Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 1

TOMORROW, my nautical travel journal will be available for pre-order! Today I talk about something that’s been around for a long time… Literally: Immortal Jellyfish.

Turritopsis dohrnii may be the only animal that can revert from a fully-fledged adult, back into it’s polyp stage, dropping to the sea floor, if it is injured or in unfavorable conditions. Theoretically, this cycle can go on forever! However, much like practical views on immortality (I’m lookin’ at you, vampires), these jellies can, and do die, getting eaten or simply falling to disease before they can revert into polyp stage.

I’ve complied all sorts of experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Make sure you’re on the list, so you can cash in on the early-bird special!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 2

There are just 2 days left until my nautical travel journal is available for pre-order! Today I present a platter of muck: The continental shelf.

I can only personally speak to my experience off the coast of Washington State, USA, but contentment shelves in general are formed (were formed) by the sediment from river systems building up over time, as well as ancient sedimentary processes. Some of the shelves were also thought to be above sea level at some point in the past. The depositing of sediment over time means that continental shelves, especially as you get out toward their drop off (shelf break) are starkly flat.

Starkly.

Now, as they are mostly covered by shallow water, shelves play host to an enormous amount of wildlife, especially closer to shore. It’s where most humans play and boat and kayak. It’s just horrible for making maps!

 

I’ve complied all sorts of experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 3

In today’s countdown to my nautical travel journal pre-order, let’s explore something I didn’t give much attention to, until it became blatantly obvious: Most fish don’t swim backward very well.

In order to get the water flowing in the correct direction over their gills (so they can breathe!), fish spend most of their time swimming forward. Occasionally they pause… hover? Hold station? I’m not sure what the term is!

So while most fish have the body motion to capably move backward, they simply don’t have a need to… most of the time. Until they get stuck in something and hoo boy. Watching the troubleshooting on that conundrum made it obvious that, though they can theoretically move backward, they are certainly not good at it! Not to mention that, while doing so, they wouldn’t be breathing very well, making it even more difficult.

There are “fish” that swim backward fairly well, such as eels and black ghost knife fish, which both have odd body structures for “fish.” Sharks actually don’t have the proper body structure to swim backward, but they also can’t come to a stop, so they’re a bit odd all around.

 

I’ve complied all sorts  experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 4

In today’s countdown to my nautical travel journal pre-order, we get to talk about an organism that I did get to see in person, but mistook for an onslaught of blue bottle caps on the ocean waves! Today’s fact is about sail jellyfish.

Velella velella (sail jellies, sea rafts, little sails, by-the-wind sailors) are small jellyfish that can typically fit in ones hand. They live on the ocean’s surface, much like Portuguese man o’ wars, and feed like a normal jelly, using the tentacles on it’s underside. Many jellies do not have the capability of propulsion, and are simply taken where the current leads them. The velella velella is no exception to this, but it is pulled by the wind literally catching in it’s translucent sail, more than the ocean’s current.

I have no idea whether they are poisonous or not, but I wouldn’t be tempted to test it out!

I’ve complied all sorts of random facts and experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 5

In today’s countdown to my nautical travel journal pre-order, the random trivia is about biofluorescent sea creatures!

Bioluminescence is when an organism produces and gives off light. Fireflies, some fungi, some sea jellies, many deep sea creatures… It’s everywhere, and often blue, but not always.

But I recently learned about biofluoresence: an organism absorbs light and re-emits it in a different color. The sea creatures that have this glow-in-the dark feature, seem to dwell in a particular layer of the sea, that isn’t quite in the traditional “deep sea” zone, and they range from chain catsharks, to some turtles, to some seahorses and rays! I keep using the word “some” because it doesn’t seem to be all varieties, like the catshark, for example.

This is a relatively new set of studies, so I’ll let this great TED presentation do the talking for me:

Glow-in-the-dark sharks and other stunning sea creatures | David Gruber

 

I’ve complied all sorts of random facts and experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 6

In today’s countdown to my nautical travel journal pre-order, the random trivia bit is… okay, not about the sea specifically, but about water. Water BEARS, naturally!

Tardigrades (moss piglets, waterbears), are quite odd. They’re not closely related to anything else on earth. They’re not quite microscopic, but quite translucent, so spotting them among the moss of your terrarium is quite tricky.  Though they can withstand extreme conditions, and can be found living anywhere on earth, they don’t prefer these habitats, so they’re not quite extremophiles, and certainly not immortal. They have digestive systems, lay eggs, and those two little dots found on some of them are single photoreceptive cells. Basically eyes!

Gotta love these lil’ dudes.

I’ve complied all sorts of random facts and experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 7

In today’s countdown to my nautical travel pre-order, let’s talk about sea sickness!

For those who haven’t heard of it, sea sickness (or mal de mer), is essentially motion sickness induced by the constant movement of being on the water. For those who get carsick, you’re already aware of what it feels like. I seem not to be prone to either, thank my lucky stars!

What I didn’t know, is that sea sickness isn’t a sign that you’re a landlubber. Anyone who is prone to being motion sick stays, prone to motion sickness. The recovery/adjustment phase is just lessened by having recently been at sea (and yes, most people do recover after a few days! Your brain just needs a moment to reprogram itself).

Moral of the story: If you’re prone to motion sickness, but can’t live without the sea, go out often!

I’ve complied all sorts of random facts and experiences I encountered during my artist’s residency aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor, into a 36-page travel journal! Get a free PDF sampler of the upcoming travel journal right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 8!

There are 8 DAYS until my nautical travel journal is available for pre-order! Today’s random fact: Sea pigs exist!

Isn’t that really amazing all on it’s own?

Scotoplanes, or sea pigs, are part of the Elasipodida order, aka sea cucumbers! Thin-skinned, tube-like feet, translucent… ticks all the boxes. These lil’ dudes eat by filtering the mud on the sea floor. And we’re talking the sea floor, as they are deep sea creatures. Growing up, I assumed the deep was littered with water dragons. Though that theory has yet to be founded, there are at least pigs!

Get a free PDF sampler of the book right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!

Notes Vol. 1 – Countdown Day 9!

There are 9 DAYS until my nautical travel journal is available for pre-order! I’m celebrating by illustrating random sea facts! Today: Swimming… sea cucumbers??

Sitting about, watching ROV cameras is rather delightful. Certainly, there’s not always anything going on, but then something catches your eye and you’re completely baffled!

Imagine my surprise to see an odd, bendy eggplant crossing the screen! Apparently, some varieties of sea cucumbers can swim… but not very well. It’s not exactly their strong suit, and it’s just as awkward and bizarre as you’d expect.

 

 

Get a free PDF sampler of the book right here:

8-page Notes Volume 1 Preview!