Friday, January 23, 2015

New Skyline of Port Isabel -- 1/12/2014

Herb and I are driving to Port Isabel from Brownsville on Hwy 48 when he says, "What is that???  It appears to be in the ship channel."  As we get into town we turn right onto Port Road to get a closer look.

We aren't the only ones.  Several cars are in the area, turning toward the street that leads to the Laguna Madre Yacht Club clubhouse. 

A beautiful sight to behold is a drilling rig.  We see the water marks and think it had been in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps moved to make way for the USS Constellation aircraft carrier that is due to come in to the Port of Brownsville for wrecking.  

Noble Driller

Herb writes a friend who has knowledge of those things, but gets a reply telling us it will reside there permanently, having been taken out of service due to the falling price of oil.  He further says it is a semi-submersible drilling rig that is actually used in deep water, and is being stacked (meaning stored) in Port Isabel for an undetermined time.

Doing a little research, I learn that Noble Driller is rated for a water depth of 5,000 feet, and a drilling depth of 25,000.  I also noted when a rig is cold stacked, the crew is laid off the its doors are welded shut.  

As I  take photos, I see people walk about on the deck and the tugboat below, Sea Spirit, moving possibly to direct a crane on deck.  This is amazing to me and I wonder what it would be like to work on a rig, or to shut one down.  

Sea Spirit

I love our friend's quote, "It will be part of the skyline now, just like Sapphire Condos."    Second only to the Jesus statue near the jetties on South Padre Island, it must be the most locally photographed subject in recent history.

More detailed information and a beautiful aerial photo are found in this link.

Once home, I aim my camera off our south facing veranda.

Using less zoom, it still can be seen as taller than its neighbor drill ship....

And my favorite is at night....

Noble Driller
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, January 12, 2015


  1. Ahoy Guys, pretty cool! Are you coming to the boat show? We are going to The sails and ales event next Friday! Cindy

    1. Cindy, we are actually at the Boat Show today and tomorrow! Will be in Texas for the Super Bowl -- go Hawks!

  2. Great, enjoyed your pix of Seattle! We will be heading there on Friday and then back to Port Townsend for an epic Super Bowl Party at our house! We plan to shake the Olympic Peninsula so they can hear us all the way to Phoenix!