Saturday, July 24, 2004

EU: Scientific confirmation of 'Rogue Waves'...And other crap.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has apparently confirmed every flat surfari campfire grommet fantasy/nightmare I've ever had...Which for my little surf posse, always seemed to come down to - Killer waves.

Those ones that would roll in to break the malaise of summer doldrums that forever conspired to drive many a self-respecting surfer stark...Raving...Mad.


...The kind of wave that whispered legend had it, could rumble in out of nowhere to clean all the accumulated bravado out of the lineup, but good...

This damned 'reported' finding just legitimized the entire pantheon of campfire story upon which the bedrock of all our 15yr old house-of-cards invincibility had eventually yielded to the slightly more mature and respectfully enlightened fear of an experienced, well-enough-travelled surfer. One who has been spit out on some remote and churning reef a couple times - yet still somehow managed to survive to tell the tale.

A learner.

It's pretty cool news to me.
...It almost makes me want to dust off and paddle around in windblown slop for a couple hours...Almost.

The radars send back "imagettes" -- a picture of the sea surface in a rectangle measuring 10 by five kilometers (six by 2.5 miles) that is taken every 200 kms (120 miles).

Around 30,000 separate "imagettes" were taken by the two satellites in a three-week project, MaxWave, that was carried out in 2001.
"Satellites identified more than 10 individual giant waves"

Even though the research period was brief, the satellites identified more than 10 individual giant waves around the globe that measured more than 25 metres (81.25 feet) in height, ESA said in a press release.

The waves exist "in higher numbers than anyone expected," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, senior scientist with the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany, who pored over the data.

"The next step is to analyse if they can be forecasted," he said.

Ironically, the research coincided with two "rogue wave" incidents in which two tourist cruisers, the Bremen and the Caledonian Star, had their bridge windows smashed by 30-metre (100-feet) monsters in the South Atlantic.

The Bremen was left drifting without navigation or propulsion for two hours after the hit.

That's 10 individual oceanic waves over 80 feet high!
"Even though the research period was brief..."
...And during an arbitrary scan of the South Atlantic.

I long to see such a wave...From the relative safety of land of course...And with an iced coffee in hand, whilst everyone who's ever dropped in on me paddled in vain for the horizon.

Thia is quite similar I imagine, to the sort of longing one Michael Moore might feel upon hearing positive scientific confirmation of the existence of alp-sized eclairs.

A diabetic coma inducing, train of structured thought shifting, Shangrila.

Swooning thusly in the bosom of some Belgian chocolated reverie, as he alternately salivates for, and then slightly fears actual encounter with the mystical tube of existential butter-creme surrender.

A mere mortal would be consumed by the promise of its euphoric powdered-sugar embrace whilst cowering in abject fear of the arse rending consequence of gluttony.

Not so for an immortal pastriot such as MM standing astride Amerikkka with one giant foot in Hollywood and the other in France as he laughs and hurls steaming insult down upon the heartland that feeds him.

No the overwhelming potential of such a revelation would only pique his elemental force of hunger; whereupon he'd likely shuffle his corpulenceness on over to the dangerous comfort of his 'working class', stainless-steel, waddle-in, custom-fabricated, argon-filled crystal-doored, fridge - shoehorned as it is into that humble everyman's contract labor-serviced $1.2 million Manhattan apartment - to search for just one Moore more glistening sliver flank of Canadian bacon to slide into his worn silver-lined trough..Swilling half full as it is with 55 jelled gallons of caviar suspended in the finest Chardonnay to be looted liberated comp'd from Cannes.

Ahhhhh... Such a pleasant dream, only to be ultimately dashed as he's unceremoniously awakened from his mid-room repose by the rustling of an errant crumb succumbing to gravity as it falls from his forested patch of lip to the Italian marble floor. The one with that particular pink grain pattern that camoflages escaped confectionary bits well enough to keep the help on their toes.

A mere mortal's only solace lays in the simple faith that God will have his revenge on the mighty liar....As Michael's saturated fats inevitably clasp greasy hands in a final victory over the gurgling syrup that had previously fed the lumbering, too infrequently liposuctioned mass.

Happy weekend all.

Riffing Muse supplied by: My indispensable blog crutch, Rantburg.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a special entitled "Killer Waves" a month or so ago on one of the cable specialty channels - I wish I had recorded it.

The narrative suggested ships are built to withstand 30 - 40 foot waves generally, which (I'm trying to think back to the show) equates to being able to withstand 15,000 lbs per square ft (or inch?) of pressure. These killer waves are capable of producing 100,000 lbs of pressure, and the manner in which it is delivered makes them even more deadly - a killer wave comes at you, having been built up by "sucking" (my understanding) the water between you and it to give it its size, so that the ship you are on is leaning forward as the wave strikes its mighty blow.

The show included interviews with crew members who had tangled with one of these waves. It made an impression to be sure.

I had always wanted to go on a cruise. After havng seen the show, I'm content to keep my feet on solid ground.

1:56 PM  

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