottom line for their operating costs. It cost so many thousands of dollars a day to operate this vessel.

And Fred Alston will always be looking for the best deal in the market, to hire the best lads for competitive day rates, so they can compete with other companies installing offshore wind farms.”

Costs are a big pressure on the shipping company.

Filipino seamen are well-trained, and will also get responsible jobs on the bridge.

Piotr Piekutowski is lucky: his contract is not temporary; he’ll be keeping his job.

Piotr Piekutowski, Second Officer: “You are growing up with your experience, so you can join other vessels.

From the beginning to the end, you are always in an adventure.”

This is part of the job too: a trip home by helicopter. After many weeks at sea, leave to go home.

But what about the last windmill?

It’s still not finished.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. Only males are allowed to work on the Brave Tern ship. Is this right or wrong? What positions do females (generally) have?

2. Do the employees on board the ship officially work 9 to 5, from Monday to Friday, with weekends off? Have they actually worked every single day?

3. Lee Kellow, the lifting supervisor, only supervise and tells his subordinates what to do. Yes or no? If one of his workers makes a mistake, whose fault it is? Who is responsible?

4. When Lee Kellow finishes his work shift, does he relax, have a beer and play billiards?

5. Many different specialists are needed in the windmill installation project. Is this true or false? What are some examples of the different specialists?

6. After their shifts, do all the crew members only rest, relax, eat, drink and watch TV?

7. Because the crew members are very skilled, experienced, loyal and hard-working, they will always be working for the same company. Yes or no?


A. There are lots of windfarms, solar farms and other alternative, green energy in my country. Yes, no, there are a few, some, a lot, many.

B. Do you or your friends work on board a ship? What is it like? My friend and I would like to work on board a ship. True or false? Why or why not?

C. I work a “regular” 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job. Yes or no? Do you know people who work in shifts or irregular, unsocial hours?

D. There should be more encouragement, emphasis and investment in green or alternative energy. What do you think?

E. What will probably happen in the future?

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