In the Wake of Michael

I’m interested to see what will happen in the morning. I (finally) got a call to go back to work on Monday. I flew out this afternoon after rushing around yesterday and this morning to get everything done I needed to do before leaving town. I’ve pretty much been on call for the last couple of years, so stay as ready as I can. Half way packed all the time, but  I can never seem to get the groceries right and always wind up having to throw out a bunch of good food. I hate that!

Right now I’m at the hotel in New Orleans, waiting for the crew change van which will pick us up at 0400. The alarm is set for 0300. We’re supposed to be at the heliport at 0500 to fly out to the rig at 0600.

I can never sleep the night before crew change. It doesn’t matter how tired I am. I try to get some sleep and just toss and turn until about 1/2 hour before I have to get up.  It doesn’t help that my usual bedtime when I’m home is midnight or later. It’s the same when I’m coming home from the ship. Can’t sleep until I get home and then I don’t want to do anything but sleep for 2-3 days!

I checked the location of the rig out of curiosity on Monday. While I was doing that, I checked the weather, just to see. Looks like the rig was pretty much directly in the path of hurricane Michael.

I’ve been checking up on both since then. Position of rig. Position of hurricane. Looks to me like the eye passed pretty damn close to the rig. I bet the DPOs had some pretty stressful watches for the last couple of days.

I’m really curious to hear how the ship rode it out. What kind of winds and seas were there on their location? What kind of footprint did they have? I’m assuming they were latched up since last time I was on there, they were going to start a new contract the first part of September. Normally, we don’t like to move more than a couple of meters. I’m wondering how much they moved around in the storm.

I was a little surprised they didn’t move out of the way of the storm’s predicted track. Then again, I think Michael came up fairly quickly. Might not have been enough time for them to shut everything down, unlatch from the well and move far enough away to make a difference. It looked to me like the worst of the storm passed a little to the East of them, good thing the storm followed along the expected track.

Michael has moved inland now, so weather offshore should be calming down. I drove up the beach to Galveston today (for a job fair at Texas A&M). Tide was very high and the waves were decent sized. All the surfers were out having a blast. That’s about the only time we get ‘decent’ surf- when there’s a hurricane in the Gulf.

I’ll be out for at least a week. Maybe longer (I hope so). I may or may not have enough internet access to blog, so if you don’t hear from me for a while that’s why.


Scary Moment: Barge Crew Swims to Shore as Super Typhoon Lashes Coast

Scary Moment: Barge Crew Swims to Shore as Super Typhoon Lashes Coast | gCaptain

I know the typhoon has passed now and the clean up and recovery stage is just starting but I thought some people who are not in the Philippines or have not had the experience of going through a hurricane or typhoon might like to see this video.

It’s a good example of some of the sorts of things people have to deal with when this kind of storm approaches. The crew of this barge was very lucky they were all able to get off and no one got hurt or killed.

I hope they managed to keep that status AFTER they made it to shore!! I sure hope the people of the Philippines will be able to make a speedy recovery from this horrible storm. I know that the US is already sending a couple of ships and other aid. I’ve already seen a few emails from charity groups collecting aid.

We’ll do what we can to help from here.

Official: Super Typhoon Kills 10,000 in Philippines

Official: Super Typhoon Kills 10,000 in Philippines | gCaptain

I don’t know how they can call this official since they say right in the article they’ve only found 300-400 bodies. It’s still terrible. Hearing of things like this, I wonder how is that possible? I’ve never been to the Philippines but I would assume that just like everywhere else, they do have communications with the rest of the world.

There was plenty of warning that this storm was headed their way and that it was going to be VERY powerful when it got there! They had the warnings, why didn’t they leave? There’s a world of difference in outcomes for people who get the warnings (and so can/do act on them) and those who don’t!

The Galveston Storm of 1900 killed ‘more than 6000’ people (estimates range from 6-12,000 out of a total of about 37,000). Considering that Galveston is a very low lying, flat island and there was practically NO warning back then, they were probably lucky that ANYONE survived. Here’s a link to a Wikipedia article about it

I’m very sorry for the people of the Philippines and I wish them a speedy recovery, but I just can’t fathom why this sort of thing still happens. I expect many people were just too caught up in their daily lives to worry much about ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ It happened here in the USA too. Remember Hurricane Katrina? It devastated New Orleans and many other coastal areas from Florida to Texas.

We had plenty of warning about Katrina too. Why did so many people stick around New Orleans when they should have known what would happen? After all, New Orleans is below sea level, it’s surrounded by water, and the levees are old and it had been stated many times in the past that they should not be expected to survive a bad storm.

Seems to me that most of the people who stayed in New Orleans were poor. Is it the same in the Philippines, that only the people who stayed in the low lying, storm devastated areas were poor (relatively)? I know the Philippines is a poor country, but what I’m wondering is: did so many people die there because of that lack of resources? Personal resources and community resources. Or were there other reasons? Why did so many people decide not to heed the warnings???

The reason I’m curious about that is because so many people here in the USA blame what happened in New Orleans on lack of resources. They say that the poor of New Orleans took the brunt of the damage that Katrina caused. They say that the poor had no way to escape the storm. They say that our government is responsible for causing the deaths of those people in New Orleans because they didn’t throw enough money and resources into the preparations.

I understand that the Philippine government does not have the resources that the US government does. Is that why the US government was blamed for the disaster in New Orleans? Is that why no one is blaming the government of the Philippines? Or is the difference in the people themselves???

What makes some people do EVERYTHING they possibly can do to take care of THEMSELVES? While so many others don’t?


PS-the question applies to more than just hurricanes!!