The Perfect Bloom

Remember the red tide outbreak of 2005.
Scientists are predicting a return 2005 levels this spring.

No, not for southwest Florida.

I’m talking about the coastal waters off New England (article 1, article 2).

A number of environmental conditions has scientists at Woods Hole predicting The Perfect Bloom unfolding later this Spring.

That’s a little bit of a pun on Sebastian Junger’s 1997 thriller on the 1991 Halloween Nor’easter – called The Perfect Storm.

Talk about a captivating read!

The movie, staring George Clooney … only so-so.

We’ll have to keep an eye on our coastal cousins up north as the spring progresses.

And don’t be surprised if you see The Perfect Bloom book hitting bookshelves everywhere, and selling like hot cakes, just in time for the Summer Beach reading season.

If I were to write it …

I’d set the main story line in a quaint coastal New England Village, right before the 4th of July peak season, with the local sheriff (also doubling as beach and coastal waters patrol) battling against time on an overly ambitious mayor’s deluded quest to convince tourists – who are retreating to the ferry boats in droves – that the “shellfish is fine, trust me” and “red tide counts are low.” Meanwhile, an eminent scientist from a prestigious coastal institute arrives on scene (I’m thinking a young Richard Dreyfus type character) – under invite of the sheriff – only to discover true magnitude of the problem.

Also staring an Ahab-inspired shell fisherman, who doubles as a part-time lobster boat captain, and who will not rest until he pierces his harpoon through the heart of the red menace.

Wait a minute!

Isn’t that the basic story line to Jaws.

Talk about a great movie.

Had only Steven Spielberg directed The Perfect Storm.

And it’s worth noting that my thumb nail of a story line is pure Hollywood – more fiction than truth, more cliffhanger than humdrum slow-tick of reality.

In New England, red tide doesn’t contaminate the air column as it so famously does here in south Florida, nor does it close the beaches to swimmers.

Red tide is a general name for harmful algal blooms: it’s different depending on where you are.

Here in southwest Florida its Karenia Brevis.
In New England, its Alexandrium fundyense cysts.

So assuming that The Perfect Bloom does go into quick release for the Summer Book selling cycle, New Englanders could enjoy it at the beach without threat of agitated nasal passages and bronchial discomfort. During a red tide outbreak here in southwest Florida, visiting tourists would be best advised to stay away from the beach.

Or better yet …

Perhaps catch the movie version of The Perfect Bloom in a local theatre.

Hopefully directed by Steven Spielberg.

. . .
I was at Naples Beach twice this weekend and there were not signs of red tide anywhere.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check out (and bookmark) The Beach Conditions Report at Mote Marine Laboratory’s web page.

It’s your one stop shop for staying in tune with red tide.

Or steering clear of red tide … however you want to put it.

Oh, and here’s a red tide factoid, courtesy of Charlotte from S.T.A.R.T : Solutions To Avoid Red Tide.

Red tide, or Karenia brevis, has been studied for over 40 years, but it wasn’t until the 70’s and 80’s that it was discovered that red tide contains more than one kind of toxin. We now know that it contains two main brevetoxins each of which may be naturally chemically altered to create more than ten different brevetoxins. We are dealing with one complex single celled organism!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x