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You are in the current BP disaster ROV, number 173. Number 172 is here.

Please DO NOT Rec this diary, rather REC THE MOTHERSHIP instead. She needs your love to stay afloat.

Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.

PLEASE visit Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier's diaries to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this!

For a description of the mothership/ROV liveblogging process, check out this thread.


One - and only one - fourth of July, I must've been in kindergarten, my Dad decided he wanted to take me crabbing.  I always remember seeing his cast nets hanging in the shed, and his crab pots in the corner, but I can't remember him using them but once before our holiday trip.  Dad spent a lot of time on the water as a kid and college student and was pretty handy with casting and crab pots, and it was his family's tradition to spend the day on the water, casting and crabbing until dinner was caught.

He pulled out the cast net, long and green, and weighted on the bottom with silver things that clinked and rattled on the long slab porch.  I watched curiously as he checked knots and gathered it into big folds, draped it over his shoulder, and laid it in the back of the truck.

The crab pots were metal, and collapsed on themselves. By pulling up on the little chain, I discovered, I could lift the pot to its "extended" size and then plop it back down again. Doing this quickly made a pleasant noise and was great fun!  So, I stood on the corner of the porch, a crab pot in each hand, singing "bouncy, bouncy" under my breath and watching them catch the sunlight filtering through pines.

Dad frowned at me as he walked up to the porch. I handed him the strings, and he showed me how to pull them back through the pots so they'd be easier to carry. I thought he was angry, but when he hefted me over his shoulder and took both pots in the other hand, I knew he wasn't.

Mom needed help with the heavy cooler, and Dad carried it out and put it next to the big white one in the back of the truck. She slid in next to me, Dad sat at the wheel, and we headed to the Coast.

Mom says I chattered without breathing, it seemed, about crabs. I was convinced you could catch a crab on a line, and that their favorite food was my most despised - hot dogs. (The worst insult I knew was to say someone was a hot dog eater.) As we got closer, winding south through the pines, I earnestly explained how we would put hot dogs in the crab pots to catch some baby crabs, and how the momma and daddy crabs would be caught on lines. I have little doubt that this is when my mother decided to send me to Sea Camp.

We parked at the end of Point Cadet, in East Biloxi, and unloaded our gear. We put up an umbrella, filled the white cooler with water, and brought the food cooler up on the old Biloxi Bay bridge. We tied chicken thighs and hunks of frozen menhaden into the pots, dropped them (plunk) in the Sound, and waited. After a while, I got tired of watching the long yellow line and pulled out a book. I was reading the Little House series, and I vividly remember reading about Mary and Laura's cold winter in the woods while roasting in the Mississippi sun.

Dad took the cast net down to the end of the bridge, stood on the rail, and threw out a perfect circle that splashed in the water, breaking it into a million jewels.   He threw it quickly, with a half-pirouette, but it sailed out in slow motion.  Eight or ten times he did this, pulling up drum and mullet and croakers that yelled at us "put back," as we opened the net.

We put our catch in the live well and settled in for lunch - a cheese sandwich and carrot sticks for me, and ham for Mom and Dad. As we were cleaning up, we heard another car drive up - a ratty, rusty blue Toyota truck - and out clambered my surrogate grandfather, "Prof". Prof taught with my dad and was the scion of a very musical family that thrilled audiences across the region. After hoisting me in a hug, he carried me to the side of the truck and indicated the bed.

A cast net, considerably shorter than Dad's, lay there. Prof had had it made for me!  He put me down, lifted the net in folds, and draped it over my shoulder. We went into the grass and cast a few dozen times until my arms were weak and shaky. We took a break for a Barqs (invented just down the road, btw) and to put our newly caught crabs in the cooler.

Prof and Dad decided I was ready for the big time. We walked to the end of the bridge, and Mom crouched with the camera, waiting for the perfect shot. I gathered my line, and draped everything on my forearm, with the lead weights in my hand, then promptly spun the wrong way, clocked him full in the face with the net, and stood in horror as he sailed backwards off the bridge, my little cast net falling along after him.

He swam, then waded, and finally climbed up the rocks and oyster shells, sputtering and laughing with all of us on the bridge.  

I know that we never again went crabbing on the 4th, though we went many other times. I can also assure you Dad never again stood near me while casting. 

I got an email last night from Prof's grandson, now a successful band director and gigging musician on the Coast. He let me know that this was the first time he could remember that he couldn't take his children to Back Bay to crab. He didn't know what to do. No crabbing, and he couldn't go walk Biloxi Beach, or down to the marsh in Ocean Springs. In 2010, my friend John's tradition of crabbing on the 4th, one that bad been passed down from his grandfather, who had done the same with his, was finally ended.

I'm not going to be here when this is posted. Pam and Yasu agreed to post and tend it for me; I couldn't help sharing it when Mom called this morning and asked me if I remembered clobbering Daddy with a cast net on the 4th.  I give my hearty thanks to them for helping me share it with you, and for all they do. 

We Are Here

by bigjacbigjacbigjac

   We are here.
   We are watching.
   Years from now,
   if anyone asks,
   we will tell them:
   We were there.

   Maybe it will not matter.
   Maybe nothing matters.
   But if we throw up our hands now,
   maybe someday,
   years from now,
   we will ask ourselves,
   why did we not at least keep watch,
   why did we not?

   Maybe someday, some of us
   will talk with someone younger,
   and tell of the time we watched.
   Maybe that someone younger
   will try harder next time,
   will do more next time,
   the time we watched.

From our own Kimberley
We're all stunned and horrified by this disaster. Huddling with good people to calculate the damage and monitor progress, have a laugh when we can, share the sorrow we feel, and learn a lot in the process... That's what I'm really here for.

This is how I best cope. And if it turns out to be a useful thing to others, then that's great.

Must read: Lax Oversight Seen in Failure of Oil Rig's Last Line of Defense.  Watch video and interactive graphic page, too.   Best overview of how the BOP works, and doesn't work, and the management interference that caused the accident.

Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Reference Material  - from Whitis is the best source for everything.. The quantitative data diary has also been moved there.

Jeff Masters of Weather Underground posted his take on the effects of a hurricane passing through the Gulf and making landfall.

Please DO NOT Rec this diary, Rec the Mothership here.

BP put up a video explaining the LMRP procedure and the future plans.

Go to the Deepwater Horizon Data Summary for a wealth of actual data from the Department of Energy.

The BOP and pressure drawings are viewable here.  The CAD drawings come highly recommended by the techies among us.  h/t Claudius Bombarnac.

Breaking News and new links:

This is what BP DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE.  The following images are guaranteed to make you SICK AT HEART.
These images are not for the faint of heart - DO NOT VIEW THEM LIGHTLY.

Really, I mean it. Hold somebody's hand. Grab a tissue.

A brief reference guide to nicknames you may see in the ROV diaries:

  • Gertrude, aka Gerty:  the oil volcano
  • Lizzy:  the diamond saw cutter
  • Clampy:  the cute ROV
  • Crunchy:  30 ft shear. bit the pipe, now a movie star
  • Wanda: the dispersant sprayer
  • laundry basket:  yellow thing that brings things up and down
  • Thingy: those things, you know, those things
  • Shiny Thing: those really neat things
  • Ms. Blanche Flo, aka Blanche, aka Flo: the manifold thingy

cosmic debris put together a comprehensive list of links on oil health and safety info:

Thanks to dov12348 for publishing a diary on Oil Terminology.

Here is a tutorial on the sources of pressure on the well
H/t to Pluto for finding this:
The official casing configuration under the wellhead.

The initial approach above will be followed by open hole and drill pipe magnetic ranging. After they get within 5 feet of the blown out well's lower casing they will ream, case and cement the relief well prior to reaming through the blown well's casing. (Photos from The Oil Drum)

An audio and slide presentation from Kent Wells is available.

The video feeds we are watching:
==== ROV Feeds =====
44287/44668 - OceanInterventionROV1
44838/45135 - OceanInterventionROV2
46566/54013 - Viking_Poseidon_ROV1
55030/56646 - Viking_Poseidon_ROV2
31499/31500 - Boa_Deep_C_ROV_1
22458/23729 - Boa_Deep_C_ROV_2
45685/49182 - Skandi_ROV1
45683/45684 - Skandi_ROV2
47175/21144 - Enterprise_ROV_1
21145/21327 - Enterprise_ROV_2
37235/37270 - Q4000_ROV1
35523/35624 - Q4000_ROV2

Possibly outdated or redundant links (from The Oil Drum):
46245 - BP "Official" #1 (primary)
46260 - BP "Official" #2 (secondary)
46661 - BP mystery feed #1
46663 - BP mystery feed #2

Restricted to web browser based viewing:
CNN Video Streams Note: multi-view is sometimes unavailable.
PBS (fewer security issues than some others)
BP videos Links to all available live feeds from BP.
WKRG - Mobile/Pensacola (Contains link for an iPhone app at the bottom.)
ABC 7 Chicago Live Video Multiple ROV Camera Views (h/t to temptxan for the great find).

Multiple stream feeds (hard on browser/bandwidth):
The best multi-view feed Be patient as load time may take a bit.
Markey's multi-view page
Lusty's multi-feed page (originally created by papicek, but a huge improvement made by Lusty, who also kindly hosts it :^)
Vote For America's awesome clickable multi-view Courtesy of one of our very own Kossacks.
A multi-view Contains feeds from BP, C-SPAN-2, WKRG, and PBS
High-def video feeds
See this thread for more info on using video feeds and on linking to video feeds.

Again, to keep bandwidth down please do not post images or videos.

Links, courtesy of several Kossacks

Previous liveblog ROV diaries:
Gulf Watchers ROV # 172 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Pam LaPier
Gulf Watchers ROV # 171 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - David PA
Gulf Watchers ROV # 170 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe -Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers ROV # 169 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Gulf Watchers Overnight / Peraspera
Gulf Watchers ROV # 168 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - CindyMax
Gulf Watchers ROV # 167 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Lorinda Pike
Gulf Watchers ROV # 166 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Tomtech
Gulf Watchers ROV # 165 -  BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yawnimawk
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #164 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Darryl House
Daily Kos Gulf Watchers ROV #163 - On Bearing Witness - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers ROV # 162 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe A Small Cottage Edition - GulfGal98
Gulf Watchers ROV # 161 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Gulf Watchers Overnight/peraspera
Gulf Watchers ROV # 160 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - David PA
Gulf Watchers ROV # 159 - Yasuragi
Gulf Watchers Liveblog ROV # 158 - politik
Gulf Watchers ROV # 157 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - Gulf Watchers Overnight / Dave PA
Gulf Watchers ROV # 156 - BP's Gulf Catastrophe - bubbanomics

Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.

This is where you want to be for discussion, worrying, tearing up, and caring for each other.  It's also where you're welcome to be angry and scream and curse and cry and rant at the criminal negligence and greed that have brought us all together.  Most importantly, though, it's where we can learn from those kossaks among us (I'll not name names for abject fear of leaving one of you out, but you know who you are.) who bring the light of knowledge - sometimes with heat, sometimes without it - and teach us about what's happening beneath our Gulf of Mexico.  On a personal note, I'll ask you to please be kind to each other in our little boats.  There's enough hurt going on outside without bringing it here.

Bandwidth Warning: NO IMAGES and NO VIDEOS. Readers who are on DIALUP will thank you!

Originally posted to khowell on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 03:23 PM PDT.

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