Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don't Forget to Turn Out the Lights


It's 0500 Monday and the latest forecast from our Navtex is headed: "Hurricane Warning."

Isaac is on his way, pushing across the northern Gulf of Mexico, bulking up on a steady diet of warm water.

AIS shows just two other boats in our field and only six within range (usually a little more than 20 miles). That's a stark contrast with yesterday morning when there were more than 30 boats on the display.

It's a little lonely out here.

The radios, usually at least sporadically alive overnight with chatter between boats and platforms, have been eerily silent.

Except for some wit, who just blasted a stanza from the Scorpions' mixed-metaphor megahit: "Here I am, rock you like a hurricane ..."

Ensco Rig 75 has gone dark, the derrick now lit only by a few flashing red lights. Many of our platforms are shut-in, and only a skeleton crew remains in the field.

There are three helicopters overnighting out here, and the word is that as soon as they are loaded up with the last of the production operators, we'll be released to head in sometime after dawn.*

*Update: Our early morning release got stretched to "a couple more hours" and finally 1400. We were the very last boat out of our field, though we crossed paths with a jumbled fleet of crewboats, OSVs and ROV/dive vessels once we got close to shore -- they were all evacuating Grand Isle and Port Fourchon, headed for safe(r) harbor.

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