6.30.2010

Beach Week - One Love, One Ocean

On April 20th, 2010, the DeepWater Horizon Oil Rig located off the coast of Louisiana exploded, thus beginning the massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. On June 5th, the oil made landfall at Gulf Shores, in the form of tarballs and patches of dark sludge that marred the beautiful sugar white beaches of the Alabama coast. When faced with the news of this tragedy, we decided as a family to keep our reservations for June 23rd. Despite a reported lag in sales and occupancy at some resorts and restaurants, we were resilient, and hopeful that we could spend enjoyable time at the beach.

We arrived to the beauty of the Gulf, with considerably less tourists gracing it's shore. In the mornings, the beaches are as gorgeous and inviting as ever, soft white sand underfoot and calm blue-green ocean waves flowing. But a look at the boardwalk tells you something is amiss, as the bright red danger flag waves wildly overhead. It's not there to warn of high waves, or dangerous undercurrent; Instead, it's there to tell the travelers that our beloved ocean is no longer safe to swim in, as oil is present in the water. By the time you wake up in the morning, the oil cleanup crews have finished working tirelessly on the shore, cleaning up any evidence of oil. But all the efforts can't stop what inevitably happens by the early afternoon....drops of oil gleaming under the sun begin to wash up onto the coast. A sheen of yellow oil coats the once bright blue sea waters. By early evening, the small tarballs have been replaced by large, oily globs. Oil drenched sand crabs scurry slowly across the dunes. Seagulls walk along the shore, their tiny talon prints blemished with the sickening sight of dark crimson oil.

When the sun set at night, the beach could be described as eerie. While we walked on the dark sand, laughing and taking photographs, a sea of red lights danced on the shoreline.  The once beautiful beaches of Perdido Pass were being closely guarded by a cavalcade of boats, working all hours of the night to place barricades and fight the largest ecological disaster of my lifetime.

The Oil Spill Disaster definitely altered our vacation. Hudson's first trip to the beach is unlike mine, or Will's, or anyone before him. Instead of spending the whole day in the sand, tucked under the shade of a striped umbrella, Hudson was only able to enjoy the beach for small increments of time, mostly in the morning when the beaches appeared fresh and clean. We were not able to hold him tightly in our arms and wade out slowly into the ocean, letting the waves lap upon his sweet, baby legs. It breaks my heart that Hudson may never know the beaches of my past.

The Gulf Coast is looking at a long fight ahead, first to stop the oil from leaking from the fractured well, and later to complete clean-up efforts that will take place long after the leak has been plugged. Let's all do our part to make conscious choices and take skillful actions in whatever ways we can to help the Gulf and save our beautiful ocean and the wildlife that live there.  Ask yourself how you might make a lifestyle decision that could help. One Love, One Ocean.


{boys of summer}


{beautiful tree, where are you from? where have you been?}


{blue skies}


{lovin' the summer sun}


{it's a beautiful day}


{I've got my toes in the water....}


{"Hi Mom!"}


{splish splash}


{natural little surfer curls}


{All you really need this time of year is a pair of shades...}


{"A walk on the beach is the perfect time to catch up on my sleep."}


{soakin' in the suds}


{"Put me back in the water!"}


{learning about the ocean}


{perfect summer day}


{sunshine & smiles}


{sweet sweet summertime}


{the tans may fade, but the memories will last forever}


{footprints in the sand}


{Hey Handsomes!}


{what a wonderful feeling}


{Paradise}


{"This oil spill makes me angry."}


{live free}


{salty air & sun kissed hair. endless summer. love.}

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I hope Hudson has many more trips to the beach. Some of our best memories are vacations at the beach. I will always remember your first visit, you were 5 months old. I'm glad we got to be there for Hudson's first visit.