Ten miles off Pensacola Beach on Sunday afternoon floated what looked like the biggest swirl of peanut butter in the world. It was 7 feet in diameter and several inches thick. Fish flitted in and out of its shadow, even though its edges oozed a silvery sheen that coated the waves. Small pieces had broken off, so it appeared to be surrounded by an armada of pencil erasers.
"That's really wild to see that," said [Lt. Rama] Shuster, 33, shaking his head. He said he was amazed that oil from 5,000 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico had somehow wended its way 200 miles to Florida's coast and now floated near the shore, threatening to wreck the state's economy and environment.
And responders feeling like BP is looking over their shoulder? More of that, too:
Later he and Officer John Bell, 29, were joshing around with Shuster about how to properly report what they had found. Shuster said BP wanted everyone to call it "product" because that sounded more benign than "toxic contaminant."
Livesay pretended to read from a BP press release: "The bird cannot take off because he's got product all over his wings."
As CNN's Rob Marciano reports, a pelican covered in oil washed up on Pensacola Beach:
For all the latest news on how the oil spill is impacting the Gulf Coast's wildlife & to learn how you can help, visit NWF.org/OilSpill.