strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea - Page 5 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #41  
Old 02-23-2011
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We've seen the green flash - no mistaking it, three people saw it, looked at each other and simultaneously said "Did you see that?".

One night, 2500 nm from the nearest land I woke the crew in the middle of the night to witness the most amazing light show in the water. Lights flashing brightly in a range of different colors, impossible to guess the depth and it went on for about an hour. It was only about a year later we discovered that it was a shoal of giant squid under the boat. Apparently that's how they communicate, they change the colour and intensity of the light continuously and flash messages to each other. Spectacular to watch.

Another thing which remains unexplained was north of Madagascar, we saw a line in the water with bright water on this side and dark water on the other side. We automatically assumed it to be a mini line squall. But then we noticed fish jumping along the line, not across it. And then a few dolphin that were obviously hunting the fish. Nothing crossed the line. But the strange thing is that the line went horizon to horizon. And even more strange, it didn't seem to be moving. We held our collective breaths as we approached it and . . . nothing. No difference in the wind, no sign of current, no change in course or heading, no change in boat-speed, no change in water temperature. We just sailed across it into the "dark" water and onwards. We looked behind and it was still there, dark on our side and bright on the other side. I did extensive research into it and still have no explanation.

Finally, another weird thing to see at sea is a full-on up-welling also called an over-fall. This happens when an underwater current is pushed up to the surface by a geological feature on the seabed. The sea surface literally boils around the boat. And the effect can be miles wide. We sailed through two of these on an Indian Ocean trip in 2004. And while you're in the confused water, the boat-speed assumes the speed of the now-surface current and it takes what feels like hours to sail through it. Bad news when it's going the wrong way which it was both times we got caught by it.
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  #42  
Old 02-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HVVega View Post
"A Buoy floating in the middle of the atlantic Ocean. No idea what harbor it once guarded or came from".
I was single handing 400nm south of Indonesia and was down below, nothing around, no sign of shipping when suddenly a loud banging all down the side of the boat. I had collided with something and it sounded large.

Raced up on deck to find a radio beacon used by the long-liners in that part of the world to mark the end of their fishing line, bouncing along the side of the boat.

I nearly wet myself.
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Old 02-26-2011
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This is a great thread. Thanks for sharing all these interesting stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
...
We were motoring (no wind) and I was at the helm at about 02:00. I noticed a green spark approaching us from dead ahead. At first I thought it was a cinder, blowing in the wind, but it was green. it looked to be about the size of a humming bird, and was the phosphorescent color of the jellyfish. What ever it was, it buzzed through our shrouds, then chased us for about a minute. It would fall away from our stern, then loop and approach us again. It was NOT a firefly, because it was way too big, and it didn't flash, but glowed steadily.

My watch mate and I looked at each other with a "WTF?" expression. We both saw it, and talked about it for a while. We never figured out what it was....
That sounds like a static electric charged ball, or "ball lightning". It doesn't always or necessarily occur during a thunder storm.

A plane my father was piloting was struck by a larger one over Scotland. It came in through the cockpit/nosecone, floated right down the center aisle of the plane, and exited through the empennage, blasting a hole in it. He had to make an emergency descent and landing in Prestwick. Passengers reported that the charged ball was about 18-24" in diameter.

Ball lightning tends to have a soft white/yellow/light green glow and is often mistaken for an apparition.
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Old 03-07-2011
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It was 1982, I was aboard the Choctaw 1 - an offshore semi-submersible rig. We were about 50 miles off the coast of Angola, West Africa. While making my rounds at night, I spotted a very large looking worm, maybe 25' long, +/- 6" in diameter gently wriggling along beneath the surface - I could make out his opaque form out in the light shining down through the water. Water depth was about 500'. Maybe he came from down deep to see what all the commotion was about? Gives me the yips to this day....
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Old 03-08-2011
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Phenomenon at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
While at sea, some of us have seen what could be described as strange Phenomenon at sea.
The green flash at sunset. Yes I've seen it about nine times over the years.
Requires clear air for it to happen. So looking toward a smog hazed horizon, it won't happen.

Water Spouts. In one afternoon saw six of them just east of the delta in the GOM.

Bright green flare (?). In the sea of Cortez seen one. vertically descending. Must have been a meteor.

Dolphins & Porpoises many times. Assorted species.

Sea turtles and a Sun Fish (a Moa). The Sun fish's upper fin looked like a large plank sticking out of the water, until we got close enough to view it in its glory.

Spinning shark. Once in the GOM

A Buoy floating in the middle of the atlantic Ocean. No idea what harbor it once guarded or came from.

Had a crewman report a fire on the horizon. If he had waited a few minutes he would have seen the upper limb of the moon come above the clouds. At that low altitude it appears fire red through the clouds due to smog.

A pod of Orcas feeding on the discards from the fishing vessel that I've captained in the Bering sea. Now that was something.

So what did all of you have seen out there?
I saw two sailboats going the same direction on different tacks less than 50 yards apart. Probably for less than a minute. Micro-burst?
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