Log: The Vortex

[DAY 19] Jellyfish attacks

The day started by the retrieval of a tracker. Heather spotted it first on our starboard side. Josh, Corbin and Drew jumped into the dinghy and got to it without any problem. This is the calmest day we ever had with few long swells and very little wind.

They spend some time in the water taking footage and pictures of all the specimens they could spot on the small net attached to the drifter before bringing it into the dinghy.
We had direction from Mary at Ocean Voyages Institute to retrieve it since it was attached to a very small ghost net and the batteries were running low.
Since we had very calm weather conditions, Adam launched his drone and capture some footage from up high in the sky as well as few fly overs.

Before bringing the net and tracker on I Am Ocean, Corbin tried to check it up well to drop the sea life in the water. One was a pregnant frog fish. Once on deck, Heather and Drew started looking closely and took pictures of anything living on it. They found a specimen we never saw before, a flat worm. They packed it all in a zip log bag and put it in the freezer.

Then it was time for me to jump in the water. Up to today, I had cover 47 nautical miles. I was going to pass the 50 mark in the next few hours.
As soon as I started swimming, Josh and Corbin in the dinghy and I noticed a very high number of Portuguese man’o war, a very potent jelly fish. This type of jelly floats, they look like a clear purplish plastic bag shaped like a dim sum (a Chinese dumpling that my son loves) with some times very long tentacles compared to their body side, as I was about to experience it.

I felt the first burn on my left ankle within the first few minutes. I turned my focus on my breathing and kept on going. In the next couple of hours we found a fishing crate, fairly new with few little fish living under and the usual crabs and barnacles. We kept it with us and I resume swimming.
Josh and Corbin flew the drone from the dinghy and got footage from high up in the sky. Looking at them later in the day, I felt even smaller than I feel when I look at the unobstructed view around me.

They retrieved the drone successfully and I kept on swimming. I made a sudden stop when I felt an excruciating pain in my right armpit followed by the same burning pain on my nose and cheeks. A long tentacle dangled in front of my eyes. I removed my snorkel, it was wrapped a couple of times around it and when I pulled it away from my face, I realized it was attached to its body floating about a meter away from me. I unwrapped the tentacle from my snorkel and since there was nothing I could do for the pain, I resumed swimming. After few minutes the pain lessened and became more manageable.

At the end of day, as I stepped on I Am Ocean, I noticed sometimes different or I should say my nose did. It was a smell of freshness. The crew took advantage of the calm conditions to take showers and do some laundry. Their laundry hung over the railing to dry.

28°37 N / 150°05 W


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Photo credits @joshmunoz

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