Pat Shingleton: "Sea Smells and The Tempest"
On your trips to the coast you know your close when you smell the salt air. Science Magazine reported that the fishy, tangy smell is actually a bacteria gas. Andrew Johnson of the University of East Anglia prepared the study that suggested sea smells emanate from a pungent gas called dimethyl sulfide and originates in the emission of sulfur from the ocean. DMS is produced when bacteria feast on dying sea plants and plankton. Johnson bekieved that humans aren’t the only ones acclimated to the smell. Some seabirds use the odor to locate food sources. When the scientific team opened a bottle containing DMS-producing bacteria, the team was bombarded by hungry seabirds. In keeping it on the ocean... A fleet of nine ships carrying 500 colonists from England to Virginia ran into a hurricane near Bermuda on July 24, 1609. One vessel sank and seven of the ships made it to Jamestown but the flagship, Sea Venture, didn’t reach port. After several weeks it was believed to be lost, including the new governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas Gates. The Jamestown inhabitants accepted the tragedy and set about the work of building their new homes. Surprisingly, on May 23, 1610 most of the passengers of the Sea-Venture arrived in Jamestown on two small pinnaces. Their ship ran aground on a reef near Bermuda, an island paradise that other sailors referred to as the “Ile of Divels.” They stayed there for nine months while building the two small ships. Back in England a playwright read an account of the miraculous shipwreck and in 1611 he, William Shakespeare, finished The Tempest, his last complete play.
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