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2013 July 19--August 21
Gulf of Mexico, offshore Louisiana
Bouma & Ewing Banks east to Mississippi Canyon

Our latest four wildlife survey flights in the Gulf of Mexico were full of unpredicted and unwelcome weather obstacles, but our persistence brought us some interesting surprises! We found whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, pods of spinner and bottlenose dolphin, sperm whales, what we think are Cuvier's beaked whales, yellowfin tuna and other large fish, and a few of our favorite leatherback turtles. We didn't find the numbers we had hoped to find, but it was reassuring to find at least some where we would expect them to be at this time of year.

We also found plenty of surface oil slicks and sheen, which we've come to expect in this area of the Gulf of Mexico. Where there are oil slicks, we do not see much wildlife. In an area larger than 6000 square nautical miles that we've been surveying since last May, we have had a larger number of significant sightings of surface oil than of wildlife. "C'est la vie" in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana!

Here are just a few photos to give you a taste of what you'll find below.  First up are some interesting groups of dolphin, American egrets almost 120 nm off the coast, a hammerhead shark, sperm whales and a group of three beaked whales, and some whale sharks (apparently not in groups and frequently near active bait balls). Next is just one of many extraordinary patches of sargassum, some dark underwater plumes near the coast (algae or hypoxic areas?), a typical flare on an offshore rig, and the famous fisheries research boat from Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF). (You saw that boat in the June 20 article, as the divers tagged 10 whale sharks that day of the 24 we found!) Following that are a few photos of some of the more egregious surface oil slicks, the last of which was just off the eastern coast of Louisiana near Grand Bay. And finally you'll see a few special views of the coastal wetlands and the city of New Orleans. 

Many more photos and videos are included below, starting with detailed maps of where we flew and where the most substantial sightings were, and ending with our transcribed flight logs showing the exact GPS coordinates for all of these sightings.  As always, you can download our GPS flight tracks from our main menu item called "Flight Tracks."

The Maps
Let's start with maps showing where we were on these four flights, and -- more importantly -- where all the wildlife were, and where all these photos and videos were taken!  The flight of July 19 -- our eighth survey flight since May 23, 2013 -- is shown in bright orange on these maps, and took us to the farthest west that we've ever flown, Bouma Bank, west of Ewing Bank. This was our sixth time to the Ewing Bank area since May. Some of the whale sharks that scientists had tagged on June 20 and earlier had surfaced and in this area, and we were hoping to find the large aggregations there that we did not see near Ewing Bank in the flights of June 30-July 2. We did find a few whale sharks, but mostly we saw dolphin, a few hammerhead sharks, one leatherback turtle, and some lovely sargassum. And oil. (We found oil on every flight -- seems to be the easiest thing to find out there.) Photos from July 19 are courtesy of Gary Gray of the Gulf Coast Research Lab. Our other spotter this day was our hometown hero and whale-shark scientist and tagger extraordinaire, Ms. Jennifer McKinney from LDWF.

On July 31, we returned to the Mississippi Canyon area for our fourth time since May; this flight is drawn in bright blue. Biologist Cijii Marshall from LDWF joined us as a spotter, together with an experienced bird spotter from Mississippi, Mr. Wesley Smith. We stayed to the eastern portion of the survey grid, following blue water and searching closer to where the tagging boat was.  We spotted one whale shark, but he (or she) dove before we could guide the tag boat. We saw some turtles, caught rare views of a sperm whale sleeping vertically, and watched a very active pod of well over 100 spinner dolphins.  We have three videos from this flight, two of sperm whales and one of this large pod of dolphins.

August 20 took us back to Ewing Bank for our seventh time; the flight track is shown in white. By now, you might be noticing that as weather permits, we try to make these flights around the full moon, the theory being that whale sharks and other opportunistic feeders are most likely to be eating near the surface when the smaller fish are spawning. Today we had a full plane with some very experienced spotters -- Terese Collins and Don Abrams from Mississippi joined Jennifer McKinneyof LDWF. Unfortunately, even the best spotter can't see well with 2-ft seas and somewhat marginal visibility due to cloud cover. Thunderstorms dominated the areas to our west and closer to shore. We found one whale shark near Diaphus Bank, several isolated sperm whales, a group of eight beautiful American (?) egrets flying far offshore, and a few groups of dolphin.  Alas, we also saw many large areas of surface oil sheen, as well as a few lines which could be natural oil seep lines or perhaps relatively small pipeline leaks. 

The next day, August 21, we returned to Mississipi Canyon with Jennifer McKinney and photographer volunteer Billy Dugger from Mississippi. Weather was a challenge again, and it forced us to remain in the eastern portion of this survey grid (see the white flight track in this area). We searched a bit east of the usual grid, because there had been reports of whale-shark sightings near the Devil's Tower platform. We did spot a large whale shark feeding vertically near a bait ball, and we saw several pods of dolphin -- in fact, later in the flight we were fascinated by three large pods very close together swimming very fast in a southerly direction. This was the day we saw the three whales that we think were Cuvier's beaked whales.

All of our photos are labeled with their lat/lon; and you can also find their position and time of sighting from our detailed flight logs at the bottom of this article. Profound thanks to all the volunteers who have joined us, to Jennifer and Wesley and Don for taking some great videos, to Gary and Terese and Billy for some fabulous photos, and all of the OWOC crew for making these flights successes in so many ways.  

The maps below give a qualitative idea of the sightings and their positions, with the icons symbolizing dolphins, whales, sharks, whale sharks, large fish (bait balls), sargassum, birds, and oil (red circles).  In a few days we'll post a short article summarizing all major sightings and locations for our flights in the Gulf since May 2013, with more detailed maps like these.


Favorite Photos and Video
Here are some of our favorite photos of various subjects, together with videos. Following these "favorites" you'll find larger photo galleries, and then our transcribed flight logs.


Whales
Here are photos and videos of some of the whales! 

20130731-SpermWhale1:
{youtube}ygIfBvZfMWE{/youtube}

20130731-Sperm Whale Sleeping
{youtube}BoFkFvQQs74{/youtube}


Sharks and baitballs
Here are photos and videos of some of the whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, and large baitballs:

20130820-Marine Life
{youtube}z3KTG6RUbcc{/youtube}

20130821-MC5-Whale Shark
{youtube}mXpiwU__mek{/youtube}


Dolphins and Turtles
Here are photos and videos of some of the larger dolphin pods we watched in the blue water:

20130731-MC4-Spinner Dolphins
{youtube}LYWsxRBK294{/youtube}

20130821-MC5-Dolphin Pods
{youtube}f4mdv0qiYNc{/youtube}


Birds
Here are those beautiful white American egrets flying hard against the wind, far offshore:


Sargassum and Sea Phenomena
We have come to appreciate the lines and patches of sargassum very much, since we learned what home and protection they provide to many species of marine life, especially young animals. Viewed from above, these long lines and large patches form exquisitely beautiful patterns as they move with the currents. Here are some photos and videos of sargassum and other interesting surface phenomena we  noticed:

20130820 - EB7 - Sargassum
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20130821 - MC5 - Sargassum & Sea Phenomena
{youtube}ce7O0rJSZBw{/youtube}


Rigs and Vessels
For all that we dislike seeing surface oil pollution, it would be hard not to marvel at the technology, compactness, and manmade beauty of many of the offshore platforms, drilling rigs, and vessels. Here are photos and videos of some of the ones that caught our eyes and lenses:

20130820 - Rigs & Vessels
{youtube}xJFQnZeDCeQ{/youtube}


OIL
As we've said, there is never a scarcity of surface oil pollution to be seen when flying over the Gulf. Here are just a few photos and videos of the kinds of slicks we see offshore.  We start with slicks seen in the Mississippi Canyon area on July 31 and August 21. These would not be complete without a video of that chronic nightmarish oil leak known as "Taylor Energy" within about 10 miles of the tip of Louisiana, created by Hurricane Ivan's destruction in 2004 of a platform and over 20 pipelines in the vicinity and a resulting underwater mudslide. This leak cannot be stopped even to this day:

20130821 - MC5 - Taylor Energy Oil
{youtube}Mn6-T62rVIw{/youtube}


Here are photos and video of some of the surface oil slicks and sheens we saw in the Ewing Bank area on July 19 and August 20:

20130820 - EB7 - Surface oil slicks & sheen
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rZ95CRl5TEo{/youtube}

 

Coastal Areas and Wetlands
A welcome tonic to the discomfort we feel at the sight of the surface oil pollution, we never tire of the awesome Louisiana coastline and wetlands:

 

Weather
While we bemoan the thunderstorms and rainy weather for interfering with our finding wildlife, they are also an awe-inspiring sight to behold, over the water and the wetlands:

 

Mississippi River and New Orleans
The mighty Mississipi and New Orleans never fail to beg for more photos and video:

20130820 - New Orleans - River - Wetlands
{youtube}2sDZ_-fWv4U{/youtube}

 

The Crew!
Last but not least, one of our intrepid crew decided it was time for some comic relief, and he (Don) managed to sneak in some video of the crew -- on this day that was Jennifer, Terese, Don, and Bonny (pilot).
20130820 - EB7 - Crew! (Jennifer, Terese, Don, Bonny)
{youtube}8NeBhhqBWyI{/youtube}

 

PHOTO GALLERIES
Additional galleries of photos are provided below, followed by the combined flight logs for these four flights:


Sperm Whales - Mississippi Canyon - 20130731

Sperm Whales- Ewing Bank - 20130820

Beaked Whales - Mississippi Canyon - 20130821


Whale Shark - Bouma Bank - 20130719


Hammerhead shark - Ewing Bank - 20130719


Whale Shark - Diaphus Bank - 20130820


Whale Shark - Mississippi Canyon - 20130821

 

Dolphins - Ewing Bank - 2010719


Leatherback Turtle - Mississippi Canyon - 20130731


Dolphins1 - Mississippi Canyon - 20130821


Dolphins2 - Mississippi Canyon - 20130821

 

Birds - American Egrets - Ewing Bank - 20130820

 

Sargassum and Sea Phenomena - Ewing Bank - 20130719


Rigs and Vessels - Ewing Bank - 20130719

Rigs and Vessels - Mississippi Canyon - 20130731


Rigs and Vessels - Ewing Bank - 20130820


Rigs and Vessels - Mississippi Canyon - 20130821

 

OIL - Mississippi Canyon - 20130731 and 20130821


OIL - Ewing Bank N28.0° W92.5° - 20130719


OIL - Ewing Bank - 20130820

 

Coast and Wetlands - 20130719

 

WEATHER 

 

Mississippi River and New Orleans

 

FLIGHT LOGS

On Wings Of Care FlightLogs - Combined for four whale-shark survey flights, WS8--11:  20130719, 0731 0820, 0821.
EB = Ewing Bank area; BB = Bouma Bank (west of Ewing Bank);
MC = Mississippi Canyon area, south of Sackett Bank
Times are given in UTC (CDT + 0500, aka "Z")
Lat/lons are given in decimal degrees.  
Pilot: Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D. (ATP, CFI-AIM, President of On Wings Of Care)

Maps, videos, photos, and other information are contained in the article at OnWingsOfCare.org.

 

OWOC Flight Log for 20130719 - WS8-BB1-EB6:
Spotters/Crew:  Jennifer McKinney (LDWF), Gary Gray (GCRL)
Seas/Weather:  0-1 ft, winds NW 5 kts.  
Sky/Visibility:  Scattered high clouds, >10 mi visibility
Flight time:  6.7 hours    
Flight route:  KNEW - southwest to Bouma Bank, south about 40 nm following the seafloor topography including points where tagged sharks have surfaced recently. Then east to Ewing Bank, then back to KNEW via Ship Shoal 225 in route to avoid large thunderstorm development.
Actual flight:  678 nm    
         
WPT LAT-N LON-W TIME (Z) DESCRIPTION
719 29.144 -91.213 2013-07-19 T18:38:33Z Lines of reddish-brown - algae?
720 28.42 -92.094 2013-07-19 T19:12:37Z Dolphins ~ 20 bottlenose
721 28.361 -92.169 2013-07-19 T19:15:22Z Dolphins - 30+
722 28.27 -92.279 2013-07-19 T19:19:43Z Line of sargassum, SE-NW
723 28.234 -92.348 2013-07-19 T19:22:09Z Buoy
724 27.955 -92.496 2013-07-19 T19:33:38Z To our east ~2 nm, platform and large expanse of sheen running N-S
725 27.811 -92.484 2013-07-19 T19:38:46Z Container vessel SE-bound, “HS BACH Monrovia”
726 27.697 -92.464 2013-07-19 T19:42:56Z (Note: at 1940Z corrected Canon camera to 1440 from1445 CDT). Sargassum to our W.
727 27.562 -92.408 2013-07-19 T19:48:02Z Platform to our E (didn’t see name), 3 large tuna or marlin fishing boats
728 27.54 -92.394 2013-07-19 T19:48:59Z ~4 dolphins, bottlenose.  BLUE WATER finally at 1950Z, N27 30 W92 22.6
729 27.69 -92.335 2013-07-19 T19:58:17Z Line of sargassum, E-W.
730 28.036 -92.465 2013-07-19 T20:14:53Z Baitball!
731 28.001 -92.464 2013-07-19 T20:22:52Z ****1 Whale Shark! @ 2025Z.
732 28.163 -92.174 2013-07-19 T20:59:42Z ***Hammerhead shark
733 28.164 -92.165 2013-07-19 T21:01:31Z >6 dolphin (bottlenose)
734 27.968 -91.866 2013-07-19 T21:16:39Z Sargassum, E-W line
735 28.123 -92.46 2013-07-19 T21:51:50Z Platform
736 28.119 -91.655 2013-07-19 T22:29:24Z Baitball E of platform, small fish. BLUE water again at 2239Z.
737 28.082 -91.014 2013-07-19 T22:49:21Z ***Leatherback Turtle!
738 28.1 -90.964 2013-07-19 T22:52:30Z Dolphin
739 28.097 -90.96 2013-07-19 T22:52:48Z  
BOUMA 28.049 -92.481    
FISHNET 28.067 -91.85 2013-07-18 T20:55:39Z Fishnet Bank
SWEET 27.872 -91.85 2013-07-19 T14:44:02Z Sweet Bank
WS130718 30.044 -90.03 2013-07-19 T14:36:45Z Wshark Tag Report
WS1307181 28.044 -92.363 2013-07-19 T20:04:32Z Wshark Tag Report
WSR130710 28.133 -90.62 2013-07-10 T16:47:59Z Wshark Tag Report

 

OWOC Flight Log for 20130731 - WS9-MC4:
Spotters/Crew: Cijii Marshall (LDWF), Wesley Smith (MS)
Seas/Weather:  0-1 ft, winds S-SW 5 kts.  
Sky/Visibility:  Mostly clear with a few towering cumulus and thunderstorms toward the coast, >15 miles visibility
Flight time:  5.7 hours    
Flight route:  KNEW - south to NW corner of grid, then S-N rows separated by 6 minutes of longitudes (approximately 5 nm), each about 42 nm long, for a total of 8 rows. However, western part of grid was green water, so we skipped to eastern side, met up with fisheries research vessel, and commenced search in blue water. A whale shark was spotted, but he (or she?) dove before we could photograph and guide the boat for tagging.

Actual flight:  466 nm

NAME LAT-N LON-W TIME (Z) DESCRIPTION
848 29.158 89.817 2013-07-31 T14:52:11Z Bait balls, many, very active. Pogey?
849 29.108 89.802 2013-07-31 T14:53:14Z Several small schools of cownose rays
850 28.824 -89.771 2013-07-31 T15:03:21Z Buoys, 2 platforms, 1 modu(?), supply boat
851 28.569 -89.701 2013-07-31 T15:11:52Z Platform (just E of MCNW pt), supply boat “Daniel Dallas”
852 28.547 -89.699 2013-07-31 T15:12:34Z Tanker heading SW: “Esteem Brilliance”
853 28.295 -89.698 2013-07-31 T15:21:19Z Several large fish at surface,5-6 ft, sharks?
854 28.222 -89.704 2013-07-31 T15:23:50Z Oil, near MC709. Line of “pancakes” - see photos, line ~ 1nm long, 10 m wide, NW to SE. Natural seep?
855 28.223 -89.69 2013-07-31 T15:24:42Z SE end of above line of oily pancakes
856 28.23 -89.706 2013-07-31 T15:25:25Z NW end of above line of oily pancakes
857 28.121 -89.708 2013-07-31 T15:35:00Z ***4 dolphins (Bottlenose) (Still in green water here at MCSW!)
858 28.003 -89.591 2013-07-31 T15:49:55Z S-SE of Innovator platform. Turtle - loggherhead? Lots of jumping fish, ~3 ft long - bonita or blackfin tuna?
859 28.287 -89.612 2013-07-31 T16:02:37Z Long line of oily looking old sargassum? Rainbow sheen? Or old sargassum?
860 28.37 -89.434 2013-07-31 T16:33:09Z Near double platforms WD143A&B, + supply boat
861 28.368 -89.432 2013-07-31 T16:33:15Z Buoy - white barrel shape
862 27.96 -89.196 2013-07-31 T17:02:41Z (A frigate bird dove just in front of us!)
863 27.966 -89.19 2013-07-31 T17:05:48Z **** 1 SPERM WHALE (see Video 20130731-1)
864 28.078 -89.174 2013-07-31 T17:10:28Z Blue water, finally! Heading direct to URSA, where a whale shark was spotted by boat
865 28.207 -89.092 2013-07-31 T17:20:35Z Fishing boat
866 28.212 -89.104 2013-07-31 T17:22:53Z ---
867 28.2 -89.054 2013-07-31 T17:25:20Z Huge bait balls, very large fish jumping (yellowfin?)
868 28.2 -88.985 2013-07-31 T17:43:21Z Noble Jim Day platform (heavy storm just to the NW of here)
869 28.204 -88.993 2013-07-31 T17:43:47Z ****HUNDREDS of spinner dolphin! (see Video 20130731-2)
870 28.162 -88.995 2013-07-31 T17:47:54Z **** 1 SPERM WHALE (no video, only one poor photo - 4406)
871 28.234 -88.924 2013-07-31 T17:59:12Z “Stena Forth - Drill ship + 3 fishing boats
872 28.243 -89.018 2013-07-31 T18:09:47Z Leatherback Sea Turtle! (see photos 4415-4422), and then another Sperm Whale (photos 4441-4444)
873 28.229 -89.114 2013-07-31 T18:13:44Z Vicinity of Noble Jim Day again
874 28.153 -89.094 2013-07-31 T18:18:36Z MC808 platform (URSA)
875 28.148 -89.083 2013-07-31 T18:19:26Z Big fish jumping
876 28.156 -89.055 2013-07-31 T18:21:40Z *** Oil - rainbow sheen (near sargassum, near Ursa platform)
877 28.273 -89.001 2013-07-31 T18:32:48Z **** 1 SPERM WHALE -- VERTICAL in water! Just hanging there!  Finally went horizontal and breathed. (photos/video - see Video 20130731-3)
878 28.27 -89.002 2013-07-31 T18:33:44Z Same as above
879 28.445 -89.048 2013-07-31 T18:47:27Z Platform - LLOG - Opti-Ex
880 28.859 -89.388 2013-07-31 T19:09:05Z Platform - Noble Amos Runner + work boat + supply boat “Ocean Alliance”. Also ~1 nm to the NOW another large boat with crane “Hos Achiever”
881 28.86 -89.39 2013-07-31 T19:09:09Z ---
INNO 28.22 -89.615   Reference - Innovator
MARS 28.17 -89.223   Reference
MEDUSA 28.393 -89.454   Reference
URSA 28.154 -89.104   Reference
WHODAT 28.417 -89.017   Reference

 

OWOC Flight Log for 20130820 - WS10-EB7:
Spotters/Crew: Jennifer McKinney (LDWF), Don Abrams (MS), Terese P. Collins (MS)
Seas/Weather:  1-2 ft, winds E-SE 5-10 kts.  
Sky/Visibility:  Mostly clear over survey site, 10-15 miles visibility.  Clouds near coast and towering cumulus onshore.
Flight time:  5.8 hours    
Flight route:  KNEW - southwest to Diaphus bank, the south and southeastward to blue water, where we followed a grid as blue water and weather permitted. Visibility better in eastern half of survey grid; much oil in southwest corner.
Actual flight:  612 nm    

 

WPT LAT-N LON-W TIME(Z) Description
899 28.375 -90.627 2013-08-20 T16:11:02Z Sargassum to our west, lines & patties
900 28.276 -90.656 2013-08-20 T16:14:06Z Double tankers (tied together).
901 28.063 -91.014 2013-08-20 T16:29:01Z Large oil slick just to our west, rectangular in shape, 0.75 nm x 0.5 nm.  Near platform SS349A (Mahogany?). Photos taken looking west at slick and platform & supply boat. (Photos 6045-58)
902 28.065 -91.069 2013-08-20 T16:31:15Z Platform SS349A
903 28.165 -90.8 2013-08-20 T16:42:06Z Sargassum W-E, line and patties
904 28.172 -91.031 2013-08-20 T16:54:42Z **Dolphins ~3
905 28.22 -91.001 2013-08-20 T17:00:36Z MODU ("GSF C.R. LUIGS") & Supply Boat "Harvey Carrier"
906 27.776 -91.243 2013-08-20 T17:23:45Z ***OIL - Seep? Line W-E, multiple lines ~10-30m wide x 1.5-2 nm long (W-E).  Near previous wpt#419. ("OIL4")
907 27.734 -91.109 2013-08-20 T17:28:19Z OIL line, also Helix Producer 1 vessel (MODU?) to our south. ("OIL5")
908 27.839 -90.977 2013-08-20 T17:37:24Z OIL line to our east, ~0.5 nm (W-E) x 10 m wide ("OIL6")
909 27.929 -90.944 2013-08-20 T17:40:51Z Oil slick ~2 nm to ou east, NW-SE, ~1 nm long x 20 m wide (also viewed again at 1745Z)("OIL7")
910 27.79 -90.948 2013-08-20 T18:05:24Z ***1 Sperm Whale!
911 27.796 -90.849 2013-08-20 T18:18:04Z ***White Birds flying N. Also oil slick to our N again (seen before) and large ship Northbound to our south. ("OIL8")
912 27.876 -90.649 2013-08-20 T18:31:38Z (Not sure marked this correctly, tried to mark Platform GC158A, flaring.) (also "OIL9")
913 28.058 -90.69 2013-08-20 T18:40:01Z ***1 Whale Shark, near DIAPHUS bank. (DIAPH)
914 28.082 -90.685 2013-08-20 T18:53:04Z (Leaving whale shark)
915 27.965 -90.716 2013-08-20 T18:59:34Z OIL - rainbow patches in it.  Also more patches of it to our west. ("OIL10")
916 27.968 -90.693 2013-08-20 T19:01:52Z More rainbow, patches and lines. ("OIL10")
917 27.838 -90.762 2013-08-20 T19:12:02Z *** 1 Sperm Whale!
918 27.836 -90.752 2013-08-20 T19:15:21Z *** 1 Sperm Whale (a different one)
DIAPH 28.083 -90.7 2013-06-20 T05:52:39Z  
EB1 28.1 -91 2013-06-20 T05:51:45Z  

 

OWOC Flight Log for 20130821 - WS11-MC5:
Spotters/Crew: Jennifer McKinney (LDWF), Billy J. Dugger (MS)
Seas/Weather:  2-3 ft, winds E-SE 5-15 kts.  
Sky/Visibility:  Partly cloudy over survey site, 10 miles visibility where clear. Thunderstorms onshore and to our west.
Flight time:  5.8 hours    
Flight route:  KNEW -  Southeast across the Taylor Energy oil slick to northeast corner of survey grid.  Included Devils Tower platform (area to east of survey grid) because a whale shark was sighted near there but did not see one. Remained in eastern half of grid due to extremely bad weather to the west.
Actual flight:  539 nm    
WPT LAT-N LON-W TIME (Z) DESCRIPTION
919 29.433 -89.384 2013-08-21 T15:50:16Z OIL - 2 slicks, NW-SE, parallel, 400, x 40, rainbow in both (OIL1)
920 29.373 -89.324 2013-08-21 T15:53:03Z Very active circle w/ birds - dolphin?
921 28.988 -89.134 2013-08-21 T16:07:49Z W end of Taylor slick (Taylor-OIL2)
922 28.983 -88.957 2013-08-21 T16:13:27Z NE corner of Taylor (then turns S)
923 28.939 -88.964 2013-08-21 T16:14:51Z S end of Taylor slick, heavy rainbow here, buoy.
924 28.258 -88.797 2013-08-21 T16:40:27Z ENSCO 8502 MODU!
925 28.165 -88.798 2013-08-21 T16:45:16Z LLOG Opti-Ex MC547A (WHODAT) tall orange legs. Water still "clean green", 2-3'.
926 28.183 -88.896 2013-08-21 T16:47:52Z Boat - "Delta Fantasy"; also near here: Drill ship "Stena Drill Max" and ship with tall crane and white tower "Global 1200"
927 28.228 -89.12 2013-08-21 T16:54:35Z Noble Jim Day platform & 2 supply boats
928 28.21 -89.168 2013-08-21 T16:57:14Z BLUE WATER! (no obvious line), Seas still 2-3'. Baitball with large fish, dolphin fish or tuna (smaller than marlin).  Sargassum very near.
        Platform MC807A - flaring
        Platform Shell MC807B, flaring, & supply boat & fishing boat (Voodoo Charters)
929 28.081 -89.253 2013-08-21 T17:06:43Z Noble Danny Adkins - platform
930 28.077 -89.254 2013-08-21 T17:06:49Z (lost notes)
931 27.899 -89.147 2013-08-21 T17:17:39Z **Turtle
932 28.035 -89.098 2013-08-21 T17:24:48Z Platform - ATP MC941A
933 28.057 -89.017 2013-08-21 T17:34:06Z Platform & Supply Boat !4000. Also OIL slick near Sboat to thenorth, ~50m x 20m. (Photo _BLD9799)
934 28.079 -89.129 2013-08-21 T17:38:32Z ***DOLPHINS! >100! (Photos _BLD9813-37 - "Dolphins1740")
935 27.899 -88.998 2013-08-21 T17:55:59Z  
936 27.904 -89.005 2013-08-21 T17:58:40Z ***3 Beaked Whales (Cuvier's?) (Photos _BLD9846-62)
937 28.074 -89.191 2013-08-21 T18:28:56Z ***BaitBall & 1 WHALE SHARK!(Photos _BLD9870-9946)
938 28.152 -89.289 2013-08-21 T18:38:44Z (to east of us) Large Drill ship & 4 supply boats
939 28.248 -88.922 2013-08-21 T19:02:54Z ***Large bait ball to N of Stena Forth Drill  Max (could not fly westward because of severe thunderstorms to west)
940 28.343 -88.899 2013-08-21 T19:15:49Z OIL slick to our east, NW-SE ~300m x 15 m(OIL3)
  29.4 -89.5 2013-08-21 19:15-20Z ***DOLPHINS! > 100, moving fast southward, 3 groups (Photos "Dolphins1915")
941 28.451 -89.052 2013-08-21 T19:31:38Z Noble Amos Runner platform, and slick to its north.
942 28.658 -89.202 2013-08-21 T19:39:33Z Strange jagged rip line S-N
COGNAC 28.783 -89.05    
DVTWR 28.215 -88.732    
DWH 28.523 -88.294    
INNO 28.22 -89.615    
LENA 28.663 -89.158    
MARS 28.17 -89.223    
MEDUSA 28.393 -89.454    
MOXIE 28.601 -89.311    
TAY 28.917 -89    
URSA 28.154 -89.104    
WHODAT 28.417 -89.017