Monday, December 17, 2007

E-Broke on through to the other side

Today we broke through to Robson station, our second to last major hurdle. From here on the boring is relatively straight forward. It was pretty cool to experience the cutting head break through. I was expecting a much more gentle crumbling of the earth than the explosive display I witnessed. In fact, there was so much force that much of the rock, concrete, sludge and water sprayed 100 feet right towards us. I was standing about 150 feet back and got a little spray on my helmut.

It was also kind of interesting to see the emotional response. Being in a line of work where drifting off course by 6 inches can be a multi million dollar mistake, there is a lot of stress that builds up. However, as you can imagine, tunneling is a pretty macho, play your cards close to your chest, world. Don't show stress...don't show fear...or doubt...just act like you know everything will be fine.

How do I know it's acting? It became crystal clear when the head came out in exactly the right spot. There was a collective sigh of relief and an almost giddy applause.....followed by a lot of man-hugging. Guys I hadn't seen crack a smile in two months were running around like they had just won the lottery. Then the crew on the boring machine were given a standing (there were no seats to be had) ovation as they climbed down the cutting head and over the rubble. This was followed by more hugs and handshakes.

Out of the hundred people there, I might have been one of 3 Canadians. The company did manage to honour Canada however as they provided Tim Hortons donuts for everyone.


Darren Barefoot said...

"I might have been one of 3 Canadians."

Er, maybe you mean everybody else is a 'new Canadian' or at least a 'landed immigrant'?

I'm totally stealing that photo for my blog.

ericandles said...

Nope...they are all foreign nationals coming in on temporary work visas. They move on from here to work in another country when they are done here.