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Gulf of Mexico Overflight 2011 March 23 Wednesday

Today we returned to the Chandeleur Islands and then to the vast area of surface sheen and subsurface plumes south of Grand Isle and Port Fourchon, Louisiana.  The area southwest of the Chandeleurs was particularly disturbing because in one place the dark red subsurface sheets and plumes completely surround an island rookery that is very densely populated with pelicans. (See photos posted from yesterday's flight, together with the log there that gives gps coordinates for what we were seeing.)  The area affected south of Grand Isle is huge, conveyed best by video, of which a few are posted below. These are sights I hoped never to see again after last summer.  But we have started to wonder -- has this not been seen before only because others don't fly far and wide?

NOTE:  Unless noted, no photos or video provided by On Wings Of Care are "photoshopped" or otherwise altered in any way that could degrade accurate interpretation of what we observed.

The winds were high again today, the water choppy, and there was considerable haze.  As was the case yesterday, conditions were not great for shooting photos or video.  The video of the Chandeleurs will be available in a day or so.  Posted below are a few videos from today of the area south of Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.  These videos were taken about 10 miles off shore.  The plumes stretched for over 50 miles (we did not track them farther southwest than that, since we had already spent several hours at the Chandeleurs and were running close to our time limit).


Here are my  notes, sent to local Gulf folks from my Blackberry during the flight.  GPS coordinates for sights both in the Chandeleurs and the area south of Grand Isle are given herein.


Bonny's log of Gulf flight 2011 Mar 23 Wednesday: Chandeleurs, SW, then area south of Grand Isle westward:

Gas plant plus red streaks:
29.58036. 089.11914

Video of expansive brown sheets and streaks around the rookery, sw of the Chandeleurs:
29.522 089.202

Poor lighting, much haze and clouds, strong southerly winds.  .  Water very choppy and murky

29.30516 N 089.90660 W
E of grd terre isle - workers, some subsurface  red stuff near shore

Boom laid out at:
29.19589 N  090.04491 W

Beaches here and west to Elmers Island and Fourchon have been cleaned up.

1 nm s of Port Fourchon - deep red plumes:
29.0562 N. 090.15958 W
Sargassum lines in it
Birds fishing near
Lots of platforms

Long lines and sheets extending s sw.
Still see it at
29.02404. 090.20226

Videotaped it, to show its considerable expanse.

1330 cdt:  heading back to knew

Bonny L. Schumaker-- Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry