Electrifying show at the Prom

For our last trip to Wilsons Promontory with friends Greg and Ann before we take the boat back to the Gippsland Lakes, the sailing was ordinary, but the light show at night was electrifying! 


Menacing clouds at Sealers Cove

We have been there many times.  But it is still a lovely escape into the photogenic and deserted anchorages of Sealers Cove and Little Waterloo Bay, with teal waters, long sandy beaches and the backdrop of the Prom’s rugged hills. It is a time to chill out, enjoy each other’s company and indulge, since as usual we over-catered!  But at night it’s show time!

It is 10 pm, there are splashes and blows: dolphins visiting under the cover of darkness. We come out on deck. A full moon and the milky way light up the sky. We gaze up, then just for curiosity’s sake, we shine our torches on the inky water. To our amazement, the starry night is matched by an underwater world of phosphorescence, drifting plankton, twinkling organisms and Ctenophores, comb jellyfish that emit light.


Luminescent Ctenophores

It is the most fascinating, other worldly spectacle.  The Ctenophores are particularly mesmerizing: translucent alien shapes with little dots of red, green and yellow light flashing along intricate, ladder like structures – the combs. “Glitter of sequins on a Dame Edna dress” Ann says.  “An underwater milky way with shooting stars and nebulae” says Chris. Wade and Greg are into science fiction: “Alien spaceships from the Planet Z’Ork.” As for Bengie the ship’s cat: “Woo hoo, sparkly dinner, can I eat that?”

Here is a gallery of our favourite images from the long weekend, including a couple of these incredible jelly creatures to which we will dedicate a special post a little later.



28 thoughts on “Electrifying show at the Prom

  1. Wow! Can’t wait for the jellyfish post!! We’ve only seen jellyfish that emit light in the Monterey Aquarium – so cool that you saw them in your anchorage!! I hope the electrifying light overhead didn’t get too near you, though – nothing I hate more than lightning – at sea or at anchor. So scary when your home has a huge lightning rod sticking out the coach roof….

    • No lightening from above fortunately. Re the jelly posts, we have 3 scheduled over the next 6 weeks to show case the different ones we have seen of late. It has been amazing but also worrying…

      • Looking forward to reading them! Is it worrying because you’re seeing a big increase? Or species that shouldn’t normally be there? We saw a disturbingly large number of jellies in 2014 in the waters between Vancouver Island and Alaska – literally hundreds of thousands – so thick that the hull parting them made a funny papery rustling noise rather than the normal water gurgling past noise. Bizarre and worrying.

      • we had never noticed them before, and we hear so much about infestations worldwide, but we haven’t seen large numbers – certainly nothing like what you describe. We have also seen a few instances of red tide in Bass Strait this year, again never seen in previous years.

      • I wonder if it might have something to do with El Nino this year? There was a lot of red tide on the US west coast as well. Strange and, as you say, a bit worrisome. Sadly the jellyfish we saw didn’t emit light and weren’t so other-worldly looking as the ones you saw!

  2. Love the jelly pics Chris! A bit overdressed Wade; must have been a bit nippy in the water?

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