2011 Dec 30 Friday
Gulf of Mexico
Late today we flew out over the Gulf to do some recon and give current coordinates to a boat crew headed out to collect some surface oil samples tomorrow. Too late to make it to the Macondo area, we focused on a site of chronic oil leakage near aTaylor Energy platform destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, about 12 miles south of the Louisiana Delta. We quickly found a long line of surface oil, about 0.5-nm wide and 7 to 8 nm west-to-east. The west end is marked bya small orange float and a larger white buoy with an ominous-looking cross on top. Near the east end of the slick, where it widens some, there is a platform labeled "NKOR Energy." Enroute there and back we saw two marsh fires and some very dirty beaches, but we also enjoyed the sights of the wetlands, more white pelicans, and a memorable sunset.
All of this and more is documented in our flight log provided below and in the photos and videos below. The NRC incident report we filed for the oil is also appended at the bottom of this article; the NRC incident number is #999320. And as always, you may download our entire GPS flight tracks and see our position every ten seconds along the route; see today's flight under the main menu item Flight Tracks on this site.
Read more here!