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Life on a gas and oil platform

On the second day of his journey, Matt takes us to the middle of the North Sea
/ Source: TODAY

Greetings from day two of my “Where in the World” tour! Well, I can honestly tell you that my travels from day one to day two of this year’s trip have been pretty extraordinary. In fact, at one point I wasn’t sure we would even make it to day two!

AT THE CLOSE of the show in Machu Picchu, we headed directly for the buses that would take us down to Aguas Calientes. There, a 20 minute hike out of town waited. As I walked along that same dusty train track that brought us in, I marveled at the experience I just had. Machu Picchu was a real wonder — I only hope the majesty of the ruins translated to television.

Soon after our trek to the helicopter, we were on our way to Cuzco — for a brief stop that allowed us a chance to board another jet to Lima. That trip took just 45 minutes — and we met our own plane back in Lima.

Once aboard, we settled in for the flight to Barbados — a refueling stop on the way to my ultimate destination in Aberdeen, Scotland. I was able to get my “homework” done on the flight to Barbados — leaving the rest of the trip to Aberdeen for sleeping!

I felt pretty good upon landing in Scotland — but quickly got nervous after pilots told us about dense fog hanging over the natural gas and oil platform Britannia. We were scheduled to take a special helicopter to the platform, leaving us plenty of time to prepare for Tuesday’s show. However, as the fog strikes again — we were stuck for a time in Aberdeen while waiting for clearance to the rig.

Meanwhile, I viewed a half-hour safety briefing video as I suited up to board the Britannia. Considering the dangers of landing one of these helicopters on the deck of the rig — every precaution is taken to make sure that safety is priority.

Once we took off, we still weren’t sure of what was in store for us when we arrived over the oil rig. Sure enough, the weather was not on our side this time as dense fog blocked our visibility for landing on the oil rig.

As I checked my watch, I realized we would not have time to return to Aberdeen… that we basically had one chance to land on the platform.

As luck would have it, we actually had two chances — after a brief stop on a neighboring platform “Balmoral” for some more fuel, the fog lifted and we finally landed on Britannia — with less than 45 minutes to spare before airtime.

What an incredible place the Britannia was. The crew was so welcoming, and so anxious to make our show terrific. The first thing I noticed is that you have to be in great shape to work on an oil platform — there were so many stairs!

Showtime hit at 1 pm local time and we were underway. I think the show from the Britannia was a true “how’d they do that” show — and my hat is off to all the crew that made it happen. There were so many things to keep an eye on in a situation like that — and our team was the best.

At the close of the show, I was back in my survival suit and off to Aberdeen for an uneventful helicopter ride. An hour later, I was boarding a charter plane day three. I truly think our experience on Britannia was a unique one that our viewers must have been awed by.

Day three is sure to be a great one — can’t wait to share it with you.