Most enjoyable job you ever had

Continuing the discussion from What's The Worst Job In The Maritime Industry?:

This is depressing. How about the best job you’ve ever had?

I have 2 tied for 1st place. Marine coordinator in the film industry and live-aboard dive boat captain in the Bahamas.

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The last one I had before retiring.


Changed the title to most enjoyable.


Too many jobs to mention but the first to come to mind was on a 180’ standby osv out of Cameron LA. Summer of 2001 we stayed on a bouy for a week at a time, go to the jack-up, go to Cameron & then back to the bouy for another week. Only a generator running when on the bouy. Everything was chipped & painted within a month & then it was nothing but fishing, grilling & swimming. It was the only time in my life I ever had a really good tv style tan. I would say we fished from sun up to sun down but can’t because we fished at night too. Once we figured out how to get beer we were in osv GoM paradise. Forgotten by our office, with slick as glass seas with beautiful sun rises & sunsets everyday. Every few days a thunderstorm would roll through & rinse everything off for us.

8 years later I had another standby do-nothing job for a summer on an ATB babysitting 3 waste oil barges in Chesapeake Bay out of Norfolk. Besides the projects I took on nothing got done. The tug & barges looked shitter at the end of summer then what they did at the end of spring. No beer, no fishing worth mentioning & no grilling. I’m sure I would have been ratted out by someone if I jumped overboard for a swim. Those grumpy bastards mostly sat around talking shit about the other crew & each other, saying how lazy everyone else was. From what I could tell, that’s the same thing the other crew did too.

The point is, my most enjoyable jobs were so because of my enjoyable shipmates. It’s the crew & capt that makes the difference when it comes to a job being enjoyable or not. Fishing & beer helps too.


Most of you did your own nav on each watch according to the merchies I knew that went Navy. But I sure enjoyed my Billet as Navigator on a deep draft Navy amphibious ship. After being in Engineering from enlisted to commissioned, being in fresh air was enjoyable! This was early 70’s so little electronic nav aids except LORAN A & C, Omega and, of course, RADAR. Lines for LORAN and Omega were nearly all parallel where we were and usually Omega only had one station up so for deep water it was celestial. Navy sextants at the time were old, full of errors and had nearly a minus power scope. Got a Tamaya in Singapore and it was a dream! 7.5 x 20 scope, zero error throughout the limb gave sights morning, noon and night and in between! Had an XO who had been a merchie asked if I used mid latitude sailings for trip planning. Had no idea what those were so studied Bowdich and found out. When we planned a trans-Pacific trip the Quartermasters would work it out on charts and plotting sheets and I would work it out with calculations. We checked accuracy that way by redoing it if there was more than 20 nm disagreement. I think the majority of trips we planned wound up with less than 5 nm difference. This was a good thing since everyone was real picky about arriving on time! It was a great two years with some truly fine people. One of the Quartermasters wound up as a cartographer for the Army Corps of Engineers! I got sent back to that ship twice as Chief Engineer. 'Twas like going home!


I have worked for wretched companies with awful pay but a great crew. I would do those jobs forever because of the people. Good attitudes, good people, and good working conditions are where it is at.


I ran crewboats for a while in the the GOM during the early 90’s. Terrible pay. But the crews and boats were great. Pure boat handling, running back and forth. Almost no dockside time except to load, unload, or provision. Just enough standby time offshore to catch some fish and relax.

First time I ever ate “potted meat”. Taught one of my Cajun deck hands how to play hockey on a video game console. Good times.


Had many decent jobs pay wise, and more than a few that didn’t . The best jobs were with a crew that knew their shit and got along, no matter what the pay. We had to live together, and thank you for the guys that understood that. And yes, I had some pretty decent fisherman on a few rigs. Crane balls with bungee cords and lures from our favorite tackle store out of Lauderdale. Took my time running the ledges, they kept the grass off the hooks. Effing pleasure and morale booster.


I’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot of very challenging and satisfying jobs during my career, but I don’t think that is quite what the questioner had in mind, so when I look back I think my most enjoyable job was my first in the offshore industry.

I joined the British offshore company O.I.L. in the summer of 1975 or 76 and was sent out to Abu Dhabi to join a ship called the Oil Dragon. It was a former landing craft which had been turned into a well testing vessel. It was crewed by four Brits, Captain, Mate Chief and Second Engineers with Glibert and Ellis islanders on deck and Goanese caterers, plus the Flopetrol crew who did the actual well testing.

Because there were no lights in the oilfields we could not work at night! Hence at about 7 am the night-watchman would call me, as Mate and the Second Engineer and we would up anchor and take the ship to the next platform which was to be tested, then everybody would come out and go through an amazingly efficient process of tying the ship up to a buoy forward and then backing up to the platform until we were close enough to cross to it on a plank. Then we would go to breakfast. We would then move to another platform once or twice again during the day, making sure we were tied up for lunch and then in the early evening we would retreat to a suitable anchorage and enjoy a few beers and a Walport 16mm movie.

There was a lot of fishing done. Quite big grouper lurked at the bottom of the platforms, and sometimes I would spy a shoal of what we knew as “King Mackerel”, and I would sent he crew along with their fishing poles. They would use small hooks baited with silver paper and skim them on the surface, usually catching enough fish in about ten minutes to provide a wonderful meal for the whole 30 man crew.

Of course we were working in an environment which discouraged alcohol consumption and went in for severe censoring, so the Oil Dragon was well known as a provider of booze to other small ships in the area, and also the source of proper full length uncensored movies. The rigs would send helicopters to pick up what we had available.

I was out there for two months, feeling that every day was a holiday, then when I got back home I was stunned to find that I had two months off as well.