The OWS google groups continue to be awash in red tide discussions; some have opted to steer clear of the bay for now, others have experienced itchy skin or irritated eyes, and others (like myself) haven’t had any noticeable effects at all. I continue to swim through the sepia-toned water of the bay (one person described it as swimming through a bowl of miso soup) each day and I feel fine. Aside from folks weighing in about their personal experiences in the water, some have offered insights and links to articles about the situation. But the most fascinating topic, which popped up yesterday, is the possibility that this alga is bioluminescent! So, Angie, Sheila, and I trekked down to the Albany Bulb at sunset to see for ourselves.
It was wild, windy, and cold when we arrived and we felt like we were a little crazy to be stripping off our clothes and climbing into that water. But once we were actually doing it, it felt warmish. At first, we thought it was glowing (well, Sheila and I did; Angie thought we were hallucinating), but I guess it was just the last of the light illuminating the water because as the sky grew darker there were no hints of bioluminescence.
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful swim. Being out in the bay at night feels otherworldly; the familiar landmarks transformed; mystery and possibility all around.