Rig floor

In order to physically get the core on deck, there are the rig floor workers – derrickmen, floormen and crane operators.  While the various companies in charge of hiring workers on the ship (IODP for lab and computer technicians, as well as a few other specialists; Entier for galley and steward staff; Siem for everything else) are all equal opportunity employers, at least on this expedition all the Siem and Entier employees are men.  I know quite a few pretty tough, strong women – I was one of them in my younger days – but even I can’t imagine working on the rig floor 12 hours a day for two months straight.  These guys are just amazing.  On my shift, and therefore in the photos below, are Bobby, Mark, Ryan, Louie and Ray.  Most of them have families and children whom they leave for the two months at a time (same as almost everyone on board really), but with whom they keep in touch via facebook and zoom.  Then they are home for two full months and they get serious quality time with their families.  All of the younger guys have college degrees, whereas the older men moved up through the ranks with just hands-on experience.  The veterans teach the younger guys the different stations on the rig floor during breaks, in-ports, and other times off, though to me it looks like they all have everything down pat.  In former days they would have been called “rough necks”, but I don’t like that term – it makes them sound like bad boys, and these guys are so not.  The complete opposite, in fact.  Kind and helpful, always willing to take the time to explain how all the different machinery works and even let me try it out a bit – Louie showed me today how to use a rope to screw the core catcher onto the shaft of the core.  You can probably tell which one is me, the one in the tie-dye t-shirt and the Einstein socks!  My (hard) hat goes off to the rig floor men, except that I have to keep it on whenever I’m out on the deck…

P1020958This is the one with me!

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