Tiny Emission

After spending several days in Whitehaven, we finally have a clear sky to head sail to Liverpool. We say goodbye to the Harbor Master in the afternoon as we headed south with small waves on our path. We’re doing 6 knots in average with the help of mild winds on our sail, slowly “drift” us to our destination. The landscape view was amazing with several old structures stand on it. One of it was an old coal mine on top of the hill located in south of Whitehaven.

We passed across Sellafield, an old nuclear powerplant that is located near the shore on our way south.We took a water quality reading while we were on the nearest shore to Sellafield, looking for some environmental hazard on the site. Our equipment were unable to detect such things, the reading was quite normal. It seems that if the problem was there, it will need more advance equipment and intensive research to be done to detect such. We stored the data to sonify it during AND festival in Liverpool.

As we enjoyed the sail until night came, Nigel and I were talking and having hot tea to warm ourselves from the cold breeze. Nigel spotted tiny blue-green light on the surface of the sea. They appeared as small light many times by the ripple path from the catamaran. Looking at it’s size and light intensity, there’s only one possibility explaining what it was. Bioluminescence, a light emission produced by a certain marine micro-organism from an phylum called dinoflagellates was responding to the vibration from the ripple from the catamaran. This interesting creature have created an interesting discusssion between us. It was unexpected sighting for us to saw them in Liverpool bay since as far as we knew that most of them were seen in warmer sea region.

As we approcahed Liverpool dock, wind turbines welcome us with their blinking red lights. We didn’t knew them at the beginning and thought they were the main entrance to Mersey River. I really enjoyed the sailing experience on this day and was also capturing what Nigel have wrote in this blog; WhiteHaven to Liverpool; An Illustrated History of Power. The main fossil fuel that is used by human for generating power today is coal. The thermodynamic of coal powerplant used today is about 30%, which means about 70% of it will turn in to waste heat. Dinoflagellates however, have gone through millions of years evolution to produce their own light emission. What an advance tiny creatures they are.

As we reached Liverpool Marina in the early morning, we were too tired to do anything more. The sail was great but nearly took our entire energy the whole day. After I desalinate myself, I was imagining a city with light bulbs powered by dinolagellates. An advance light emission by converting chemicals to energy. Or Chemiluminescence: Maybe? Crazy! or: Nice!

Original writing for M.A.R.I.N Ecolocated: http://marin.cc/2009/09/10/biofuture/

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