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!