Having said that, in this post I am going to just publish the pix I took and provide some conjecture and some fact below them...I will do my best to differentiate between the two. I have a panoptic post I want to make after I publish these photos, but I want to save it until after I get these up for your viewing pleasure...or horror....whichever sentiment you're inclined to.
On this flight I took a still camera up instead of a video camera. The stills provide much better definition and I was able to zoom a lot closer to specific objects. Camera is a Nikon D50.
The first shot is from an area just to the east of Cocodrie:
|The Yellow Arrows note actual oil in the water, the white arrrows note oil which has actually soiled the land mass. You can see where the water washed over this land mass and receded, leaving oil stains. Note that Cocodrie is pretty far inland.
|Racoon Island: This water had a distinct sheen you may be able to notice on the left side of the pitcure.
|Racoon Island: Failed Boom
|Racoon Island: Still a very large amount of birds on this island as opposed to neighboring Islands.
|Racoon Island: Brown Pelicans in flight.
|These are bags of contaminated sand that workers had gathered on this Island. I still think the human presence on the neighboring islands drove the birds to settle on Racoon.
Here is your gratuitous spill site porn for all the engineers and geeks.
|A wide shot of "The Source" as it is called on the airwaves of air traffic control.
|Enterprise Explorer dead on.
|Tight shot of Enterprise Explorer's deck for engineering geeks.
|TransOcean rig tight shot.
|TransOcean rig wider shot.
On our way back towards the MS. coast, I was looking at these massive dark plumes right beneath the ocean surface. I was going back and forth with Bonnie on whether or not these dark masses were oil or something else. I can't help but think it had to be oil plumes because we were in very deep water. I've flown out over the Gulf numerous times to shoot videos on rigs and I never, ever saw anything that looked liked this. I can buy the arguments that black masses near the shore are seaweed or ocean floor discoloration, but we were off the shelf and in very, very deep water. There was cloud cover but these plumes extended pass the obvious cloud cover. I have to believe that these dark masses were massive oil plumes which were floating below the surface. They covered a huge area all the way into the coast.
|These discolored patches were much different than the Friday trip. They have now broken up into massive splotches as opposed to constant lines which run to the shoreline.
|The "plumes" always seem to have the brown dispersant lines directly above them.
|Here you can see the dispersant clouds are clumping closer together. What I believe is happening is that the dispersant is degrading the oil under the surface and these brown "clouds" are then floating to the top and dissipating.
|These type of brown dipsersant clusters dissolve very rapidly...you can actually watch them break apart.
|This is one of the "splotches" or "plumes" which is massive in size, half mile to over a mile in some cases.
|It's hard to see the color differences so I used the white arrows as a reference in this photo. This is in very, very deep water right next to the source.
|This is the same picture as above but I altered the contrast and shadowing to accentuate the color differences. Imagine you are looking down on the Gulf and there are splotches of dark areas miles wide and long....this is what it looked like.
|This is closer in shore and obviously in shallower waters but that color change is marked by floating dispersant right above it running in tandem with line between dark green and light green.
|This is right above Ship Island off the MS. shoreline. Please blow this picture up and look at it closely because what your're looking at is ABSOLUTEY oil plumes and you will see it in detail in the following photos.
Once we got to the Mississippi coast we circled Cat and Ship Islands. There was clearly oil encroaching on the islands and into the Ocean Springs/Gulfport coastline....dont' let anyone tell you it's not there....it is there.
|This is the east end of Ship Island. I can't say for certain that the discoloration is oil but notice the black stuff on the beach, I don't think that's seaweed but I could be wrong.
|Same angle as above.
|This is a closer shot of the same streaks between Cat Island and Ship Island. You can't tell me that is discoloration on the ocean floor....sorry dude.
|A higher shot lookingback towards the MS shoreline
|That's Cat Island on the left side of the frame
|Pretty sure that is Cat Island on left but it may be Ship Island
|Little blurry...sorry...but a tighter shot of one of the streaks next to Cat Island.
|Very wide shot looking back towards MS shoreline. Blow it up and look at the striations and discoloration in the background. I don't know what the striations are, but the dark stuff in the background is the same stuff you are looking at above.
|Cat Island and a nasty oil streak
One of the most harrowing things I saw was on our approach back to Lakefront Aiport, I couldn't believe how far the oil had encroached on Pontchartrain....it was in the south end of Pontchartrain and had covered Lake Borgne.
|Lake Borgne...it was everywhere.
|This is the pass between Borgne and Pontchartrain. The boats off to the left are skimming. It has clearly worked it's way into Pontchartrain and from what I can tell stops right below the Twin Span to Slidell....I guess it's now the Quad Span.
|This is a little bit further west...I put this shot here to add perspective. You can see the Twin Span and Pontchartrain in the top left.
Ok...I am going to stop here and I have a summary post I want to make on exactly what I think is happening with the spill. Right now I'm exhausted as this stuff takes an enormous amount of time to prepare and post....and it's not nearly as much fun as the sneaky snake countdown stuff.
Suffice to say the MSM reports that the oil is gone are utter bullshit and propaganda....nothing is "gone".
AND HEY!!!!! I hate to beg, but any donations would be greatly appreciated as I will redirect them directly to Bonnie and her non-profit, "On Wings of Care". She is donating all her time to do this and I would like to help get her as much money as possible for her gas and plane maintenance bills.
CORRECTION: The Monica Ann is a Gulf Fleet boat, not Edison Chouest.