The Gulf of Mexico produces quality waves ask Floridians like Kelly Slater and the Hobgood brothers, it might not be the most consistent stretch of surf due to the limited fetch (distance over which the swell is generated, travelled and groomed) yet lets be honest in an area that produces the strongest hurricanes on earth (remember Katrina) it's no surprise that the Gulf keeps the Seppos (septic tank = yank) and Latinos waxing up. As you can see from the clip below, not all of them ride the gulf too conventionally.
Oil tanker riding in Texas!
How ironic for the tanker riders that their very raison d'etre has been their downfall. Unless you've been been having mind expanding sex with a supermodel for months on end then I'm pretty sure you'd have heard of the worst oil spill in American history, the Exxon Valdez dropped in the region of 11 million tonnes of crude. The current estimate for the BP leak is in the region of 39 million tonnes. In an area that is a fishing breadbasket for the continent and a tourist hot spot, it is hard to see much positivity coming out of it. Yes $20 billion set aside from BP sounds good, we'll see how much the federal governments syphon off and how much actually is received, after all it's not cash. With Hurricane season blowing in, this could be a very depressing time for many.
Don't forget the wildlife either, paddypower.com, who I'm struggling to acknowledge, are offering odds on which species will be the first to be declared extinct
Kemp's Ridley Turtle 4/5
Loggerhead Turtle 12/1
Gulf Sturgeon 20/1
Bluefin Tuna 6/4
Sperm Whale 16/1
Elkhorn Coral 20/1
Leatherback Sea Turtle 8/1
Blue Whale 16/1
Smalltooth Sawfish 20/1
Brown Pelicans 8/ 1
Its a funny one though. The Federal government are responsible for granting deep water oil extraction permits (shallow permits are banned as its deemed too environmentally sensitive), they're also responsible for checking the successful implementation of health and safety on all platforms, strange then that Obama demanded the 20 billion (even though he has no legal ability to see it through) as the government are actually culpable themselves. Could this be a back room deal? Smells a bit funny to me.
One thing is clear in my mind, surfing is definitely not priority in this situation nor should it be. I wonder whether some in the surfing world take it too high up the priority list. In a world groaning for renewable energies we need to be encouraging a greener planet not hindering it with small mindedness. The Wave Hub here in Hayle, Cornwall had its problems with objections from surfers. My favourite being...
"We will not stand by and not fight this," said Ben Farwagi of the London Surf Club, a regular visitor to the region.
London surfers......they certainly get tubes.
We gotta be careful not to be shooting ourselves in the foot, riding tanker waves okay, objecting to wave hubs...no. The leak looks like it has now stopped and the eleven platform workers buried but this event has seeped into the consciousness of many and will linger for a long time.