Sapphire Blue Water

By: Miram Gleiber

June 19, 2015 

Those that live near a body of water, probably know the various colors it can take on, depending on the light, wind, and depth. But, my personal favorite color of the ocean is one you can’t find on the coast. It’s the sapphire blue of the open ocean on a calm, sunny day. Out here the water isn’t clouded by coastal runoff that adds particles to the water, increasing turbidity. The water out here is oligotrophic, meaning low productivity, or less phytoplankton in the water that can reduce visibility. Looking over the edge of the boat, I can see for over 100 feet into the blue. Beams of sunlight converge at a seemingly infinite focal point.

As a graduate student, I spend countless hours staring at a computer screen and working on a microscope. So, I savor any moments I have while at sea, to just stare into or across the sea. Sometimes I choose to think about all the amazing planktonic organisms living below, just drifting where the ocean currents take them. At other times I welcome the visual and mental cleansing that gazing into the blue allows.