I found an article about BP and Pensacola on the The Triton website, which is devoted to nautical crews. Karen Anderson is working for Ft. Lauderdale-based Resolve Marine Group and is serving as crew aboard the tugboat Summer Star with the assignment of supplying Decon barges along the Gulf coast. She is stationed here in Pensacola.
Here is how she describes the tar balls: “The oil spill in the Pensacola area comes into the bay in blobs of reddish-brown clay-colored sticky tar that can be as small as a 1-inch circle or as large as 20 inches across. From a distance, it looks kind of like sailing in the Sargasso Sea.”