|One of the many jellyfish we saw drifting rapidly past|
in Opua, New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
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.|
"... humans are probably responsible for what seems to be an international jellyfish explosion. In recent years, there have been reports from all over the world of uncommonly large blooms of jellyfish driving people out of the water, suffocating commercial fish farms and clogging up fishing nets and the intakes of ships and power plants. According to numerous scientists, these blooms suggest that all is not well within the ocean, perhaps something to do with climate change, pollution, overfishing, or a combination of all three.
Evidently something is out of balance, but, as many species suffer, the jellyfish prospers. As larger oceanic creatures are fished out, there is more food for jellyfish. They don’t have many predators, and many of them are better suited to warmer water. It seems that one of the most primitive life forms is poised to inherit the Earth—its watery parts at least. -- New Zealand National Geographic
|After Opua, the most jellyfish we saw in in New Zealand|
were in the Cavallis, also in NZ's Bay of Islands
“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 Guin,
|Another Cavalli Island jellyfish. Bay of Islands, New Zealand.|
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.