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    Re: Glowing Sea Surface
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2003 Nov 10, 10:27 -0500

    Thanks for sharing these stories guys.  I know they don't have anything
    to do with navigation, but they do have something to do with the sea,
    which is a main reason I read this list.  And they are a bit magical,
    at least to me.
    Fred Hebard
    On Nov 10, 2003, at 5:14 AM, George Huxtable wrote:
    > Trevor Kenchington, in an interesting posting, said-
    >> At sea in bad weather, at night, I have often noticed that the surface
    >> of the water seems surprisingly bright. I have put that down to
    >> streaks
    >> of foam catching the light from my ship's masthead lights and
    >> reflecting
    >> it back.
    > and added more detail about his observations on the night of a
    > hurricane.
    > My own observations may not relate closely to what Trevor saw, being
    > in a
    > different part of the world, at a different season, and under very
    > different conditions. Nevertheless, here goes.
    > ==============
    > I got a fright, one black but pleasant summer night, out in the middle
    > of
    > the English Channel. No wind, so I had lit up my little diesel.
    > Opening up
    > the engine hatch, to give the stern-tube its regular gob of grease, I
    > saw a
    > brilliant blue flash that lit up the engine compartment: then another
    > and
    > another. This looked just like a big electrical problem, until I
    > tracked it
    > down to the transparent plastic pipe which connects the cooling-water
    > inlet
    > seacock to the pump on the engine. I then attributed the flashes to
    > some
    > form of marine life that was protesting against the indignity of being
    > sucked through that pipe by giving off a flash of blue light. What it
    > thought about its subsequent treatment, whirled around the rubber
    > vanes of
    > the pump, passed around the engine jacket, mixed with hot exhaust gas
    > and
    > spat out at the stern, I can only imagine.
    > The blue display got more intense, showing up next as a bright blue
    > glow
    > from around the slipstream of the propellor, displaying the flow
    > pattern
    > just like a diagram in a hydrodynamics text book, only far more
    > beautifully. I took it that the same organisms were responding to the
    > pressure-disturbance from the propellor blades. Also, the puny bow-wave
    > that my boat raises under engine was painted a glowing blue, and I
    > could
    > see, on the water surface well away from the boat, wide arcs of a faint
    > blue light.
    > Altogether, it was a magical night, one that my wife and I will always
    > remember. We have seen similar effects since that night, but never
    > anywhere
    > near so intense. I expect that it's a phenomenon well-known to marine
    > biology.
    > In that instance, I'm sure that it related to individual glowing
    > organisms,
    > not to a general glow from the sea surface (although that's what it
    > might
    > have looked like from a distance).
    > That's it (for what it's worth). I know it doesn't answer Trevor's
    > questions.
    > George.
    > ================================================================
    > contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by
    > phone at
    > 01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    > Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    > ================================================================

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