Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prudhoe Bay Morning 013008

Thursday was a gorgeous day, -30 or so and clear. The sun came up for a few hours. I'm glad I work indoors, but I find days like this just breathtakingly beautiful.

Our ice road is still under construction, and the wind last week pushed some rubble ice up against the island. So we asked our helicopter pilots to make a flyby of the island and take a few pictures we could send to the engineers in town. Stephan Hill took all of these, in fact there are another 20 or so I loaded into my Flickr photo album (you're welcome to go look at all of them, just follow the link on the right side of this page), but I wanted to post a sampling of them here.

Prudhoe Morning - this photo is taken on land, on the way out to Northstar. I'm guessing this is 'sunrise' and was probably taken between 11 am and noon.
Here is a picture of the Discovery Well monument. It marks the spot where the exploration well was drilled that proved there was lots of oil up here.

Here is a picture of our ice road under construction. The island is behind the helicopter and the shot is looking back toward shore. You can see STP in the background, it's located on shore, and a couple of pumper trucks strung out along the road.

Here is a close up of one of the pumpers. They have a big auger on the back so they can drill through the ice and pump seawater up to flood the area we want to eventually use as a road.

Here is another picture of the ice road, this time with the hovercraft headed back to shore with some passengers. Once the ice road is thick enough we'll switch to bus travel back & forth to shore, but for now we're sticking with the hovercraft.

Here is a picture of the island, it's 7 miles off shore. You can see all the ice rubble pushed up around one side, and then in the back ground you can see the pumpers on the ice road, and STP & the shore line.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Prudhoe Bay Pictures

As you can see, I'm in the mood to post a few pictures.

We had blizzard on Wed, with was blowing 48 mph with gusts to 65 mph for about 18 hours. The sea ice out around the island is still new enough that the wind can move it around. So a rubble pile built up against the west side. It's quite spectacular really, and a bit scary for the folks who live out there. If it had kept building it would have crashed over the sheet pile wall built to keep it out.
And then here are some sunrise pictures. The sun has just come up over the horizon the past few days. So these are really sunset pictures too :-)

This one on the 22nd was taken from my office window at the airport.
This one from the 24th was taken on the island.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Retirement - I wish I was the one going :-)

I haven't posted much lately, but a few things have come up the past few days, so here we go again.

Mike, Skip and Manny

One of the guys I work with, Skip retired today. He and I both work on shore, but on Tuesday we went out to the Island for lunch, so everyone could say goodbye to Skip. Here are a few pictures. We rode out to the island in the new tucker, but came back on the hovercraft. And the last picture is

going through our bear gate. It goes around the island to keep the polar bears away from the workers.