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The deep blue sea.....

Posted by Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 16:59 (076285)

Looks like I might have an unexpected opportunity to go to sea on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico for five days, day after tomorrow. Maybe some of you remember that I'm an oceanographer in my fifties, and my job doesn't take me to sea much any more. So of course, I'm pretty jazzed.

If it's a 'go' (and that isn't for sure yet, at all), I will probably spend tomorrow driving to Galveston where I will meet up with the ship Friday morning. So, tonight I must pack. Good thing that I normally don't have problems with seasickness. I usually wear 'the patch' just in case, but have no time to see a doctor and get one prescribed. I have enough Celebrex to last me. I will take my SAS shoes and orthotics, my shower shoes, and my New Balance since they will do better soaking wet out on deck than the SAS shoes.

There is always a lot of physical work involved, for long hours (this being a working cruise, not a recreational cruise). I'll try not to lift anything too heavy or stand too long, but I might have to. Frankly, I'd go if it crippled me. I don't think it will, though, not if I can help it. Whew, I'm eager, like a kid. LOL Gotta remember to do my stretching and to be careful not to strain my feet on the ladders.

I wish I had a good digital camera! If I can borrow one or pick one up, I'll post some photos.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Suzanne D on 3/12/02 at 17:02 (076286)

I hope you get to go, Carole! That sounds exciting! When my class studies about the ocean this spring, will you let us write some questions to you? My children would be so thrilled to get an e-mail from an expert! :-)

Really, have a GREAT time and let us hear from you all about it when you return!

Suzanne :-)

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 17:04 (076287)

Sure, Suzanne! I'd be glad to answer any questions I can. I hope I get to go. If I do, I'll post all about it next week. If not, I'll be posting a message here tomorrow griping about it. LOL

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carmen H on 3/12/02 at 17:58 (076290)

How fun will that be??
what a great job.
We went deep sea fishing in the Gulf years ago out by the oil rigs....caught 900 pounds of black snapper. I caught one nad cried. it was too sad for me to see them flapping about gasping for air.
I just drank beer and laid in the sun!
:-)
Write us all about it!
I hope you can go. ;-)

Re: The deep blue sea.....

BrianG on 3/12/02 at 21:50 (076305)

Hi Carole,

Can't you call the doctor's office early in the morning, and ask for somes patches. If they call the script in to a CVS, or another national store, you'll be able to pick them up at another branch closer to the port.

Yes, whatch out for those ship board ladders. Going up is the pain, coming down is just a slide, I'm sure you remember how to do it :*)

Have fun, hope you have flat seas.
BrianG

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Necee on 3/12/02 at 22:17 (076307)

Hi Carole,
Wow it sure sounds like a wonderful adventure. I do hope that you get to go, just try to take care of those feet while your out there.
Can you pack a journal? It would be nice to write down your daily duties and share them with us on your return.
I love the ocean, we have vacationed on the Pacific several times. Its amazing what you see way out on the ocean when you think your miles from anything or anyone.
Carole take care and let us know how your job goes, we will all be thinking about you and I'm praying for a safe return.
Bon Voyage'!!!!!
Necee

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 22:50 (076310)

Thanks Brian (and everyone)!

I don't think my rheumatologist is the one to call for patches ('HUH? WHA?') and he's the only doctor within 500 miles that I've ever been to. Maybe I can get a patch on the ship.

The last time I was at sea, my patch fell off and got lost after a few hours due to the sweat and salt spray and hard work, and I never did get sick. We might run into some weather this time of year.

You are right, I remember how to go down fast and easy in a jiffy. Let's hope my body does! LOL Probably will. I'll try to watch out going up. I think I'll pack some tape as a security blanket in case it's hard on my feet.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 22:53 (076311)

Necee, what a great idea! I'll try to take notes on my daily duties as time permits. :)

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 23:00 (076312)

Carmen, that sounds like such fun! Darn, we won't be doing any fishing, though we might do some trawling; whatever we do, I'm sure it will be hard work. However the last time I was on this vessel the cooks were FABULOUS and fed us fresh seafood gumbo and jambalaya the whole way across the Gulf. Who knows where it came from since they weren't allowed to fish; but when they spent a lot of time back by the fantail in the middle of the night, our supply of fresh seafood seemed to increase. :)

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

john h on 3/13/02 at 09:18 (076334)

Carole: What a neat job. I lived on Cape Cod very near the famous Woods Hole Oceanograpic Institute. By the way I very nearly went to work with Petroleum Helicopter Company in south Lousiana flying to the oil riggs. Decided this was more dangerous than flying in Vietnam. New guys start by flying the oldest and worst helicopters. How large a ship will you be on and what will your mission be?

Re: The deep blue sea.....

JudyS on 3/13/02 at 10:12 (076344)

Hey Carole - I'm pretty jazzed for you! Hope you're careful and have a terrific time - even if you are 'working'!

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:13 (076354)

John, yes it is a neat job! Sometimes I can't believe they actually pay me for this.

The vessel is 182 feet long with a 36 foot beam, and sleeps 23 scientists in addition to ships crew. This oceanographic research cruise is funded by the federal agency I work for, and I'll be the agency rep/inspector/whatever overseeing what's done. I'll be helping out scientifically in whatever ways I can, but mostly what I'll be doing is just pitching in when another warm body is needed, and trying to stay out of the way and observe otherwise.

The mission is to collect oceanographic data (mostly biological, with trawls and so on) which is required for a study we're doing in the deep Gulf of Mexico. We'll be sampling mostly in deep water directly south of New Orleans, but the ship's home port is at Galveston so it turns out I will be flying there in the morning and flying back after we return.

Sounds like you made a smart choice with the helicopters. I didn't know that the new guys got the worst 'copters, but it sounds logical. It is a dangerous job but I think the pilots are probably pretty good ones. They sure do perform a necessary job that is vital to our offshore oil and gas production.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:14 (076355)

I will! (big grin) I am so jazzed! This makes me feel young again. :)

Carole C

Re: PS... it's a go!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:24 (076356)

It's definitely a go, and so I'll be back on the weekend after this coming weekend. Internet access is limited to urgent e-mails.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

john h on 3/14/02 at 09:52 (076417)

I had a couple of my retired helicopter pilot buddies go to work for Petroleum Helicopters and did the work for about a year and finally decided it was just not worth it. Many of their pilots come from the military as they are highly trained and with a lot of experience, I have noted that several of our local hospitals who have helicopters use Petroleum Helicopters and Pilots so I guess they expeanded into areas other than off shore. Flying to oil riggs in low visiability and marginal conditions over the ocean beyond site of land and locating the oil rigg day in day out is not really fun. Over land at least I could chase cayotes or do something for a change of pace. One day we even hovered over a water hole at a golf course while the engineer fished golf balls out of the pond with a golf ball retriever. Once when the runway was frozen over we flew up and down the runway so our hot jet exhaust could melt the ice. I flew Santa Clause into a gathering and dropped many bags of styrofoam. Problem was it all blew back into the helicopter and we had styrofoam in the helicopter for the next year. In the 60's there were some nuclear bomb test and they needed a helicopter to hover as close to the blast as they felt it was safe to do. We all voulanteered. Thank goodness I was not selected as we had not idea how much radiation we would be exposed to. My buddy who was selected crashed on the way in the mountains of Colorado. He was not seriously hurt but that may have saved his life in the long run. The helicopter is a wonderful machine and if you fly them long enough you will have enough experiences to write several books. What a great job you have Carole. I would pay them to do what you will get to do. You are our Mrs. Jacques Cousteau.

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Suzanne D on 3/12/02 at 17:02 (076286)

I hope you get to go, Carole! That sounds exciting! When my class studies about the ocean this spring, will you let us write some questions to you? My children would be so thrilled to get an e-mail from an expert! :-)

Really, have a GREAT time and let us hear from you all about it when you return!

Suzanne :-)

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 17:04 (076287)

Sure, Suzanne! I'd be glad to answer any questions I can. I hope I get to go. If I do, I'll post all about it next week. If not, I'll be posting a message here tomorrow griping about it. LOL

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carmen H on 3/12/02 at 17:58 (076290)

How fun will that be??
what a great job.
We went deep sea fishing in the Gulf years ago out by the oil rigs....caught 900 pounds of black snapper. I caught one nad cried. it was too sad for me to see them flapping about gasping for air.
I just drank beer and laid in the sun!
:-)
Write us all about it!
I hope you can go. ;-)

Re: The deep blue sea.....

BrianG on 3/12/02 at 21:50 (076305)

Hi Carole,

Can't you call the doctor's office early in the morning, and ask for somes patches. If they call the script in to a CVS, or another national store, you'll be able to pick them up at another branch closer to the port.

Yes, whatch out for those ship board ladders. Going up is the pain, coming down is just a slide, I'm sure you remember how to do it :*)

Have fun, hope you have flat seas.
BrianG

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Necee on 3/12/02 at 22:17 (076307)

Hi Carole,
Wow it sure sounds like a wonderful adventure. I do hope that you get to go, just try to take care of those feet while your out there.
Can you pack a journal? It would be nice to write down your daily duties and share them with us on your return.
I love the ocean, we have vacationed on the Pacific several times. Its amazing what you see way out on the ocean when you think your miles from anything or anyone.
Carole take care and let us know how your job goes, we will all be thinking about you and I'm praying for a safe return.
Bon Voyage'!!!!!
Necee

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 22:50 (076310)

Thanks Brian (and everyone)!

I don't think my rheumatologist is the one to call for patches ('HUH? WHA?') and he's the only doctor within 500 miles that I've ever been to. Maybe I can get a patch on the ship.

The last time I was at sea, my patch fell off and got lost after a few hours due to the sweat and salt spray and hard work, and I never did get sick. We might run into some weather this time of year.

You are right, I remember how to go down fast and easy in a jiffy. Let's hope my body does! LOL Probably will. I'll try to watch out going up. I think I'll pack some tape as a security blanket in case it's hard on my feet.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 22:53 (076311)

Necee, what a great idea! I'll try to take notes on my daily duties as time permits. :)

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/12/02 at 23:00 (076312)

Carmen, that sounds like such fun! Darn, we won't be doing any fishing, though we might do some trawling; whatever we do, I'm sure it will be hard work. However the last time I was on this vessel the cooks were FABULOUS and fed us fresh seafood gumbo and jambalaya the whole way across the Gulf. Who knows where it came from since they weren't allowed to fish; but when they spent a lot of time back by the fantail in the middle of the night, our supply of fresh seafood seemed to increase. :)

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

john h on 3/13/02 at 09:18 (076334)

Carole: What a neat job. I lived on Cape Cod very near the famous Woods Hole Oceanograpic Institute. By the way I very nearly went to work with Petroleum Helicopter Company in south Lousiana flying to the oil riggs. Decided this was more dangerous than flying in Vietnam. New guys start by flying the oldest and worst helicopters. How large a ship will you be on and what will your mission be?

Re: The deep blue sea.....

JudyS on 3/13/02 at 10:12 (076344)

Hey Carole - I'm pretty jazzed for you! Hope you're careful and have a terrific time - even if you are 'working'!

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:13 (076354)

John, yes it is a neat job! Sometimes I can't believe they actually pay me for this.

The vessel is 182 feet long with a 36 foot beam, and sleeps 23 scientists in addition to ships crew. This oceanographic research cruise is funded by the federal agency I work for, and I'll be the agency rep/inspector/whatever overseeing what's done. I'll be helping out scientifically in whatever ways I can, but mostly what I'll be doing is just pitching in when another warm body is needed, and trying to stay out of the way and observe otherwise.

The mission is to collect oceanographic data (mostly biological, with trawls and so on) which is required for a study we're doing in the deep Gulf of Mexico. We'll be sampling mostly in deep water directly south of New Orleans, but the ship's home port is at Galveston so it turns out I will be flying there in the morning and flying back after we return.

Sounds like you made a smart choice with the helicopters. I didn't know that the new guys got the worst 'copters, but it sounds logical. It is a dangerous job but I think the pilots are probably pretty good ones. They sure do perform a necessary job that is vital to our offshore oil and gas production.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:14 (076355)

I will! (big grin) I am so jazzed! This makes me feel young again. :)

Carole C

Re: PS... it's a go!

Carole C in NOLA on 3/13/02 at 12:24 (076356)

It's definitely a go, and so I'll be back on the weekend after this coming weekend. Internet access is limited to urgent e-mails.

Carole C

Re: The deep blue sea.....

john h on 3/14/02 at 09:52 (076417)

I had a couple of my retired helicopter pilot buddies go to work for Petroleum Helicopters and did the work for about a year and finally decided it was just not worth it. Many of their pilots come from the military as they are highly trained and with a lot of experience, I have noted that several of our local hospitals who have helicopters use Petroleum Helicopters and Pilots so I guess they expeanded into areas other than off shore. Flying to oil riggs in low visiability and marginal conditions over the ocean beyond site of land and locating the oil rigg day in day out is not really fun. Over land at least I could chase cayotes or do something for a change of pace. One day we even hovered over a water hole at a golf course while the engineer fished golf balls out of the pond with a golf ball retriever. Once when the runway was frozen over we flew up and down the runway so our hot jet exhaust could melt the ice. I flew Santa Clause into a gathering and dropped many bags of styrofoam. Problem was it all blew back into the helicopter and we had styrofoam in the helicopter for the next year. In the 60's there were some nuclear bomb test and they needed a helicopter to hover as close to the blast as they felt it was safe to do. We all voulanteered. Thank goodness I was not selected as we had not idea how much radiation we would be exposed to. My buddy who was selected crashed on the way in the mountains of Colorado. He was not seriously hurt but that may have saved his life in the long run. The helicopter is a wonderful machine and if you fly them long enough you will have enough experiences to write several books. What a great job you have Carole. I would pay them to do what you will get to do. You are our Mrs. Jacques Cousteau.