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  #1  
Old 07-23-2007, 09:16 AM
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Sea Air Smell

There was a comment made on the other board about smelling the ocean air. Now here in the NE one can REALLY smell it. It has a distinct smell which I love especially if it is like hazy or damp. It smells so good. Living on the bay has a distinct smell ssometimes more than others. Now, I have a good sniffer but I can NEVER smell the ocean in tropics, or Bahamas. What am I missing? Is it a different smell that I don't recognize?
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:28 AM
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Envy

Oh Angie, I know exactly what you are talking about! I miss that salt air smell so much. All I smell here is big ol' rocks and dirt, with some occasional ranch animals mixed in (not a bad thing IMHO).
But, when I lived along the Indian River in Titusville, FL growing up... during the Spring..... Wooooweeee.... the edge of the river would have a smell that could curl your toes.
When Mark and I get to the Abaco's, it seems like we have suddenly developed 50% more lung capacity. It is so much easier to breath.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:57 AM
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I agree in being able to breathe better and all that but I don't smell the ocean in the Abacos or anywhere except in NJ. I would imagine it would have the same smell in New England but I have never gone to a beach there. I don't think I could be away from the water Patti.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:54 AM
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Well I'm a fart smeller, I mean a smart feller, ya know!

That salt smell is probably salts of chloride and magnesium, which carries best when the surf is up so little droplets called aerosol are made. Some algal blooms add some scent - the worst being red tide.

That wild smell you associate with New Jersey is the swamp and tidal backwaters, which have a great deal of organic matter that rots, thus creating methane, sulfides, and that sulfur "rotten egg" smell. In small doses it is quite enjoyable. In large doses you blame the dog.

Interestingly, swamp gas can sometimes glow at night, which mead to many ghost stories down to this very day.

Seaweed and critters washed up on the beaches and shores can release a variety of smells as well. For example, lots of dead shellfish can release ammonia and other interesting compounds, one being cadaverene.

In the Abacos there is not a great deal of organic matter in the water except in certain back-bays - which is why usually the water is gin clear. Some of that rotten smell can be associated with plant decay that occurs in the spring. If anything, the waters should have a slightly antiseptic odor due to iodine.

Naw, I'm just pulling yer finger!
sammie
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:59 AM
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You just ruined my sense of ocean smell. But I knew you would be posting soon. Now....our ocean as I am sure you must have experienced in CT has a nice clammy smell when it has that oceany smell. It is cool and refreshing and one wants to take deep breaths. The other smell you are describing is definitely the big bay smell where sometimes we have to hold our noses. Our bay is more narrow and has nice smells sometimes otherwise, nothing but really it is not offensive like where they have a lot of the sea greass. That is a gross smell.

But you really do impress me Sammie. You are so smart.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:24 AM
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I didn't mean to poison the atmosphere, Angie!

But I love that clean ocean smell. I don't know if I'm weird but I can smell fish slicks as well, which has a very delicate smell of ... cucumber, not what ya think!

Of the higher vertibrates, man has the worst sense of smell but can detect compounds below parts per billion - remarkable. Pigs have some of the best, which is why they are used for hunting truffles - like parts per trillion. In fact, pigs are so smart they can smell freshwater hoses underground, although sometimes they'll dig up the hose if they're thirsty enough.

I guess we can ask a pig on Lubbers what he or she thinks ... mebbe de Yahoe knows?
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:55 AM
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Makes sense to me, Sammie!

Spring Break 1974. Driving down the coast to Ft Lauderdale in my girlfriend's '66 Mustang convertible, I couldn't help but notice an unusual (well, for me) smell. I was told it was the 'Florida smell'. Florida can't always smell like this, I thought! Later, I learned that it was the moist, rotting vegetation that produced it. After a few days, I could hardly smell it anymore.

I'd smell that everyday if I could grow those gorgeous Cuban Royals here!

Angie, you can smell the ocean here in Southern California. I do believe that the smell is more pronounced in more humid weather. I just love the smell too!

Patti, when I was a kid, I couldn't wait to get to the barn animals at the local fair. I just loved that smell too! What's the elevation where you are? I would imagine, that you probably do have more lung capacity when you are at sea level. I remember on Lake Powell, simply walking up the stairs of the house boat got me winded. I've lived near sea level all my life.

It's interesting, when we are out on our boat, there are times when the air smells heavily of fish, probably a nearby bait slick. Never smelled cucumbers tho', Sammie!

Tina
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:03 PM
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That vegetation smell is what I was talking about along the Indian River in the spring Tina.... Whew!

We are at about 5K ASL.... but at the end of our street, we have a beautiful view of Longs Peak... 14K+ above sea level.

We left Florida in 1974
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:05 PM
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Hey sammie smelling fish slicks and red drum doing the wild thing is one way we find them here when they are not evident busting bait or up on top.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:11 PM
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Tina, maybe we get a better smell because both our oceans are colder water. Maybe warm ocean water has a different odor. As far as Florida, I thought it had a strange smell also....kind of musty or mildew. I assumed it was from all rain showers they get. Like in the NE you can always smell a fresh rain....so refreshing. God, I sound weird!
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:28 PM
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Naw, you're "right as rain."

Now them fish slicks, that looks funny in the water because it's a little greasy yet the water looks troubled, like dimples and stuff. Cast in there and let that bait just fall down, only little twitches. BINGO, love it. Hey here a factoid - fish doesn't smell fishy until it starts to "go off." Fresh fish should smell just like the water you caught it in. /sammie
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:33 PM
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You're right again Sammie. My uncle use to own a fish market in NYC and he said if the fish smell "fishy" it is NOT fresh!
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:43 PM
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Yep, you're right Sammie, although there are some exceptions. Ever had Saba (mackerel) sashimi? I happen to love it (Rick thinks I'm crazy) but it is very 'fishy' tasting. Also some live bait fish, like sardines and mackerel, do have a smell when they are worked up. Not that old fish/ammonia smell but more like really intense sea water. When buying fish, Id also look to see that the eyes are clear if it's a whole fish.

And try not to ever wash any saltwater fish filets with freshwater!

Angie, great thread!

Tina
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:09 AM
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When buying fish, Id also look to see that the eyes are clear if it's a whole fish.

And try not to ever wash any saltwater fish filets with freshwater!

Angie, great thread!

Tina[/quote]

Very interesting Tina. So, I guess one just does NOT wash the fish. What does the fresh water do to the fish?
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:46 AM
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Hmm, don't know Angie. I can say that storing fish on ice with lots of water can make them mushy - which is why I open the drain when out on a boat. The best fish, of course, is "not even touched by ice." That works if you can get the fish home within an hour. I still rinse my fish in freshwater and pat it dry though - is that a no-no? /sammie
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:33 PM
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No No? Don't know...

...just what I've been told!

Angie, not exactly sure what it does to the fish. My first husband was a pretty famous French chef and he never washed saltwater fish in freshwater. Rick also learned this from some of his fishing buddies who are great cooks. I would imagine it alters the flesh in some way but who knows. Using a good filet knife to cut off any iffy spots on the fish is better. That being said, I'm only talking about saltwater fish you have caught or is very fresh. And I realize that there may be times when it can't be avoided.

And I also beg to differ that putting the whole fish on ice is wrong. Make a slush with ice and saltwater (not freshwater) and it'll be in great shape to filet. Plus that way you can stay out on the water longer!

Rick's up in Alaska right now. Hopefully he'll bring a good amount of fish home that hasn't been washed in freshwater, tee hee !

Tina
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:07 PM
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Hey Tina, no problem with slush ice ... but what if you leave a fish that way for 3 days on soft fish like speckled sea trout or Spanish mackerel? Bleeeeaaaak. It will turn into paper mache! Sacre bleu!

Some of the larger boats now make ice from saltwater and use the slush to cool down fish really fast. This is important especially for larger fish, getting internal temperature down below 40 degrees as fast as possible.

Looks like another great day for nekked fishing down here ... later!
sammie
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:44 PM
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3 days!!!!!!!!

That would be cat food !

Tight lines, Sammie!

Tina
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:07 PM
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That would explain why I find myself making a little "meeeeeew" sound every now and then. Colorado is pretty far away from any day old fishies, LOL!
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:09 PM
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Know you know "de trut'" why some grocery store snapper and grouper tastes better than others, since the small boats can be five days at sea. When the boats came into Cortez down by Bradenton FL, I'd buy fish "on the top" because those were the freshest. Nice folks, they'd always give me a few that got partly eaten by sharks ... about the only way I could afford swordfish. I think poor ole Cortez went from two dozen boats down to about 3-4 today, a real shame. Back then my nickname was "Digger Sam." Gosh I loved those days!
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 PM
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Welll, just spent the afternoon taking 2 grandkids on the boardwalk to go on rides and did that ocean air smell yummy today (and it was clear out sunny and dry, maybe the water is cold today).
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