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Old 29-05-2021, 02:01   #1
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Sar-GAS-sum Issues

I've been living in the Mexican Riviera the past month and OMG, the stench of rotting sargassum on the beaches is un -freaking believable in some areas.

I'm talking huge mounds of this stuff rotting away, creating nasty hydrogen sulfide fumes and dead zones in the water. It appears the further south one goes the worse it gets. Which is why I'm posting.

I WAS planning on doing some sailing in Belize in the near future, but don't think I will if this sar-gas-so is an issue. I've been reading that several other areas in the Caribbean have this problem as well.

So.....does anybody have knowledge of any sar-gas-so free areas in the western Caribbean?

TIA
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Old 29-05-2021, 06:51   #2
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Re: Sar-GAS-sum Issues

Hmmmmm........interesting nobody has had issues with Sargasso.

I found more specific info on Belize....

https://www.sanpedrosun.com/environm...mbergris-caye/

Doesn't look good.

Also Belize sargassum forecasting....

http://nms.gov.bz/forecast/sargassum-forecast/

I guess the best thing to do is to research sargassum issues for one's specific Caribbean sailing grounds.

Smelly prop fouling Sargasso sucks. I'm surprised it's not mentioned here.
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Old 31-05-2021, 03:46   #3
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Re: Sar-GAS-sum Issues

I didn’t realise that Sargassum had become a problem on the Pacific coasts. Sargassum horneri is a seaweed native to eastern Asia that has recently become established in the coastal waters of southern California, and Baja California, Mexico.

Evidently, the Atlantic [Sargassum natans and S. fluitans] variety, and Pacific [Sargassum Horneri] variet are very different species.

Scientists discover the biggest seaweed bloom in the world
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...-sdt070119.php

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt (GASB) is a loose collection of seaweed scattered over a very large area, not a continuous bridge. It’s also not produced by the Sargasso Sea, which lies further north. The belt likely develops from local patches of sargassum that occur naturally in the tropics.
The decomposition of beached sargasso begins 48 hours after washing up. It then releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas and ammonia. H2S is a broad-spectrum poison that smells of rotten eggs.
Breathing in these toxic gases may cause respiratory, skin and neurocognitive symptoms in people that come in close contact with degrading sargasso. In 2018, in Guadeloupe and Martinique, there were 11,000 cases of suspected poisoning reported. Patients complained of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, vertigo, headache, and skin rashes.
There is no specific treatment for the symptoms caused by exposure to H2S. Symptoms are usually mild and resolve with time. When necessary, supportive treatment may be provided.
Avoiding exposure is the most important preventive measure. The peak Sargassum season in the Caribbean is January to April. If beaches are covered with brown seaweed, travelers should not walk on the beach—especially if there is a smell of rotten eggs in the air.
Boaters may also have trouble navigating their vessels through the weed floats and should follow forecasts, like the Sargassum Watch System (SaWS), to avoid being captured by grass in bays and shallow waters.

Satellite-based Sargassum Watch System (SaWS)
https://optics.marine.usf.edu/projects/saws.html

“The great Atlantic Sargassum belt” ~ by Mengqiu Wang et al
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/83
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Old 31-05-2021, 06:13   #4
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Re: Sar-GAS-sum Issues

Thanks for the links Gord.

Again, I'm very surprised nobody is talking about this. Sargassum is REALLY bad down here in Mexico and further south and we are moving because of it. From a current video I saw yesterday, this crap is everywhere.... much further south, San Andres's beaches are covered in the stuff.

We drove around the entire southern part of Cozumel day before yesterday. NO place did we see that we could stop and have a swim. The Atlantic side of the island was worse, un godly freaking stench.

So we are off to find sargassum free beaches next week.
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