Crane Operator

Another thing to add onto the resume. Well I’m not really sure if I can put that, when operating the crane simply involves pushing four buttons that go Up, Down In and Out. Even a mechanic moron like me can handle that.


But on the Farallones, where there’s no jetty or a safe beach landing, one of the main ways we transport people and supplies is using the crane to lift up a “safe boat” (really a little boat that brings people to and from the sailing ship docked a-ways) or the Billy Pugh to lift up personnel.


Here’s the Billy Pugh! You can lift a bunch of people quickly this way, with people standing all around the sturdy metal ring, and clinging onto the netting. Apparently the Pugh-invention is used quite often on oil rigs. It is marginally more effective than lifting people up individually by their belt loops.


Before I could go on for my ride, I had to put on a life jacket. Obviously Michael’s Adult XL wasn’t going to fit, so he kindly got me an M, but even that was a tad loose even with my recent obsessive brownie comsumption (you buy a 36pack of 2 bite brownies from Costo, whaddya expect!). So Russ and Michael had to tighten my lifejacket straps for me. Straight out of a scene from an aeroplane’s safety video. “Put your own life jacket on first then attend to the child.”


So we learnt how to operate the crane, trouble shoot it, and turn on the hunky noisy generator to power the crane (which really just involves pressing a button). The crane was out of order all winter, so the poor elephant seal crew had to get their supplies from the north landing. No crane there, you go right up to a little platform of rocky steps on the zodiac and manually carry supplies back to the house. What Russ calls “humping it”(?) Thank goodness for the crane’s safe return (by helicopter – another easy way to get things on the island).

My parents would be proud of their crane operating daughter. Oy!


4 thoughts on “Crane Operator

    • Hallo Frederik! How’s it going. 🙂 Riding that wasn’t dangerous but it was certainly fun. I’m sure you’ve done similar-type stuff being greenlandic and all!

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