We got a 7am start on the day so that we could be on the road and sampling by 8:30-9am. Having feasted on the hotel breakfast (Pat was brave enough to try the fried chicken and gravy as his early morning meal) we set out full of anticipation to visit some new sites, namely Pascagoula and Biloxi. We were in for a little disappointment when we didn’t find anything at either site, but as scientists we know that negative data is still useful data! So although the morning wasn’t as fruitful as we might have hoped, we do have something to say for it.
We spent the afternoon on Ship Island, 11 miles out from Gulfport, MS. On the ferry ride over I saw some dolphins and during our time on the island we were followed around from some funny, squashed-looking birds with red beaks, that emitted a really funny bird call when we got too close. They kind of looked like the bird equivalent of a clown. But really cute. Ship island held other secrets, like a mysterious, washed-up dish drying rack, giant driftwood tree trunks, and lots of ghost crab holes. Our stay on the island was short, but very productive and we all left happy.
After Ship Island we stopped for some lunch, which consisted of sandwiches, Zapp’s chips (between the three of us we tried Voodoo flavor, Sour cream and Creole Onion flavor and Tomato/Tobasco flavor) and free giant chocolate chip cookies because the lone girl working the shop was overwhelmed by orders and took a little extra time (negligible really but she wanted to keep her customers happy) getting our sandwiches to us.
We left the cafe with a good sugar buzz and headed to Waveland, MS to do some rock scraping of oil residues. This was hard work, trying to figure out a comfortable position to squat in the rocks and the easiest way to scrape up crusty oil without having it all fall on the ground and see your efforts disappear before your eyes. But again, we left successful and closed the night with some Japanese food and Voodoo radio!
Pictures to come, and don’t worry, we’re applying lots of sunscreen. It keeps the sunburn at bay, although a little pink sneakily creeps up every now and then.