John & Anne Wiley

2015/05/25

Day Difference

Filed under: Flying,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 08:09

I took another look at pix of the oil spill from Wednesday 5/20 and Thursday 5/21, and wished they were comparable. For instance, take this pic from the 20th of the beach in front of Las Flores Refinery. The entrance to the refinery is in the brown center of the lower horizontal green band.

1341 Las Flores Beach

1341 Las Flores Beach

You can pretty easily make out the streaks of oil sheen and some of the thicker goo that was blowing there (and beyond to El Capitan). I also got this zoom shot as we flew past. If you follow the freeway from the top in the above pic, this next one shows the beach across from where the thin green center divider gives way to brown. The path from the road up toward the water at the left of this pic corresponds to the bend in the small leftmost road where it disappears into the trees across from the upper horizontal green band in the top pic.

1354 Goo Streak

1354 Goo Streak

The streak of thicker goo at the top-right is easy to spot, and you can see a black line where the water meets the beach. Just about 28 hours later it looks much the same, yet quite different in this similar pic.

1551 Day's Difference

1551 Day’s Difference

The thick goo’s gone, as it was in many places we’d seen it the day before. Whether old seaweed or oil, the dark spots on the beach have been cleaned up. The black water line is completely gone. But the brownish-gray area along the shallow water seems wider and darker. I guess that’s oil somehow mixed with the water, but maybe someone taking water samples will publish data on that. So far I’ve not seen any such reports, but I’ve heard from someone in a group of scientists studying all aspects of the spill so maybe one of them will publish something. We’d like to go again, and this time maybe I’ll get more similar views for comparison in case someone else expresses interest while gathering information for analysis.

2015/05/22

Refugio Cleanup

Filed under: Flying,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 08:26

Cleanup is in process on the Refugio Oil Spill by Plains All American Pipeline near the Refugio Beach park. We flew the coast from El Capitan out to Jalama past the second rail bridge looking at the coast on Thursday. Much of the oil has dispersed out into the Channel and along the beaches, or been picked up by the many people and boats working on it. But late in the afternoon this view from Refugio shows a large slick moving East toward El Capitan at the top.

1845 Thursday Oil Slick

1845 Thursday Oil Slick

Below the point at El Capitan the next point is Las Flores where the hillside refinery the oil came from is coating their beach. In the other direction all the way to Jalama we saw areas of dark surf like this, mostly on East facing beaches like this one just West of the pier at Gaviota Beach.

1639 West Gaviota Beach

1639 West Gaviota Beach

Here’s another view, from the North showing the dark surf at the main park and camping area.

1575 Gaviota Beach Park

1575 Gaviota Beach Park

I see an RV and a few vehicles there, but thought it would be packed for the holiday so maybe it’s been closed along with Refugio and El Capitan. People are being kept well away from the beaches and cleanup areas along the coast, including national and international reporters.

2015/05/21

Oil Spill: Refugio May 19, 2015

Filed under: Flying,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 03:49

Here are some aerial pix of the oil spill by Plains All American Pipeline near the Refugio Beach park and campground in Santa Barbara County, CA. The spill began sometime around noon on May 19, 2015 and we flew over the region about 3pm the next afternoon. This is where the oil reached the ocean, a little West of Refugio Beach.

1514 Oil Meets Water

1514 Oil Meets Water

At the top you can see a few of the many workers and volunteers along with all sorts of equipment cleaning up this mess. Just across the railroad tracks and 101 freeway from this spot is where the 24″ pipeline burst.

1505 Pipeline Burst

1505 Pipeline Burst (click to enlarge)

The crude oil came to the surface from the buried pipe just above the two black boxes at left, and filled the shallow ditch. After the pipe was shut off and the culvert running to the beach at right was plugged, trucks were brought in to empty the ditch. Offshore the Ocean Sentinel sweeper boat joined other boats deploying oil containment booms, and began collecting oil off the water.

1482 Ocean Sentinel

1482 Ocean Sentinel

When I snapped this it didn’t seem to be catching much oil, but maybe it was heading toward the many other large oil and tar patches we saw. This smaller boat was working on some small patches.

1374 Boat Sweeping Oil

1374 Boat Sweeping Oil Spill Off Refugio

I’ve put many more and larger pix from this flight on my Photo Page (right column of this page).  Some different smaller versions are in John on Edhat (also at right column of this page).

2015/05/08

Destination

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 01:10

The many attractions of SB include a variety of interesting large structures. Some, like the one with this glass bridge, are only temporary attractions. For locals who don’t recognize this cropped view of it, circling as we did you might have noticed it at the front of this massive hotel and entertainment complex.

0132 Glass Bridge

0132 Glass Bridge

With several swimming pools and the setting, it gives the term “water park” a distinctly different meaning.

0150 Grand Princess

0150 S.S. Grand Princess

That orange lifeboat at the middle is ferrying passengers to and from (mostly to) the harbor where they set off to explore our “destination” town. I say mostly to, because looking at the largest versions of our pix from every angle you can make out less than two dozen people. Presumably the rest are sleeping, and the rest are dining and exploring mostly around our town. Amid all the empty deck chairs, can you make out the eight sunning souls in this pic?

0138 Sunny Side

0138 Sunny Side

All but one of the others were at the stern, where I count another seven.

0149 Stern Scene

0149 Stern Scene

Interestingly, none of the people I could find in pix were on the SB side of the ship where they’d have seen this view.

0143 Cruise View

0143 Cruise View

Of course, their view would be much lower and a bit closer than this but my guess is they woke at anchor, took one look, and lined up below deck for the shore boat. For us, their transient structure added a bright garnish to aerial views of our beloved town they only get to sample as a “Destination.”  :)

0165 Cruiser Garnish

0165 Cruiser Garnish

2015/05/04

18 Minute Tour

Here’s a tiny sample of what we see within 18 minutes of takeoff from SBA, flying at a leisurely pace. Of course as we lift off the UCSB campus greets us first.

0041 Start Here

0041 Start Here

This alone makes every flight worthwhile. But of course, there’s much more beauty in every direction. This time we’ll fly East along the beach a little.

0065 Hope Lake

0065 Hope Lake

I’ve already left out some beautiful and interesting scenes, but this place I call Hope Lake holds a particular fascination for me. The mansions are magnificent, anchored by this small lake that’s probably worth the cost of Tripp for just a few square feet of this prime Hope Ranch waterfront land. There’s also the funicular with beach house at the bottom, baseball diamond, and of course one of the best island views in town. After a mile of intriguing estates we see the Wishbone bell tower monument marking the spot where European explorers first set foot here.

0094 Wishbone

0094 Wishbone

All along the coast of course we’re also seeing boats like this Condor Express whale migration tour boat zooming past Hendry’s (aka Arroyo Burro) beach.

0130 Condor

0130 Condor

At the mouth of the harbor we see this gull, pelican, paddleboard, sailboat and another tour boat.

0177 Water Wanderers

0177 Water Wanderers

After many more beautiful scenes and several wide turns to take it all in we pass this modest home built above Butterfly Beach a few years ago where several mansions once stood.

0195 Butterfly Beach

0195 Butterfly Beach

Eighteen minutes after takeoff our hearts, minds, and eyes have long ago been overwhelmed. Our mood has been transformed as we look back toward downtown and the airport huddled behind the hilltop where that Wishbone stands.

0227 Montecito

0227 Montecito

Montecito’s blossoming collection of grand estates and enormous mansions joins Hope Ranch in bracketing relatively modest Santa Barbara. The mountains and islands bracket it all, and our meandering vantage point spreads this intricate and breathtaking tapestry beneath our wings. An enlarged perspective invites expanding the limits of consciousness.

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