2011 September 21, Wednesday
Gulf of Mexico -- Taylor Energy site and the Macondo "Prospect"
Rain and high seas have kept most boats and people near shore for the past week. A brief break and a lightning-free path from the tip of Louisiana southeastward about 85 miles sent a determined group of concerned citizens out to try to collect some of the fresh oil we've been documenting, with On Wings Of Care guiding their path. The oil was exactly where it has been for the past several weeks, so the initial rendezvous point we gave them put them almost in the middle of it. Once we arrived, a slight shift in position by less than a mile brought them to some serious ugly.
Here are the facts from today's observations. It was dark and stormy, though seas were fairly calm. The lighting was as poor as it could be for video or photography. But the oil is unmistakable.
First, the Taylor Energy site, just 12 miles off shore from the tip of Louisiana's "Birds' Foot Delta", continues to leak chronically. This is no small slick. Today we noted an unmistakable sheen that extended two to three miles from west to east in a band at least 300 yards wide, and another band of sheen attached to that one at the west end that ran north-south at least 1.5 miles. (For more details, see our transcribed Flight Log below.) There were two working vessels there, at least one of which appeared to have divers or submersibles down. Video and photos are below.
Second, in the Macondo prospect, about 65 miles east-southeast from shore, we saw long lines of sheen from northwest to southeast, and more heading eastward as far as we could see. We followed them for several miles after we guided the collecting vessel to large patches of milky-rainbow sheen within the larger slicks. Video and photos below.
Photos and video and more information are here!