Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Man of Steel

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Girls of Purple Flock Together

Aunt T and Anna are pretty in purple.
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Where There's Dirt....

....there's a happy boy named Jacob.

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There Are No Words......

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Monday, May 25, 2009

This is Where I Work......

This is an aerial view of the pad. ALOT has changed since the pic was taken by Buzzy Rohlfing.
I'll give you a brief tour. I will start at the top and work clockwise. The rig of course is onthe top edge of the pad. Then the "dock" that goes to the edge of the Beaufort Sea. On the right edge of the pad are the "houses" or "hotels" or the "camps". The blue one is the Alaska camp. It has 55 beds. The white one is McKinley camp. It has 63 beds. there is now another one next to the McKinley we call the Annex and it has 18 beds. Part of my job is making sure people working and staying on the pad have a bed. And I need to try and schedule people on opposite shifts so it's like they have their own room. So if somebody works 6a to 6p, I try and put someone in the same room that works 6p to 6a. that way a guy and a girl can share the same room, cause their never in there together. O and to finish out my job description, I give a short welcoming orientation explaining where everything is, what room in what camp they are in, what shift they're roommate is working, water conservation, smoke shack, morale phone locations(free long distance in state to call families.) and the like. Anyway back to the tour. The black spots are 1 of the tank farms and below that is the tiny weathershack/heliport and helipad. Then on the left off of the pad is the sleigh camp. This is where the original workers that built the pad were living before there was a pad and camps. They are actual old train cars put on sleigh runners. When they weren't needed any longer, the were hooked up to a steiger or roll- a -gone, and pulled over the snow back to Deadhorse. I know Buzzy was up taking a more recent photo, so hopefully I can get my hands on one to update you again.

My mode of transport from Deadhorse to Point Thomson-the only way to get there with the ice road now gone. Part of my job is the logistics of scheduling people on and off "the Island". There's a travel logistics coordinator in Deadhorse also, and together we build a manifest for the next day's flights. Normally people could just line up and go, but only essential working personnel are allowed over, so there is a checks and balance system with the contracted companies sending only what Point Thomson management requires. Plus the helicopter used 99% of the time falls under Homeland Security TSA regulations, so all names need to be cross checked in that data base also. The helicopter is also the only way we get supplies. Food, bottled water, equipment..... but only until the sea ice melts and barges can get through to our "dock".Miles and miles of nothing... Take a look at a map or atlas or globe. Deadhorse is above the Arctic Circle on the north coast of Alaska on the Beaufort Sea. Point Thomson is 60 miles east of there. Right now polar bears have started coming out of their dens. The pad(that's what our rigmatted area is called) is on high alert with bear guards on duty 24/7 walking the perimeter watching for them. The kitchen will smell tasty and their curiousity is worse than a cat's but they are MUCH less skittish and afraid of us puny humans.Sunset on the Beaufort Sea
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