This isn't really an ideal sight a captain likes to wake up to. But what we
have up here is my ship loading oil from an floating/storage oil tanker in
one of the oilfields off Mexico. Most places, ships like us tie up at Single
Buoy moorings (or SBM's) and load oil through flexible hoses, but quite
often, we tie up right behind these FPSO's and recv oil directly from them.
To be honest, this way gives me the creeps every time look at it. SBM's are
sturdy stuff. They are designed so that even if the ship rides up to it and
bangs it around a bit, it just moves away. Plus swinging around an SBM as
the tide changes is also a relatively simple matter, much akin to swinging
around on your anchor.
But FPSO's are bigger then your ship. And I don't like getting close to
things bigger then my ship. I find that things bigger then my ship rarely
make way for my ship. So I am always glad to cast off from the bloody thing
and put as much distance as possible between my ship and it.