Cool Runnings – Nature Notes

Cool Runnings Nature Notes wanted to take on something a little different. We hear people commenting on the color of our Caribbean sea that laps at our shores in Jamaica.
We like the color very much; it is kind of a turquoise blue, a green kind of dreamy blue that shades off into a darker blue.
How does it get to be so blue?
So we thought, without getting too technical, we would try to find out.

Of course, as we all know, and Cool Runnings does not have to remind anyone that if you are holding a glass of water that water is definitely transparent.
When you have a larger amount, like in a lake or in the Caribbean Sea then the color is affected by the way light bounces around among the water molecules.
Now think of a rainbow, and think of that rainbow of different colored light pouring all its colors into the sea and only giving back the blue. This is because all the other colors of light are trapped inside the water molecules and only the blue light is released back so we can see it.
The lighter color blues we find shifting and changing around our shores is because the water is fairly shallow around our shores. We are also blessed with an almost white sandy bottom, made from coral, which is amazingly perfect for allowing our sea to reflect back that incredibly magical blue.

That is not all, of course, because lakes and oceans and our Caribbean Sea reflect back our incredible blue skies. The color of our sea is also because of dissolved limestone in the water; remember the white coral sandy bottom?
In other areas of the world the sea may appear greener because of floating dissolved plant matter, like algae. In others you will find a deeper, darker blue because the light that has penetrated the surface is reflecting back through a greater distance of water. Remember also that blue light also travels further through water than do the other colors.
This now brings us to the colors you will see when the sun sets, as you know tropical sunsets may best be seen from the deck of a Cool Runnings Sunset Cruise, see you soon.