I sailed around the world for thirteen years on Exit Only, and I thought I had seen it all on the bottom of boats. I was wrong.
In the Sea of Cortez, I saw alien life forms I had never seen before. Theses pictures show marine growth on the bottom of a commercial shrimp trawler.
I don't know why Elon Musk wants to send rockets to a dead planet like Mars when we have so many undiscovered alien life forms here on planet Earth.
That is some weird looking stuff, and I declined to touch any of it.
I saw the movie ALIEN, and I am not touching stuff if I don't know what it is.
The bottom paint did not seem to inhibit the appearance of these slimy colorful forms of life.
No doubt about it. Alien Life Forms are among us.
The type of bottom growth varies considerably with where you are in the world.
When we sail offshore on long passages, we get goose barnacles on the bottom of Exit Only under the sugar scoops. I don't know how these barnacles find Exit Only or how they are able to adhere to our hull as it moves through the water, but somehow they live long and prosper until we reach our destination and we scrape them from the hull.
Two times we have had a massive barnacle attack on the bottom of Exit Only.
We applied $300 dollar a gallon bottom paint in Fort Pierce, Florida, and within six weeks we had thousands of barnacles on each hull. The Indian River Lagoon is so rich with nutrients that the barnacles ignored the antifouling. They proliferated as if it was not there. We had to haul the boat, scrape away the barnacles, and apply bottom paint that cost $500 a gallon. We went back to the same marina in Fort Pierce, and there was no problem with barnacles. The second bottom paint clearly worked better than the first.
The first time we sailed to New Zealand, we experienced epic growth of barnacles and tube worms on the bottom of Exit Only.
I had paid $5000 to have crystic copperclad applied to Exit Only at the factory when Exit Only was being built. The Copperclad was reputed to be an effective antifoulant, and it worked to a limited degree. For our nine month voyage across the Pacific, we had to scrub the boat bottom every couple of months to activate the copper epoxy coating exposing the copper and removing the barnacles and other growth.
Soon after we arrived in New Zealand, I was involved in a serious car accident which kept me in the hospital for several months followed by a couple of months of physical therapy. I was away from Exit Only for 4 months, and when we hauled Exit Only out of the Hatea River in Whangarei, there was six to eight inches of growth on the bottom of the boat.
We used shovels to scrape the growth from the bottom, and we put it in fifty five gallon drums. We filled 5 of the fifty five gallon drums with barnacles, tube worms, and assorted alien life forms that I did not know existed. We even had little eels living in the biomass.
It was clear that the Crystic Copperclad did nothing to inhibit the growth of barnacles in the Hatea River in New Zealand, and it was at that point that we switched to ablative antifouling.
I later learned that the massive bottom growth encountered in Whangarei was not native to New Zealand waters. It came from commercial ships that came to Whangarei. Empty ships use water ballast to remain stable at sea, and when they came to Whangarei to pick up cargo, they pumped the water ballast into the harbor, and the water ballast contained the life forms that were not native to New Zealand. Those barnacles and molluscs spread up the Hatea River and proliferated on the boats in Whangarei.
A similar problem happened in Darwin, Australia.
To enter the yacht harbor in Darwin, you have to go through a lock that raises your boat more than ten feet up to the level of the water in the harbor. Before you go through the lock, your hull has to be inspected for invasive molluscs, and you have to put soapy water through all of your through hulls to kill any invasive species.
Invasive molluscs had filled up the yacht harbor, and they had to dump massive amounts of chlorine into the harbor to kill the molluscs.
Ships pumping ballast water and cruising yachts transport invasive species around the world.
That's why the Galapagos demands you have a meticulously clean hull when you enter their territorial waters. If they find any growth of any type when you arrive, they send you 40 miles out to sea to clean your hull before you can remain in port.
Evolutionary biologists tell us that life first started in the oceans.
When I looked at the bottom of that shrimp boat, I felt like I was looking at evolution in action.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.