A couple more sunny breaks then clouds and showers till evening. Timing looks great for a stellar sunset. Get the barbi ready.
The fog of late should thin out today around the island. One way fog forms is when warm moist air passes over cool water making the water vapor condense into visible droplets. Fog is nothing more than a cloud at sea or ground level. Visible satellite imagery shows the fog slowly thinning upwind. It will likely stay thick over the colder waters to our east, however until we get drier air moving in a few days from now.
I went offshore the other day and had 29 Humpback whales, 2 Minke whales and a Basking Shark. Baskers are the second largest fish in the world second to the Whale Shark. Both eat only plankton and are therefore harmless. The Humpbacks put on a good aerial display with some breaching. It is believed that they launch themselves out of the water for several reasons. As they come crashing back onto the water, the impact helps to dislodge parasites(whale lice)from their bodies. The noise created is possibly a form of communication, as well. Another reason they breach is for sheer pleasure.
Back in the harbor, I’m seeing more algal growth as nutrient levels increase from runoff. It’s important for homeowners to realize that, every time they put fertilizer on their lawns, that it impacts the water quality and degrades the very resource that attracted them to live here in the first place; our pristene waters. Certainly something to consider.
We have a new tropical storm just north of the Bahamas this morning. Conditions aren’t favorable for this to impact Nantucket in any way except throwing some swells at us late this week.
As for our weather, it will remain quite gusty as some T-storms approach late today. Clearing Tuesday and typical summer pattern into the weekend.
There has been a conspicuous absense of the Bermuda High since last summer. Sure, we have had plenty of days with SW winds from high pressure situated to our SE but not, the semi-permanent 1024 millibar monsters that have figured in our climate since I was a child. Historically, one could count on a fresh breeze out of the SW by 10 or 11 in the morning on most summer days and expect it to last well into the evenings. Not the case recently. For whatever reason, perhaps a change in climate, the Bermuda high appears to be displaced to our E and NE and weaker. We have seen light S and SE winds more frequently(high pressure systems have a clockwise flow around them in the northern hemisphere),accompanied by fog. Other days we have had weak winds from the NW.
I’m not complaining. I’m just not a big fan of slogging through the usual 4 foot chop that has been so prevalent in years past. If I owned a larger sailboat, however,(and I do love sailing)I would be even more perplexed as to the whereabouts of those wonderful summer prevailing SW winds.
One never knows what one will spot when traversing the waters of Nantucket Sound. On the way back from a Seal Cruise to Muskeget Island, I spotted a strange shape about a mile distant 90 degrees to port off my track line back to Nantucket Harbor. Being the curious type, I spun the wheel in that direction only to find a dead Sperm Whale in a very decomposed state floating with the tide. At first I thought it was a Humpback Whale because of a long white “appendage” hanging down in the depths. Upon closer observation, I could see both the tell-tale shape of its tail and the blunt shape of its head with the blow hole set almost at the front. The “appendage” turned out to be its jaw hanging at an odd angle down into the water.
A couple pics…
Took a quick gander at the latest visible satellite image and it shows nothing but clear blue skies. Wind profiles remain light so the boating should be perfect for both power and sail. Tomorrow we cloud up later with a chance of showers toward evening.
An interesting observation this morning reveals low stratiform fog in the river valleys of New York state giving them a sharp outline.
There will be a lot of “milky” sunshine for most of today then thickening clouds with a chance of a spot shower or two. I think it is unlikely but we may have a little fog around at the time of the fireworks. Timing of a weak cold front passing will be critical. Enjoy.
Fog slowly breaks late morning. Sun in the afternoon. Light SSW wind makes for excellent boating. Fog and 4 foot seas continue off-shore.
A couple days ago, I responded to a Pilot Whale stranding. Initial reports indicated that some visitors had spotted the animal alive on the beach at Smiths Point and had successfully pushed and dragged it back into the ocean. Unfortunately, despite their good intentions, it was the wrong thing to do. Whales and dolphins strand for various reasons and attempts to get them back into the ocean without proper training is both unlawfull and dangerous. It is still not completely understood why cetaceans strand, sometimes by the hundreds, but it is well known that they tend to restrand even after getting them back in the water, as was the case with this particular individual. It either died in the water or shortly after it beached again.
Procedures have been initiated by experts to assess each situation carefully to ensure that the animal doesn’t experience additional stress and by-standers don’t get injured or possibly sick from inhaling the breath of an ill individual. Techniques have been developed and refined over decades to ensure safe handling of most situations.
So, what should the well intentioned visitors have done? As mentioned in a previous post, ALWAYS call the marine mammal stranding hotline at 1 617 973 5247. This will activate the stranding network on island and trained volunteers will respond.