Here’s your expedition update for today, from Oceana’s senior campaign communications manager Dustin Cranor:
After nearly 30 hours in commute, we finally arrived to Tampa.
The crew took off early this morning on the Oceana Lat-Long, the Latitude’s 28-foot tender, to dive at Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Egmont Key, a national wildlife refuge only accessible by boat, was home to Fort Dade during the Spanish-American war. Although this island was once capable of protecting our coasts from offshore invaders, it’s no defense against oil.
Here’s support diver Soledad Esnaola:
The divers once again faced far from ideal conditions. Underwater photographer Eduardo Sorensen said “I couldn’t even see the seafloor from the boat in seven feet of water.” Local river runoff and strong currents left the divers with little visibility, but it didn’t stop them from getting some great shots of a hermit crab, sponges, mackerel and other small fish.
The expedition also said goodbye to three crew members today, Oceana’s vice president for Belize Audrey Matura-Shepherd, network and systems manager David Bahm and spokesperson Almudena Fernandez. We will pick up additional crew members in Venice, Louisiana, later this week to take part in a whale shark tagging operation.
We will now sail all night in order to reach the next diving location approximately 100 miles away.