Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Story of a real life storm encounter

I don’t think anyone would connect internet surfing with treasure hunting. But when you were randomly looking for something on the internet and found something even better, that could be a feeling just like finding treasure. That’s how I found/discovered this marvelous web site yesterday called “The StormStolt Surf’ in the North Pacific, 1977” by Karsten Peterson of Denmark who describes himself as Sailor/Photographer/World Traveler/Adventurer. The site tells the story onboard the Chemical Tanker “Stolt Surf” that was voyaging across the Pacific Ocean from Singapore to Portland, Oregon of U.S. in October, 1977 and encountered a hurricane like storm. While in the midst of the height of the storm, as he tells it as: ”The howling wind tears off the top of the waves, and sends it as a horizontal spray across the ocean covering everything in a white mist He was able to managed to taking great pictures of the storm in action. Here are a few of his copy righted pictures showing the famed ferocious wall of water coming toward the ship as the ship was heading right into it which he granted permission for my non-commercial use.

I guess Karsten is confident that his pictures captured the inexorable fierceness and ferocity of the wave actions out there, as he commented “What is missing is the extreme sounds of the ship, - the howling wind and crashing waves,. . . “ which should make us all be thankful that we don’t have to be out there. Through it all when calm returned and they all survived, Karsten ably summarized a real sense of “the feeling of being very, very small and insignificant in this truly great, and awesome performance of "Mother Nature"!

I would like to add two comments: First, I think they have to be considered extremely lucky to encounter a storm like this and survived with only minor damages. Not quite three years after “Stolt Surf” voyage, in September 1980, the U.K. vessel MV Derbyshire encountered Typhoon Orchid and she disappeared in western Pacific near Japan with 44 people onboard all vanished. Second, these pictures and the story of “Stolt Surf” are all true. I can not help reminded of the fake Hollywood production based on that thrilling book entitled “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger. While the book was brilliant, the Hollywood production was all make-believes down to all that ridiculous crackbrained screamings of George Clooney. In the midst of howling winds and crashing waves what's the use of screaming?

Read and enjoy the real thing!

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