Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Friday, March 02, 2007

A contrarian view point

I came across some interesting discussions in the newsgroup of rec.boats.cruising that was taken place in July of last year. It was started with someone posted the New York Times article by William Broad which I reviewed earlier. A person by the name of 'Bob' declared:
And as I said last time......... there are no such things as "...rogue or sneaker..." waves.

Just some really big ones that should be expected.
After some friendly and unfriendly exchanges he posted the following detailed viewpoint:
For me they are just really big waves that pop up from time to time and most times are rather predictable. Yes I did say predictable.
As I mentioned last time, with many not agreeing and many others posting monster wave pic as proof of rogue and sneaker waves, for me it is a way to view my relationship with the oceans.

I believe that there is nothing inherently sneaky nor roguish about the seas. The worlds oceans are simply doing what they always do. For me to live and enjoy the oceans I have placed myself, not as some macho able to beat and over come my nautical adversary, rather as someone there to enjoy all the amazing things that occur out there. For me to say I got hit by a rogue wave that came from nowhere and smite my vessel is to say that I am also just a hapless stooge who has no responsibility for my own safety. A rather childish approach if you go by that Transitional Analysis stuff from the early 70s.

So I say, sorry, no such thing as a rogue wave. Just lots of really interesting events that are possible at sea, that we need to be prepared to maneuver, and hopefully able to predict more accurately.

Call it all liberal BS semantics if you want. However, the language a person uses serves as a great window to see what they think. On the other hand, language also effects the way people think and behave (Worf-Sapier). So change the language and we might change how people think about the sea. Personally I do not want to be helpless and victimized by a sneaker. I would much rather say it the way it was.......... I got caught with my pants down because I was not paying enough attention to what was going on.
He certainly entitles to his view point. But it not quite a valid view point. He may have been out there with all the sea experience. In talking about his relation with the oceans suggests clearly he is one of the lucky ones that has not really encountered a real freaque wave. Not all large waves are freaque waves and not all freaque waves are large waves. As no one at the present can predict freaque waves, his adverting to predicton is especially baseless. I have heard one other public declaration of "There is no such thing as freaque waves" before. That was from Professor Willard J. Pierson, Jr. at a wave meeting before someone was going to present a talk on freak waves. Pierson is the founding father of the modern wave spectrum and Gaussian random process conceptualization for ocean waves which practically negates the existence of unexpected freaque waves. That was purely on academic ground. Bob is not quite in Pierson's league. Anyway it's a vast ocean world out there, a contrarian view can always be expected. He probably will not be alone either.

No comments: