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boSeaphus December 19th, 2008 01:48 AM

St. Elmo's Fire
Has anyone witnessed this phenomenon while cruising? It's also referred to as "ball lightning" although the two are similar but different effects, and are most often seen in the rigging of sailing ships, but have been known to happen on modern vessels as well.
I was on a ferry while wearing a blue helmet off the coast of Cyrus in 1991. I was below decks when some sailors came running, yelling "St. Elmo's!"... I was too late to get above deck.

A friend of mine has said a storm at sea is spectacular on a cruise ship at night. He said a cruise ship Captain on one of his cruises was discussing his encounters with the phenomenon. Any comments?

Aidan December 19th, 2008 02:25 AM

Re: St. Elmo's Fire

Originally Posted by boSeaphus
Has anyone witnessed this phenomenon while cruising?

Never on a cruise. I saw a most spectacular version while flying from New York to Oslo. The pilot pointed it out. It looked like bright green plasma flowing between the clouds. No idea if that was typical or atypical, but the passengers were agog.

Cheers, Aidan

katlady December 19th, 2008 09:46 AM

I wasn't sure what you were talking about so I read up on it. I also found a picture. Here is an interesting article about it. Here is a quote from the article.


Thousands of eyewitnesses have described seeing a floating, glowing ball similar to a tennis ball or even a beach ball.

The sightings generally accompany thunderstorms, but it's unclear what other similarities ball lightning might share with its conventional relative.

Ball lightning floats near the ground, sometimes bounces off the ground or other objects, and does not obey the whims of wind or the laws of gravity.
I have never saw ball lightning. It sounds interest and a little scary.

Phil&Liz December 20th, 2008 05:11 PM

And I thought this thread was about the movie !

Phil & Liz

beentravelin December 20th, 2008 05:15 PM

I've never personally seen St. Elmo's Fire or Ball Lightning occur naturally, but I once saw Ball Lightning recreated in a lab setting and it was beautiful.

Here's another page with lots of info.'s_fire

I love Wikipedia.

katlady December 20th, 2008 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by Phil&Liz
And I thought this thread was about the movie !

Phil & Liz

80s flashback.

beentravelin December 20th, 2008 06:50 PM

LOL You're hilarious!!!!

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