Blog

  • Celebrities, oil sludge and sharks

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: September 5, 2010

    Many things happened before we started to measure oil and before my last entry in this blog. The last time we were in Gulfport, almost two weeks ago, we were paid a visit by some Oceana friends who wanted to support our expedition with their presence. Morgan Freeman, Ted Danson and top model Almudena Fernandez came on board to help us spread our message and explain our work to the U.S. press. The mayor of one of the most important cities in Belize, a coastal city threatened by the offshore oil industry, also came on board.

    Read More...
  • Baltic Sea Watch


    Date: September 3, 2010

    While marine pollution poses serious long-term threats to the Baltic Sea, the most acute threat to its ecosystem is short-sighted industrial-scale commercial fishing practices. Their destructive impact is magnified by the systematic failure of the Baltic coastal governments to vigorously enforce existing laws and regulations on catch limits, by catch control, and habitat preservation.  

    Read More...
  • September in Brussels: Back to School for the European Parliament


    Date: September 1, 2010

    September 1st means summer is already over in Brussels. The holidays are at an end, and everyone has gone back to work. The metro is packed again, it’s nearly impossible to find a spot for lunch in Place Luxembourg, and sunglasses are being replaced with coats and umbrellas. This ‘back to school” atmosphere also touches the European Institutions and the world of policy makers.

    Read More...
  • The Mackerel Wars


    Date: August 30, 2010

    If you keep an eye on EU issues – you may have noticed that everyone from the Guardian, to Libération, to members of Parliament and the EU Fisheries Commissioner herself, is talking about the new war that’s reached European waters: The Mackerel War.

    Read More...
  • Inside the bowels of the beast

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 19, 2010

    Today we spent the whole day sailing around the Mississippi Delta in order to reach Grand Isle in Louisiana. It is at the western part of the mouth of this emblematic river. The Mississippi, that gives life, history, music and literature, has at the same time, during too many decades, been the sewer for a vast expanse of the United States from North to South. Now, its delta has also been attacked from the sea by the oil spilled by BP.

    Read More...
  • We explored the abandoned oil wells off Alabama

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 18, 2010

    After another night of sailing, we reached Destin Dome, an area of the Gulf off Alabama where most of the 2,700 abandoned oil wells lie since offshore oil drilling began in the ‘40s of the past century. A few days ago, AP published information on the possibility that the sealing on some of these wells may be deteriorating and allowing oil to leak gradually without anyone detecting it. The Oceana Latitude was near this area, with a high concentration of abandoned wells.

    Read More...
  • Obama's neighbors

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 17, 2010

    As we had predicted, and after a night of sailing, we reached the bay of Port Saint Joe, a small port at the westernmost tip of Florida, at the crack of dawn. At the local marina, they had kindly agreed to receive the Fedex and UPS packages that were sent to us over night from a couple of businesses in California and New Jersey with parts to repair our submarine robot. Sometimes, incredibly enough, these things turn out right. We purchased the parts by phone. They told us that they would be in a tiny port at the other end of a huge country the next morning, and there they were.

    Read More...
  • Complicated diving on the high sea

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 16, 2010

    We awoke in the Florida Middle Grounds, an area protected against bottom trawling formed by an ancient reef about 100 miles from the coast. Its peaks reach a depth of 25 meters. There we had planned to do another series of submersions. Our initial plan was to use the divers on the reef’s peaks and the ROV on the slopes that dropped off to depths lying outside the scuba’s possibilities. The submarine robot’s problems, that we hope to solve tomorrow, have forced us to concentrate on the shallower parts of the Middle Grounds. For the first time, visibility was excellent. The sandy bottom, sprinkled with coral, also held abundant specimens of coral and tube sponges in which specimens of gobies, spider crabs, grouper, hogfish, angelfish, jellyfish and algae like the halimeda live.

    Read More...
  • Diving in Saint Petersburg

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 15, 2010

    We arrived at the Tampa-Saint Petersburg dock, already quite a bit to the north of the western part of the Florida coast that is bathed in the Gulf waters. Today is the day that several shipmates who have been with us during this initial period of the expedition have had to leave the Latitude.

    Read More...
  • A Calm Day

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: August 14, 2010

    It has been a day of sailing. We have sailed with excellent weather, a calm sea and a just sun Once it was freed from its struggle against the Gulf Stream, the Oceana Latitude regained its cruising speed of 10 knots.

    People continued adjusting their gear, answering their e-mails, editing videos and photographs and preparing work for the upcoming days. Together with the fact that it’s a weekend and not much input is being received from land, this has been a quiet day.

    Read More...