Thursday, May 13, 2010

Underwater Video Boot Camp: better videos and beautiful sharks

From the RTSea Blog today:

If you or any of your friends have been tinkering with underwater video - either as a hobby or with hopes of becoming a serious filmmaker, here's an opportunity to learn some skills while at the same time getting a chance to behold one of the most magnificent of ocean predators.

In association with Shark Diver, I will be holding an Underwater Video Boot Camp aboard the MV Horizon as we make our way to Isla Guadalupe, Baja to cage dive with great white sharks.

These amazing sharks migrate to Isla Guadalupe during the fall months and we will be there during the height of the season (Sept. 27th - Oct. 1st); so you can expect plenty of frisky male and large female sharks.

The Underwater Video Boot Camp is a comprehensive look at underwater documentary filmmaking, designed to not only help make your videos technically better but to also deliver powerful and dramatic messages to best suit your medium of interest: television, online, and more. In fact, much of what you'll learn is just as applicable above the waterline as below.

In addition, Boot Camp members will be eligible for a "mini-film festival" by submitting a 5-minute video of their trip. The videos will be judged by a panel of independent UW videographers and the winner will receive a FREE trip to Isla Guadalupe in 2011.

COREXIT 850,000 Gallons - Gulf Spill

BP has signed another deal for the oil dispersant COREXIT and 850,000 gallons to be sprayed into the Gulf to fight an ever expanding oil slick. 450,000 gallons have been sprayed thus far. Many environmental groups are unsure about these chemicals and their use.

Here are the EPA COREXIT handling instructions (click link for toxicity evaluation).


Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors. Use with ventilation equal to unobstructed outdoors in moderate breeze.

Skin and eye contact; protective clothing; treatment in case of contact:
Avoid eye contact. In case of eye contact, immediately flush eyes with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Get prompt medical attention.

Avoid contact with skin and clothing. In case of skin contact, immediately flush with large amounts of water, and soap if available. Remove contaminated clothing, including shoes, after flushing has begun. If irritation persists, seek medical attention. For open systems where contact is likely, wear long sleeve shirt, chemical resistant gloves, and chemical protective goggles.

What is COREXIT and how does it work?

Oil spill worries shark research scientist

Nick Whitney admired the two juvenile female nurse sharks lolling around in a 40,000-gallon tank at Mote Marine Laboratory's Center for Shark Research.

"Incredibly beautiful to look at," said the 32-year-old Bradenton, Fla., resident.

Yet there was concern in his voice.

A post-doctoral scientist and specialist in shark behavioral ecology, Whitney is worried about the ongoing oil spill off Louisiana.

If it ever gets pulled into the Gulf of Mexico's loop current, it would catastrophically affect the nurse shark population in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas where Whitney and others have spent years of research.

"Mating season is coming up in a month, mid-June, early July," Whitney said. "If the Keys are hit by the oil spill at that time, it could be devastating - and not only to this coastline. These animals come into shallow waters to mate in large mating aggregations. It could destroy mating season for an entire year, which could be a huge hit to the population."

Oil Spill in the Gulf - 2010 Hurricane Oilmageddon?

Current estimates of actual oil in the Gulf range from 4-23-57 million gallons depending on who you listen to.

See NPR Gulf oil spill widget.

None of the major media outlets have broken the ongoing story of the 2010 Hurricane Season which officially kicks off June 1.

This image is Hurricane Katrina with the latest oil spill map from NOAA put together by RTSea Productions.

If Katrina landed this year its Category 3 sustained winds of 127 miles an hour it would plow right though the oil disaster area and BP's runaway wellhead off the Gulf coast.

Colorado State University predicts this to be an "above average season." Halting relief well drilling efforts and clean up will be these storms first impacts. Taking surface oil airborne and carrying it far in shore with 100-140 mile an hour winds will be these storms second and most devastating effect.

Hurricane Oilmageddon

The real eco disaster waiting to play out are raining oil micro dropletts coming ashore as far away as Texas, the southern states, and large parts of Mexico, as Gulf hurricanes suck up millions of gallons of surface moisture and spilled oil. These micro dropletts of oil will rain down on rivers, lakes, farm land, and cities covering the landscape.

"Oilmageddon," on a biblical scale.

Latest 2010 Hurricane Forecast Predictions
  • Colorado State University issued its annual report on the year's hurricane forecast predictions. forecasters William Gray and Phil Klotzbach each stated that El Nino conditions will likely dissipate by summer. In addition they believe that the warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures will not drop and will remain at the current temperatures. These temperatures have reportedly been much warmer than usual. of this phenomenon, Gray and Klotzbach indicate that the 2010 hurricane season will be above-average. Specifically, they said that the warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures will "[lead] to favorable conditions for hurricanes to develop and intensify."