From winter to summer - today our Plein Air South group made a trip down to Bayou La Batre to try to paint some shrimp boats. Everyone has been so upset about the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf and the fear that this could totally change the gulf coast way of life, especially for the shrimpers along the coast. Bayou La Batre is the seafood capital of Alabama, and the whole town is dependent in one way or another on the fishing industry in the Gulf. We found a shady spot along the bayou to paint a few boats, and then traveled down Shell Belt Road to the mouth of the bayou. All the shrimp boats were out in the sound working for BP - BP has hired local boat owners to assist with spotting the oil spill locations and skimming for oil in the open water areas. After lunch, Kathy Friedline and I went back to the Bayou and caught the shrimpboat flotilla returning to the Bayou city docks. We talked to some of the shrimpers, who said that they had observed the globs of moussey oil passing through the "Katrina Cut" in Dauphin Island and entering into Mississippi Sound. The skimmer boats were in route to try to collect the spill. It was heartbreaking to hear the local fishermen express their frustration that things had gotten so bad and their fears that they were losing their livelihood and way of life. It is also sad to think that this spill could ruin all the wonderful coastal areas along the coast, from the Louisiana Delta, to our barrier islands, the gulf fishing industry and all the way to the Apalachicola Bay.
Our Plein Air painting group under the shade.
Three of the Bosarge brothers on their boat in Bayou La Batre.
Workers unload some oiled booms.
View of shrimp boats in the bayou.
My little watercolor capturing a couple of boats in the upper bayou near the lift bridge.