Continuing on our journey through the departments supporting the scientific research, we come to the drillers.  On my shift there are three (Charlie, Stephen B., and Bonifacio A., or Boney).  There are two drill huts, on on top of the other.  The top one controls the core and its line and takes constant attention to maintain proper tension, especially in heavy sea conditions.  The bottom one controls the drill pipe, pressure, mud wells and computer data entry.  It is amazing all the data that gets recorded, right down to the orientation of the core, when it is “shot” into the ocean floor, relative to magnetic north!  The continuous attention required for so many gauges and dials is a bit mind boggling.  A moment’s inattention by Boney could cost the integrity of the core.  A moment’s inattention by Charlie or Steve could cause injury to someone on the rig floor.  I’m sure it’s all just part of a day’s work to them, but if it were me, I’m pretty sure I’d have an ulcer early in my career.


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