Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gasping for air?

This Summer has been freakishly warm. Especially the water. I went straight from wearing a drysuit to wearing a 3/2 or a rash guard in early June. As a result, we have not been enjoying our normal thermals each afternoon. Instead we have been enduring  90 degree air, and 71 degree water temperatures.
While Friday's rain kept me out of the water...it's cool Easterly made for a wonderful sail with Lauralee on Saturday.
On Sunday the breeze was light but had switched to WSW. I left my mooring at high tide, so every thing seemed right with the world. As I was sailing I saw more Bunker schools than I had ever seen in one area. Giant bait balls with fish jumping everywhere.  I thought something is forcing these  fish to the surface, ( must be Blues). There were so many visible dorsal fins , the schools looked like cat paws on the water. What I didn't get, was why the fishermen where ignoring these giant bait balls.
It wasn't till I sailed back to the bay that I understood. The bay was back to smelling like a sewer. I'm no scientist; but I've seen this before...reports of whales beaching in the Sound: dead Bunker lining the shoreline...Hypoxia. These fish were desperately gasping for air.


James Douglass said...

Bummer! A big rain washes a lot of nutrients into the water, and if it's followed by hot and still weather it can easily lead to an algal bloom. When the algal bloom dies and rots it causes hypoxia. Hypoxia could definitely kill fish, but the whales probably died for a different reason, since they are mammals that breathe air at the surface and are therefore not directly affected by oxygen levels in the water.

drysuit2 said...

Well James, it's nice to know an actual scientist is aware of what is going on, and how it actually is affecting our world. I for one am glad we have people like you out there.
All I know is something is wrong.
BTW congratulation on your engagement, and move back to warmer shores.