Oil Slick in the Florida Keys (PHOTOS), Kelly Ann Thomas, June 21, 2010:
On May 26th, I clearly saw oil sheen just south of the Florida Keys (closer to Florida than Cuba) while flying the Managua-Miami route. ...
When I flew over the Florida Keys, I saw the oil slick just north of the Keys.
After two months of pictures, I know that is what I saw and photographed. I hesitated a bit before posting this, as I wanted to make sure it was not an algae bloom, but this doesn't look anything like algae bloom. It's oil. The images are way too familiar by now.
These photos were taken at 27,000 feet, mas o menos (we were nearing Miami and I am assuming we had started the descent), with a 200 mm lens one minute south of the Florida mainland. They are not the greatest pictures, but I was dealing with shooting at a downward angle through two sets of plastic windows. I usually take much better photos from the plane, but it is harder to focus with the glare and the altitude.
As we passed over the oil, I pointed it out to the people in front of and behind me, as well as my seatmate. No one said anything as they stared at the water. ...
As I disembarked, I asked one pilot if he had flown over the disaster. "Five days a week. What a disaster. A terrible disaster." He said the pilots look at the sky, averting their eyes to the sludge covered water below.
Aerial photos available here. For more reports of oil in the Florida Keys made in late May, see:
For comparison photos of oil confirmed to be from the BP oil spill, see (scroll to bottom of post):
- Long ribbons of orange-brown oil spotted 4 miles off Tampa Bay coast; Smelled like oil, felt like oil, couldn't get it off hands (Photos)
STAY TUNED: Enhanced versions Ms. Thomas' photos near the Florida Keys will be posted shortly.