What’s Happening

I know I haven’t been posting here as much as I’d like. Nothing’s wrong. Mostly I’ve just been lazy.

I got off the rig really late last Thursday. I knew I was going to miss my flight, so I changed it to the next day and booked a hotel in New Orleans. Goes to show me what good it does to plan anything in advance.

I thought I got a really good deal on my flight home from New Orleans by purchasing it in advance. I only paid $65 ($32 for the fare, the rest was taxes/fees). I wound up paying an extra $45 to change it to Thursday night, which would have been fine for a normal crew change. But then I had to pay an extra $40 to change it to the next day since we didn’t even leave the rig til around 2230 Thursday night! Cost me $85 to change it and only $65 to buy it- WOW have the airlines got some scam going!

on the boat getting ready to head to Fourchon and home!

I spent what was left of the night at the Maison Dupuy in the French Quarter. Since I didn’t get there til 0330 Friday morning, I didn’t really get to spend much time there, but what I saw of it, I liked.

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I spent a couple of hours wandering around the French Quarter. Got my fix of coffee and beignets and had to hurry back to the airport for my flight home.

flying in to Houston

I got home late Friday and was too tired for anything but a quick look through the months pile of mail blocking my front door. I spent most of the weekend catching up on both sleep and mail. Tuesday I went to painting class (they were on hiatus for the summer) and the dentist in the afternoon.

I’m not sure what happened there. I went in to fix an old filling (nothing was bothering me). Since that operation, a different tooth has been hurting when I chew on that side of my mouth. Hating the thought of having to make another dentist appointment!

I haven’t really been doing much of anything. Today I’m planning to break out of my torpor and go to the Summertime Bikes & Blues Festival. I’m not a ‘biker chick’ by any means, but I do think some of them look pretty cool. I like a lot of the kinds of people that like bikes, and I like the whole ‘freedom’ thing they promote.

I usually like the music (this year I’m disappointed they canceled a friend of mine’s band). I’ve never heard of any of the bands this year, so just hoping they’ll be up to the usual standard. The food is pretty good, with all kinds of different vendors, from BBQ to shrimp kebobs, popcorn and candy apples. Of course beer and lemonade. πŸ™‚

I hope to have some more pics tomorrow. Next week might be busier. I’m waiting to hear if I can go back to work or not since I left under not quite the best circumstances. In any case, I need to finish up my (2016) taxes. πŸ™

No Green Beer

I went to the St Patrick’s Day Parade at Surfside Beach yesterday. There were plenty of Jello Shots going around, but no green beer this year. πŸ™

I went home early, too paranoid to stick around. Going over the bridge after dark is much too dangerous for me now. I can’t deal with the cops!

I got a lot of good photos (look for them here soon as I can get them uploaded). The weather turned out to be beautiful! Sunny, temps around 80, and a little breezy. I stopped on the way home to take pictures of the wildflowers just starting to come out. Texas is just gorgeous this time of year!

Capt Jills Journey into History: Houston Maritime Museum

It’s already time to go back to work. It seems like I just got off!

Yes, I did have a couple of weeks at home. Tomorrow would have been 3 weeks. WOW! It sure flew by. πŸ™‚

I have been pretty busy this time home. I went up to Houston a couple of times. I went to the Houston Rodeo (yeehaw!). Only my 2nd time in all the years I’ve been here. It was fun, I watched the barrel racing and the mutton busting. I tried the fried Snickers ice cream sundae (yummy). Took TONS of pictures. πŸ™‚

I was hoping to meet a friend who was volunteering at the Wine Garden. I did actually meet her, but she was pretty busy by that time and I was on my way out. I was on the way to a meeting with the Sail La Vie sailing club I belong to (check out my post on last Saturdays sail).

That was an interesting meeting. πŸ˜‰

I spent the night up there in Houston. I had planned to go to the zoo in the morning since the weather looked nice. Apparently everybody else in town had the same idea. I couldn’t get into a parking lot anywhere within a half mile.

I decided to try something else instead. I decided to check out the Houston Maritime Museum. It was actually pretty close to where I spent the night and the Zoo but I drove around for a while looking for it.

I finally found it and was glad I did. Of course,Β yes,Β I am always interested in a good maritime museum. πŸ˜‰

This one didn’t look like much from outside, or even when you first walked in. But the more you wandered around, the more it opened up. There was something interesting to see around every corner.

The Houston Maritime Museum was founded by James L. Manzolillo (merchant mariner and cruise ship lecturer), and opened to the public in 2000. Since then, it’s worked to educate the public about maritime history and the continued importance of the maritime industry to Houston and the State of Texas.

I enjoyed exploring rooms full of models recreating everything from aircraft carriers (including tiny little airplanes on deck) to Liberty ships to semi submersible drilling rigs to the USS Constitution and famous ships of the age of exploration.

The museum counts Master Modeler and restoration expert Lorena Alvarez as a valued member of the team. Her expertise shows!Β The time and effort that goes into building even one of those models is just unbelievable and they had dozens of models!

They had an excellent collection of navigation equipment: sextants, astrolabes, starfinders, compasses, barometers and barographs, etc.

They had a nice display of ships (and other things) in bottles. I still don’t really know how they get all that done, but it looks like a good project to work on if you don’t have a blog or another hobby to keep you busy at sea. πŸ™‚

They had a mock up of a ships conning station with the ships wheel, compass and engine order telegraph.

They had a room covering war ships and it had a pretty good exhibit on how the merchant marine functioned during war time. Convoys and Liberty ships, sinkings, explosions and other disasters, navy escorts, etc.

They had a room with memorabilia from the old cargo liners and another display of things relating to the passenger liners “Titanic”, “Olympic”, “Britannia” and the SS United States (still one of the fastest ships ever!).

They had a room to tell the history of the Port of Houston. It did a pretty good job of explaining how important the Port was and still is to Houston. How the founders built up Buffalo Bayou and brought cotton and sugar to/from Allens Landing and all up and down the Bayou. Those old photos were really fascinating!

There was another room full of really interesting stuff from the oilfield. There was a painting and write up on Howard Hughes’ (spy ship)Β Glomar Explorer. There were models of drillships, floating production facilities and semi submersibles. There was a nice little section on whaling (not much of that going on in Houston). πŸ˜‰

They even had a room just for the kids to learn about maritime stuff. The day I was there, it was still a work in progress. They had costumes for the kids to dress up in and have fun pretending to be ships captains, pirates, mermaids, engineers, etc. πŸ™‚

One of the staff was working on installing a cushion for the floor in the kids room and I started talking to her about the museum. Turns out she was the Director of Operations so I got a really good person to talk to and answer all of my questions.

My biggest one was: why in the world was the Maritime Museum located in such an out of the way place and not nearer to the Ship Channel where people would expect it to be? Turns out, they are in the process of building a new place right over there and it will be opening in 2014 for the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Houston Ship Channel.

That will be a good move for the Museum, for the Port of Houston and for the general public. It should be easier to find and they will have a partnership with the M/V Sam Houston (which gives free tours of the ship channel), that should help both parties.

That tour is a very interesting thing to do too, especially if the weather is nice. Free boat ride! Woot Woot!!

It really is amazing all the things that go on in our own backyards and most people have no idea. The maritime industry is one of those things that I think more people would be interested in if they only knew about it. I think the Houston Maritime Museum will be a good place to go to learn more about it and I hope more people will take advantage of the opportunity. πŸ™‚

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