…and decided that the Southern United States should be hot, humid, and full of Waffle Houses.
Day one was a tornado of exhaustion, caffeine, sunscreen, sand, and hydrocarbons. After landing in Pensacola, FL with Catherine Carmichael of WHOI we got right down to business and headed off to Perdido to collect some really tiny tar balls. We spent most of the morning and afternoon crawling around with tweezers picking up oil patties the side of Hot Wheels tires. Next we went to Gulf Shores beach and found ourselves up to our nostrils in tar balls. Seriously the place was covered with huge patties. You could just sit down and fill your pockets with these things that look like fancy licorice candies, but smell like new pavement. It’s amazing to think about how long ago Macondo was capped and how much oil is still washing to shore all the time. Site three was Dauphin Island. The tar balls here were flatter and smaller that those in Gulf Shores but had less sand in them than Perdido. We ended the day in Gulfport, Mississippi, having gone through the Florida Panhandle and the 50 miles of Alabama coastline. Photos will be arriving soon!