Gone Coastal (part V)

March 16, 2009 · Filed Under Gone Coastal, Women's Sailing · Comment 

MORNING WATCH

As we near Point Conception, the ocean folds into a field of slippery hills, each wave piling an ever greater volume of the sea before us. I have relinquished the helm to John, clipped onto a jackline and lurched forward to cling to, and lean against, a trio of shrouds. They are arranged in a comfortable triangle, seemingly for my support while standing watch. Our impermanence is confirmed by each wave, a child of the vast communal body of water, of the same makeup but unique. They slip under my feet; under the deck; under my mates, sleeping, reading, cooking and perhaps playing Mexican Train; under our tiny dryish world. Each ridge slides under our puny mass.

For this watch, and the last, we have seen an abundance of jellies sliding past with the waves. Translucent orbs, milky with plum splashes, they wash past the hull trailing gelatinous lace. They’re a staple for Mola mola, a fish I would love to see. Read more


Five Bucks, the Road to a Cure for Cancer and Jellyfish

November 16, 2008 · Filed Under Breast Cancer Stories · Comment 

How could Jellyfish, the Nobel Prize, a step toward a cure for cancer and your five bucks have be connected? They converge with Douglas Prasher.

Jellyfish — Not everyone has seen a jellyfish, so I need to share my limited experiences with them.
The fist time I saw this gelatinous invertebrate was not in their natural habitat, the ocean, but on the beach on Galveston Island. After a string of tropical storms pounded the island my family drove under the still gray wagging tail-end of a near hurricane to get a look at the Gulf, churning in the aftermath of the severe weather. On the beach we found jellyfish strewn like soap bubbles across the hard, flat sand. They had been swept ashore in such great numbers it was hard to imagine a single creature of their kind was left in the sea. I was unaware they were poisonous until a beachcomber with a metal detector warned me to watch myself and my then very young son. I certainly did not know that jellies were bioluminescent — containing a glow-in-the dark protein. Then I had little inkling just how curious these delicate animals were but the scene of their death and decay left me wanting to discover more. Read more