Monday, January 14, 2013

Dropping in on West Aquarius

Today there was no wind and the temperature was 6C.  When I got home from the gym I decided I'd go pay the semi-submersible drill rig West Aquarius a visit.

The semi-submersible Henry Goodridge was in Conception Bay for about four months from September on.  It was joined by the West Aquarius about a month ago.  The Goodridge has gone back to drilling and the West Aquarius will soon also so I wanted to get out an get some close up shots.

It was sunny and calm.  There was just a little movement in the water that caused the reflection of the rig to dance on the water.

As I came up on the rig a voice through the PA system said "For your own safety, please keep away from the rig".  I waved my paddle to signify I received the message.  She's a monster and I guess she could do me some harm if she rolled on me but the chances of that happening are none, and none.

So I moved off a bit.  No need to cause a fuss I thought.  Interesting looking through the space between the caissons.  She's riding low at near drilling depth and would have been a thrill to paddle through.

This rig is able to drill exploration wells in 10,000 feet of water.  She's going to be drilling a well or two(?) in the Orphan Basin off of our coast.  I hope they know what they're doing because a blowout in that depth of water, we know form experience, can cause catastrophic environmental damage.  What the hey, all in the pursuit of big oil.

The rig is about 2/3 the distance to Bell Island so I decided I my as well go over there too.  I got out to stretch my legs and in this perspective seakayak "Stardust" looks the match of West Aquarius.

Again, on the way back I stayed well clear.

I left in full sunshine but there was a line of clouds coming in as seen in the first shot.  The forerunners of a low pressure system I think.  An hour later the front had marched on and the day got to looking grey.

I find these huge drill rigs are interesting things, at least something out of the ordinary.  I was happy to get the chance to drop by before she too had to go back to work.

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