This blog covers trips from the book and other favorites. Contact Rob in Seattle: or 206-465-7167


How the Navy Tried to Turn Bioluminescence Against the Soviets

Here's a really interesting article fellow paddler Darrell Kirk of Stand Up Paddle the World sent me. Since I offer Bioluminescence tours, this was down my alley, sorta...

Reports of bioluminescence from the past, collected in 1966.
 In October 1999, Ukraine’s secret service showed up at the home and office of Sergei Piontkovski, a marine biologist, and started raiding his files. They were looking for information about plankton.
Piontkovski was a leading scientist at the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas in Sevastopol, Ukraine, and since the fall of the Soviet Union, he had been working with colleagues in the West to analyze huge troves of ocean data that Soviet ships had collected around the world during the Cold War. The investigation focused on the grant money that Piontkovski and his colleagues had received from western institutions, but the New Scientist reported at the time that there could be another reason for the Security Bureau’s interest in the scientists and their plankton data—some of their studies focused on tiny bioluminescent organisms that could help military forces detect enemy submarines.  Read More..
A port beam view of a Soviet submarine, 
1977 NARA/6363107

Learn more about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at or 206-465-7167

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