Trip Meter 0
Today the rain relented just enough to allow us mice to venture out away from the shelter of of our fiberglass, glass, and steel nest on 6 wheels. Okay maybe I am taking the analogy a little too far- suffice to say we were hunkered down yesterday while the rain lashed us and the wind rocked and rolled our suspension.
The weather forecast calls for more showers again this evening and tonight...and tomorrow We don't get a break in the clouds until Sunday, where the temperature climbs to a high of 62. What makes this ironic is that we could get this weather at home in Oregon! Okay, I'm not on a rant here. Let's just say we are very surprised that this is not the tropical wonderland that we thought it was. That's not to say we don't like it here or that we are not finding this place fascinating- we are. Read On!
Today we did not have to venture far to start the discovery. A mere 5 miles away we visited the Rockport Maritime Museum, which is perched on the edge of the boat harbor in downtown Rockport. Now for a city of slightly more than 8,700, this is an awesome museum! The museum is part of a network of Texas State Maritime Museums that are distributed among the various cities and historical sites along the Texas coast. Other attractions of this network we intend to check out are the USS Lexington anchored in Corpus Christi harbor, The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Houston Maritime Museum, Texas Seaport Museum- and there are more we won't get to see.
I finally tore myself away from the La Belle and headed into the next room which portrayed the importance of oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf. Again, the models were incredible and my pictures will not do this justice.
The models were very detailed constructs of drilling rigs that were commissioned and built- some right here in the coastal bend. The models show the progression of taller and taller rigs until the last ground-supported rig that was 1500 feet tall! After 1500 feet the rigs could no longer be built to sit on the sea bed and engineers designed floating drill platforms, anchored with cables to the sea floor.
Taking photos through plexiglas is very frustrating and in many of these the focus of the camera is off enough that you cannot see the intricate details I really wanted to show.
I vaguely remember a few motors like these in my youth, but I was disappointed that I didn't see any Fageol motors like my family owned in the 60's in Alaska- those were museum pieces when they rolled off the assembly lines!Joan was particularly interested in this board of knots that was tied by a Navy sailor while on duty on an icebreaker in the Arctic.
This next craft is called the Whittaker Capsule, an escape pod that would accommodate a crew of 28 persons.
The first totally enclosed, motor propelled, US Coast Guard Approved survival craft ever built for the offshore oil and gas industry anywhere in the world was manufactured by Whittaker Corporation in 1968. This survival craft, Model 9089A- serial number 001, is still in service today in Alaska, which is one of the harshest climates in the United States.
That's it for now...
All our best,Jeff and Joan