The other day we drove to Morgan City to tour the Rig Museum, called “Mr. Charlie”. Built in 1957, Mr. Charlie was the first transportable, submersible oil drilling rig and began the offshore drilling industry.
Still attached to a submersed barge but by the shore, Mr. Charlie is now a training facility for the oil drilling industry. Men and women wanting to work on an oil drill train and live on Mr. Charlie to see if they can hack the living and working conditions. They go to class and then actually do the work on the rig.
Living conditions were tight in this 1957 oil rig, being home to 48 people with four to the room in bunk beds. Four meals a day were available, as there were two, twelve hour shifts a day. Nowadays, workers have two people per room with private baths.
Currently the industry offer shifts of 7, 14 or 28 days offshore on the rig with corresponding 7, 14 or 28 days off on land. With a 28 day shift you could work off the coast of Atlanta and easily fly home even to Seattle for 28 days off and then back to Atlanta to go back to work. Not a bad way to live IMHO.
Both men and women work on today’s oil rigs and every conceivable job opportunity is available from housekeeping and cooks to computer techs and accountants. Yes, they have housekeepers to make beds and clean the toilets and I bet they make more than minimum wage living out on an oil rig. Unfortunately, with the BP spill and the shut down of the oil drill off our coasts, all the offshore drilling moved overseas, especially to Australia waters.
Early oil rigs
Current designed rigs
Our guide with 42 years experience; very good.
After the oil rig tour we went to Rita Mae’s Kitchen for lunch. This place was recommended to us and we are sure glad we found this little gem in Morgan City. It is located inside an older house where each room was made into a dining area, very quaint.
Large great crab cake sandwich
Green grass and palms
across the street
We had a great day and learned a lot. Remember, you are loved.