Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pentecost Sunday


Come, O Holy Spirit, come!
From Your bright and blissful Home
Rays of healing light impart.

Come, Father of the poor,
Source of gift that will endure
Light of ev'ry human heart.

You of all consolers best,
Of the soul most kindly guest,
Quick'ning courage do bestow.

In hard labor You are rest,
In the heat You refresh best,
And solace give in to our woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Let Your radiance in us shine,
And our inmost being fill.

Nothing good by man is thought,
Nothing right by him is wtought,
When he spurns Your gracious Will.

Cleanse our souls from sinful stain,
Lave our dryness with Your rain,
Heal our wounds and mend our way.

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful who in You,
Trust childlike piety,
Deign Your sevenfold gift to send.

Give them virtue's rich increase,
Saving grace to die in peace,
Give them joys that never end.

Amen.
Alleluia.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obama cuts funding on wave energy research

A colleague who's a professional statistician, retired a few years before me, told me once that he had a major theory of life that puts simply in words as "Stupidity has no least upper bound." I must say that I very much like his theory although I am not certain about its originality. But it's applicable to many situations in life. His theory just came to my mind when I read this news article by Les Blumenthal in the News Tribune: "Obama move to cut wave power funding . . ."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Obama administration has proposed a 25 percent cut in the research and development budget for one of the most promising renewable energy sources in the Northwest - wave and tidal power.

At the same time the White House sought an 82 percent increase in solar power research funding, a 36 percent increase in wind power funding and a 14 percent increase in geothermal funding. But it looked to cut wave and tidal research funding from $40 million to $30 million.

The decision to cut funding came only weeks after the Interior Department suggested that wave power could emerge as the leading offshore energy source in the Northwest and at a time when efforts to develop tidal power in Puget Sound are attracting national and international attention.

By some estimates, wave and tidal power could eventually meet 10 percent of the nation's electricity demand, about the same as hydropower currently delivers. Some experts have estimated that if only 0.2 percent of energy in ocean waves could be harnessed, the power produced would be enough to supply the entire world.

So after everyone even the ones that do not need have been pushed for all kinds of bailouts at taxpayers' expanse, now he chose to cut the funding to wave power research by 25%. Yea, he has to show that he can make cuts somewhere. But why wave power research?

The only plausible reason, other than stupidity has no least upper bound, that I can think of, is that it is the area of research that has very high probability of being successful. A successful venture most definitely will lead to enhancement in capitalism so it is also most definitely not in the interest of Marxist Obama.

Marxist Obama?

Yes, Marxist Obama, you better believe it.

That's not my opinion at all. I got it from the people who know Marxists best -- from this unrelated article in the recent Pravda that entitled "American capitalism gone with a whimper". Here are some worthy readings:
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

Wow strong words, are we hapless sheeple? Not all, but 52.7 % is enough to carry that banner for the rest of us. By the way, according to Wikipedia, sheeple refers to people who tend to accept and follow everything at face value, especially if it is cited in mainstream media. No surprise there! Here are how things developed as our Russian writer sees them:

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

Here are the facts he pointed out:
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

I never though that I would quote this Provda article in its entirety. But I find this article so refreshing that all Americans should read and understand what's in store for us in the next 4 years. I don't think this Russian writer is thinking about what's best for the American people. He may even be harboring some contempts for our American life. But he writes what he sees honestly from his experience under Marxist regime. He's certainly more sensitive to the Marxist schemes than anyone in the west. That's why this is a must-read for Americans. It is much more than just cut a small part of research funding as I alluded at the beginning of this blog. It's the entire American system is at stake. The country is taken over by Marxists. Wake up, America!

They heard blue whale sing

While the ocean world has been quiet, no freaque waves being reported anywhere for a few days, I find the following ScienceDaily news today about singing blue whale interesting:
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — For the very first time in New York coastal waters, the voices of singing blue whales have been positively identified. Acoustic experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed that the voice of a singing blue whale was tracked about 70 miles off of Long Island and New York City on Jan. 10-11, 2009, as the whale swam slowly from east to west. At the same time, a second blue whale was heard singing offshore in the far distance.

“These endangered blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived on this planet, and their voices can travel across an ocean. It’s just amazing to hear one singing out there on New York’s ocean stage only tens of miles from Carnegie Hall and Broadway!” said Christopher Clark, director of Cornell’s BRP. “This opens a whole new universe of opportunities for all of us to learn more about and appreciate these species and the vitality of New York’s marine environment.”

New York State’s DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis added, “This is a very important moment in the environmental history of New York State. Blue whales were almost hunted to extinction by the middle of the 20th Century, and the fact that now we're finding them migrating not far off our shores is truly remarkable. Although whaling no longer occurs in U.S. waters, whales still face numerous threats including vessel strikes and marine debris, and this latest finding will enable DEC and its partners to develop science-based management plans to protect these magnificent creatures.”

During 2008-2009, ten of Cornell’s acoustic recorders were deployed about 13 miles from the New York Harbor entrance and off the shores of Fire Island to study the acoustic environment of New York waters and examine whether noises, including shipping traffic, are affecting the whales. By knowing the whales’ seasonal presence, New York state policymakers can make critical conservation decisions to help protect blue whales by developing management plans to avoid ship collisions with whales and reduce noises that interfere with their communications.

The acoustic monitoring was initiated from March through mid-May of 2008 to record the northward migration of right whales from their calving grounds off the Florida eastern coast to their feeding grounds off Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Cornell scientists and DEC are able to monitor and provide specific data on the species that are detected, including when and where they occur in New York waters throughout the year.

Here's a NOAA picture of whales:

What comes to my mind immediately is that there are good efforts on making acoustic recordings to study the environment for whale protection, but no one seems to care the least about recording and studying freaque waves in the ocean environment to protect human!

In Genesis 1:26, God said

"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."

I believe in God!

Somehow nowadays, the "man" God made seems to have evolved into a politically incorrect thing. Every bad things in the world must be blamed on the guilt of "man". Blue whale is most certainly much much more important than "man". But wait, can't be all "man", because there must be some "man" who are making the rules to blame "man" have to be above "man". Who are they? Some "man" will never be get blamed no matter what they do. Why? Yes, indeed, no one dispute yet that "All men are created equal!" Really? But some "man" must be more equal than other "man". Some one may even been "lord high" because some one even been declared messiah. Who do they think they are? What in the world is going on?

Dear Lord, please help us ordinary insignificant "man"! We don't know what kind of world we are living in any more!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Lost ship SS Waratah

This is the book everyone's waiting for, at least I am the one that's looking forward to read it. Here's the story from a blurb of the publisher:
In 1909, the SS Waratah embarked on her second voyage, from Sydney to England via South Africa. Filled up with families anticipating a new life on the other side of the world, what started out as a journey full of hope ended abruptly when the ship vanished between Durban and Cape Town. Ironically, the ship was due to be fitted with pioneering radio equipment when she reached England, but to this day nothing has been heard of the ship or her human cargo. Believing her to be drifting, the horrified authorities ordered a search vessel to comb the seas but in three months they found nothing. A second longer search was commissioned but still no trace was found. The mystery has spawned many conspiracy theories and even a million-dollar search mission by author Clive Cussler. A popular theory suggests the searches themselves were at fault, but here the humorous and fascinating diaries, maps, and log books of Walter Smith, a key figure on board both search missions, proves their thoroughness and describes the wide ground they covered, the dangers they faced and bizarre things they stumbled across, and the day-to-day experiences of the crew.
I think it is plausible to say that to this day, nearly 100 years later, we still don't know what was really happened to SS Waratah. What I was interested in the case is that one of the persistent theories was that Waratah encountered a freaque wave. Though there's no clearly substantiation, the area where Waratah lost, where the well known Agulhas current and the western boundary current of the Southwest Indian Ocean area became known as the area for freaque waves. While Waratah may not be as famous as Titanic, but she was the first one in 20th century that was lost with no survivors. Others in the second half of the 20th century including SS Edmund Fitzgerald, 1975 in Lake Superior, MV Derbyshire, 1980 in Western Pacific, offshore platform Ocean Ranger, 1982 in North Atlantic, and fishing boat Andrea gail, 1995 in North Atlantic, amoung others. As Gordon Lightfoot's famous song on SS Edmund Fitzgerald that says: "Superior, they say, never gives up her dead." That clearly applies to the vast ocean also.

The publisher also has this to say about the author of the book:
P. J. Smith, the great-niece of Walter Smith, transcribed his diaries and researched the wider story of the Waratah to compile this unique history.
which makes the book even more a "must read". I communicated with Penny briefly and she just nicely informed me that the book has been published. Please note that Penny, P. J. Smith, is the author of the book. The book has a written endorsement by Clive Cussler. According to Penny, the bottom line of the above cover that says "Foreword by Clive Cussler" is not quite right. Some advertiser even (e.g. amazon.ca) mistakenly listed Clive Cussler as co author. For the people like me who does not know who Cussler is, it does not matter.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Gospel

Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.

John 16:32-33.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A lucky dog rescued from freaque wave


This happened along the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia:

A JACK russell terrier swept into the ocean at Currumbin by a freak wave on Friday was fighting for her life after a dramatic rescue in which a man performed CPR on the stricken animal.

Tugun resident Hilary Smith was walking her 11-year-old pet Betty Boo off the leash on the beach about 1.45pm on Friday when the wave struck.

"I wasn't near the sea ... there was a freak wave, then it was right up to my chest," she said.

"(Betty Boo) flipped backwards and disappeared out to sea."

She had to feel her way through thick foam for five minutes to locate her white dog which was not breathing when she found it.

She rushed to shore where Currumbin Surf Club director and off-duty surf lifesaver Dave Smith ran to meet her.

He took the dog from her and performed CPR on Betty Boo.

After 10 minutes the dog started to breathe and was taken to a nearby veterinary clinic.

Ms Smith said Betty Boo was fighting for her life.

"The only thing she has going for her is she's a fighter," she said.

"Don't go on to the beach. I didn't show respect for the sea."

We all know whipped cream, but I never realized the nearshore sea can be whipped up into cream also. May be only in the Gold Coast. What had happened in this story? Well, "I wasn't near the sea ... there was a freak wave, then it was right up to my chest" certainly leaves no room for skeptcism. That's a freaque wave all right, regardless what really happened there. Only that no scientist can define or explain it otherwise to any degrees of satisfaction. It just happened. I can't quite visualize how to perform CPR on a dog. But that was a lucky dog to be rescued. Yes, Ms Smith has the right mind-set: "Show respect for the sea!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Face of global warming!

In the mixed hoopla of Obamania and pig flu, I doubt the driveby media in US has ever bothered to report the details of this thing called "Catlin Arctic Survey" -- billed as seeking to resolve;

How long will the Arctic Ocean's sea ice cover remain a permanent feature of our planet?

This scientific endeavour began on 28th February 2009. The expedition is being led by highly experienced polar explorer Pen Hadow. Accompanying him will be Ann Daniels, one of the world's foremost female polar explorers and Martin Hartley, leading expedition photographer.

Well, here's the latest:
After a succesful pick up from the ice at 1800 BST yesterday, the Catlin Arctic Survey Team of Pen Hadow, Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels are on their way home.

The three are now in Resolute, catching up on their first proper night’s rest for more than two months. In a webcast shortly before the twin otter plane arrived to collect them, Expedition Leader Pen Hadow revealed that initial Survey results show the average ice thickness in the region to be 1.774m. The data collected will now be delivered to scientists to interpret.

The top priority for the three explorers was ‘a good scrub’ according to Hadow, who admitted the three have the appearance (and smell !) of cavemen.

Cavewoman Daniels added that she had been dreaming of sleeping in a proper bed with clean sheets.
May be this picture of Dr. Hadow in action can provide a little perspective, let's call this the Face of Global Warming:


According to the account of the blog "Watts Up With That?" The Survey completed "less than 50% of their planned journey to the North Pole and came up about 500 km short . . ."

Regarding the 1.774 m ice thickness, they did not make it clear that it is for "first year" ice. Can anyone consider this first year 1.774 m thickness as on "thin ice"? We'll have to wait and see how this is to be spinned! (By the time when the IPCC say the polar ice will all be melted away and they did not, all those IPCC jerks will all be die out anyway.)

I must admit that I have to give high admiration to Dr. Hadow and his colleagues. Though not admirable for being an IPCC believer, they did show courage to pursue this survey to verify their make-believe scientific expectation -- no one would surprise at their unsuccessfulness.

Comparatively Fat Albert and his followers simply kicked out of any science implication and turned the whole thing into a kind of woo-doo religion, with the help of his political cronies to force it on people because they have the 2008 52.7% power. You can order pi to equal to exactly 3 and you can order CO2 to be a pollutant, why not? That's what politics is all about!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A kangaroo rescued from waves

Here's a nice kangaroo rescue story that had happened, where else, in Australia. As reported in Daily Mail online this morning complete with video and a long and illustrious title "The kangaroo that went to sea saved from the waves by surfer" :

A surfer has been caught on camera dramatically rescuing a kamakazi kangaroo that plunged into the waves and was swept out to sea.

Neil McCallum, 48, was on a morning walk with his son, Jazz, 15, along Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia when the rogue roo bounded across his path, hopped into the surf and started swimming out to sea.

The pair watched in concern as two hammerhead sharks had been in the same spot in recent days and the young marsupial was soon caught up in a riptide.

'A guy came up and said: "Gee your dog's a long way out",' Mr McCallum said yesterday.

'I said: "That's not a dog, that's a kangaroo".'

So Mr McCallum, a professional circuit speaker, dashed home, grabbed his long surfboard and returned to the rescue.

'It was very frightened by the time I got to it. I grabbed it on the back and it sort of shook me off like a wild animal.

'So I tried to wrestle him on to my surfboard and he found it difficult to stay on board.'

Eventually he herded the kangaroo on to a sand bank where it recovered before bounding away.

It is a little known fact that kangaroos can and do swim, according to the charity Kangaroo Protection Coalition.

However, they can be just as susceptible to dangerous riptides and strong currents as humans with some conservationists reporting having to rescue injured kangaroos from rivers.

Some kangaroo experts credit the creatures with enough intelligence to use he sea's salt waters to help heal infected cuts and sores.

The busy built-up area of Kirra Beach, located about 20km from Surfers Paradise, is not exactly typical kangaroo country and Mr McCallum said he'd never seen one in the area before.

His wife, Amanda, caught the incident on the family video camera.

Now here's the video:



A nice story even without encountering freaque waves!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Airborne surfer

Just saw this following irresistible picture of airborne surfer from here, the surfer's name is Nathan Rex and the photographer Willi Edwards.


I know right now it's off season for footballs, I did not know this time around is off season for surfing also. Here's a comment by Jon Coen:
If you haven't noticed, you don't hear much from Hawaii this time of year in the mags and various www surf sites. Just because the photogs and pros have all vacated the team houses, doesn't mean there's no action.
So off season for surfers does not mean that there is no waves. But who cares?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An unthinkable diagnosis

There has not been any freaque wave news in the last few days. I come across this news article through one line of the description in the unknown author's figurative writing style:
It was this baseball-sized growth that has swept away their old life like a rogue ocean wave and left the family adrift, trying to navigate their fear, grief and the intense medical treatments designed to save their baby’s life.
It's the story of a young family whose seemingly healthy 9 month old boy was diagnosed to have inoperable "stage 3 liver cancer. He is under intense treatment right now. Let's all pray for his full recovery.

It has never occurred to me that being diagnosed cancer to a family member is tantamount to being hit by a freaque wave in life. But come to think of it, it is really not that far fetched.

In the ocean of life, any kind of expected or unexpected happenings or rare events can be viewed as encountering the freaque waves in life. That, sometimes of course, is more than science can handle!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Remembering Mom

This is the 10th Mother's Day since Mom left us. She will be 100 years old this year. I can never get over missing her. I wish I could still flying to Taiwan to visit her, or get on the phone to hear her delightful voice. Well, I found this poem from here that seems to express a good portion of what I feel:

Remembering Mom

Happy Mother's Day is here once more
But on this special day, I softly mourn,
For my mother is home with the angels
Where her heart has been re-born.

I try to keep my brightest smile
For those around to know,
But deep inside there's a little cry
For I miss my mother so.

I'd love to sit again and hold her hand
As I am lonesome for her all the while,
But I'm also glad for her to be in heaven
Restored with her sweet smile.

I know God took her when His time was right
So no more suffering she would see,
The burdens of her mother heart
Are gone eternally.

How I cherish all the special ways
She poured forth of her tender love,
Giving selflessly, dear Mom, now resting
Rewarded in her Lord above.

Dear Mother mine, I may be sad today
Missing the one that I adore,
But one day soon we'll be together
Close, just like we were before.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

A real good one made in movie form with a much better poem is here. I can't quite copy them. Someday I'll transcribe them.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Monster wave's secret?

Here's a new BBC video :



and the narration written by its Earth News Editor Matt Walker:
A huge ocean wave has been filmed from beneath the surface, revealing features never before captured on camera.

The remarkable video, which will be shown as part of the BBC Natural History Unit's new series South Pacific, was filmed in super slow motion using a high-definition camera.

It reveals the hidden power of a four-metre-tall monster barrel wave.

It also shows the first images of underwater spiralling vortices created by the wave's action.

The wave was filmed off the coast of Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands, part of the Federated State of Micronesia.

The location is well known in the international surf community. Some of the biggest waves in the world break on South Pacific islands.

The storm swells that create these waves travel more than 5,000km to break on their shorelines.

Super slow mo

"I really wanted to slow the wave down, so it was like being there, immersed in that environment," says the BBC's Huw Cordey, series producer of South Pacific.

"I wanted to capture the scale of the event."

Doing so took special skills and equipment. Australian cameraman Bali Strickland, renowned for filming expert surfers at some of the best surfing sites in the world, had to float in the water as the wave passed over him.

He filmed the wave using a £66,000 ($100,000) high-speed camera that captures the action at 20 times slower than normal speed, and in high definition.

The kit required a special housing unit designed and built by German specialist high-speed cameraman and technician Rudi Diesel.

Until this film, no one had ever tried using this type of camera underwater before.
The spectacular results show the wave barrel closing over Australian big wave surfer Dylan Longbottom, who rode the wave to illustrate the scale and power of the water.
Clearly visible are long underwater vortices created by the moving wave, a feature the BBC team believes has never before been caught on camera.

"So much is revealed by slow motion," says Mr Cordey.

"We saw these vortices on one shot, which I don't think anyone has noticed before. It opens up this huge insight into the birth of a wave."

The vortices only appeared once, despite the team filming more than 10 waves, he added.

"Maybe it's when the wave gets to a certain height or size. It wasn't a scientific experiment, so its difficult to judge. But its interesting we only saw it the one time."

Origins of surf

The location of the shoot is appropriate as the South Pacific is reputed to be the place surfing started some 1,500 years ago.

The giant waves have since inspired the culture of the human colonisers of the islands.

The waves start as a swell on the opposite side of the ocean, arriving days later. During the course of their journey, they move from travelling over deep water to water just two metres deep.

"That's what causes them to rear up and barrel," explains Mr Cordey.

The clip will be broadcast as part of the first programme of the six-part landmark series.

The South Pacific programmes explore the isolation of the region's islands, the extraordinary journeys wildlife and humans have taken to reach these remote specks of land and what happened to both after their arrival.

Upcoming programmes will include footage of undersea volcanoes attempting to form new islands, tiger sharks snatching newly fledged albatross chicks and bizarre human rituals that involve people jumping from 20-metre wooden scaffolds with only forest vines to break their fall.

It takes several views to get a feeling on what's going on. The title of the news was "Monster wave gives up its secrets." I still can not quite figured out those live vortices yet. The study of vortex is an exciting branch of Fluid Mechanics. As they say it wasn't a scientific experiment, but now the ball is in theoreticians' court to theorize those vivid wave generated vortices in three dimensions. (This Wikipedia article on Votex should be a good starting point for anyone interested in further exploration.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rescue off Tweed coast

It is always gratifying to hear successful rescue stories. This one, reported by Ben Dillaway in Goldcoast News, is rather interesting because it happened to the people involved in deploying waverider wave measurement instrument offshore from the east coast of Australia:

ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency officers had just installed a device that measured waves when a freak wave came out of the blue and capsized their boat off the Tweed coast yesterday.

The 5m aluminium runabout, chartered by the EPA to launch the Waverider buoy, was returning to shore when it was hit by the wave about 10.30am, 50m out from the treacherous Tweed River bar.

The fast-flowing outgoing tide and pressure waves swept the four crew and boat further out to sea.

The rescue was swift:

About 10 minutes later Gold Coast City lifeguard Scott Wildin found the foursome more than 300m offshore.

"We raced out to them and there were two on the boat and two in the water," he said.

"They all had life jackets on and there were no injuries."

Here are some details from one that was being rescued:

The EPA employee, who gave his name only as Vince, said he was not quite sure what happened.

"I wasn't driving the boat and didn't see what happened but essentially the boat got turned sideways and rolled over," he said.

"Conditions weren't that bad ... well, we didn't think they were that bad."

Tweed-Byron police spokesman Sergeant Stuart Crawford said the Queensland skipper was an experienced operator and was just an unfortunate accident.

"They got caught between two waves -- he (the skipper) described it as a freak wave."

Despite drifting through waters where large sharks have been spotted, Vince said he was not worried.

"We had life jackets on and we could see the shore and the Air Sea Rescue could see us from there so it was pretty obvious we would get rescued."

"If you're going to have an accident somewhere it's the best spot."

While he was thrown overboard Vince said he did not lose any of his belongings.

"Everything of mine survived. I was prepared. I've got zip pockets because I've been on boats before," he said.

"I had nothing important in my other pockets expect for a few lollies and I still have them.

"However, the phone is non-operational."

The experienced skipper described it as a freaque wave. Since no one expects anything worse and the c0ndition was obviously on the calm side, it is most likely was an encounter with freaque wave. I wonder what was being recordered from the waverider they just deployed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Rescue in South Australia

Here's another good to hear rescue story reported by Australia ABC News :

An abalone fisherman has spoken about his rescue off the coast of Ceduna in South Australia after his boat capsized.

Greg Pickering was working with a deckhand about 20 kilometres offshore when a freak wave struck late on Tuesday.

Mr Pickering says he was diving to about 12 metres when it happened.

"I'd been there for four hours and all of a sudden I just got pulled off the bottom and it just kept pulling and pulling, 'cause I was on a dive hose that was connected to the boat," he said.

"Then the air went off and I came up and the boat was upside down and the deckhand was sitting on a capsized boat and he was okay."

The two men were found by rescue crews in a life raft about three hours later.

The most interesting and important part of this story is that the diver's statement that he was being pulled off the bottom underwater presumably at the time when the freaque wave occurred. This is truly something new! May be some theoretician can deduce what happens underwater when freaque waves happen. Could the Navy still ignore freaque waves happening when they only interested in underwater warefare?

For us who don't know where Ceduna is, here's a map of the general area:

Monday, May 04, 2009

Torquay rescue

This news in Geelong Advertiser reported by Jessica Craven:

A MAN suffered deep gashes to the face after he and his son were thrown overboard by a freak wave at Torquay on Saturday.

Torquay Marine Rescue Service chairman John Ainsworth said the pair were fishing about a mile off Fisherman's Beach when their 4.5m boat was capsized by a large wave.

"There were two boats that came from the Ballarat district and they were anchored and fishing near the other boat," he said.

"They were thrown into the water and the boat rolled and they were both submerged. The father suffered quite a bad gash to the eye and face, I think he hit the windscreen."

Mr Ainsworth said the men, who were wearing lifejackets, were picked up by the nearby boat and brought into shore.

"There was a lot of their gear floating around in the water and we launched our stavvicraft and went out to the vessel but it was still in a dangerous area with lots of waves and we couldn't get to the anchor line," he said.

"So we sent out a jetski and the operator dived down and cut the anchor rope with a knife and then searched the area for debris and personal possessions."

Mr Ainsworth said the rescue service eventually managed to get the boat on a trailer and tow it back to Fisherman's Beach.

"The father was taken to Torquay Medical Centre for treatment on his facial injuries," he said.

"It was lucky that they were fishing with another boat and could be rescued quickly because it was quite dangerous."

The son did not sustain any serious injuries.

Well, the culprit is another freaque wave, and they were wearing lifejackets. But fishing in the ocean can never be lost sight of the risky and dangerous involved. Of course we should always be just thankful that the rescue was swift and successful.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whangaparaoa Peninsula

Here's a nice news for a Sunday morning from the New Zealand tvnz:

Five people were rescued off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula after a wave threw them out of their boat on Sunday afternoon.

The man and four children were fishing by Wellington Reef when a large wave caught them unawares, tossing them out of their aluminium boat into the sea.

Marine rescue was notified and radioed other boaties in the area. Two boats went to the scene and one took the children on board while the other rescued the man.

No one was injured and all the boaties were wearing lifejackets.

For us who are not New Zealanders, here's the location and a scenery from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula:
Large or freaque waves can happen in a peaceful place like this! Wearing lifejacket is something can not be over-emphasized. By the way, last Tuesday in Ensenada when we were on the boat out to sea, everyone was being put on a lifejacket when we came onboard. May be because that was going to be a rough ride. But it was great! Besides, it was quite cool out there, someone commented that the lifejacket kept us a little warmer also.

Update:

Here's some details of what happened reported in New Zealand Herald along with this picture showing they all were wearing lifejackets:
One moment, Whangaparaoa real estate agent Alan Morton-Jones and his four sons were enjoying their last day of fishing before colder winter weather sets in.

Then a "freak wave" hit their 3.6m aluminium boat, capsizing it and throwing the group overboard, leaving the youngest boy, Daniel, 8, trapped underneath, off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula about 2pm yesterday.

Police are praising the group for wearing lifejackets - a fact they say may have prevented further devastation on an already tragic weekend on which two men drowned in separate accidents near Maraetai in Manukau City and near Whangarei.

The Morton-Jones boys - four of the family's seven children - said they were travelling at 5 knots with two fishing lines out trawling for kahawai in relatively calm conditions when the swell hit them suddenly.

"The wave just changed in an instant and rolled us over," said Mr Morton-Jones, 42, still shocked by how quickly it occurred.

The boys said they sometimes complained about their Dad making them wear lifejackets.

"I'll never complain about wearing a lifejacket again - ever," said Michael, 13.

Added Daniel: "You've got to be a complete idiot if you're not wearing a lifejacket."

Daniel was trapped under the boat for about a minute. Because the craft is small and had an in-built flotation device to stop it sinking, he was able to be pulled out quickly.

The other boys - Michael, Christopher, 12, and Timothy, 10 - were able to hang on to the side of the boat before being picked up by nearby boaties.

Mr Morton-Jones and his sons said they were extremely grateful to the boaties and to the police maritime unit who came to their aid.

The boys said they remained calm during the rescue but the shock of what could have happened set in later.

The boys lost their fishing rods but were grateful to have one another.

The boat, which was righted by the police launch Deodar II and towed to safety, is also fine but will need its engine cleaned.

What a great father that taught his sons the simple practical things to observe the safety basics, the sons are certainly going to remember it all their life. A real admirable family indeed.