Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Face to Face with Noble Discoverer

The Drillship Noble Discoverer did a disappearing act last weekend, then showed up on MarineTraffic, displaying a loitering holding pattern southwest of Cape Flattery. I'm guessing the delay was caused by the furor down in Seattle over allowing Shell to park their motley collection at Terminal 5.

When I awoke Tuesday a.m., she was approaching Port Angeles, taking on a Puget Sound Pilot. I had two choices; shoot her from Point Wilson here in Port Townsend, or run over to Marrowstone Island, where I could obtain an elevated view as she rounded Marrowstone Point.

I elected  Marrowstone Island, and set up my location inside Fort Flagler State Park, at the Thomas Wansboro Battery. By 10:30 a.m. I began "the wait" with my trusty Key Grip, GingerSnap.

Finally, at 1 p.m. PDT (8 a.m. GMT) the infamous Drillship Noble Discoverer hove into sight [video] abeam the Marrowstone Point Light.

It was anticlimactic seeing this vessel. I've been following her since the 2012 debacle Royal Dutch Shell showed the world. Nothing mythical about it; simply an oil derrick mounted on what was once a log carrier built nearly a half century ago (1966),  hauling between Puget Sound and Japan.

I must have been a half mile from this Armada, atop a Marrowstone bluff, and I felt STRONG thumping vibrations through my legs. One can only image how these powerful vessels sound under water.

Discoverer completed her trip from Singapore, coming along side in Everett at dinner time, May 5, 2015.

My take-away from this encounter is this: There is no way a fleet of 24 vessels can invade the Chukchi Sea, without changing life there forever.

Shell has no business rolling the dice on the environment like BP did in the Gulf. BP ruined the Gulf, and now, if you can believe it, BP wants their mitigation money back?

Conversation Starter

The Seattle PI reports the stand off between the Port Commissioners, three of whom accepted campaign funds from Saltchuk, who own Foss, and the outraged citizens of Seattle, whose battle cry is "ShellNo!"

With empirical evidence suggesting a down-turn in oil and gas production, why do you think Shell is so hell-bent on screwing around in the Arctic?

•  Oil Companies Are Pausing Plans to Drill the Arctic
•  Rig Count Down
•  Chevron Drops Arctic Oil Drilling Plan 

3 Comments - Click here:

Kurt Clark said...

Impressive that you were able to get so close. Nice photos!

Matt Farnsworth said...

I like that the protesters are paddling up to protest the drill rig in PLASTIC canoes made out of OIL. Do these (well meaning but very misguided) folks even realize the extend to which oil has infiltrated and improved their lives, and would they be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to live an oil free life? I'm thinking no on both accounts.

Robert in Port Townsend said...

"People attending rally drive cars and paddle around in plastic boats ..."

Most of the people making this kind of absurd allegation really don’t care about a genuine response. It is a tactic to shut you down. Unsurprisingly, many of these same people refuse to acknowledge that we are changing our climate, so reject also the responsibly we share in doing something about it. So this isn’t for them, this is for you. This is to tell you that it is ok to drive your car to an oil-free protest.

I provided ample evidence demonstrating the lack of need to drill in the Arctic. There is a vast difference between drilling in open water, as compared to drilling in pack ice. BP proved they could sweep the problem under the rug with ill-advised surfactants, which have formed a smothering mat on the Gulf floor. Imagine creating a giant ice slurpy?

In his 1865 book “The Coal Question: An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of our Coal-Mines,” English economist William Stanley Jevons made the observation “Of the Economy of Fuel” that when improvements in technology make it possible to use a fuel more efficiently, the consumption of the fuel tends to go up, not down.

This is known as Jevons’ Paradox. It occurs because as the efficiency of a type of machinery is improved, it becomes profitable for many more customers and feasible to apply it to new applications. This results in rapid growth of the number of machines in use and consequently, an increase in fuel consumption overall.

Post a Comment

"Comment" is for sharing information related to this article. "Anonymous" comments are not published.