THE CREEK DWELLER

Tales from a small creek on the Eastern Shore

A Big, Sunburned Man with Rough Hands

and a gentle manner.

His name is Jeff Hart and five weeks ago he was drilling water wells for the US Army’s forward operating bases in Afghanistan. He reportedly is the world’s best T-130 drill operator and was asked to take on a special job.

For the last 33 days he has been standing for 16 hours a day (mostly on one leg) with one boot on the drill head of a drilling rig in the Atacama desert of Chile. “There’s so much noise, the only way to know what the drill is doing is to feel the vibration from it” he said, and late last Saturday Jeff’s size thirteen right boot told him something was happening to the drill. More than two thousand feet below in solid rock the 30 inch diameter drill was close to breaking through into a closed chamber containing 33 trapped miners, they had been there for a long 69 days.

In the next few days a short section of the hole running through unmapped chambers of the mine will be lined with steel pipe. Then, probably amid a large crowd of reporters and cameras the first miner will be strapped in a cage and hauled a third of a mile to the surface. My guess is that Jeff will not be there, and, after a few days off, he will likely be back drilling water wells for the US Army’s forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

Stay safe Jeff, I have a feeling your skills will soon be needed again somewhere in this big bad world.

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October 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment