Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back in Seattle for the New Year

Ryan and I at Treasure Island Beach
Ryan and I made it back to Seattle just before midnight. We actually rang in the new year waiting in the back of the plane for about 120 slow pokes to get their over sized bags out of the overhead bins and get of the airplane. It's always a bit of a shock to come back to 35 degrees after a warm vacation, have to scrape off our car, and go to bed in a house that's only 50 degrees. But we survived and are enjoying sunshine on the first day of 2013!

We've also been reading about the unfortunate grounding of Shell's drill rig, Kulluk, on Ocean Beach on Sitkalidak Island off of Kodiak. It is amazing that Shell thought they could tow a rig of this size, without its own propulsion system, across the entire Gulf of Alaska in the middle of winter. This storm certainly is a big one, but is still not terribly uncommon. Now it is grounded and I have no idea what can be done for a rig like this, but certainly nothing can be done until the weather clears. Scariest of all is the fact that our government allows things like this to happen. It's convenient to blame Shell for mismanagement of their equipment, but they wouldn't be moving this rig if the government hadn't allowed them to drill in the Chuckchi Sea.

1 comment:

  1. I'm blown away by how unprepared they were for what really is pretty typical weather in the Gulf of Alaska for this time of year. Good thing it did not happen in the Bering Sea with no close by Coast Guard base or tow ships! I gather their oil containment dome in case of an oil spill while drilling did not work last summer either. Patrick