Saturday, June 12, 2010


Lots and lots of oil. I just returned home from my trip to Gulf Shores, AL. Minus the 10% sales tax they have, it's an awesome place to visit if you're in need of a vacation spot. But back to my issue of oil. While we started our trip last Saturday unsure if we were going to go or how many day of clean ocean we would actually see, we packed our bags and headed to the beach!

It started off great! the water was fine and we couldn't smell the oil either. We did see a few tiny (no bigger than a dime) tar balls. But to my amazement I've seen these before on the beach but never knew it was tar. It really just looks like mud so that's what I always thought it was. Our condo was close enough to the Perdido Pass (where the back bay meets the ocean) to see the crews working tirelessly to close the bay off from the ocean.

By mid week the tarball count rose with high tide in the afternoon. But come low tied the following morning it was gone. There were lots of boats out working in the waters and helicopters flying above checking things out.

Wednesday afternoon a little big of oil made it into the pass/bay area but they efforts of the BP people paid off. The oil was contained and cleaned up in just a few hours.

Thursday afternoon we went fishing in the back bay and had a blast. Our captain Troy gave us all the info on boats going to work for BP to help clean up and what it meant for his business. He seemed to be fairly optimistic about the situation, but he seems to live a life of easy.

Come friday the ocean seemed fine and we went out and played around in it for a bit. But we noticed something wasn't right with the boats and helicopters. They weren't up to their usual scoping out things. They seemed to be on a mission. A few hours later around sunset the oil hit. The tarballs were washing up on shore and it had a very strong odor. To me it smelled the same as when you break a glow stick open. I was shocked by all the oil I'd seen over the week but I was in for the biggest of them all.

About 2 hours after the tarballs the oil arrived. It's like nothing I have ever seen. To ocean resembled willy wonka's chocolate pond, but less appetising. It was thick and a redish/brown color. It even made a glooopy gloppy sound when the waves crashed the shore. Only to leave a thick layer of oil behind. I was truly shocked by what I saw. The smell of an old gas station filled the air as the tar filled the beach.

Come saturday morning the oil had thinned out but was still all over the beach and the smell was stronger. But crews were out early in the morning in the 90+ degree heat to clean it up. Here's a few pics of the oil. I'll post some more stuff later.

This is the oil on shore. All the brown you see is a wave coming up on shore.

Here's a happy picture of the ocean.