Ocean Star Energy Center, Haak Winery & Shrimp n Stuff Restaurant Day Trip - June 25, 2010

by Lucy Salas

Such a nice day to be in Galveston at the Ocean Star Energy Center!

We all met at Bayland Park for an exciting trip to Galveston and the Offshore Energy Center. Twenty seven people plus the bus driver, Mark, were on the bus.

Enjoying the Ocean Star Energy Center.

We had a few (7) cancellations due to sickness and vacations. The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum is located in Galveston, Texas, less than an hour from downtown Houston, the world's petroleum capital. This totally unique museum and learning center is located on Galveston's Pier 19, at Harbor side Drive and 20th Street, just one block off The Strand. We took a leisurely, self-guided tour through the retired Ocean Star jack-up rig which now serves as a museum and educational facility. From geological exploration, to drilling, to oil and gas production, we saw offshore drilling equipment, exhibits and videos on three levels of this refurbished offshore drilling rig. Following a leisurely tour inside the museum, we took the skywalk out onto the drill floor of the rig, and visited the exhibits on the pipe deck from the first floor of the museum.

We also learned that The Hall of Fame recognizes those persons and technologies that took the industry to sea. These Pioneers are individuals who distinguished themselves and became the character of the industry through their vision, drive, innovation, and leadership. These people are recognized in the Hall of Fame that is housed at the museum. Pioneering Technologies are those innovations that stand out in the development of the offshore industry and its resources. The Hall of Fame also honors the individuals and companies that contributed to the development of the technologies. Additionally, in 2000, the Pinnacle Award was established to honor contemporary individuals for their contributions and inspirational leadership to the offshore industry.

Haak Winery tour.

Our bus driver was very knowledgeable and after the tour he guided us through the streets to show us the sculptures made from the tree stumps left by Hurricane Ike. James D. Phillips, who sculpts wood by trade, went to work on a dead tree stump at city hallís southeast lawn, but it wasnít being removed like so many other damaged trees on the island. It was transformed into public art. The tree died, along with a majority of Galvestonís beloved and expansive live oaks destroyed by Hurricane Ikeís storm surge. Phillips, displaying oddly graceful maneuvers with his chainsaw, skimmed away the stump until the vague shape of a Dalmatian was deciphered. He will sculpt a larger tree just yards away into a water hydrant, paying homage to the fire department next door. The sculptures are part of a project spear-headed by the cityís Tree Committee, which the city council created last month. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, residents in affected communities began carving their trees instead of demolishing them, which inspired the committee. We managed to see a few of them and took pictures.

The wine was delicious.

Wood sculpting by James Phillips.

Attendees were:

Vivian Watkins, Lucy Salas, Pat & Shirley Callahan, Bernie Dennis, Mildred Bailey, Delores Baugh, Marian & Bob Gruber, Mary Lee & Howard Cameron, Patsy Seay, Rose Cerda, Gladys Price, Scotty Munoz, Jimmy Lucas, Gloria & K.J. Byers, Carolyn Wilkins, Ralph Garcia, Dustin Reynolds, Larry Reynolds, Lillie Brown, Gwendolyn & Eddie Dickey, Mary Green and Pearl Singleton.

Coming back to Bayland Park the winners of the prize drawing were Gladys Price, Mary Green, Carolyn Wilkins, Gloria Byers, Marian Gruber and Lucy Salas. Lucy donated her prize to one of the other winners.

Join us soon on another exciting Day Trip.