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.