"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 13, 2016

AC Unit vs. Jellies (Part II)

Rockport Harbor

A year ago I wrote about moon jellies (Part l) clogging up the strainer on our air condition intake. This year the problem is worse, the culprits are larger...this year it's cabbage heads. They're too large to be totally sucked in, so they come apart and get stuck in the line. Pieces and parts of them get hung up in the thru hull…here’s a picture of what our thru hull looks like. A gooey slimy jellyfish can plug these up faster than Stan can clean them out! When the thru hull and strainer get plugged…our cool air stops blowing, that's not a good thing in South Texas this time of year.
Cabbage Head is another name for the Cannonball jellyfish. Their dome-shaped bell can reach 10” in diameter and the rim is sometimes colored with brown pigment. Underneath the body is a cluster of oral arms that extend out around the mouth. These arms function as a way of propulsion and aid in catching prey. 

Cannonballs live in warm, estuarian waters, with an average temperature of 73.6° and are found along North America's eastern seaboard all the way to Brazil, but are also found in parts of the Pacific. One of the main predators of cannonball jellyfish is the endangered leatherback sea turtle (I think we need more turtles). 

Cannonball jellyfish are commercially harvested as food for humans. Along the southern coast of Georgia, jellyfish are a valuable export, which end up on dining tables across Asia. They are dried, preserved and packaged before being sold to a seafood distributor that ships them to Japan, China, and Thailand. Recently, the blooms of jellyfish have increased along the Mexican coast. In 2012 20,000 tons ($3.5 million worth) were harvested from late April to early July. I’m thinking this could be a good opportunity for someone in Texas to make a little money and help the boating community stay cool.

Rockport Harbor
Cabbage Head (Cannonball)
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  1. If the Texas Pearl was up here with us on the Canadian border, the crew wouldn't need that AC unit to stay cool! It's 49 this morning in Oswego. Hope the move goes well and that you guys are back on The Pearl enjoying cruising again soon.
    Barbara & David

    1. Well 49 is a tad chilly but I do like being in areas where I don't need the AC or the heater. I love living with the doors and windows open. I hope the weather improves a little soon. It's been a crazy year for cruising. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  2. Susie, Tell Stan to go and buy a round bait trap and some bungee cords ate Wal-Mart. Split the bait trap into two halves. Take one half, close the cone where bait comes in string or wire, hook the bungee to inlet gap on the bottom of the boat and down to the inside cone of the bait trap with bungee stretch out. Let the bungee pull the bait trap half up against the hull. This will act as a larger strainer and because it has more surface the Jellys should not get stuck from the suction and the wave action will keep them moving always leaving room for suction water to be pulled into the intake. Hope this works, David Dentler