Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Vintage Husband At Work

My husband, Mike, grew up in southern Illinois but always dreamed of being a diver.  What else to do but join the U.S. Navy!  A year after leaving the military, he met me, AND ALL HIS WILDEST DREAMS CAME TRUE!  We moved to the Gulf Coast, he became a commercial diver, and we lived happily ever after.  OK, ha ha ha.  Last week he asked me to drive the truck down to Amelia, LA (where he's been babysitting his dive system in drydock) to pick up some scrap steel he'd bought.  600 pounds of steel in your truckbed really makes for one smoooooth ride on the notoriously rotten Louisiana roads!  Mike no longer dives and is now a Diving Superintendent--he's in charge of all the divers and tenders and supervisors who work with "his" system.  Here he is, trying to be hard at work while his irritating, yet adored, wife keeps ordering him to stop so she can take a picture. 

He gave me a tour of all the things necessary to run a dive system.  Wow!  Look at all these dials and cables!  They keep track of stuff but it hurt my head listening to him explain it. 

A surprisingly chaste Miss November.  See what happens when you allow women to enter a previously all-male work environment?

While the divers are waiting to frolic underwater, they live in this container-shaped metal box on the deck of the barge.  They can't leave it or they'd explode.  Breathing mixed gas will do that to you.

The two-man dive bell is hooked to the chamber, the divers climb in, and then the bell is lowered over the side.  When there are men in the chamber and the dive bell, all hands are completely concentrated on their safety.  It's amazing how many things can go wrong, which is why oilfield divers are in one of the world's most dangerous occupations.   Deadliest WHAT?

Inside the bell.  If you are claustrophobic, this is NOT the job for you.

This cute little submarine is actually a lifeboat.  They're pushed off the side of the barge and bob around until someone comes to pick them up.  Another reason not to be claustrophobic. 

Mike said this is the poop tank.  He wanted to explain it in more detail but gosh, there was this estate sale I had to get to so sorry, honey, maybe next time, gotta go, love you, (sound of tires peeling out of yard).  YUCK!

(Note to husband--which I don't really have to do since he hardly ever reads my blogs--some of this might be slightly incorrect but I'm pretty sure I got the gist of what you were trying to explain before my eyes glazed over and I went catatonic). 


  1. Wow - we've all come along way on this journey of life haven't we. Love and miss you guys.

  2. very interesting...and i was going to ask, where do they go to the bathroom? and what do they eat?

  3. I would really like to know who cleans the poop tank? Is it "self cleaning" like those weird kitty litter containers? Hmmmm
    I think all women of offshore divers should do the following: when said husband is preparing to leave for work take the time to get his girlie magazines ready for him. Cut out the best head shot of yourself you can find and carefully paste it to all of the lovely ladies heads in the magazine. That way he will have a loving reminder of you even when he's far away from home.

  4. I love my dry land house quite a few 100 feet above sea level! I think I'm the opposite of the divers...if you tried to put me in that little ball, I would explode! Very interesting! So, you climb in the ball, somebody pushes you over the side of the boat into the ocean, you sink to the bottom, then what? Do you have to get out of the ball? Does Miss November get to ride in the ball, too?

  5. That was cool! Thank Mr. Vintage for our 'dry' tour!!

  6. Wow! What an interesting post! Thanks for stopping by again today girlie, I always love the comments. I hope you have an amazing Sunday. Kori xoxo

  7. Very interesting. Does the little submarine have a tiki bar? Can you listen to Pandora in the dive bell? Is there a buffet in the little submarine? I hate Ms. November. I really enjoy your blog, and...your husband looks like a really cool guy, even if he is irritated by all the questions.

  8. Hey! Thanks everyone for your nice comments about Mike's job. Wouldn't it be fun to have a tiki bar in the bell, small though it would be (a teeny weeny teekee). Mike's half the fun at any party, though, so since he's not diving any longer, what's the use? And I hate Miss November, too, but at least she has some clothes on!