Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3/25 Galveston Harbor and Oil RIg Museum

So where else would you find an oil rig museum??

The day was beginning to be fairly pleasant, although windy, so I took off to see the Ocean Star moored oil rig museum, which is on the opposite side of the island from the beach, in Galveston Harbor.  In this photo, you can see two big cruise ships which have been waiting to leave the port but not allowed because of the oil spill on Saturday.  You can also see two oil rigs with tall legs sticking up in the air.  One is in the middle and the other is slightly to the right and behind the larger oil rig on the right. There is another one either under construction or being dismantled. Don't know which. 

You can also see the 1877 tall ship Elissa, which almost never leaves her berth, I was told.  No one knew exactly what it was doing, but it is an interesting contrast to the huge cruise ships and the oil rigs. It was hardly moving at all, so I got tired of waiting to see what was going on. Normally, it is docked just in front of the cruise ships and available for tours.

There are also a lot of fishing boats docked.  They also have been prevented from leaving port.

 This is the Ocean Star oil rig which is permanently moored and is now a museum.

These are some of the drilling bits.  There was a lot of equipment and videos describing the use of each.  Really a very nice and interesting museum. 

This is a blowout preventer.  We all know what these are SUPPOSED to do!

I thought this was an interesting map of the Gulf of Mexico and the continental shelf where most of the oil rigs are located.

Instead of the oil rig workers grabbing the oil drilling pipes by hand as they used to do, they now use this mechanical grabber which prevents a lot of accidents to hands and arms.

An escape module that doesn't look like it would hold many workers.

One of several models of oil rigs. 

These are "pigs" used to clean out pipes.  Did you know such things are still used in some sewer systems throughout the world? 

Rigs such as the Ocean Star are carried out to sea on special ships.  The are floated off when they reach the proper location and the legs are mechanically lowered to support the rig so it is up off the water and thus not affected by waves.  (Course, I think they are still affected by things like hurricanes.  I would not want to be out in one of these during such high winds.)

More drilling equipment up on deck.

When I first went into the museum, there had been a large cruise ship behind it.  When I left, I noticed it was gone, but could see it in the distance, so I used my telephoto lens to take this picture.  Today, they were began to allow one ferry to have a limited schedule and this ship to leave.  You can see the tugs that helped pull it out into the channel.

And the Elissa was beginning to unfurl her sails.  I waited for about 15 minutes but nothing much seemed to be happening so I gave up and left.  I might go back this weekend and take a tour of her.  Interesting that it actually has working sails. 

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