strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 56 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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post #42 of 56 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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post #43 of 56 Old 02-26-2011
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This is a great thread. Thanks for sharing all these interesting stories.

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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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post #44 of 56 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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post #45 of 56 Old 03-08-2011
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Phenomenon at sea

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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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post #46 of 56 Old 2 Days Ago
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Re: strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea

I found your post by an internet search. In 1980 I was on the fantail of the USS Jouett CG-29 just before dusk and I saw a very strange phenomenon. From the far horizon a couple hundred yard to perhaps a quarter mile band of small surface chop (.5 to 1 foot) which stretched from horizon to horizon over took the ship and passed on to the far horizon. We were holding station in the Indian Ocean with the 7th fleet during the Iran Hostage event, barely making way at a couple knots perhaps. Other than this band the ocean surface was perfectly flat like some duck pond. I've spent close to five decades on the salt and never seen anything like it before or since... Calm winds and following seas, Pappy...
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post #47 of 56 Old 1 Day Ago
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Re: strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea

About 5-6 years ago, well off the coast of New Jersey and heading for Maine I encountered a massive flock (maybe a mile or two in diameter) of storm petrels (aka: Mother Carries Chickens). Storm Petrels are supposedly the most prolific bird species on earth, never ever touch land unless breeding on the far remote islands of the Southern Ocean. This was a feeding frenzy at the surface of the water with about 1 bird per 2-3 sq. meters and 2-3 meters deep and with these very small sea birds only skimming/dancing on top of the water and never alighting onto the surface, just dipping their beaks and slowly 'dragging' (?) their feet along the water surface.
There had to be a half-million of them in this 'feather blanket' on/near the surface. Ive seen small flocks and occasional singles and pairs of petrels before but never this incredibly massive amount in one place. There also was a large amount of dead & floating discarded commercial fishing 'by-catch' in the area.
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post #48 of 56 Old 19 Hours Ago
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Re: strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea

1992 on a vessel delivery trip from New Jersey to Puerto Rico and several miles north of the Arecibo on the north coast of PR, a pod of three humpbacks decided they wanted to check out our boat. They approached us and twenty minutes later they were still swimming next or close to us. They enjoyed our presence so much that we dropped the sails, put out a sea anchor, donned masks and snorkles and proceed to jump in the water with them, in the diaphanously-clear deep ocean water.

U know how sometimes, you cross paths with a stranger in the street and there can be a fleeting 'you're okay/I'm okay' instance of recognition and acceptance? To this day I swear that one of the humpbacks and I did this....she looked at me in the eye from maybe 30 feet away and that electric message of recognition and acceptance passed between us.

I came back on the boat with tears in my eyes....it was that amazing and heartwarming. What a blessing....
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post #49 of 56 Old 18 Hours Ago
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Re: strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea

A car. Coming back,from Marion Bermuda. Nearly hit a car. Must of fell off a ship as it still had the white plastic sheathing on hood and top.
Was pushed aside by attack sub surfacing coming into rockland Maine. Boat rocked quite a bit but no damage. Later was allowed brief " tour" Wasn't allowed to see much of the boat ? Security/intelligence but still fascinating.
Sun fish, whales, green turtles etc. had a flock of finches travel hundreds of miles with us. Picked them up around 400 m from Newport landfall. They would rest on the boat. One flew inside and then we closed companionway when he decided to go out.
Had all rigging glow green, blue yellow then clear and do it again.
Have sailed between waterspouts. Fortunately small and very transient.
Had a knock down from rogue wave in block is. sound.
Had two white sharks tail us for >1h just after leaving Provincetown going through the race on way to Maine. Realized left swim ladder down. Picked it up and they left.

s/v Hippocampus
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post #50 of 56 Old 14 Hours Ago
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Re: strange Phenomenon that we've seen at sea

Running east around Race Rocks in nasty misty conditions saw red and green nav lights on reciprocal course. No white, but whatever it was the lights were high off the horizon so it must be big ,right? Just a bit concerned, I turn to starb'd .Lights seem to follow. Then turn green and red as masthead lights on a couple of sailboats motoring close together show their other side as they zig zag into tide/wind Still no whites.
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