Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't call it a comeback

But you can if you like.
The 1000th Whale Shark has been spotted.
(Unbeknownst to me, this gentle giant
is on the endagered list.)

A project called ECOCEAN has been created
to keep a close eye on these creatures.
And the project is open to anyone with a camera
and a love for the sea.
ECOCEAN refers to these divers as "Citzen Scientists",
they take their pictures of the whale sharks spots
and submit them to the photo catalog on the site.
Their spot patterns are analyzed and recorded.

The 1000th shark is a 19' male, and was photographed
by Simon Pierce at Tofo Beach, Mozambique

I really like this site, for a number of reasons.
mainly because it allows anyone to help.
It is definitely worth checking out
and for further reading on the whale shark
go here

Friday, November 23, 2007

Big Fish

Not all tall tales are false.
and this 8ft catfish is proof of that.

Though they aren't as uncommon as you'd think,
National Geographic reports that this guy
was caught in Cambodia, and he has been the only
supersized catfish catch this year.
A disappointment for all.
..or at least to those who catch
multiple huge catfish.

These giants were once common
in the rivers of southeast asia.
But the people who do the speculating,
agree that monster catfish numbers have
declined in the recent years....
much like lots of other creatures.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Say it with squid

My holiday cards are finally up
on my etsy page!
You'll get 6 cards in a pack
and at 10$ i think its a pretty good deal.
click the link to the left to check them out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Look but don't touch..

that's the advice for this guy.
The Blue Ringed Octopus.

This handsome gent is
native to the waters near Japan and Australia.
A proud resident of the Great Barrier reef as well.
and believe it or not,
he has the ability to kill you.

Those fancy blue rings are a warning,
normally he is a pale yellow color.
But when the rings come out
he may attack.
And while his bite may not hurt
he could be releasing his venom.

A website about the Great Barrier Reef
provides this morbid tidbit.
"The venom contains tetrodotoxin,
which blocks sodium channels and causes motor paralysis
and occasionally respiratory failure.
Though with fixed dilated pupils,
the senses of the patients are often intact.
The victims are aware but unable to respond."

There is no antidote.
Which means that he is best viewed from afar
because he means business.

Other interesting facts about the BRO
are that there are 2 kinds.
The first is about 8inches in length
and less common than the 4" one
who lives in the shallow coral and rock pools.
Their average life span is about 2 years.
And the females lay about 40 eggs,
which they incubate under their arms for 6 months!
No thank you.

I love this guy,
but he is not someone
that I'd like to meet in person.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Flotsam, Jetsam and Ursula.

Ok so maybe those three
can only be found together in the little mermaid.

But the real flotsam and jetsam
are usually associated with eachother.
And replacing Ursula, is lagan.
By definition, flotsam is
"1.)the wreckage of a ship or its
cargo found floating on the surface
of the sea. Usually associated wih Jetsam.
2.) Timber, etc. washed down by a stream.

Jetsam is
"Goods discarded from a ship and washed ashore;
material thrown overboard in order to lighten a vessel
(also called waveson). Usually associated with Flotsam.

Lagan is
Goods or wreckage lying on the bottom of the sea.

Basically all these are special treasures.
That some find by chance and others find
because they are on a mission.
I read a book recently called "Washed Up:
The curious journeys of Flotsam and Jetsam"
by Skye Moody.

It's a humorous and interesting tale
of what the sea can spit out,
hundreds of nike's, rubber ducks,
childrens toys, bottles, hockey gloves,
legos- you get the point.

Another part of the book that I really loved
was where she discusses ambergis

Friday, November 09, 2007

Little Bunny Update.

This is more an update on me than the ocean.
but it does involve squid so i figured it was ok.
I've been working on new holiday cards,
and i'm pretty pleased with them.

I don't even know if anyone besides
carly, carmen and paul read this.
But i'd love some feedback!

I'll be posting these on etsy either today
or tomorrow : ]

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Flying Dutchman

I decided to write about nautical tales by chance.
I had googled "flotsam" because I wanted to write
about cool things that people had found.
Somehow google pulled up a ghost ships page.
i'm not complaining.
Ghost stories always suck me in,
and if they are about the sea-even better.

The Flying Dutchman seems to be
one of the top tales of the sea.
As with all legends, it has
a number of twists and details.
But the main tale is this:

In 1641 a dutch ship sank
off the Cape of Good Hope.
Captain Van Der Decken had planned to dock briefly in Africa
before returning home to Holland.
A storm rolled in, and the cap'n and crew
tried desperately to escape it.
They thought they may have, until..
the ship crashes onto rocks
and begins to sink into the sea.
The Cap'n, not ready to meet his maker,
screams out " I WILL round this cape!
Even if I have to keep sailing til Doomsday!"

Legend has it, that if you look into a storm
off the Cape of Good Hope, you can see
the glowing Dutchman. However, it is
considered a bad omen to see the ship
and a tragic death will follow.

That is the general legend,
other versions include the plague
infecting the crew, or a horrible crime
occured on board.
Either way, the ship was not allowed to dock.
And all on board were doomed to sail the sea
for eternity.

The most recent sighting I could find was
in 1959. Where a ship almost collided with it.
or so they thought.
With all the sailors that lost their lives at sea
It's hard not to believe that ghosts don't appear.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Greener and Greener

I'm going to bypass my post about sea myths today
because I stumbled upon something on National
that is worth writing about.

Lately it seems that "going green" is a trend
saving the planet is suddenly cool and hip.
Now i'll admit that while i've always cared for the planet
I didn't realize my own personal effect on it.
These days i'm not a crazy greenbean, but I do what i can.
Recycling, using my chicobag, pulling plugs out of appliances
not in use, turn the lights out when i leave a room, etc.
Nothing major.
I always like finding green guides that can provide tips
and National Geographic has one up on their website.
It's even available for purchase. ($3.50)
But I'll take the freebee version...

One of the articles that caught my eye was about
the "dirty dozen" list of chemicals in cosmetics.
It's worth checking out.
Most of us pay a lot of money for these products,
it's nice to know what we need to beware of.

The trouble with going green is that it is being used
to sell "organic" products. You don't need organic clothes,
or a certain brand of appliances, or a toilet that can separate pee.
You just need a desire to make a difference, even if it is a small one.
Gradually change your products if you aren't using healthy ones,
get into a habit of recycling, use natural light during the day.
Going Green can be free. fact.
By helping out in a small way, it can have a big effect
on our planet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baby Belugas got the Herp.

Apparently I manage to research all the species
who have std's. It happened with koala's
and now with the beluga.
In my research on this lovely white whale
I found that the herpes virus and papillomaviruses
have been found in Belugas, however
they may not be pathogenic.
So herpes to a whale and herpes to us is
a bit different.
And they definitely don't need to be
"One Less" because hpv doesn't affect them
or their cervixes. Lucky bunnies.

The beluga is a wonderful addition
to the whale family.
And the general public has been enjoying them
since 1861, when Barnum's Museum put one
on display.
These whales can be trained to play games
and perform in shows.
Much like the killer whales or dolphins.
While I have mixed feelings about animal captivity
I can't say i'd pass up the chance to play catch
with some Beluga whales.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'd like to be, under the sea

with the manatees!!!!!
I was thinking of trips I wanted to take in the near future
and I definitely want to swim with some manatees.

Florida is the place to go for this.
I liked the "Swim with the Manatees" site the best.
Loacted in Homosassa, Florida.
They say that the best season to swim is from November to March,
It costs 50$ per person, and you get all your snorkel gear and an
underwater camera!
Tours leave at 6am and 9am, but they note that
earlier swims are best. I guess Manatees are morning creatures.
I'm definitely not, but I could be if i got to hang out with sea cows all day!
Beforehand they will give a quick snorkeling intro,
and show you a video on "manatee manners".
It also sayd that the manatees may roll over and
let you scratch their bellies! They are like big aquatic dogs! Oh i love it!

Check out the site in the links section!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My heart is breaking.

There are few things in this world that I cannot handle.
Added to that list is the Japan Dolphin Slaughter that is going on.
It upsets me so much, I can't really bring myself to write about it.
So I'm just going to tell you to go here