At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Glow in the dark waves

Port Elizabeth currently has a "red tide".

A red tide is a strange phenomenon caused by the rapid growth of a microscopic form of plankton. During daylight hours, the water close to shore has a reddish brown shade to it, but at night when the waves come in, the white caps glow in the dark. And they glow blue!

This is a fairly rare thing in these parts, although our couchsurfing host Kurt remembers having seen this once as a child. It was quite widely advertised in the media here, so Kurt and Leizel wanted to take their children to see it. And we wanted to see it too!

So around dusk, we drove out to a wide beach a half hour or so away from the lights of the city. Sure enough, as darkness came, the waved started glowing. And the crowds started coming!




It was really difficult to get a decent photo of this because the waves are only glowing, and of course it's very dark. So you need an exposure long enough to capture the glow of the waves, but short enough to freeze the wave itself. Not that easy! The photos above are the best we could do.

Another neat thing was that after the water came up on the sand and receded, the wet sand still had the microorganisms in it...so if you stomped your foot on the sand, the sand would glow for a split second. Not enough to be able to get a photo of, but enough to notice that it was pretty cool!

I managed to get a photo of Ruth doing a little dance in the sand trying to get it to glow! We all had fun doing this!

We hadn't done much during the day yesterday though. In fact, Ruth and I walked down to a big mall near our hosts place while they were at work and the children were in school. Ruth and Leizel together made a nice rice and chicken curry for us all for dinner.


24 comments:

  1. How neat to experience a Red Tide!!! Always read about them in science classes, etc. Amazing!

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    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
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    1. Don't think we were ever taught about that in school. I think the first time I had heard about this phenomenon was when I saw a picture on facebook of things and places that are real but don't look real. It really was an amazing sight.

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  2. How exciting for you guys to be able to see this. Really incredible.

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    1. We were totally thrilled to be able to have an opportunity to see this first hand, sort of like being able to the Northern Lights, except this is much more rare.

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  3. You did a great job of capturing the color with your camera.

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    1. Thank you Contessa, Kevin took a ton of photos and these were about the best we had and he still isn't really happy with them but at least it gives everyone an idea of what it looked like.

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  4. I remember during my sea going service seeing green glowing plankton at night in the cutter's wake. Really cool seeing the waves all lit up!

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    1. I am sure that is a sight that you will never forget. I am sure it looked beautiful out there without all the light pollution.

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  5. A really nice thing to witness, and your pics turned out pretty good too.

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    1. It was definitely a fantastic experience, just wish we could have captured it better, especially the sand glowing when you walked on it!

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  6. This is outstanding. Saw this phenomenon once at LaPush, WA. Hope you get to the Boardwalk at night for the music light show. Are you going to Hogsback?

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    1. We unfortunately will not make it to the boardwalk at night as we have just been so busy but hoping to go and walk along it tomorrow morning before making our way to East London.

      We would have loved to have gone to Hogsback (hadn't heard of it until now, I had to google it!) but I think it will be a little out of our way. You never know though, we haven't made plans for our full day in East London, we'll just have to check and see how far away it is.

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  7. Happened rarely on Cape Cod growing up. Swimming in the southern Exumas at night created quite a glow!Best ever was on Roatan - absolutely amazing. Glad you got to see it! And what an adventure you are having!

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    1. Our couchsurfing hosts were saying that the next night it was much calmer and people were swimming in it as well and it was really incredible! Glad to hear that you have been able to view it too.

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  8. Replies
    1. It really was, so glad we were able to see it!

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  9. Isn't there something in the Bible about the sea turning red!

    papa
    www.papas-travels.blogspot.com

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    1. Afraid we can't help you out on that one. As Didi says below, the Red Sea was mentioned in the bible.

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  10. Hi Kevin and Ruth...Great to see you are enjoying yourself still. Lots of love. Papa no it is about the Red sea.

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    1. Thank you Didi, we are always enjoying ourselves!

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  11. Have witnessed this phenomenon all up and down the west coast of U.S. Really wonderful - especially love the sparkles under one's feet..

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    1. The glow at night is something like seeing the Northern Lights, not everyone gets a chance to see them. So glad you got the chance, and yeah those sparkles are so neat!

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  12. That is amazing and the pics give a pretty good idea although that is one of the things you have to be there to get the full experience.

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    1. You are right Glen, you really have to see it for yourself, the pictures just don't do it justice but as you said it does give one a pretty good idea of what it was like.

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