20130620 - A Whale Shark of a day in the Gulf of Mexico: The Big Guys are back!

2013 June 19-20 Wednesday-Thursday
Gulf of Mexico -- Ewing Bank and Mississippi Canyon

For composite videos, see Part 1 and Part 2!
For short clips, see the index of our videos here!

Calm seas and a nearly full moon were too good to miss, so days ahead of schedule, we opted to continue our aerial whale-shark survey and tagging expeditions in conjunction with Ms. Jennifer McKinney and other researchers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF).  And are we ever glad we did! We “struck gold” this past Thursday June 20 in the Ewing Bank area, finding 24 whale sharks and helping divers get DNA samples and satellite tags on 10 of them -- limited only by the number of tags they had with them! The previous record for tagging whale sharks in one day was set when we helped Dr. Eric Hoffmayer a few years ago in the Gulf; that time they were able to get five whale sharks tagged in one day.  So this is a major cause of celebration and congratulations to all.  Judgment and readiness to go when weather and seas were most inviting, skills of the divers and the boat captain, and our experience with spotting and familiarity with the subsea terrain of the Gulf of Mexico combined to produce an unprecedented success -- and a downright magical day!

These were the third and fourth days of our aerial search efforts this summer in the Gulf of Mexico. As we did in our first two aerial searches in May, one day we flew the Ewing Bank area (about 160 nm south of New Orleans and about 70 nm offshore), and the other day we flew south of Mississippi Canyon and Sackett Bank (southeast of New Orleans and just 30-60 nm off shore).

In May, we had flown our prescribed grid patterns (see maps below). On Wednesday, June 19 in Mississippi Canyon, we altered the grid southward a bit because green water was persisting unusually far southward, putting blue water close to 30 miles farther south than usual (much to the dismay of the research vessel stationed near the “Ursa” oil production platform that is typically a good place for sport fishing). Not only do we not expect to see as many whale sharks feeding in the green water, we also can’t spot them as easily.  In May we found one whale shark, a few sperm whales, some rays and small turtles, hammerhead and other sharks, and a few pods of dolphin. The Ewing Bank area proved to be richer in large marine life (near the surface, anyway) than the areas farther east, but we were rather underwhelmed by what we found.

But this past Thursday, the Ewing Bank area greeted us with crystal clear blue water and seas as smooth as we’ve ever seen them. And that’s where the real adventure began.

We started off by buzzing our colleagues waiting on the Fisheries Research boat and proceeded along our previously planned survey grid. (Okay, formally that's called a rendezvous; but we like to drop them a Hubig Pie or at least give them a wing wag, just for good luck on the search.) But the previous day’s scarce sightings and today’s perfect sea conditions left us yearning to follow our intuition instead of sticking to the grid pattern. We told the boat crew that we would make a wide circle over the area before flying the grid, and we set off to where we thought we’d hang out if we were whale sharks.

It probably sounds whimsical to speak of following our intuition to find whale sharks. But it’s actually not. We have studied the subsea terrain here carefully, and our best spotting success has come when we choose our routes to “soar the ridges” -- just like we expect large plankton feeders would do , catching their food as the steep bank pushes it naturally upward into their waiting mouths. When we have clear, calm, blue water, which lets us see shadows of sub-surface animals down to 10 or 20 feet, flying the underwater ridges and chasing bait balls is just irresistible -- and very fruitful for finding large marine life! As we circled back around from the west, now about 25 nm from the research boat, I spotted my first shadow of something big. Then a dorsal fin poked just barely above the water for a moment. Not long after, all three of us in the plane began to see more. We hailed the boat on our marine radio and told them we had three whale sharks.  But in 15 minutes it took for them to join us, that number had grown to 10, all in an area spanning less than four miles!

About the maps above:  The first one shows our two survey flights south of Mississippi Canyon, on May 24 and June 19; the second one shows our two flights over Ewing Bank, on May 23 and June 20. The pink tracks were May 23 & 24, the green tracks this this past June 19 & 20. The green stars are whale sharks; we only saw one whale shark south of Mississippi Canyon, on May 24. The gold diamonds represent dolphins, the blue fish represent other kinds of sharks (hammerhead or tiger or mako - we can only distinguish the hammerheads from the air, usually), fish, rays, etc. The green circles are sperm whales. Details on the sightings are available in our transcribed flight logs, which we will publish in the future together with our GPS flight track files, after the LWF researchers have finished using them to document their research. The red triangles with the “!” represent significant surface oil sightings (alas), for which we filed NRC pollution reports (NRC# 1051048 and 1051049 for June 19,1051179 for June 20 ).

As you can see by the third and fourth maps above, once we find whale sharks and hail the tagging crew, our flying changes considerably! We fly circles to guide the boat to the shark(s), while searching for and keeping track of other sharks in the vicinity. On a day like this when they are trying to tag sharks consecutively, we also have to keep track of which ones they’ve already tagged.  This is not so easy as it sounds, as from 400’ or higher, we can’t see the tags, and these guys move around a lot!  By the time we headed home, our necks were pretty sore, but we barely noticed because we were so elated at the sightings. Check out these few of our favorite photos of the whole process.  Videos will be uploaded in the next day or two (to this article and also to the On Wings Of Care youtube site).

We left the tagging crew when they were working on the tenth shark in that first bunch. But about five miles to their east, on our way home, we spotted more -- a total of 14 in an area similar to the size of the first!  We radioed the coordinates to the boat and hoped that they could find them on their own. We needed to head back for fuel, and there was a lot of weather to fly around between us and New Orleans.

We learned later that the boat crew did indeed find the other 14 sharks we told them about, and they took identifying photographs of most of them.  But they had no more tags on the boat to place on the animals! In their most ambitious dreams, they had not expected to be able to tag 10 whale sharks in one day!  They also faced a long trip back to the marina through some of the worst of the weather. Times like this it’s pretty nice to be in an airplane, where we can the boundaries of the thunderstorm area and can detour appropriately with little problem.

What a banner day this was! Ten sharks tagged with satellite GPS tags, DNA samples obtained, and successful ID photos logged, all in one day. We are so proud to have been able to help Ms. Jennifer McKinney and her crew accomplish this. Thanks and kudos go to Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries for supporting this incredible research project. Little is known about whale sharks in the wild, and historically it has been so difficult for scientists to find and tag them. We think that getting “A Look From Above” is the way to go for finding marine life efficiently!  (That’s a tongue-in-cheek plug for A Look From Above LLC, our Louisiana business that often supports Wings Of Care, Inc.)

Enormous thanks go to Don Abrams of Ocean Springs, MS and Mike Sturdivant of Walton, FL for joining us on this stellar day with their eyes, cameras, great skills, and endless enthusiasm!  And to Flightline First at New Orleans’ Lakefront Airport for continuing to provide an excellent base of support for our aircraft and flights for the benefit of the Gulf of Mexico and her life.

Enjoy these additional  photos! We’ve chosen just a few from the hundreds we have.  
P.S.  Our Flight Logs for these two days are appended at the bottom of this article!  And our GPS Flight tracks for both days can be downloaded here:  June 19 and June 20.  


FLIGHT LOGS for 20130619-20 OWOC Gulf of Mexico flights for Whale Sharks

On Wings Of Care Flight Log for 20130619-Wednesday
Whale Shark Flight #2013-3 - Mississippi Canyon / SackettBank Area: Survey & Tagging

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.
Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D. (ATP, CFI-AIM)
Spotters/Crew: Don Abrams (MS); Cijii Marshall (LA)

Seas and weather:  Seas 1-2 ft, winds 5-10 kts from the north-northwest. 
Sky & Visibility: Cloudy with thunderstorms in vicinity near and on shore, 10-mile visibility offshore but scattered cumulus clouds.
Flight time:  5.3 hours
Flight route: KNEW - south -southeast to NE corner of grid, then south to URSA platform to rendezvous with vessel, then continue survey, with N-S rows from east to west. The rows are similar to those flown 20130524 (except from east to west this time), separated by 6 minutes of longitudes (approximately 5 nm), each about 42 nm long, for a total of 7 or 8 rows (time-dependent). Returned to KNEW.

Actual Flight:  573  nm within an area of 596 sq mi
Maps of our route showing the following waypoints identified during our flight, plus some relevant waypoints from previous flights, are in today’s article(including a link to our GPS track file).

20130619 -  Survey Grid Area and Additional Waypoints of Interest

-- KNEW -- South across Barataria Bay, Grand Isle, to the grid south of Sackett bank.

-- ADIZ Outbound: ~N28 55 W089 00 ~80 nm south-souteast(~160°) from KNEW (approx  40 min)

-- Mississippi Canyon grid south of Sackett Bank, starting at NE corner of the following grid:

27.9º-28.6º N;  89.0º-89.7ºW:  (Grid points given in decimal degrees, then degrees and minutes)
Omit:  MC-NE-201305 N28.6 W089.0; MC-SE-201305 N27.9 W089.0

MC-7N-201305 N28.6 W089.1 (N28 36 W089 06)

URSA  N 28.15 W89.1 (N28 09.24 W089 06.2

MC-7S-201305 N27.9 W089.1 (N27 54 W089 06)

MC-6S-201305 N27.9 W089.2 (N27 54 W089 12)

MC-6N-201305 N28.6 W089.2 (N28 36 W089 12)

MC-5N-201305 N28.6 W089.3 (N28 36 W089 18)

MC-5S-201305 N27.9 W089.3 (N27 54 W089 18)

MC-4S-201305 N27.9 W089.4 (N27 54 W089 24)

MC-4N-201305 N28.6 W089.4 (N28 36 W089 24)

MC-3N-201305 N28.6 W89.5 (N28 36 W089 30)

MC-3S-201305 N27.9 W089.5 (N27 54 W089 30)

MC-2S-201305 N27.9 W89.6 (N27 54 W089 36)

MC-2N-201305 N28.6 W89.6 (N28 36 W089 36)

MC-NW-201305 N28.6 W89.7 (N28 36 W089 42)

MC-SW-201305 N27.9 W89.7 (N27 54 W089 42)   --- KNEW

New Waypoints from today’s flight 20130619 Wednesday:
Wpt #s are from BLS’ flight GPS (Garmin 496).

607 28.626 -89.131 2013-06-19 T16:01:34Z MC280 ExxonMobil platform, just N of first convergence line (muddy to greenish)
608 28.358 -89.102 2013-06-19 T16:10:28Z Line (E-W) of sargassum. Large bulk carrier vessel SE-bound “PACC”. Heavy!
609 28.256 -89.109 2013-06-19 T16:13:46Z **** 1 sperm whale!!!
610 28.223 -89.121 2013-06-19 T16:16:32Z Noble Jim Day platform + supply boat (NA2280)
611 28.187 -89.116 2013-06-19 T16:17:42Z Noble Jim Thompson, Ursa, and one other platform, several supply boats. (LWF boat near Ursa.)
612 28.036 -89.098 2013-06-19 T16:22:38Z Platform “ATP”
613 27.905 -89.186 2013-06-19 T16:29:45Z Many sargassum patches. Not yet in blue water!
614 28.572 -89.198 2013-06-19 T16:51:17Z Sargassum and green-bluish line NW-SE. Still not really blue though.
615 28.605 -89.258 2013-06-19 T16:53:51Z Sargassum mat, birds, and two bait balls just SW of platform (near MC-5N).
616 28.567 -89.316 2013-06-19 T16:56:52Z Large sargassum patch
617 28.191 -89.303 2013-06-19 T17:08:52Z (to our east) NobleBully 1 and six supply boats!
618 27.959 -89.298 2013-06-19 T17:16:22Z green-bluish line (not quite blue water yet). Sargassum. Fishing boat here.
619 28.174 -89.410 2013-06-19 T17:30:12Z Large sargassum patties
620 28.357 -89.414 2013-06-19 T17:36:14Z “Ocean Saratoga”
621 28.428 -89.427 2013-06-19 T17:38:48Z Decided to cut off the NW quadrant of the grid -- water is too green for us to see sharks and don’t expect to find any here anyway. Will cut west and take the next rows farther south to search blue water. Sargassum line W-E.
622 28.401 -89.514 2013-06-19 T17:42:41Z Convergence line (green-blueish)
623 28.347 -89.510 2013-06-19 T17:44:18Z Large sargassum patches to W
624 28.257 -89.512 2013-06-19 T17:47:11Z Large sargassum patches to E
625 27.722 -89.525 2013-06-19 T18:04:42Z BLUE Water at MC-3S finally! Great water vis, will head >10 nm farther south here.
626 27.724 -89.522 2013-06-19 T18:05:27Z DOLPHINS - >100!  Moving fast. They’re everywhere! And flying fish.
627 28.225 -89.613 2013-06-19 T18:25:42Z Innovator (ATP)
628 28.230 -89.675 2013-06-19 T18:27:35Z ^^OIL! Near MC709, natural? Has oil patties “globules” in it, too. ~300m x 50m, W-E. (Note last 20130524 we saw 8-10 dolphins and a sperm whale in this area.) Filed NRC Report # 1051048.
629 28.142 -89.699 2013-06-19 T18:32:59Z Sargassum patties to our E.
630 27.749 -89.600 2013-06-19 T18:49:19Z **Hammerhead shark
27.762 -89.076 18:52 Z ** Same pod of dolphins still here, huge, >100.
631 27.762 -89.076 2013-06-19 T19:04:43Z Blue water line ~25 nm S of URSA, ~9 nm S of MC-SE (corner of grid).This is about 85 nm from shore! Had to turn NW here to get around a large thunderhead and downdrafts.
632 28.129 -89.141 2013-06-19 T19:20:29Z ^^OIL! Crescent of patties near green-brown rip line but also in green, ~300m x 30-50 m. Not associated with Ursa and other platforms -- upwind of them. Compare with #585 last 20130524, rainbow sheen then- see below.  Filed NRC Report # 1051049.
633 28.116 -89.140 2013-06-19 T19:21:36Z (same oil as above, 632)
585 28.104 -89.149 2013-05-24T20:28:43Z Comparing with 20130524 - OIL - Rainbow, S-N curve, ~ 20-30 m wide (W-E)
635 29.233 -89.528 2013-06-19 T19:59:31Z Neat isolated camp.




On Wings Of Care Flight Log for 20130620-Thursday
Whale Shark Survey Flight #4 - Ewing Bank Area

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.
Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D. (ATP, CFI-AIM)
Spotters/Crew: Don Abrams, Mike Sturdivant
Seas and weather:  Seas <1 ft, wind calm.
Sky & Visibility: Scattered high clouds, mostly clear skies, 10-15 miles visibility
Flight time: 5.7 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. (But we didn’t get to that survey, since we soon found first 10, then another 14 whale sharks, and we spent the rest of the flight helping them get tags on most of them.  (!) The nominal grid was going to consist 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: 540 nm within an area of  358 sq mi)

Maps of our route showing the following waypoints identified during our flight, plus some relevant waypoints from previous flights, are in today’s article (including a link to our GPS track file).

20130620 -  Survey Grid Area and Additional Waypoints noted during flight


-- Southwestward across Lake Salvador.

-- ADIZ xing :  ~ N28 52  W090 40 or ~82 nm south-southwest (~205°) from KNEW (approx 45 min)

-- Ewing Bank area, starting near center of the following grid:
(NW: N28 24 W91 20;    NE: N28 24 W90 30;    SE: N27 42 W90 30;    SW: N27 42 W91 20). 
Or:  27.7º-28.4º N;  90.5º-91.3ºW:
(Grid points given in decimal degrees.)

PLAN:  Meet LDWF Fisheries Research boat first at:  EB1:  N28.1 W90.97 (N28 06 W91 00)

Be sure to include Diaphus Bank (DIAPH):  N28.08333 W90.7 (N28 05 W90 42)
Survey grid as follows:
EB-NW201305 N28.4  W 91.3

EB-SW201305 N27.7 E91.3

EB-2S-201305 N27.7 W91.2

EB-2N-201305 N28.4 W91.2

EB-3N-201305 N28.4 W91.1

EB-3S-201305  N27.7 W91.1

EB-4S-201305 N27.7 W 91.0

EB-4N-201305 N28.4 W91.0

EB-5N-201305 N28.4 W90.9

EB-5S-201305 N27.7 W90.9

EB-6S-201305 N27.7 W90.8

EB-6N-201305 N28.4 W90.8

EB-7N-201305 N28.5 W90.7

EB-7S-201305 N27.7 W90.7

EB-8S-201305 N27.7 W90.6

EB-8N-201305 N28.4 W90.6

EB-NE201305 N28.4 W90.5

EB-SE201305 N27.7 W90.5


New Waypoints from today’s flight 20130620 Thursday:
Wpt #s are from BLS’ flight GPS (Garmin 496).

636 28.817 -90.698 2013-06-20 T14:52:13Z Brown-to-green line (Saw schools of cownose rays and some manta rays prior to this, near Isles Dernieres)
637 28.373 -90.904 2013-06-20 T15:07:36Z Small turtle - Kemps?
638 28.085 -90.980 2013-06-20 T15:18:13Z 1 dolphin. “Pelikan” vessel near large sargassum patch
639 28.089 -90.958 2013-06-20 T15:18:53Z 2 dolphins. Not yet blue water but getting bluer.
640 28.116 -90.881 2013-06-20 T15:24:39Z Hammerhead shark
641 28.100 -90.757 2013-06-20 T15:29:33Z Large patch(es) and line of sargassum
642 28.098 -90.745 2013-06-20 T15:30:40Z Sharks, turtle, all near the rip line
643 28.088 -90.713 2013-06-20 T15:31:48Z Leatherback turtle; hammerhead shark, dolphin
644 27.980 -90.671 2013-06-20 T15:37:30Z Oil?
645 27.969 -90.664 2013-06-20 T15:38:06Z Oil? (sheen)
646 27.890 -90.953 2013-06-20 T15:49:34Z Dolphin - many
647 27.888 -90.961 2013-06-20 T15:49:48Z MORE dolphin, !5-20
648 28.072 -90.983 2013-06-20 T16:13:31Z Whale sharks! 1, 2, ... 24!
649 28.075 -90.995 2013-06-20 T16:18:58Z Whale sharks: (We stopped marking. 10 at first position, just east of an abandoned yelllow platform, we left when they were attempting to tag the tenth one. We then reported 14 more a few miles east (at #650) on our way home.  WOW!
650 28.087 -90.926 2013-06-20  T18:24:44Z
651 28.910 -90.688 2013-06-20 T18:58:53Z **OIL, Rainbow sheen, west of a platform. W-E~1 nm, thickest at W end, ~300 m.  Didn’t get name of platform, we were racing time and weather and could not circle. Filed NRC Report #1051179.
652 29.215 -90.577 2013-06-20 T19:10:45Z

Pellie Lou!

"The Story of Pellie Lou - a Pelican who survived the Gulf of Mexico oil spill"
by Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D.
With 46 photos from the Gulf of Mexico.
ALL proceeds go to benefit Gulf wildlife!

Order your autographed hard copies or an electronic copy here!

Or buy from Amazon anywhere in the world, here!


Follow Our Flights!

You can track our paths for several days after them, when we keep our GPS "SPOT" transmitter on "Track" mode. For the latest flights, see
For our latest journeys see (Track our flights).

Read about our rescues under Rescue Tails!
Here are some samples:

Adios to hunger, Bienvenidos a Love!
20130611- Seven lucky rescued dogs from Mexico are now being fed and pampered in southern California, and are ready for their forever families!





From Streets to Royalty!
20130610 - Feline Patience and Humanity at their best brought these two beautiful kitties from despair to delight, after some superb rescue and logistical efforts by rescue groups from all across the country. (This is a "Before" photo! Check out the "After" photos!) 





A Dog Named Pepper Doesn't Give up Easily on Life!
20130428 - This 15-yr-old deaf, blind, arthritic senior held out in a hot, dry, desert parking lot until love finally found him!








CHAZ - No Ordinary Extraordinary Cur! 
20130422 - Left to die but instead, this super-intelligent deep-hearted dog discovered love, family, and even fun -- from the most unlikely mentors!










Turbulent Trails for Tails from TX-20130413
Six rescue dogs from east Texas find forever homes in Nevada and California! 






Skip the Wonder Sled Dog - 20120930
Happy Update! 20130312 
And ANOTHER UPDATE! 20130821!! 



Last but not left!  20130106
Happy Update - 20130311





20121223-Thanks to Sheba, the rescued and rescuer

Who was rescued, and who was the rescuer? Anyone who has known this kind of bond has felt something so deep, so real, so ancient, that it cannot be described with words. These bonds ground us and free us from pettiness in our lives. Thank you Sheba. Rest in peace.


A Letter From Your Admirers! 20121231






20121208- 43 Dogs go from dead-end in Porterville to homes and happy hearts!

This was a last-minute challenge that seemed beyond even our own grandest heroic imaginings. But it turned out not to be beyond the devoted hearts and energies of about 30 rescuers, shelter staff, volunteers, and families working together. Forty-three (yes, 43!) dogs in one day, from dead-ends in a Porterville shelter to homes and real lives with real humans who love and want them.  Rescuers ROCK!   


20121206-Saga of Squee: From orphan with mange to her own fur-ever family!

Orphaned very young, left alone and hungry til her fur fell out and her skin was covered with mange. Thanks to some big-hearted Texas rescuers, not only did she recover, she found the family who wanted to love her forever. How glad we were to be able to give this little pup with the big paws the ride to the rest of her life! 


20121205-Blackie Goes Home at Last, and Taylor Turns Texan!

Four long months since Blackie's lifelong human companion and partner Tammy suffered a serious injury from a passing truck and disappeared from his life. Suddenly Blackie was in a shelter kennel, and Tammy fought for her life as she dreamed of her beloved dog. Thanks to many people, both of these souls survived to find each other again! This was a rescue and a reunion we'll never forget.


Miss T'Chen was lost in Hurricane Isaac, and saved 800 miles away!
2012 Oct 02

The same rains that made us work "On WHEELS Of Care" this week kept us grounded for this trip, which serendipitously combined the transport of Skip northward and the joyful and miraculous reunion of Miss T'Chen, who had been rescued and taken to Illinois after Hurricane Isaac, with her family in Baton Rouge!






7 Lucky dog and 51 (yes 51!) lucky cats and kittens make it to fur-ever homes in Oregon, Idaho, and California!
2012 Sep 24

This flight went almost as planned, and our plane was filled to over-flowing on every leg. And we met some wonderful new cat and dog rescues in Idaho and Oregon!

0-20120924-Bonny-SPAM-114951-1 copy 



20 Lucky rescued dogs flown to homes in Canada!

2012 Sep 22 

It turned out to a journey full of unexpected challenges, but these 20 lucky lovable canines who had been through the worst of times in California were just the best through it all, and now they are warming the hearts and laps and lives of some very lucky Canadian families!  

Spindletop Scandal and the Search for Scarlett
012 July 17 - present

With pitbull-like tenacity, we wouldn't take "NO" for an answer. Out of 21 dogs we sought, we have closure on all but two. Alas, one of those two is our Scarlett. 






Tale of seven cities, six cats, and five goats!

2012 July 16 

Who knows if the pleas for help brought the plane, or vice-versa.
But when serendipity puts this much together, there's no saying no!







Homeless Mom and Pups no More!

2012 July 08 

Sometimes rescuers find  the IDEAL person to adopt that animal in need ...
themselves! And in the process, a hole gets filled for the entire family.
This lucky mom now lives with Bear, Sheba, and Dave!





From Empty Nest to Love Fest!

2012 May 11

That last urgent plea came for the five orphaned pups ...
but what about the two large senior boys who would probably never get adopted?
Some people are just angels, meant to be who they are and where they are.
Check out these two and their new happy pack!







JEREMIAH has come home to us!

UPDATE 2012 July 7!
2012 January 13

His adopter called to say she had become ill, and could we care for Jeremiah? You bet we could.  We rented a plane and flew to Arizona and retrieved him immediately. Jeremiah was indeed a true friend, and we aim to be his true friends, too. He has been eating like crazy and slept his stress away for the first few days, and now he's acting like a young dog again.  Read more here




CHAMP found at the airport!
2012 January 01 

A sad, scared but dignified young Champ quickly won the hearts of everyone who met him at the New Orleans airport, and within two days we had permission from his original breeders to give him to a young couple with a younger female boxer mix, all of whom fell totally in love with him at first sight!  Champ and Miss Princess are leading the good life now, and Champ's new dad finally has the fishing buddy he wanted! They tell us we made their dreams come true. We think they made Champ's come true, too.








Abby & Dinozo -- Two of a Kind!
2011 September--2012 January

Orphaned brother and sister, rescued and adored until calamity struck and they lost their family.  Orphaned again, these gentle gems and perfect canine citizens found love and adventure with us until we found them their true forever home!  Abby & Dinozo came with us to Washington January 7, and they were welcomed warmly and immediately into a home. Read more here

Abby-Dinozo4-20111011-4065 copy




Yo!  Get a Load of Yolo!
2011 November--2012 January

Left in the cold, high in the mountains of southern California, life was over before it had barely begun for this orphan teenager.
Little did he know, his adventures had only begun! As of January 7, it's back to snow but this time with a family who adores him, and lots of fun and play in the Pacific Northwest!









Saving Scarlett -- Love Forever at Last!
2011 August--December 

Found on the streets, teats full but puppies absent, a battle-torn very hungry pitbull.
Hardly that sought-after doggie in the window.
But after we brought Miss Scarlett home to love and food, warmth and stuffed animals,
we discovered a warm heart and sweet spirit that changed us forever.


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Gunner and Cain - A Very, Very Long Journey Home and the Happiest Reunion Ever!

2011 July--September 29, A Joyful Reunion At Last! 
Here they are during their flight with four other dogs Sep 29 (New Orleans to Oakland, CA, fuel stop in Roswell, NM).  
20110929-1-dogwalk (1)

And here's a photo from the happiest reunion ever!



More photos and updated videos here!  


Ten dogs from death row to Canada!

(2011 July)


6-stevie2_0147 copy



Sheba-Cosette - this lovely lady waited a lifetime!
(2011 June) 










Jeremiah - a true friend finds a new lease on life!
(2011 May) 
DSC_2389 copy 2 

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Two Giant Dogs & three cats reunited
with their family on Whidbey Island, WA
(2011 April)

Chihuahuas "Betty" & "JellyBean"
fly to their rescue in Bremerton, WA!
(2011 April)

New Year's Rescue:  33 dogs & cats
are flown to rescue in the Pacific Northwest!
(2011 January)









Hounds fending for themselves for years in Alabama fly to rescue in Arizona!
(2011 Mar)





Romo & Stanley are flown to safe havens in Arizona!
(2011 Mar)



Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2013

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2013 Jul22-29
- "Flying Stars" - STKIs
2013 Jul 28
- Bayou Corne #11
2013 Jul 23 - Bayou Corne #10
2013 Jul 10
- Bayou Corne #9
2013 Jun 08
- Bayou Corne #8
2012 May 06 - Bayou Corne #7
2013 Apr 12 - Mayflower, AR Pipeline Spill
2013 Apr 02
Bayou Corne #6
2013 Mar 23
- IMMS Marine Mammals
2013 Mar 19 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#5

2013 Feb 15
- Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#4
2013 Jan 26
- Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#3
2012 Dec 24 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#2
2012 Nov 08 - Tar Sands and Texas
2012 Aug 30 - Hurricane Isaac Conquered
2012 Aug 28 - Hurricane Isaac Arrives!
2012 Aug 13 - Sinkhole in Bayou Corne, LA
2012 Jun 13-Dispersant Spraying Exercise off LA
2012 April - Chronicles of the Endeavor
2012 Dec 10 - How Dilute is Dilute Enough?

Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf - 2013

Jul19-Aug21 - Wildlife Surveys
- Whale Shark Searches
July 25
- Hercules Today!
July 23
- Hercules Blowout
July 10 - From sea to city
July 10
- Gas Well Leak
June 19-20
June 03
- OIL 
May 23-24 - WILDLIFE!
Tue Apr 02
Sat Mar 16
Wed Mar 13 - Bayou Perot explosion
Fri Mar 08 - OIL
Sun Feb 17 - Coal&Oil
Sun Jan 27 - OIL
Sun Jan 20 - OIL
Fri Jan 04 - OIL






Whales, Sharks, & Turtles in the Gulf of Maine - 2012

2012 June
Cool summer Atlantic waters brought us to hundreds of humpback, fin, and minke whale families, plus basking sharks!
NINE days of fantastic footage:
June 15
June 16-17
June 18
June 19
June 20
June 22
June 23

Dominica - The Nature Island!

2012 May
On Wings Of Care
 flies to the Eastern Caribbean for whales and sea turtles!



Read more here!

Humpback Whales!

And much more!

Cape Cod, MA 
2011 July

Our Gift for YOU for 2011!

Click Here to Smile
from your heart, out!

Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf, 2010

Galapagos Veterinary Support

Galapagos vets do much with little,
thanks to true friends who shipped a TON of supplies and meds from the U.S. in June, 2011.

2011 April --

“Man can no longer live for himself alone.  We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.”

-Albert Schweitzer

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