Early in the morning I burn my car's gasoline to reach the BP Oil Spill. The car moves steady and ever faster under me. I push it hard; speeding down the road. I can't be late. Not today. Today a fisherman and a Coast Guard are taking me out to the sea to view the effects of the oil spill on the coast.
It takes a long time to get down to the Gulf Coast from New Orleans. As I flame through Plaquemine's Parish the sun twists around sinewy branches occasionally blinking out at the flat sky where sea and land meet. As it gets higher the blink becomes stronger.
Though I am still far from the sea I can smell oil. I think I will probably smell oil for the rest of my day on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. The humidity gets worse, coxed up from the ground by the blinking sun.
I make it to the docks with 5 minutes to spare.
At the docks I meet Captain Bobby Warren and Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise of the Coast Guard. They are a friendly pair, ready to answer my questions. I tell them I am a newbie to the sea. They laugh and say they'll help me.
Once onboard Capt Bobby's small sportsman boat Petty Officer Nathan unties us and the boat pushes from the quay into a clean water rivulet heading out to sea.
Captain Bobby calls to me, asking if I would like him to turn on the AC in his office?
"Sure!" I say. AC would be nice. I look around myself for the air conditioning unit in the shadeless boat. I'm a little confused for a moment.
Then my head slaps back into my seat as Capt Bobby hits the gas. The joke is on me. As we propel through marshlands the wind covers and cools us. We're off to our morning excursion.
David Hobbs is the Editorial Coordinator for NOLA Beez.
Video, audio and photography by David Hobbs.