The mess caused by the explosion of the BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last spring, dominated US news and was covered extensively throughout the world. But we and the media have short attention spans and once the well was capped, we moved on to other things. But here the story is far from over. The evening news is full of stories about the compensation process, which appears to be coming to an end. Ken Feinberg, the heroic lawyer who volunteered to take on the distribution of relief funds, is being criticized by BP for giving away much too much money. And of course, the locals are still complaining about not receiving enough or any compensation. No one feels satisfied.
After spending hours closely examining the beach here, we can attest to the fact that it is immaculate. We did see one clean up crew, but we weren't sure what they were supposed to be cleaning up. There are no shells, there is no seaweed, just mile after mile of fine, powdery sand, so white it makes us think of snow. At times it even crunches like snow as we hike the dunes. It's packed hard enough so that it's easy to walk on, but not hard enough for biking or cars. We asked around and there are still numerous beach clean up crews here on the BP payroll. Every time there is a storm or an especially high tide, the tarballs return. While the water is still winter cold, the oil has gathered in dense mats along the ocean floor, but locals except that to loosen up when the hot summer temps return. You know that oil had to go somewhere.
The fresh seafood we've bought and cooked ourselves is flavorful and tasty. And we have no complaints about the seafood we've enjoyed at local restaurants, although it is not always clear exactly where it came from. Hopefully, we can continue to give such positive reports as we move closer to the site of the disaster.
What has been somewhat frustrating for us is the fog. The strong sunshine warms the air every day and as it passes over the relatively cool sea, it condenses and fog is generated. It's almost noon before it burns off and it returns in little pockets even before the sun has set. We went for a hike on the beach this morning and almost passed by the boardwalk that we should take back to the campground, as the white wisps swirled around it.