Saturday, July 17, 2010


by Ulli:
The last day was partially clouded, but enough sun came through to make for a hot day and a sunburn at my arms. In the evening the clouds were back as a solid, thick cover, ruining our attempts for watching the celestial party of moon, Venus, Mars, and Saturn. Hence we had another pitch black night. Makes for fun driving. Especially when in addition with up to 20 kn of wind the waves seem to come from all sides. It was like in a washing machine. Nobody slept too well in those very bumpy conditions.

But the deep blackness enhances the magic effects of the ocean, which you come to see only on a vessel at sea. When Cirrus breaks through the waves, she creates whitecaps on the water around her, and in particular in the water running away from the stern. This rough stirring of the water activates all bio-fluorescence available in living organism or in animal and plant debris, and as a result, we have little flashes of greenish-white light in the water. Thousands of them, in an endless stream. My favorite visualization is a Chinese man sitting in the cockpit and throwing his rice-grain sized firecrackers in the water by the handful. Upon contact with water they explode.

In more scientific terms it is about the presence of "Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP)" which can be activated simply mechanically, here by the boat movement through the waves. This protein has become an important tool in every genetic engineering lab. But here on the water it is simply the magic of firecrackers.

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  1. Guten Appetit mit eurem Mahi-Mahi! ~ Melanie

  2. I am very sad to note that Pegasus has reported her 100 mile check in. Unless Cirrus has tesseract wrinkle in time up her sleeve(dare we hope for such an occurrence?)we will be wishing "aloha oe" to our beloved King. Quite certain he will not be as happy as he was dining, sleeping, playing, reading, etc. with Bill