Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Gulf and Cameron

One phone call from Peg and I was gone for the day.
Peg runs a delivery service. She delivers personnel to offshore ports and retrieves same to deliver back to their base. Right now she has to drive the vans herself as she looks for a few drivers to hire. She didn't want to make the run yesterday by herself so she called me to go with her.

We went to Cameron, Louisiana. This is an area that was devastated by Hurricane Rita a few years ago. Hurricane Rita hit within a month of Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans. We were right in the middle of these hurricanes and narrowly missed getting hit. Rita came close; within 20 miles of this town but luckily we were spared.

As we entered Cameron the concrete pads lining the road were the only evidence of where homes had stood before Rita blew through. Rows and rows of homes gone. An occasional electric meter on a pole to mark the place where someone had lived. Some of the homes are being rebuilt but many lots stand vacant and overgrown with weeds and debris. The places that are returning are built on elevated soil; soil that has been built up to hopefully withstand the Gulf waters that get swept in from the high winds of a hurricane. Other homes are built on 20ft stilts; the water can rush in and beneath. Me? I would have to move. Once wiped out that badly, I wouldn't stay for another round of wind and water. These people live within sight of the Gulf. Too close for comfort for me.

We entered the parking area, faced the van toward the channel and opened the doors to gather the cool breeze blowing in off the Gulf. We are on the Intercoastal waterway. The waterway looked to me to be as wide as an interstate if you combine both north and south lanes and the median strip. In this channel travels huge ships hauling their cargo to different  ports along the Gulf. As this huge ship quietly and slowly navigated this channel, dolphins could be seen leaping out of the water directly at the prow of this great ship. I watched them leap in synchronized movement  beside this behemoth water vessel; I watched until the ship had passed from view.
Soon the crew boat arrived and the passengers started stripping off their life vests, unloading their sea bags and disembarking to return to their homes; some being away for a few days and some for a few weeks. Just a slice of their normal work day this sea travel to work that allows them to afford a decent living and to support their families during a time when no job is certain.

6 hrs later and I was returned back to my home. Dinner and a little TV ended my day. Today? A haircut and a pedicure and I'm done!

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