Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bay Aglow

08* 52.8' South
140* 02.8' West
Controller Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia
May 15, 2010

Capaz and Jarana in Controller  Bay IMG_2012

Bryce just alerted us to quite a fascinating experience. We were just cleaning up from dinner and it was probably about two hours after sunset. He came in from the deck exclaiming that the bio-luminescence was "out of control" (remember he is almost 12). We had noticed at dinner time that our anchor line was glowing and we are pretty used to seeing "sparklies" around the boat at night, but this is on a truly different plane.
First, we are anchored in between 15 and 20 feet of water. After turning off all of our boat lights (except the anchor light), we could then see that the entire bay had a light green glow to it. Right off, we could see that any lines in the water (our anchor bridle and the dinghy painter) were completely glowing like they were radio-active (at least in the movies) or had been dipped in glow-in-the-dark paint. As our eyes adjusted, we started to see the brighter flashes and glows as critters moved in the water. This more of a usual occurrence with the bio-luminescence phenomena. Then, we caught sight of two manta rays flapping their wings as the moved across our stern. These guys were probably six feet across at least. As we looked farther away from the boat, we would see very large flashes and then one was more steady and came towards CAPAZ. Again, it crossed the stern and Bryce and I are pretty sure that it was a large shark due to the way it was moving through the water and we both clearly saw its glowing dorsal fin.
We sat on bow for quite a while watching the little fish chase each other or get chased by bigger fish and hoping for the mantas to do another fly by. We saw several more big glows that were some distance away. It was pretty exciting and a little eerie to see just how much activity there is at any one time around our boat!

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1 comment:

mjtb said...

Wow!! that sounds exciting. I love the glow in the dark, aka bio-luminescence, lighting bugs (mid-USA), glow stars on the ceiling, bio-luminescence at Mystery Bay in August, etc. Good job Bryce. Nana