Oil Spills?

I’ve flown various times over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to look down and see what looks like the shape of a “drop” in the water. It’s the solid color of “tan paint”. And we’re talking this is huge in size. And it continues on for a few miles, meaning various drops in a line. Has a tanker gone through there leaking something as it went? I’ve got pictures of it.

Its probably a coral reef. Many areas of the Caribean and Mexico are a popular spot for diving, and I believe the coast of Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world.

I can see what you’re saying, but… it really didn’t look like that. It had a very distinct edge. It was a solid color, not a bit of shading. It was like a drop of paint, and that’s why I thought it was a foreign liquid like oil or something.

Sea weed? And I’m sure there would be a lot of boats or something around it if it was.

Reef or other natural event, including seaweed.

Petroleum spills reflect a rainbow of colors in sunlight, can’t be confused with anything else.

I’ve seen pods of rays swimming off the coast of New Jersey. Thousands of them in groups, and I could actually see them “flapping.”
Maybe it’s some other kind of group of creatures you’re seeing.

My bet would be algea blooms- (looked for a good image taken from the air, but failed, Here are some pics from the ground, but you can see that it has a brown (or tannish) slick look, but lacks the defraction sheen of an oil spill.

Speaking of the Jersey shores; I used to fly from KISP to KACY all the time. I’ve never seen so many sharkes in one place before. And CLOSE to shore. Maybe the rays have something to do with that.

Made me think twice about swimming there. A friend from work who grew up in Phily. said that back when they used to take the garabe out on barges from the city that sharkes would be up the river too.

I took pictures yesterday in my way into Marathon Key Florida of the same type of teardrop shaped brown stuff. It’s algae/seaweed, either floating on or just below the surface.

Ray and skates are a much favored source of shark protein, even thought they’re close cousins. It’s very common to catch a ray off the Jersey coast with a nice shark-sized bite out of one of its wings. If you hook up a skate while surfcasting, you can almost gurantee it will get hit by at least one shark before you can get it out of the water, they’ll trail it right into the surf.

Had you gone east out of KISP over Montauk or along the south shore of the Hamptons, you’d have seen even MORE sharks! Peter Benchley’s character of Quint in “Jaws” (played so memorably by the late, great Robert Shaw) was based on a real life Montauk shark fisherman who caught a 4,550-pound great white shark off Long Island.

I grew up working the barges out of NYC on the same run back in the early 60’s. We would be tailed by sharks of all sizes from the time we left the lower NY harbor until we approached the “dead zone”, a large area off the Jersey coast that had been so depleted of oxygen after years of garbage dumping that it literally could no longer sustain sea life.

Sharks are now common along the lower reaches of the Delaware river and bay, and bottlenose dolphin are frequently seen taking great delight in feeding on the fish drawn to the warm effluent from the cooling towers at the Salem nuclear powerplant.



Former Capt. of the Sloop Clearwater