2011 September 11, Sunday
Gulf of Mexico, Macondo Prospect
It was a lovely calm, clear morning for our guest journalist and photographer. They have waited through days of bad flying weather and aircraft maintenance delays in order to fly with us over the Gulf to see the oil we've been finding. With bulky professional camera equipment that dwarfed its petite handler and GPS and recording notebooks ready to go, we flew directly to the Macondo prospect, eager to see what still water and air would reveal. No stopping this time to check out the almost commonplace oil slicks around platforms within 30 nm of shore, we made a beeline for the "Macondo Prospect" (Mississippi Canyon Block 252), to see how all the oil slicks and lines of "globules' that we began documenting in late August might have changed since the intervening tropical storms.
We had barely arrived in the area before the oil sightings began, and soon after, we discovered that we weren't the only ones out here chasing oil! Three BP-contracted ships were on this scene as well -- the Sarah Bordelon, the Rachel Bordelon, and a giant of a ship called the Skandi Neptune -- which some of you will remember from its key role here for ROV purposes after the Macondo well explosion last year. Oil companies tell us that they are investigating "natural seeps well known for decades to exist in the Gulf of Mexico." If the sources of all this oil are natural seeps, those seeps appear to be weeping.
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.
If you have downloaded our GPS tracks from past flights, say starting August 19 of this year, you'll see that today's flight only covered some of the areas in which we've seen significant oil in past weeks, and these only cursorily. But the primary area in which we have been seeing this fresh oil is this roughly north-to-south band, all of which lies between the Macondo well that exploded last year and points some 10-20 nm east of it. The area where we have found oil most consistently and easily spans a band that is about 25 nm longfrom south to north and about 10 nm wide, starting at a longitude about 8 nm east of the Macondo well. (E.g., note our past waypoints 9149 from Aug 26 at N28° 32.491', W88° 04.404' and 9172 from Aug 30 at N28° 56.750', W88° 11.887'); and it has been found sporadically from this area westward about 45 nm (e.g., note our past waypoint 9163 from Aug 30 at N28° 32.775', W88° 54.888'). We have, of course, also seen oil "globules" very near the Macondo (e.g., our waypoint 9142 on Aug 25.) And then there's our waypoint 9163 from Aug 30, some 35 nm southwest of the Macondo well!
We don't have great photos and video for today -- yet. We gave first right to all of it to our journalist, from whom we expect to see a very interesting and informative article in the coming day or two. But stand by for plenty of excellent footage of oil and dolphins and vessels in a day or two! For now, here are some short videos and a few stills from a small pocket camera. The vessels you see are first the Sarah Bordelon --the BP-contracted boat we spoke with on Aug 30, when we told them about the larger slick north of their position at that time, later joined by her sister ship the Rachel Bordelon. They were both sitting in the area of oil that we found and published a few days ago, which is where we found them sitting today. As we were returning to New Orleans, up from just south of this area came the giant Skandi Neptune -- an ROV-enabled vessel that worked the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year.
Our Flight Log notes are appended below, and as usual, the full gps flight track file can be downloaded at this website under the main menu item "Flight Tracks."
Stay tuned for more great photos, and for the outcome of a meeting with the US Coast Guard that we are having tomorrow -- at their invitation -- to discuss what they called a "possible collaboration." We are optimistic that this will serve good, but we are cautious so that our good efforts and intentions are not used against the good for which we work.
FLIGHT LOG - On Wings Of Care Gulf Flight 20110911 Sunday - OIL
Flight from KNEW to the Macondo Prospect, back to East Bay (tip of Birds' Foot Delta, where they are surf-washing and pump dredging the oiled beaches), and back to KNEW.
Flight was to show media (Dahr Jamail and his photographer/videographer) the area; unable to carry a photographer for OWOC, but captured some footage on a small Flip videocam.
** Lat/Longs are given in degrees and decimal-minutes. Times are given in UTC (Zulu) time, which is CDT+0500.
9213: N29 20.337, W88 54.321. 1401Z. Line of sargassum, foam.
9214: N29 15.546, W88 46.126. 1406Z. Rig flaring.
*9206 - previous waypoint, N29 05.521, W88 29.631. Long foam line.
9215: N28 56.523, W88 25.682. 1421Z. Dolphins, ~50, near oil line, some oil oil in it.
9216: N28 56.786, W88 25.678. 1422Z. Same as 9215, continuous oil line with dolphins.
9217: N28 52.568, W88 22.675. 1430Z. >100 dolphins here, farther from oil.
9218: N28 51.525, W88 12.061. 1438Z. Oil sheen.
9219: N28 51.487, W88 10.346. 1443Z. Oil blobs, sheen lines, and the Sarah Bordelon!
9220: N28 51.32, W88 12.553. 1503Z.
9221: N28 51.628, W88 12.769. 1506Z.
9222: N28 45.434, W88 12.383. 1526Z. One sperm whale, very large one!
9223: N28 42.068, W88 13.397. 1532Z. Rig flaring approx 6 nm south of this point (did not fly over).
9224: N28 40.889, W88 05.620. 1539Z. Skandi Neptune -- giant of a boat, looks like cables for ROVs.
9225: N28 51.371, W88 10.097. 1550Z. Rachel Bordelon has now joined the Sarah Bordelon in the oil! Looks like the Skandi Neptune headed this way, but not taking time to wait or follow.
9226: N28 55.967, W88 16.192. 1601Z.
9227; N28 55.623, W88 16.547. 1601Z. Shrimperes and very long S-N-NE foam/sargassum line. Interesting regular groupings of white foam swirl eddies.
9228: N29 01.835, W88 21.373. 1611Z. >120 dolphins in inverted-V formation like a large flock of geese, moving at good speed southward! No frolicking, lined up and really moving!
9229: N29 25.501, W89 28.893. 1701Z. Sheen near platform to our west about 1 nm (260° magnetic from us), extends about 300 m. Rainbow and metallic-looking.
"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!
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!
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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
2012 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!
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!
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.
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).
And here's a photo from the happiest reunion ever!
More photos and updated videos here!
Sheba-Cosette - this lovely lady waited a lifetime!
Jeremiah - a true friend finds a new lease on life!
Two Giant Dogs & three cats reunited with their family on Whidbey Island, WA
Chihuahuas "Betty" & "JellyBean" fly to their rescue in Bremerton, WA!
New Year's Rescue: 33 dogs & cats are flown to rescue in the Pacific Northwest!
Hounds fending for themselves for years in Alabama fly to rescue in Arizona!
Romo & Stanley are flown to safe havens in Arizona!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2013
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 of Mexico - 2012
Sat Nov 17 - Platform Explosion
Wed Nov 14 - Barrier Islands 1
Sat Nov 10 - OIL
Fri Nov 09 - OIL
Sat Oct 06 - Whale Sharks
Fri Oct 05 - OIL
Fri Sep 14 - OIL
Sun Sep 09 - Hurricane Isaac
Sun Aug 12 - Whale Sharks
Wed Jul 11 - Whales & More
Fri Jun 29 - Whale Sharks & More
Dominica - The Nature Island!
On Wings Of Care flies to the Eastern Caribbean for whales and sea turtles!
Read more here!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2011
Sperm Whales & Whale Sharks:
Cape Cod, MA
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.
“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.”