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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 09-28-2011
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Bubbles and things that go bump in the night

My vacation has been pretty damp...rain almost every day. We have enjoyed the SSCA GAM, the Choptank, Chester, Wye, Miles, Rhode and the Bay itself. This is all going someplace, I swear.

While spending the night in one of our favorite anchorages, Dividing Creek on the Wye, all night long we were haunted with noisy bubbles hitting our hull. Now these were bubbles loud enough to wake me up and I am not a light sleeper. Along with the popping bubbles, there were sounds like sticks hitting our hull. At one point I did go up on the cockpit and the other two boats had not dragged, nor had we. Many questions????? The next AM I rowed over to one of the other vessels asking if they were also heard this noise. Nope. They said it must have been aliens. No lights in the sky or water....?????

Later in the morning, I pulled the cqr along with our trusty chain rode and sure enough for the first time in daylight, a bubble broke the surface larger than a basketball. POP! Now, Dividing Creek is linned wirh large diciduous trees and I am sure there are loads of leaves and branches and probably whole trees rotting down below but this was a new one. The bubbles were only evident at night. Also it should be noted that the anchor chain was stained black! A few more nights at anchor and it is still black.

So does anyone know what kind of spooky channel we visited? Were we being haunted? Has anyone else experienced this?

Now that we are totally rusted, we will head home this weekend to get ready for work next week. This rain has got to stop sometime.

Cheers All!

Leslie

s/v Tango
CR 34, Currently in Queenstown on our way to Chestertown
Lankford Bay Marina.
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Old 10-02-2011
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Turtle farts...
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Old 10-02-2011
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I'm guessing the flooding has something to do with it.

I've noticed more black anchor occurrences since then.

I'm guessing the heavy sediment load has dropped the dissolved oxygen near the bottom, where this has settled, lower than usual. That explains the black anchor (bacteria metabolize sulfate in waste and seawater generating hydrogen sulfide, which turns iron black Iron(II) sulfide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and the bubbles (mostly methane and CO2 I'm guessing--if there had been sulfide you would have smelled it--methane is less water soluble than CO2 or sulfide).
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Old 10-03-2011
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Pdqaltair seems to hit on a plausable explaination...
Have heard about shrimp feeding on growth on hull that made
loud enough noise to wake crew(loud clicking noise I think) but don't know if they would be in your local...and don't think there
was any bubbles...unless they have developed a taste for champagne!
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Old 10-03-2011
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I recent moved to an inland lake near St. Louis. The fish feeding on the hull growth are very loud. Sounds like someone is tapping on the hull with a small metal hammer. That's not the same as your situation but it does substantiate the above story.
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Old 10-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
Turtle farts...
You all think I'm kidd'n.. ..but the Wye River has a very large known population of Diamond Backs..

Diamonds of the Wye : Susquehannock Wildlife Society

..and enough of 'em...

Turtle Farts Underwater 5-7-09 Five Caves, Maui, HI - YouTube

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Old 10-03-2011
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Very true. Have they been spotted swimming with little black spray cans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
You all think I'm kidd'n.. ..but the Wye River has a very large known population of Diamond Backs..

Diamonds of the Wye : Susquehannock Wildlife Society

..and enough of 'em...

Turtle Farts Underwater 5-7-09 Five Caves, Maui, HI - YouTube

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Old 10-03-2011
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Talking You've all got me giggling...

Well it sounds like Pdqaltair has the best scientific explanation. The size of the bubble that burst at the surface was really large so if it was a turtle or terrapin, it must have been the dinosaur sized version. In looking at all the fart bubbles shown on U Tube, they were all much smaller than what I saw...even with a whale fart. What I saw was one large bubble and that says large gas pockets trapped at the bottom released in one large bubble. I can't say I smelled anything like sulfur but maybe I was not sniffing at the right moment with the breeze in the right direction. Maybe this was my experience with "swamp gas"? Would have been fun to light it. Wonder if the earth quake could have directed gases through the earth, getting a pocket close to the surface?

I can only think that we were anchored over an area that had gases trapped in the muck on the bottom that our anchor chain or the anchor disturbed. Maybe we made too much noise with the Sirius XM radio playing during the day so we did not hear bubbles through the daylight hours we were there. Also, the tidal change may have caused our swing, and disruption of the bottom.

The change in the anchor chain to black was pretty spooky.

Thanks for your input.

Leslie

s/v Tango
CR 34
Lankford Bay Marina
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Old 10-12-2011
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Turtle Farts and Bubbles

We saw them too.. Lottsa bubbles in patches They were not sulfur smelling, but I like the rotting decomposing muck trapping the air bubbles theory. Sounds like a better explaination than crocs or gators breathing.

The black muck on our anchor reminded us of anchoring in Grey Inn. Thank god for the washdown pump on the anchor chain and rode.

Dave
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Old 10-12-2011
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our chain black did not wash off....

Dave, our chain's black corrosion did not wash off. Yes, there was black mudd on Dividing Creek but this is almost a stain on the metal. Maybe vinegar or baking soda may remove it but I was not going there.

My brother told me about the gases that are trapped in rotting vegetation and how they are known to kill folks working in trenches where they come upon the gas as they dig the trench. He mentioned three guys in South Carolina a few years back who had this occur. The first one who was in the trench collapsed and the other two went into the trench to help him but they were also overcome. WOW!!! Surely being in the boat is a different thing from being in a hole digging the muck out but it kind of makes you think.

My brother is a forensic pathologist so he is always full of good chemistry facts and stories dealing with folks who have died. What amazed me was the size of the bubbles...there were not lots of bubbles but large bubbles. Keene also advised that the bubble gets bigger as it comes to the surface. It was pretty interesting.

Leslie

s/v Tango
CR 34
Lankford Bay Marina
Chester River, MD
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