Thursday, September 15, 2011

09/15/2011 - Mobile River Oil Spill Containment Failure

Launch: Shirley's (US Hwy 90 across from battleship USS Alabama)
Launch Cost: Free
Destination: Mobile River to look for birds or wildlife that may have been affected by the recent Oil Spill. Mobile River is back open to the public.
Distance: 12.5 miles (round trip)
Paddle time: 4-1/2 hours
Weather: Temp about 80 degrees, Winds 0-10 mph out of the west. Mostly sunny. Low tide. Current 0-1 mph. It was a beautiful day out!
Note: It looks like Blogger has implemented a new method for viewing larger images.

Header Image of an alligator seen this morning.

I'm posting a lot of photos today because it was an interesting paddle. Sunrise near the Tensaw River.

Birds and people have something in common - one bird works to get the food and the other birds try to steal it.

Young heron having breakfast.

Adult heron having breakfast.

Soon as I rounded Choctaw Pass small sheens of petroleum became visible in Mobile River and this is over 3 miles from the source. Oil was flowing freely down here two weeks ago just like it is today.

Just south of Austal shipyard, an oil boom, coated with oil sat floating in the water while sheens of petroleum emanating from the boom floated freely down stream.

The black on the rocks is a layer of crude.

Here the petroleum band was narrow. See the crab in this photo? I believe these crabs are normally black and this one showed no sign of distress.

Grass coated with crude.

This is the ditch where all the oil came from at Gulf Coast Asphalt. Crews with pressure hoses were spraying the crude covered rocks on the shoreline.

The problem with this oil cleanup operation is there was a gap between the oil boom and the barge (by the big tire), so crude that the crew was freeing up from the spraying, was floating through the gap and down the river.

I don't understand why there wasn't absorbent boom set out in several locations down stream of the oil spill site. Talk about negligent or stupid... Whoever is overseeing the cleanup of the hazardous material needs to be fired! So, I complained to several agencies about the continued release of hazardous materials into Mobile River and Mobile Bay.

A steam of heavier crude floats down Mobile River next to this barge.

I'm really saddened to be kayaking down my favorite river through crude oil.

The shoreline didn't look right but there was no sign of oil on any of the birds that I saw and no oil was on the fingers that I dipped into the sand.

Saw a wild pig today. Looks like someone missed what they were aiming at.

Construction is moving along on the Maritime Museum that has been renamed to "GulfQuest." GulfQuest is scheduled to open in 2012.

The Carnival cruise ships will stop running next month because it is too expensive for them to operate out of Mobile. I'll miss seeing scenes like this.

As I was headed back to the launch, the sentry guard for the Battleship was on duty.

Back near the launch, I shook my head in disgust watching the billboard sign people toss strap down bands into the water. I seriously doubt they'll be going into the water to retrieve those items. The arrow points to the worker and the circle goes around a piece strapping or bungee cord that he just threw which ended up in the water like half a dozen other items he threw down.

I always clean the scum off the kayak with nothing but a wet rag before taking it out of the water. Today the scum would not come off because it was crude oil clinging to the hull of the kayak. Had to use a cleaner back at home to remove it.

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