Monday, April 24, 2006

It's sort of Spring in Prudhoe Bay

Here ia a fall picture of Toby from a couple of years ago. It was the only local brown bear pictures I could find in my stash of pictures about work. I didn't take it so either Dave or Russell must have e-mailed it to me.
Today was our first day of 'spring' measured Prudhoe style. The weather was sunny and -2 when I came to work a little before 6am. It warmed up just a bit and by 8:30 am the ice fog was so thick the jet couldn't land. The fog is patchy though and by 9:30 am it was clear & sunny. Patches of fog keep drifting through, I hope the rest of todays flights come & go as needed

We actually had the first sign that spring was arriving a few days ago, when Security put out a warning that a brown bear had been sighted on the field. The brown bears do hibernate all winter (unlike the polar bears), so one out and about was the first sign of spring.

Don't let this picture fool you, spring in Prudhoe is WHITE. The snow is just starting to melt on top during the sunny days, and freeze into solid ice at night. Walking across the parking lot is a nightmare, worse then walking on a frozen lake.

According to the, we're up to 21+ hours of visible light each day and 17 hours & 43 min of actual sun above the horizon. Tomorrow the sun will be up another 10 min and 28 seconds longer then today, so 24 hours of sunlight will happen shortly.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Northstar Island Construction

This is a picture of the island from our ice road. Kind of hard to tell that it's and island because the sea ice is currently frozen. The large blue set of buildings to the right is the Nabors Drilling Rig. The tan buildings to the left are the production, warehouse & living quarters. To the very far left you can see the new meeting room model being lifted off the trailer by the crane so it can be set in place and attached to the existing building.

We've been getting ready to do a lot of repair work to the gravel bench that surrounds the island this summer. We also had to expand the facility a little bit. The addition to the the living quarters building is office and meeting space. The module was actually constructed on shore and shipped north, then hauled out to the island over our ice road. Kind of interesting pictures if you're not familiar with this crazy place I call home 2 weeks of every month.
The 2nd picture is the new meeting room module set in place.

The 3rd picture is of a crane being hauled out to the island. On the other side of the ice road (the smoother part of the ice in front) is frozen ocean.

I didn't take these pictures, Dave Maguire sent them to me so I'm assuming he took them. I haven't been out to the island since New Years Day. It's been a bit too busy to run out there, it's about an hours drive where where I work, here in 'town'.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

DC April Trip

This picture of the Washington Monument through the Cherry Tree was taken close to sunset. It's dark but I still liked how it came out.
My Trip to DC was a lot of fun. I stayed with Shari & Mark. They’re renting a nice condo out in Dunn Loring, right across the street from the Metro Station. It’s really convenient, that’s for sure. Mary & Bill drove over from PA the day before I arrive. They met me at the airport on Sat morning, and then we all went to a late lunch when Shari got out of her mosaics class. We walked around downtown for a few hours, starting with the Law Officers Memorial and ending with the Jefferson Memorial. There were big crowds in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Here is a picture of us 'girls' in front of the FAA Admin building :-)
And the next one is Mt. Vernon from the river.

Mary & Bill had to get home on Sunday. I spent the next week taking the Metro into town each day and exploring while Shari & Mark were at work. I tried to see most of the big sights, but still only saw a few of the big Museums. I like to walk and walked the Mall several times. I also took a boat trip down the Potomac to Mt. Vernon. The river trip is beautiful and Mt. Vernon was worth a couple of hours.

I guess I’ve been spoiled by my last couple of trips to Europe. In comparison DC was very new, very functional, plane & gray. All the buildings are stone or concrete, but there isn’t much ornamentation or variety. And there isn’t much color; even the metro was very colorless, all concrete. Though it was also without beggers & pickpockets, which was rather nice. There is also a LOT of security and standing in lines, to stand in another line, to see part of something and the rest of it’s closed.

This is the Capital Building from part way down the Mall.
Shari & Mark took ½ days off on Friday and we drove over to PA to spend the weekend. It was really a pretty drive. The grass is green but the leaves on the trees were just starting to pop out. Lots of rolling hills & fields. Virginia is definitely manicured looking, and PA is a bit wilder. It’s a 4 hour drive, which isn’t bad at all. Gio & Vince drove up from Newcastle and meet us for the weekend. We all stayed with Mary & Bill, Katie & Matt. The house was full but we had a good time. Unfortunately Katie & Matt both had to work on Saturday, but the rest of us went into PA and wandered around some of the river sites near the big sports arenas. We finally made it to a market area as it was closing, but had a good time anyway. Sunday after brunch we all had to head home.

Shari, Gio, Mary, Vince & Mark at Mary & Bill's.

I’ve posted a link to all the pictures. Please take a look if you’re interested.

and then look for 6 Washington DC Trip

I’ve also added a new feature to this blog. Over on the left hand side is a subscription box. If you sign up, you’ll get an e-mail when ever I add a new entry to this blog. I know I’m going to be rather sporadic with additions.