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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pensacola Beach, After a Storm

On Thursday, a strong rainstorm with some lightning moved slowly through the area.  Nothing really severe, but it did make me wonder what the real gulf storms are like.  We had to put a towel down by the sliding glass door in the condo to soak up the rain that was coming in!  It was definitely an indoor day!

I got our scanner set up on the laptop so that Linda could begin scanning more of our old negatives into the computer.  We brought along a few thousand negatives for spare time work.  She is currently working on Morocco, 1997.  Here are a couple of samples.  Both are from the city of Marrakesh.  The one on the left is from a tour of a leather factory.  Oh, did that smell bad!  The leather is processed by soaking the animal skins in "pigeon sheet," as our guide explained it.  We were each given a bouquet of mint to hold in front of our noses during the tour.  It helped - a little bit.  The second picture is of the entertainment in the old city square in the evening.
Morroco-2 Morroco-1

After the storm passed here on Thursday, the beach was freshened up with a new supply of seaweed and shells.  On Friday morning I took my usual walk down the beach and stopped to examine the newly deposited goodies.  I was way too late for the best of the shells.  Some locals had obviously been out at the crack of dawn to harvest shells.  I caught up to one woman with two bags of nice ones.  I'll have to get out earlier next time.  But I did pick up a few.

I was surprised at first to see large amounts of "plastic" lying in the seaweed.  Was this something left over from the big oil spill?
PB-Storm-10 PB-Storm-09

I took a closer look.

It turns out that these are jellyfish.  "Don't touch them, they can still sting!" explained a helpful worker on the beach.  They appear to be the Man-o'-War variety and were quite numerous.

The helpful worker that explained this to me is one of the crew still working on cleaning up from the BP Oil Spill.  The beaches are really in good shape, to the casual observer.  You could never tell there was still evidence of that spill back in the spring of 2010.  But every weekday, I see this crew moving up and down the beach with the nets, hauling in tar balls.  I don't think they find many but they keep looking.
PB-Storm-13 PB-Storm-14 BP_Cleanup-1

From what I could find on the Internet, this job pays $18 an hour - $32 for supervisors!  If I did the math correctly (and I allowed plenty for "overhead") BP can put a crew of three with a supervisor on each of 1200 miles of coastline for five years with a billion dollars.  They are committed to twenty billion in total.  I suppose we will see these crews for a long time yet.

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