Monday, November 10, 2014

A "SMACK" of Moon Jelly Fish

During the summer of 2002, my wife Denalee, my oldest son Trevor, and I were kayaking in NO THOROUGHFARE BAY in Sitka Sound in Alaska. We were at the narrows when we came upon a Smack of Moon Jelly Fish. I had seen large Smacks in the Sound, but that was always from larger tour vessels, so taking photos of the Moon Jellies from the surface from a kayak was quite a treat. By-the-way, a SMACK is the proper name for a big bloom of Jelly Fish.

The Smacks that we saw out on Sitka Sound were much bigger. As you approached them, it looked like what a shallow sand flat looks like in the tropics; a emerald green patch amongst the darker green of the coral bottom. Of course Sitka Sound is very deep so the light patch of green was millions (what it seemed like) of moon Jelly Fish. As you looked down into the mass from the surface it was beautiful. The "smack" could be very near the surface and then drop way down into the depths. The water jets on the tour vessel would cause currents that would push the mass a round and sometimes you could see the mass going down so deep that it would eventually just disappear into the depths. Of course, if you came onto a smack on a very sunshiny day it was the best scenario as the Jelly Fish would reflect the sunlight and its light emerald color would be in stark contract to the darker water around the smack.