We’ve seen it a few times now, sometimes in sheltered bays and sometimes well offshore over hundreds of feet of water. It appears in well defined plumes, clouds of a blood red substance in the water running in huge streaks, sometimes stretching for miles. We’ve sailed right through it and we can’t make out any sort of particle such as krill or other plankton.

We even had the misfortune to snorkel through a cloud of it in the northern sea. Imagine yourself in a channel around a sea mount right on the edge of the thousand foot deep wild ocean, with a bleeding grouper on the end of your spear gun. Now imagine, in an instant, a blood red cloud enveloping you, reducing your visibility to a few feet. My fear of sharks is well developed even in the crystal clear shallows, so you can imagine that the theme song to Jaws was ringing loud in my ears as I swam for the nearest shore.

We have consulted all our ecology books and googled it extensively, and we can find nothing that appropriately describes what we’re seeing. It must be some sort of algae bloom, but we can’t seem to pin it down. Anyone have any thoughts on what this might be? Since we swam through it and ate the grouper, should we expect to grow a third arm in the near future?