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  #11  
Old 02-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
You will notice a major difference in places where there are rivers on the island bringinig in sediment. With rivers the water is dirty (not biologically so) with silt. Could see this on the north shore of Guadeloupe were a pretty big river came in - the water was not all that clear.

The clearest water is near islands with no rivers and no people. BTW, the water in Lake Ontario has become remarkably clear in the last 20 years or so as a result of zebra mussels being introduced from the ocean. They are remarkably efficient filter feeders and have removed immense amount of particulate matter. Really screwed up the native ecosystems but the water is much, much clearer - the 1000 Islands have become a significant dive site as a result.
I noticed this on a trip to Jamaica.

We flew from Negril to Montego Bay after a heavy rainfall.

It was very interesting to see how far the silt travels from the mouth of the rivers.
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2012
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Silt

I remembered I had this photo that shows silt from a river well. We happened to be in the San Blas Islands in Panama last year when there a period of incredible rains. So much rain over a week or so that they actually had to shut down the canal for a day - third closure in almost a hundred years. During this time of snotty weather we anchored behind a heavily-inhabited island that was across from the mouth of a river that was maybe 75' wide (we explored it with the dink before the rains came).

The water in most of the San Blas is incredibly beautiful, not so much next to this island since about 800 people poop directly into the water (they have outhouses perched over the water). Anyway, after a couple of days of heavy rain we had this huge area of brown water from the silt upstream. With the tides we would sometimes be in the brown and sometimes in the blue. The dividing line between the fresh, muddy water and the cleaner, salt water was incredible, but I guess it would gradully break down.

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Old 02-23-2012
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When I was a kid out on eastern Long Island, before the LI Expressway, back when potato farms were the only thing out on the Island, I can remember the clarity of the water in LI Sound was such that you could see the bottom clearly in 20' of water. It was never Caribbean blue but crystal clear. There were also schools of porpoise which, I understand have begun to return recently after many years of the Sound being pretty polluted.

In Maine, where I've done a lot of sea kayaking, around Deer I., the water does approach that crystal blue color. I don't know why this occurs up there but the water is, again, very clean and clear. IMO it has much to do with how much man-made crap being is mixed into the water.

Lake Champlain, where I keep the boat now for the winter, is a good example of very poor water clarity because of man-made runoff and too many organic nutrients washing down from towns and farms.
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Old 02-23-2012
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A physicist might be able to explain it better, but even when the water in northern and tropical locales is very clear, there is still a difference. The tropical water is more turquoise and the northern water a darker blue. I think it must be related to the angle that the sunlight is coming at.
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Old 02-23-2012
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Related to the silt issue..this view of Howe Sound shows nicely the glacial till in the water from the Squamish River, and you can see how it makes its way down the fiord eventually dispersing. Also note the back eddy/upwelling of sea water in the lee of the first point.

This layer is usually only 4-6 feet deep (being fresh it's lower density and stratifies) and larger boats travelling through it will often stir up sea water in their wakes. The transition from fresh to sea water can be a drastically strong contrast line when the incoming tide meets the freshet head on.. it's quite dramatic at times.

Oddly, many people wrongly blamed the 'green/blue' water on pollution from the nearby pulp mill.

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Old 02-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Oddly, many people wrongly blamed the 'green/blue' water on pollution from the nearby pulp mill.

Ironically, when Woodfibre was polluting its worst, the water at the entrance to Howe Sound was very clear - you could see up to 20 feet down because everything was dead from the dioxin effluent.

Jack, have you got one of those shots that shows the Fraser runoff? That one is a real eye opener for people regarding the transport of silt by a big river.

It also explains the shoes quite well.
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Old 02-24-2012
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someone told me the bottom growth is a lot less in the islands. -due to lack of run off.

they said they would scrub the bottom once they crossed, and wouldn't have any growth for a few months, until they returned to the states.

-anyone?
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2012
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It is pretty much standard in the islands to scrub the bottom every two months or so. Perhaps less of a problem than in a nutrient-rich environment anywhere, but still a problem. At least it is nice and warm and clean to do the scrubbing. Did mine somewhere (forget where now) and I had about 20 fish hanging around to catch the little barnacles I was popping off.
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Old 02-24-2012
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Old 02-24-2012
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I went scuba diving at Eleuthera (actually stayed on Harbor Island at Valentine's). One day of diving we went to Current Cut and dove "Split Reef" for our first tank. The dive master asked if I could tell how deep the water was looking down into it. I'd been in the Bahamas before and could see the sea grass growing in the bottom around the rock. You could make out the individual blades of grass. I said, very confidently, 20 to 25 feet. He smiled, said check your depth while sitting on the bottom. I did. 45 feet. I have never seen water that was "gin clear" like in the Bahamas! Oh, by the way, the ride in Current Cut is worth a trip to Eleuthera by itself. So is the Conch Chowder at Valentine's. And the pink coral sand on Harbor Island's beach...
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