2013 July 10, Wednesday
Isles Dernieres to Ewing Bank area, Gulf of Mexico

This was the day we flew out to document the leaking natural gas well in Ship Shoal Lease Block 225 (photos, video, and story of that are here), and the day we also flew over Bayou Corne for our ninth time (photos, video, and story here).  But between those two pollution tragedies, we observed a lot of sea phenomena, wildlife, wetlands, and city! Hammerhead sharks, rays, turtles, dolphin; many dense bait balls near the coast and Isles Dernieres; and expanses of dark reddish-brown plumes suggestive of a large dead zone just off the coast. We also share here some classic photos of Louisiana wetlands, the mighty Mississippi River near New Orleans, and downtown New Orleans itself.  Finally, we include here our detailed flight log and a link to our GPS Flight Track files.  Enjoy!  

 

In the following maps of our actual flight tracks, the heavy blue line is today's flight. The bright green line was our flight on June 20, when we found 24 whale sharks all in the Ewing Bank area (see that article here). The magenta line was our first survey of the summer in the Ewing Bank area, made on May 23 (see that article here). 

Here are more photos of views we enjoyed today, followed by our detailed flight log and a link for our GPS Flight Track files.

Many thanks to Billy L. Dugger and Terese P. Collins for joining us today and taking splendid photos! 

************************************************

On Wings Of Care Flight Log for 20130710 - Wednesday   

Note:  Our GPS Flight tracks for today can be downloaded here.

1) Ship Shoal 225B Platform - Gas Well Explosion
2) Ewing Bank area for whale sharks and other life
3) Bayou Corne sinkhole

All waypoint numbers below refer to the GPS tracks shown in today’s article at OnWingsOfCare.org.

Times are given in CDT. 
Lat/lons are given in degrees and decimal minutes.
Pilot:
Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D. (ATP, CFI-AIM)
Spotters/Crew: Terese Collins, Billy Dugger
Seas and weather:  Calm-1 ft,  winds NW 5 kts.
Sky & Visibility: Scattered high clouds but mostly clear skies, 10+ miles visibility
Flight time: 4.3 hours

Flight route: KNEW - southwest to directly over Ewing Bank, then east to Diaphus bank, circle over the entire Ewing Bank area, then begin the grid survey.
The nominal grid consists of S-N rows separated by 6 minutes of longitude (approximately 5 nm), each about 42 nm long, for a total of 9 rows (See the 20130524 flight.) 
Returned to KNEW.

Actual Flight: 605 nm within an area of  3239 sq mi

SS225B (Energy Resource Technology, Inc.)  Contact:  Scott Richie, 337-761-9942, CPXID# 20646, N28.474538, W-91.279192  (N28-28.4’, W91-16.75’)
Note: This is near the NW corner of our Ewing Bank survey grid.  It is shallow water, <200’ deep  We flew just east of it on our first Whale Shark survey flight this year, May 23.

EB1 - Ewing Bank top
0649 - where we found and tagged 10 whale sharks 20130620
WSR130710 - where one of our tagged sharks is today!
BACORN1 - Bayou Corne

WPT

LAT 

LON

       Time (CDT)   

       Description

704

29.038

 -90.775

       2013-07-10  T18:38:47Z

       Dark reddish brown plumes sub-surface (algae?).  Just S of Isles          Dernieres, widespread. Also foam lines & patches.

705

28.972

 -90.825

       2013-07-10                  T18:41:19Z

       Dolphin

706

28.899

 -90.804

      2013-07-10                   T18:43:36Z

       Ensco 81 - jack-up rig, much smoke from boat

707

28.866 

-90.780

      2013-07-10                   T18:45:06Z

       Rays and turtles!

708

28.804

-90.846

      2013-07-10                   T18:47:56Z

       Turtles (small), 1 shark, cownose rays (golden)

709

28.262

-91.134

      2013-07-10                   T19:21:07Z   

       (Lost notes) Water is smooth here, Winds calm and easterly

710

27.957

-91.236 

      2013-07-10                   T20:00:19Z

       Vessel “OSC” (tanker?)

711

28.012

-91.355    

     2013-07-10                  T20:11:52Z

....

712

28.212

-91.468

     2013-07-10                  T20:23:14Z

       White foam line

713

28.388

-91.444

     2013-07-10                  T20:29:32Z

        Large patch of sargassum

714

28.541

-91.434

     2013-07-10                  T20:35:40Z

        Dolphins ~12

715

28.754

-91.410

     2013-07-10                    T20:42:36Z        

        Rig flaring, very large rip (3-in-one)

716

28.959

-91.369

     2013-07-10                    T20:49:13Z

        Leatherback Turtle!

717

29.074

-91.330

     2013-07-10                    T20:54:37Z

        Very active baitball

718

29.398

-91.280    

     2013-07-10                    T21:04:58Z

        Restored marsh, filled with dredged material?

SS225

28.473

-91.279 

     2013-07-10                    T16:10:48Z

WSR130710

28.133

-90.620

     2013-07-10                    T16:47:59Z