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2013 March 16 Saturday
Gulf of Mexico - Macondo prospect, Taylor Energy, Breton Sound

(Today's Gulf overflight was made possible by donations from the listeners of the radio station ThePowerHour.com. Thank You Joyce Riley and all of your listeners for putting us back in the air to bring you the facts!)

We jumped at another day of clear skies and calm seas to make a quick flight to check on some of the fifteen oil pollution sites we documented and reported from last Friday's flight over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. We were particularly interested to see the status of the extensive sheen we saw in the Macondo area last Friday. To our surprise, that area looked mostly clear today -- clear of surface oil, and void of life. The water was beautifully calm, even 50 miles off the coast. Plenty calm enough to see sharks and fish who do not need to break the surface. And yet we saw no bait balls, no flying fish, no seabirds hunting, no rays, turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales. Nada; nothing alive was seen along our flight route today.

The Taylor Energy site -- that chronic oil pollution debacle about 12 nm off the coast of Louisiana that has been spewing oil into the Gulf since Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 -- continues to horrify. We filmed plenty of thick rainbow oil, even some brown weathered crude hanging in a portion of it. The thickest part of the slick has moved a few miles northward from where it typically has been in the past, perhaps due to prevailing strong southerly winds of late. But it's never difficult for us to find it; we usually can spot it more than ten miles away, even on cloudy days.

In addition to the Taylor site, we reported another of what we have seen and reported before and presume to be a natural seep, this one about 12 nm west-southwest of MC252. We also saw and reported a substantial slick (over a mile long) along Louisiana's eastern coast, east of Empire, LA at the south end of California Bay.  These comprised our three NRC reports, detailed below in our Flight Log. Here are a few sample photos.  Many more photos, plus videos, are in the full article.

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Read the full article and see all the photos and videos here!