AP is reporting that Driftwood and seashells glazed with rust-colored tar lined the surf along the Gulf Coast's once-pristine white sand beaches Saturday, the crude from a busted oil well deep underwater showing up in greater quantities and farther east.
A cap placed over the gusher was collecting only a fraction of the oil, which had stained beaches with a waxy mess of tar balls and created an usual orange foam in the surf.
In Gulf Shores, Ala., wooden boardwalks leading to beachfront hotels are spotted with oil from beachgoers' feet, and some condominiums were providing solvents for guests smeared with the brown goo. At Pensacola Beach, the retreating high tide left an orange stain in its wake.
Thad Allen, guessed early Friday that the cap was collecting 42,000 gallons a day — less than one-tenth of the amount leaking from the well. Later in the day, BP said in a tweet that since it was installed Thursday night, it had collected about 76,000 gallons.