Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adventures on the Ocean


It's been almost 7 months since I last updated y'all on my life. Since then, a lot of things have happened:

  • JVC ended
  • I road tripped home with my mom, dad, and uncle
    • We saw the Great Salt Lake, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore, and some other cool places
  • I visited a friend Montana over Labor Day Weekend
    • Saw a Michael Franti concert at Big Sky
  • I began my job for Geoservices - a Schlumberger company/moved to Houston
    • OFS1 (orientation) the week of Sept. 10
    • Mud Logging course Sept 17 - Oct 12
    • First hitch began Nov. 8 (lasted until Nov. 29)
  • My beautiful cousin Rachel got married on Oct 20 to her wonderful husband Jacob, I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid.
  • After my first hitch on the Discoverer Spirit, I was able to make it to Toby's 2nd birthday party and have a small Christmas celebration with my family.
  • I started my second hitch on the Discoverer Spirit on December 20 and was sent back to land on December 26.
  • I spent New Years Eve in New Orleans with a lot of my good friends from college, including John, Clint, Andy, Jen, Chris Raff, Andrew Kronfol, Nicole, Ferf, and others.
  • I returned to the Spirit for my third hitch on January 7 after being on standby in New Orleans for the 5th and 6th. This time we reached Total Depth and I returned to land on January 18.
  • I ventured out to a new rig today, the DD1, for my 4th hitch. We should be starting the final section sometime next week, and then I should get to see oil in the samples again. I am not sure when I will return to land.
So that's a brief update of my last 7 months. I have been told that life on the oil rig must be fascinating. I don't find my life that fascinating, but maybe you will.

On my first hitch, I was on the Discoverer Spirit, a drillship in the Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. I was sent to the rig for 3 weeks. During those three weeks, not too much memorable happened. I do remember walking back from the unit to the accommodations on the first night, feeling like I was on the Titanic and we might hit an iceberg at any moment. Thankfully, we were in the Gulf, so I was able to get that thought out of my mind and get plenty of rest. By the end of my first hitch, I'd made some friends on the Spirit. I was hoping to return.
The Discoverer Spirit can house around 150 people when at full capacity.
My next two hitches were also on the Spirit. I was lucky. I now knew the drill and I knew people on the rig. I started eating meals with more new people and being more social because I was hoping this would be the rig I was assigned to. By the time I left the Spirit after my third hitch, I would say that I have a good amount of friends out there for still being new. I do remember walking back to the unit one cloudy night on my third hitch thinking about how the sky looked like one you see in Harry Potter. Sometimes the smallest things can be magical. When you're offshore, it's often the sky.
Different regions of the Gulf of Mexico. I've worked in the Green Canyon region.
And now we're to my fourth hitch. After the Spirit hit total depth, I needed something to keep me busy during the months between wells. For now, I should be assigned to the Spirit for its next well, but I will be staying engaged and continuing to learn until the next well begins. My 2nd oil rig that I've had the honor of exploring is the DD1. It's much smaller than the Discoverer Spirit, but I've already begun making friends at meals. It may take some getting used to where things are, but I am sure things will go fairly smoothly during this section. The main thing I've heard about the DD1 is that they drill fast, so I'm excited to be put to the challenge.
The DD1 is a semi-submersible rig.
I've been asked many times if I like my job. I definitely do. There are some things I'd like to change (like with any job), but I do enjoy it. I really enjoy working offshore and meeting new people. It's much easier to meet people out here than it is in Houston. I definitely don't mind the work I do offshore. Sometimes it seems way too simple and other times I feel like I can't do anything right. The main thing is that instead of giving up and admitting defeat during those times, I go grab an ice cream from the galley after I get off of my shift. Then I might choose to exercise, but I always make sure I get a good nights rest after a rough day to make sure I can go out and prove that I will be good at my job. So, sometime next week, my new rig will start drilling. It will be at least 3 times faster than I'm used to. I will look at those drillers with a smile and run back and forth grabbing samples and describing them. After all, what good is a challenge if you don't conquer it?