The mess is the natural hub for the people on board. The delicious food and the gathering around the dinner table are very important aspects of the social life on board, as stated in this article: How walk-to-work has transformed offshore wind services.
First offshore wind experiences
Matthias is chief mate on board the SOV vessel 'Windea Leibniz' and is sometimes substituting as the Master on board. His first offshore wind experience was on the 'Windea La Cour', delivered by Ulstein Verft in 2016, the first X-STERN vessel and a vessel appointed the winner of the 2017 OSJ Offshore Renewables Award.
"I spent my first offshore wind year as a senior DP operator on the 'Windea La Cour'", says Matthias. "I will always be connected to that vessel, that's when I first sailed out to an offshore wind farm, it was my first time to connect a walk-to-work gangway to a turbine, the first to deploy the daughter crafts, the first to try out the X-BOW and X-STERN. There were no slamming nor vibrations, and people loved it."
The world on board
In early 2018 was Matthias promoted to a new position and on another vessel, the 'Windea Leibniz', a sister vessel delivered in 2017.
Every fourth Wednesday, he goes on board for a new four-week shift. His day starts with one, preferably two, cups of black coffee and a workout in the gym, except for Sundays, when he skips the latter.
His shift starts at noon. He ships the technicians and tools over to the various turbines. In most cases, they are deployed via the W2W gangway. More rarely and only if the weather permits, they can also be transferred via the daughter crafts. Every two weeks there is an intermediate crew change where the technicians are swapped, as well as half of the ship's crew. Now and then Matthias also plans and arranges the safety drills.
His shift is off at midnight and it's time to get some sleep. Undisturbed. That's one of the big pros with the X-BOW and X-STERN. According to Matthias, there is no slamming on the Windea Leibniz. Further, the X-BOW/X-STERN vessels can continue to work in weather conditions where conventional vessels need to stop working.
"I used to work on a vessel with a conventional bow before signing on the Windea vessels. In harsh weather, the slamming and consequential vibrations made it impossible to sleep," says Matthias.
Sleep is a safety factor.
"The clients love this vessel," states Matthias. "The technicians are not sailors, but they are experienced, they have been on board other vessels and can compare. Naturally, food is always a hot topic on a vessel, and the clients value the food on this one. They also highlight the comfort, the cabins with the big windows and the way the vessel behaves in harsh weather conditions. They are also amazed by the silence; the cabins are insulated, and the vessel holds Comfort Class 3."
The world on shore
Matthias goes home every four weeks and then seeks out noisy areas and many people. "My band Magic Hum is setting up gigs in Germany in 2023, and we are also working on an album and simply enjoying ourselves. It's a good hobby and completely opposite of what I do on board. I can't imagine anything more different!"
Read the 2018 interview with Matthias from 'Windea La Cour': Hard rocker at work, enjoying the silence.
Combining the two worlds
Matthias has another big passion, being a drone pilot. The Windea Leibniz is underway to be upgraded from an SOV to a CSOV at Ulstein Verft, and Matthias made some magnificent drone shots upon arrival. After installing an adjustable pedestal for the gangway, and a 50 per cent increase of single cabins for charterers, the vessel will be ready for assignments in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
According to Matthias' schedule, he will not be aboard when the vessel leaves the quay at Ulstein Verft after the upgrade. You might have more luck in seeing him cruising around on his motorbike underway to the next hard rock concert.