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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tentacles

One of the many jellyfish we saw drifting rapidly past
in Opua, New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
"The fact that jellyfish have survived for 650 million years despite not having brains gives hope to many people." - www.quotesoflife.info

Ok, it's been a while since hordes of jellyfish parachuted past us in Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand.  Maybe the US Presidential primary elections prompted the memory.

All joking aside,  jellyfish fill a gap when other more diverse forms of sea life fade.  While the majority of jellyfish we've seen are the mostly benign moon jellies, they're still not harmless.  And their populations are exploding at an epidemic rate.


Jellyfish's trailing tentacles contain its stinging cells. 






After Opua, the most jellyfish we saw in in New Zealand
were in the Cavallis, also in NZ's Bay of Islands
 
We expect we'll see more jellies, as we, too move with the flow.  

“When you move like a jellyfish rhyth don't mean nothing. You go with the flow, you don't stop. Move like a jellyfish, rhythm means nothing.You go with the flow you don't stop.” ― Jack Johnson

We admire the simple beauty of the jellyfish, warily.  Mom -- if you're reading this -- I did not get in the water with these jellies!

“Current-borne, wave-flung, tugged hugely by the whole might of ocean, the jellyfish drifts in the tidal abyss. The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere, for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish hangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moondriven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.” 
― Ursula K. Le GuinThe Lathe of Heaven

Another Cavalli Island jellyfish.  Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
Location Location
Jellies welcomed us into our first stop in New Zealand Opua, (S35.18.784 E174.07.471), November 2015,  We since saw them in several places in the Bay of Islands.  We've not seen them since arriving in Whangarei or on our travels since then in New Zealand.  We're a few days away from "splashing" (getting off the stands, "on the hard" in Riverside Marina) in Whangarei (S35.43.674 E174.20.17).  Then we'll return to our pole mooring in Whangarei Town Basin Marina and resume more land-based travels until we jump to Fiji.

Cruising by the Numbers
From December 2014 - November 2015 we sailed from Jacksonville Florida to Opua New Zealand, Bay of Islands.  Since sailing from Bay of Islands to Whangarei in January, we've mostly explored New Zealand by land.  We'll resume serious cruising once cycle season ends, sometime between April and May, to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Australia, where we plan to sell our boat.