Happy fourth of July, from Leeville.

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Sep 05, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

July 5, 2006
I finally made it to New Orleans, the late flight was delayed due to thunder and lightning storms my day that began at 4:00AM finally ended at 12:20AM the next day. One stroke of luck was my luggage was there waiting for me and I got the last room available at the Best Western. It was the first thing that went right all day.
In the morning I went to the Denny's next to the hotel and ordered a Grand slam, the lady asked, "bacon or links", I chose bacon.
"What kind of toast?" , "sour dough" I said politely. Then the waitress asked a question that threw me off because I hadn't had my cup of coffee yet.
"Hashbrowns or grits?"
"Grits?" I said negatively, then I realized where I was...." Oh, grits! no, no I want hashbrowns"
What I got was neither grits OR hashbrowns, it was a plate full of grease. An introduction to Louisiana cooking, you can actually FEEL you heart slowing down as you eat the food. When I paid for the meal I got a receipt that had a tagline on the bottom that said, " Thankyou for your business. Have a blessed day!" I sighed heavily, for I was totally in culture shock AGAIN. I went from one extreme to the next, and I won't be home for a long, long time.......

When I arrived at the boat, the guys from Survey Equipment Services had already began the mobilization of the boat. All of the equipment was brand new so that meant that nothing was going to work on the first try, we spent a whole day just working out the bugs after setting everything up. Once connected we tested the equipment in the water everything went well for the most part, but one of the survey guys forgot to attach the safety shackle to the towfish and in the first 5 minutes they lost one of their fins(See pictures) . I'm not placing blame on anybody I just think they were a little anxious to throw $300,000 in the water before checking to make sure everything was secure. We replaced the fin and took on food and fuel and prepared to departed late on the evening of the 5th. The guys from SES that were setting everything up took off and I was left alone with the guys who worked on the boat.
A note about the crew and co-workers,
I am attempting not to judge people here, but I'm going to share my feelings and it's hard sometimes. A lot of the survey crew are good workers and decent guys, they cuss like sailors (no surprise) and they are the biggest bunch of bigots that I've ever met. The situation with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita don't help the situation, everybody bad mouths the FIMA trailers, and the people inside them, they use the weak excuse that they like black people but they hate niggers that don't want to work. If I hear one more person say that niggers do this or niggers say that, I swear I'm going to tell him he's a bigot to his face.I might even call him a "fat bigot fuck" if it's the right guy. The only thing that I can't tolerate is intolerance and ignorance combined. I'm in the wrong place for that. It doesn't stop at black people these guys hate all races that are not white. Even though I dislike it, and don't understand it, I have to allow them to believe that way because in America in order to have your free thinking, you have to allow others to have theirs, even if you believe it's wrong. I have the hardest time allowing their way of thinking though. Anyway, Good workers, and nice people to talk to if you are a white male, I cannot profile the entire crew that way, the two captains are from Florida and they are great, the survey crew and the party chief are alright, but sometimes when I overhear idle conversation, I want to grab one of the guys and ask them what freaking century they are living in, and where all their teeth went?

Keep in mind....I'm writing this on day number 3.....
and we are still at the dock. I can't wait until I start 12 hour night shifts with people who are two sheets and a membership card from being Klan members.

What I am actually doing out here: (for my friends and people NOT in the industry.)
We have a sonar system that basically takes a photograph of the bottom to the left and to the right of it (side scan sonar). It has a third sensor that profiles the sedimentation of the ground directly below it (sub-bottom profiler). These two things together make a 3D sensor that maps the bottom of the ocean. In order to be effective, it has to be in the bottom 10% of the water column, this means, you have a really expensive toy ($300K), dangling on a mile down in the water on a 25,000 foot cable. Now, tow that thing around 90 feet off of the bottom and look for big hills with it...... Oh yea, did I mention it's made out of fiberglass and will shatter to pieces if you accidentally run it into a sub-sea mountain. Now, do this for twelve hours straight every night for a month and see if YOUR hair doesn't start falling out.
There are a lot of bald people in the business.
Speaking of bald, I forgot to get a haircut before leaving for Mexico and I was now as shaggy as a dog in 100 degree weather, and my only other was a Louisiana haircut, so I did the only practical thing, I buzz cut all my hair off. Don't worry Karla, It'll grow back. I hope.....
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