Starting up the walkway to Ocean Star you get a sense of the environment.
Across the harbor giant towering structures loom.
Colossal ships idle through the harbor. They are only few hundred feet from you.
Touring Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum has great visuals. It’s a self-guided tour.
If mechanics don’t appeal that’s okay. You’re going to be fascinated.
I was reluctant to go at first. I worked many years in maintenance and engineering for the airlines. I grew tired of machines.
The Ocean Star Offshore Museum is different. The exhibits communicate!
You won’t try to understand what ‘it’ is. You don’t even need to read the descriptions. Just look.
Ever had the slightest wonder how it’s done? Offshore drilling?
This is an alien world. It’s exciting too.
Inside Ocean Star a brief movie orients you. Then you’re off.
Start with drill heads. These made Howard Hughes his fortune. They are simple, but clever.
They are the business end of the operations.
I once read he would never sell them. Only rent or lease them.
The amazing thing I saw was for diving. It is a capsule for a diver with arms. It has claws at the end of the arms.
Yes you go inside this feet first.
What impressed me most was how deep it can go.
Just to get a concept of pressure on us now. Remember shooting a suction cup dart as a kid? Or pushing a suction cup on a window or refrigerator?
When it’s pushed down air is removed from behind it. The air outside the cup holds it down.
It’s about 14 pounds of pressure on a square inch.
That is actual weight of the air against the cup.
Now back to the diving capsule. This diving rig can go 2300 feet deep. It has room for one man.
If you add the weight of water and air together. At 2300 feet the water pressure is, 1012 pounds on every square inch. A square inch is a little bigger than a quarter!
On a square foot, 144 square inches has, 145,728 pounds of pressure on it!
The average human body has about 18 square feet of body surface. Add that pressure to an average body’s, 2,623,644 pounds.
I can’t even think with that. It is so amazing to me. Men and women actually go down there!
Not movie tough guys and girls. These are real people.
The next floor has great visual displays. These show how ships and rigs are anchored to the sea floor.
Many are deep undersea wells. Just looking at it explains it.
It looks simplistic. But it’s hard to grasp the real world of it. Oceanic winds, powerful ocean currents, and hurricanes!
And that deep water pressure!
People here are living on the edge. Yet somehow making it go right.
Some workers travel around the world. That is some career. They cover all walks of life; engineers, technical workers and labors.
Did you know a drill can be steered? Yes, from thousands of feet away.
There are cutaways showing it.
An operator drives the drill. Up and down, sideways. It’s hard to believe.
You’ll see how fuels are extracted. Not just from the bottom of the well. But bringing fuel thought the ocean depths.
This is done the world over; in stormy and calm seas; frozen and warm seas; shallow and deep seas.
There are thousands of safe operations over the world.I wonder why we never hear of them.
Outside are big machines. What caught my eye was the huge hook. More signs of immense weights and pressures!
All I could think is; One mistake. Your career is over- at best.
I read some reviews. People complained it’s a promotion. If I played a part in such achievement I’d promote it too!
It is what it is. It is what is done every day around the planet.
The industry has bragging rights. I can’t think of anything happening without fuel.
I laugh at some protests against fuel. They arrive on buses and cars. The celebrity protester arrives by private jet. Can anyone take them seriously?
Ocean Star Offshore Museum shows facts. It’s an amazing world. You get to glimpse what most never see.
Feel the wind and danger in that dark ocean. Now look into that dark gulf. Could you live out there?
I came away with appreciation I never had.
People out there are real adventures. Living and working in that environment. That takes some guts.