Stars in the sea

We spent three days in the Gulf Stream driving and being carried north. We accomplished some science, we deployed some ROVs (remote operated vehicles) and fixed the problems that came up.

I am on this ship to think about and experience and get information on the Gulf Stream. After looking at many rivers on the land, the image of the Gulf Stream looked so like river in the ocean to me that I wanted to see it, in person.

Being in it is remarkable. The color is the most dramatic change – it goes from green and cloudy to deep purpley-blue. The speed is not noticeable except with gps tracking. With that, I knew we were always making three knots even when we we not under sail or power.

I made a point of being on deck when we exited the Gulf Stream. The night was calm, the seas flat to the point of reflecting the brightest stars. The change I could see was the sudden appearance of bio-luminescence in our wake. I’d been hoping for that all trip, but the Gulf Stream is too hot and too salty and too devoid of nutrients to support that kind of life. The coastal waters do, and the transition was quick. I pointed it out to everyone on deck at that point and requested time as lookout so I could hang over the bow and stare at the glowing froth as we plowed through it (I still checked the horizon for traffic, I have some standards). The propeller was making a deep glow in the ocean behind us, a solid six feet below the surface and looking like the Milky Way under the sea. Flying fish were leaping out of the water ahead of the ship, and making sparking trails where they left and re-entered the water. It was very very fine.

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