Monday, November 05, 2007

The Islands

I took the following pictures when I was on a trip down to the Dominican Republic. You know the saying, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride?" Well, I guess that is true for me in the literal sense (ha), but also figuratively. The crew usually ends up in an exotic location at night, only to spend the evening getting to and checking into the hotel. I did have enough time the next morning to go for a jog before we flew out with passengers, but no lounging around the beach for me!
Ever wonder why water in the Caribbean has that distinctive range of blue to green colors?
If someone were to ask you what is the color of the ocean, chances are that you would answer that is was blue. For most of the world's oceans, your answer would be correct. Pure water is perfectly clear, of course -- but if there is a lot of water, and the water is very deep so that there are no reflections off the sea floor, the water appears as a very dark navy blue. The reason the ocean is blue is due to the absorption and scattering of light. The blue wavelengths of light are scattered, similar to the scattering of blue light in the sky but absorption is a much larger factor than scattering for the clear ocean water. In water, absorption is strong in the red and weak in the blue, thus red light is absorbed quickly in the ocean leaving blue. Almost all sunlight that enters the ocean is absorbed, except very close to the coast.
According to NASA Oceanography at, blue water in the Caribbean Sea looks blue because the sunlight is scattered by the water molecules. Near the Bahama Islands, the lighter aqua colors are shallow water where the sunlight is reflecting off of the sand and reefs near the surface.

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