The Oil Spill, What I Saw

I have talked about how disappointed I was to miss all of the severe weather last week while I was on vacation in Florida. It was a wonderful trip, but a little tainted because I live for severe weather.

Every other year, my extended family rents a beach house on St. George Island, Florida. It is located on the Gulf coast in a rather remote part of Florida.  This is my favorite part of Florida because it is so quiet. The beaches are empty and it is a great relaxing trip.

While I was there, I did get to see some interesting things. I have never seen a bear in the wild in Wisconsin, but walking right across the road near Carabelle, Florida last Tuesday, a huge Florida black bear. I was not fast enough to get my camera as the bear moved into the woods. I was with my father and brother on our way to an early morning tee time. Not so unusual was the alligator and snake we saw on the course. The only birdies I saw were from my brother.

As for mother nature, two years ago I witnessed two waterspouts on our trip. No such luck this time, but we had the normal Florida afternoon thunderstorms to admire.

The big talk in St. George, and across the Gulf coast was the oil. Where was it? Where was it going? And when will it get to St. George? The oil was as close as 50 miles away and we were very fortunate it did not make it to our area. Take a look at the area of the oil spill today.

St. George Island is on the far right hand side of the picture. It is under the word Apalach.

 It is very sad to see the apprehension of store owners, fishermen, oystermen, and locals about what is going to happen to their precious coastline. This is their bread and butter. I had no apprehension about eating some great Gulf shrimp and oysters while I was there. Delicious and fresh as always.

We flew into Pensacola and my family had a chance to drive along the coast and witness the clean-up and boom operations in person. I took a few photos on Pensacola Beach. Pensacola is about 130 miles west of St. George Island.

The picture above is of the bay side. Notice all the boom everywhere surrounding the beaches.

There were bulldozers and end loaders all over the main beach at Pensacola. They were taking up the sand with oil and moving the tainted sand to large trucks. I don’t know where it went after that. The interesting thing is that there were still many people on the beach and the beach was not closed.

Hundreds of workers were there. This picture is some of them getting onto a bus. This was on Sunday afternoon. There is no stopping on the weekend.

Finally, an amazing sunset over Port St. Joe when we first arrived. This part of Florida, including St. George Island, is known as the forgotten coast.  I really hope that the clean-up operations are successful and that the millions of people that rely on the Gulf coast for their livelihood will make it through this. Being an unprecedented spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there are still many more questions than answers. I hope that the spill won’t have long-lasting effects and that my family and thousands of others will be able to enjoy the Gulf coast for years to come.

As for our magnificent weather, it continues all week. It will actually be chilly tonight. Inland lows will be in the upper 40s. Great sleeping weather. Thanks for reading.



6 Responses

  1. Seeing as you live for severe weather, I’m wondering if you’ve ever gone tornado chasing?

    • Daniel,

      I was a tornado chaser during two college summers. It was mainly in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. I was the worst chaser ever. I have yet to see a tornado in person.


  2. I have been fortunate and been able to chase a few times this year. I ended up 2/4 for tornadoes. Not bad. EF3 and EF0.

    I suppose it is a bit easier here further south in the central plains.

    • Scott,

      A little easier in the plains. Chasing around here is pretty tough. Sight lines are not good.

  3. I had a front row seat for the Oakfield tornado back in the 1990’s. I was able to watch it from my front lawn, I do not care to see another one, they scare me.

    • I would have been scared of that one too.


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