Sunday, November 26, 2017

POST # 31 - 27 November 2017 - Thanksgiving Boat Light Contest

A two-part post, Thanksgiving day is a Thursday, the 23rd, and the Florence C of C Christmas tree lighting, and Olde Towne lighting contest and ceremony (Santa's coming !) is on a Saturday.the 25th, This year there is also a second, late December Harbor sponsored boat lighting contest too.

Usually the "BIG" boat lighting Contest is the Port of Siuslaw event close to Christmas, this C of C/city-event is new, and being 30 days apart is a severe problem for any decorating --given our severe winds and the gales of November that move through with the heavy rain.  So...fea is located in the open, where we get hammered worse than anyone in port, so, we will put up our November decorations for the city contest on the 25th, and take them down, then re install for the December Harbor contest.

Warmer, less hostile weather places (San Diego, Virgins, Florida) have boat light harbor "cruises" at Christmas-time, here, we have log booms (as barricades) spread across the slips/docks to keep the trees and logs that move down river out ! so it is only an at-the-dock display.

After working diligently outdoors in 40 degree weather (with one nice 65 degree day), and hanging over 4,000 lights, we finally got everything assembled 1/2 hour before the beginning of the 4-7 PM contest schedule (dark came at 5:15 Today).

Including us, there were 6 boats decorated, We never lit ours up in it's entirety (only by segments), and did a complete test . . . only at 0530 the night of the event, to disallow any sort of preview (for competitive reasons), at the very last minute we mounted our 4 x 6 foot illuminated sign, and dropped overboard all of the digital swinging icicles and the under water lights.  who knew ?

The coast guard cutter was lighted up, arrived and parked, and the crowd was pretty large since there was no rain. Our cell phone pictures came out terrible... so, I will repost when the newspaper releases their article later in the week, and gives me a copy of their" .jpg but, take a look.

Mark Brennan from the Siuslaw News is forwarding me the picture used on the front page, which I will post here on arrival.

The Chamber called this a "Boat-Float" event, so we made the sign read "Florence Boat Float", our under water lights, and the animated blue-white alternating up/down swinging in the wind icicles simply stole the show, so we won the 1st place award.

After the evening was over, the next morning at 0430 the gale began with 40 MPH winds, banging the lighted icicles and under water lights against the hull, so, it was way up and on deck to stow everything for the wind storm.... Sunday night we tried to light up for the second time, but had too many smashed bulbs and fixtures to continue, so we will now tear-down (all of it) to redo a different display for the late December port contest.

For this upcoming POS contest in December, we will go mostly high tech, and with very few lights... for a different, and tougher, weather resistant and easier to erect presentation, this year, the two week prep time for the Boat Float Contest made it a a very last minute and hurried setup, so we went conventional.

Be sure to check back on the 23rd of December !

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 POST # 30 - 15 NOVEMBER - EVENTS

12 NOVEMBER: Saturday night (tonight), was the second night in a row when 10 young men noisely come down the ICM ramp shrieking at 2345, stripped off their clothes and skinny dipped in the 53 degree water off A-dock across from the SW corner of Novelli's (make that LOUDLY skinny dipped) they use the dock power console light to undress, stand around naked awhile, shrieking, then redress,  tonight,  they inspected Novelli's overhead door, padlock and windows with a flash light, continued yelling loudly then dispersed back up the same ramp at exactly 2355 and head West into town afoot.  I turned it in to the Port office as a good test for their new expensive cameras just installed, we'll see.
I almost am embarrassed at having to keep my opinions to myself on this next one, the American scientific and Northwest US population naivete' and worldly ignorance really humiliates me. 

For perhaps millions of years, sea creatures that glow have existed, and, they have been known to sailors for thousands of years, especially, well known and documented after 1400 to "world" traveled sailors.

Now, in 2017, Oceanic Researchers, Marine Science Centers, Universities, and the general population in the Pacific Northwest are panic stricken, dumbfounded, and terrorized by the INVASION OF THE SEA PICKLES ! Totally embarassing.  Run away ! they are alive ! they glow and are from Japan's nuclear disaster ! WHAT are they ? OMG ! Mutants !

So, as the brain trust here in the Pacific Northwest oceanic region catches up, here is the story:

Anyone who has been to sea in the past 5,000 years will tell you about luminescent sea pickles, jelly fish, sea worms, sea snails, squid, sea snakes (a type of jelly fish) and those ships wake phyto-plankton, that also cause those brilliant blue glowing waves washing ashore at a beach near you.

To not be aware of these things in this educated 21st Century 2017 is a scary thing. but, like flying fish, here in the Ocean intensive Pacific Northwest these glowing sea things are "new" and go beyond into Oceanic Sci-Fi and the alien unknown that has scientists baffled. 

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder, legally called "pyrosomes", and quite common in warm sea waters, where they can reach a length of (reportedly) 30 feet, and they glow in the dark. Their Greek name pyrosome, translates to “fire body,” which tells you they have been in the Mediterranean sea and viewable for thousands of sea-farers years. . .  they resemble those Cyalume crush and shake liquid tube lights used for flame-less/battery-less camping and emergencies.

Now they’re here, filling the waters off the Oregon Coast all the way up to Sitka,  Alaska, and washing up on our beaches.
One research boat caught 60,000 of them in five minutes, they were so thick in southern Alaska that fishermen gave up trying to fish because their hooks and nets were coming up full of sea pickles instead of Salmon.
Jennifer Fisher, who is a research assistant with Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon makes regular research trips to monitor ocean conditions said she started seeing sea pickles in their research net in February, when a GoPro camera on the net revealed an eerie underwater habitat filled with the pickle-shaped creatures. “Basically as far as the eye can see: sea pickles,” she said. “We were dumbfounded.” 
No one knows what the effects of this sea pickle invasion will be, but scientists worry that if all the creatures die off all at once they could sink to the seafloor, and suck up all the oxygen as they’re decomposing, creating a dead zone for marine life.
Richard Brodeur, a research biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is leading an effort to collect live pyrosomes to study in his lab at Newport, Oregon.
“We’re trying to learn as much as we can about these guys,” he said. “I’ve been working for a long time, and I’ve never seen one until now. So, we’re kind of catching up. … It’s really a mystery to us why this is happening.”
He wants to look at how they feed, how they orient themselves vertically in the water, and record their swimming speed.