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S/V Blue Dawn of Sark: Circumnavigation I & II
Sea's Reflections
Portuguese Man of War
12/06/2007, Gulf Stream

The Portuguese Man-of-War is a floating colony of animals that lives in warm seas. It is poisonous and is called "Man-of-War" because it looks a Portuguese battleship with a sail. The Man-of-War is eaten by many animals, including sea turtles.
A small fish (Nomeus gronovii, 8 cm long) is mostly immune to the Man-of-War's poison and lives protected (from other predators) among the tentacles. This fish eats the tentacles (which are regenerated), but sometimes the fish is eaten by the Man-of-War. By the way the toxins from tentacles are about 75 percent as powerful as cobra venom. Even dead Man-of-Wars stranded on the beach can still sting.

Diet: The Portuguese Man-of-War eats small fish and other small ocean animals that is stings with its long tentacles. The poison in the stingers paralyzes the prey, which the Man-of-War then eats. The poison cannot kill humans, but the sting can be very painful.

Anatomy: The Man-of-War floats on a gas-filled, blue to pink, translucent body called a pneumatophore (belonging to a single animal). The body is 3 to 12 inches (9-30 cm) long. The crest (only a few inches tall) above the float acts like a sail, moving the animal across the seas. Polyps support the tentacles and are located under the float; there are 3 types of polyps: dactylozooid (that find and catch prey with poisonous stingers called nematocysts), gonozooid (that reproduce), and gastrozooid (that digest the food, like a stomach). The coiled, stinging tentacles can be up to 165 feet (50 m) long.

We saw hundred of these jellyfish floating with the Gulf Stream and they were quite magical to look at.

Wildlife Encounter
Love Call
03/12/2007, Dominican Republic

We saw this little guy at the hotel in the hills of the Dominican Republic with our friends on "Reve d'oceans". It was a very impressive display of Courtship!

Wildlife Encounter
Mouflons
05/15/2004, Cyprus

We drove to the centre of the island where is the reserve for the Mouflons which is a species of wild sheep. It is thought to be one of the two ancestors for all modern domestic sheep breeds.

Wildlife Encounter
Swimming with wild dolphins
05/10/2004, Shab Umm Usk, Egypt

We arrived at the reef of Shab Umm Usk in the morning, while entering the pass there were already some dolphins coming to greet us. Once inside the barrier and protected from the swell, we launch the dinghy and started our exploration. We stopped here because it is said that a family of dolphins live in the surroundings and are happy to take you along for a swim. These are wild dolphins, no enclosure here! They were all jumping around the dinghy and seemed really excited to see us. I got in the water and what I saw around me was incredible!
Maybe 30 or more dolphins were swimming above and below me, rushing or coming close to get a better look at me, making bubbles or simply playing. There were mothers and babies and huge males, they all seemed to go in the same direction and I had to swim extremely hard to keep up with them. I was part of their group, some were Scoots ahead and other kept a sharp look out at the rear. It was quite amazing but it became impossible for me to continue on, what an extraordinary experience!

Click to See Pictures

Wildlife Encounter
Dolphins playing in the Red Sea!
03/11/2004, Sailing

They will always amaze me and bring a smile to my face every single time they come to play with the bow of the boat.

Wildlife Encounter
Linckia Multifora Starfish
02/07/2004, Maldives

I think this is remarquable! Some starfish can reform arms or any part of the body missing but the Linckia Multifora is the master in the art of regeneration. A lost arm can become a whole new starfish!

Click to See Pictures

Wildlife Encounter
Striated Sea Cucumber
02/06/2004, Maldives

The males Sea Cucumbers have a brighter colouring than the females. They also have an Harem of ten or so "concubines". On the death or disappearance of the male, one of the adult females of the group takes its place, changing sex and colouring!

Click to See Pictures

Wildlife Encounter

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Trintella 75
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