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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So last week I'm flying out of St Thomas after a week of cruising the Spanish Virgins..:cool: Head west over San Juan and then NNW to a waypoint over the oceanblahblahblah. The little TV in the back of the seat in front of me has a map w/ our route depicted. About an hour into the flight I look out the window and see what looks like a very wide shaped V w/ the V pointing Northish. WTF? says I. At the time we had travelled 480 miles so this was probably 425,430 miles north of San Juan.
It could very well have been some kind of spill but it didn't look like it. It didn't spread out but instead was fairly well defined. Now from 39000 feet it's hard to tell but it was very interesting to see. I tried to fire up my handheld GPS but it wouldn't/couldn't acquire a signal. Wish I had had time to dig my camera out of the bottom of the bag.

Now I "know" there is no island out there but was wondering if anyone heard anything. Was just very curious. I've seen a lot of things from the air but nothing like this.
 

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Now I "know" there is no island out there but was wondering if anyone heard anything. Was just very curious. I've seen a lot of things from the air but nothing like this.

Actually, there are lots of islands out there. Probably one of the Turks and Caicos or one of the Bahama out islands. The T&C are less than 400nm from San Juan.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nah. That's not it. It was not very big (relatively speaking) and was definitely on the surface; reddish-brown in color. Also, having looked at an aeronautical chart of our route we were not anywhere near the T/C's.

Just really puzzling. Wish I'd gotten a pic.
 

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Maybe a drift net? (RE: Nasty things that should be banned worldwide)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Could have been! (a red tide that is) I was just struck by how much it appeared to actually be a reef even though I "know" there aren't any in that general area. Still ticked I couldn't get my GPS to acquire or that I didn't get my camera out.

SOLARE, what dock are you on?
 

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We flew from NY to Bermuda a few years ago for a long weekend visit. On the way there we flew over the still largely intact remains of hurricane Ophelia - quite interesting. A little while later I noticed some brownish globs in the water; they were roughly paisley shaped (remember paisleys?) or comma shaped and formed a rather long line. At first I thought it was some island but there are no islands along that route except Bermuda. Then I thought it was a whole lot of flotsam, trash or sewage and got quite depressed.
About 2 days later while sitting on the beautiful beach I was admiring the azure water and gentle waves. I began to notice the clumps of seaweed that were washing up on shore and examined it more closely. It was Sargasso seaweed. This same weed is found off the coast of southern Florida and flows with the Gulf Stream and forms huge clumps in the gyres of the current some of which goes by Bermuda.
I am convinced that what I saw were huge clumps of Sargasso seaweed. If you examine this stiff you will find that it tends to clump together. Old sailing ships were rumored to sometimes get stuck in the huge mats of this stuff.
That or they were some floating islands!
 

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I have to agree with Caleb. I fly the SJU to NY or Florida a couple times a week. There are sometimes large floating 'weed beds'. I just wish I was down there sailing by trolling a line. Those spots are always teeming with sealife...and tasty Mahi Mahi ;) . If you were flying the airline with 'little TV's in the seat I could have been your Captain.
 

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Dave, next time use your watch instead of your GPS. If you know when you took off, and what time you made the sighting at, the planes usually travel a fixed route at a fixed speed--making it possible to get a fairly accurate location by just knowing the time.

If it was a commercial jet, they are usually scheduled to fly roughly 500mph groundspeed. And in order to keep their scheduled slots at the airport gates--they are kept to that speed as much as possible. (Airlines no longer seem to speak "knots" much less "port" and "starboard".)
 
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