2013 June 30, July 1, July 2
Gulf of Mexico - Ewing Bank and Mississippi Canyon

After our stunning find of 24 whale sharks on and east of Ewing Bank last June 20, scientists made a dedicated long week-end's trip in a chartered vessel, the FV Annie Girl, to see if we could get a repeat performance and tag some more of these gentle giants.  Alas, weather seldom cooperates with long-laid plans, and these three days that had held so much hope did not afford us calm or clear seas. As hard as we tried, blue water was pushed 30-40 nm farther south (offshore) than previously, and visibility both in the air and water was not great from the air. (Which meant it was even poorer from the surface.)  But we made the best of it, and we did see some beautiful sights we'd like to share with you.  And some not-so-beautiful sights, as in a few more significant oil slicks.  So enjoy the  photos and videos, and stay tuned for the articles from our subsequent flights -- July 19, July 31, August 04, August 20, and August 21!

Here are a few of our favorite photos:  Dolphins, some huge baitballs, an enormous beautiful bird rookery northeast of Isles Dernieres, sargassum and various sea phenomena, gorgeous shots of the coast and wetlands, weather near the city of New Orleans and an awesome waterspout offshore, and last but not least (unfortunately), oil slicks and their associated emissions.

Lots more photos and videos in the article, witih maps of where we flew and where all of the sightings were, and of course our complete flight logs and links to download our GPS flight tracks.  
See the full article, photos, videos and more here!