Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I sing the mighty power of God

(By Isaac Watts, 1715)

I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at his command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

-- And hear it sing here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peggy's Cove

I have blogged different episodes and happenings from nearshore places all around the world. Those were just places on the map for me. But today I just read the news from Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. Now that's a famous tourist place I have once visited. Here's what just reported by CBC News:

A woman swept into the sea near the famous Peggys Cove, N.S., lighthouse after venturing too close to the water was rescued Tuesday afternoon.

She was in the water for about 12 minutes before grasping a life-preserver thrown to her, RCMP Cpl. Joe Taplin said. Rescuers were able to pull her back up onto the rocks.

Taplin said she appeared to be OK after her ordeal.

Fire crews and a rescue boat were sent to the area, he said, but someone managed to throw a life-preserver to her before they arrived.

In the past, visitors have been killed while standing close to the edge as rogue waves break over the rocks and sweep them away.

Many people ignore warning signs in order to get a little closer to the water.

It is always comforting to read about some one being successfully rescued. God work, RCMP! I have only visited Peggy's Cove once. That was many years ago when I attended an ocean conference at Halifax, my daughter was in the summer camp, my wife joined me that weekend and we toured around Nova Scotia by a rental car, Peggy's Cove was the first place we visited. That was many years before my interest turned in studying freaque waves or ever heard the term of freak or rogue waves, but being acrophobia I did not even attempted to venture too close to the water's edge. So I was in no danger at any rate.

Here's a nice Youtube that captured the storm waves at Peggy's Cove:



The day when we visited Peggy's Cove it was a nice and and calm early summer day. Now here's another Youtube of Peggy's Cove along with folk music which is rather poetic. Yes, the Peggy's Cove I remember is really a poetic place:



In today's CBC News it was also reported that:

The lighthouse in Peggys Cove was in the news two weeks ago when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it could not afford to spend $25,000 to paint it. In addition to the rust stains and crumbling concrete, the beloved 15-metre structure is losing its lustre.

The day after the news broke, Nova Scotia's representative in cabinet, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, told CBC News he immediately made arrangements to have it painted after hearing about the tarnished beacon.

Peggys Cove is one of Nova Scotia's top tourist draws. About one million people visit the site every year, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia.

The lighthouse is an integral part of Peggy's Cove. Let's hope the high tax government don't allow the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove become a victim of miserably failed socialist policy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A jolt by a freaque wave.

Here's a rather interesting case reported by WCSH6 of New Hampshire yesterday on account of a freaque wave:

SCARBOROUGH (NEWS CENTER) -- Some recreational fishermen in a boat off Higgins Beach in Scarborough got a jolt this afternoon. From a rogue wave.

The wave knocked their boat up against the rocks as they were reeling in mackeral, just off shore.

The three people on board jumped out and made it safely to shore thanks to some help from beach goers. No one was hurt.

The boat owner hopes to get his vessel off the rocks at high tide.
The boat owner should certainly be happy about the case that no one was hurt and all three people on board were made it safely to shore. Anything can and might happen. But this time it really happened for the best possible outcome. Thank God!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Psalm 107

Let them offer a sacrifice in thanks,
declare his works with shouts of joy.
Some went off to sea in ships,
plied their trade on the deep waters.
They saw the works of the LORD,
the wonders of God in the deep.
He spoke and roused a storm wind;
tossed the waves on high.
They rose up to the heavens, sank to the depths;
their hearts trembled at the danger.
They reeled, staggered like drunkards;
their skill was of no avail.
In their distress they cried to the LORD,
who brought them out of their peril,
Hushed the storm to a murmur; the
waves of the sea were stilled.
They rejoiced that the sea grew calm,
that God brought them to the harbor they longed for.
Let them thank the LORD for such kindness,
such wondrous deeds for mere mortals.
The upright saw this and rejoiced;
all wickedness shut its mouth.
Whoever is wise will take note of these things,
will ponder the merciful deeds of the LORD

Psalm 107: 22-31, 42-43.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fastnet Rock yacht race drama

This breaking news was published yesterday in irishexaminer.com:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 12:43 PM

A French father and son sailing team were rescued today after a freak wave knocked them overboard as they raced to the notorious Fastnet rock.

The pair, Laurent Bonniot and his son Guillaume, had been competing in a fleet of 75 yachts from Brittany when the accident happened seven miles from Baltimore, Co Cork.

Lifeboats crews who reached the stricken vessel just before 3am praised the sailors for taking safety precautions which helped them clamber back on board after the wave hit.

The father, aged 51, and son, aged 31, will stay in Baltimore until their boat is repaired.

“We wish to thank the lifeboat crew for their assistance. They were very quick and professional. We felt very supported and of course there was great chat between us,” Guillaume said.

The RNLI said the fleet was sailing through severe conditions with southerly winds gusting to 25 knots.

The pair, who were wearing safety harnesses, were left stranded when the large wave hit knocked them off the 20ft Mini Transat yacht, smashed the mast and threw the yacht into darkness.

Seventy-five boats were taking part in the race across the Celtic Sea from Douarnenez to Fastnet and back which began on Sunday.

Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Keiron Cotter praised the safety precautions the experienced sailors had taken.

“When we received the call in the early hours this morning we were very anxious to get to the yacht as quickly as possible,” the crewman said.

“The men were experienced sailors and had taken excellent safety precautions including the wearing of harnesses.

“This meant that when they were washed off their yacht they were able to re-board it quickly. Sadly they were unable to complete the race but they have been receiving some Baltimore hospitality before they head home.”

While the father/son team missed the chance to complete the race, the very good news is that they were both safely rescued at 3 am in the middle of the night. It is heartening to see that the rescued thank the life boat crew, while the rescuer praised the sailors for taking "excellent safety precautions including the wearing of harnesses." It is the best kind of combination that makes this story one with a happy ending. Had they completed the race they may have a picture like this:

as given in this article about the similar race, I believe, in 2004. The article includes this interesting tidbit:
Pete and I crossed the finish line at 03.00, after five days eleven hours and fifty minutes and in 68TH place……… exhausted! The quay was buzzing though and we were soon sitting down to the biggest bowl of paella I have ever seen and a bottle of the local red. I had hoped to have a good night’s sleep prior to coming home but in fact had to get up at 02.30 to make sure that Eddie Higgs (GBR423 GUSTO) and I caught the St.Malo – Weymouth ferry. I realised afterwards that I had travelled further non-stop during the race than I have ever travelled non-stop in a car before, and all at six miles per hour!
You would not think that a 68th finisher could be so genuinely happy, may be that's something only a real sailor can understand. Yes, to complete something just to show that we were a part of it there would be something to be happy and proud about. The world will be a much better place if everyone can adapt to this kind of attitude. At any rate let's all be happy for the French father and son team for being good sailors, alive and well, after encountered a freaque wave in the middle of the night.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Happened at Hampton Beach, NH

It is the news we don't like to see or hear, but it happens ever so often. This time it happened over the weekend at Hampton Beach, NH. The following was reported in UnionLeader of New Hampshire by Clynton Namuo yesterday:

One man died and another man was rushed to a hospital after what was termed a rogue wave struck their boat off Hampton Beach last night.

A boater at sea called in the incident to authorities about 7 p.m., reporting two men had been knocked from a small fishing boat. Soon after the wave struck, nearby pleasure boats converged on the area near Concord Avenue on Hampton Beach, and rescuers pulled one of the men from the water.

A Hampton firefighter then swam out to him and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, who was not breathing. The second man was later found dead on shore, authorities said.

"The reports that we have (are) there were two subjects standing up in the boat, and they were hit by a blind wave," said Deputy Chief Steve Benotti of the Hampton Fire Department.

Benotti said the men had been out fishing.

The man pulled from the water was taken to Exeter Hospital following his rescue. His condition wasn't known last night.

The storyline is rather familiar by now. It is again caused by a freaque wave with no specific details. The report also indicated this:
The boat appeared undamaged; among the things on it were two life vests, two fishing poles, a box of bait, and some empty beer bottles.
which is something depressing to know -- life vests were not used. Let's send our pray and condolences to the family of the victim. Here's a scenery picture of Hampton beach:

It can be anywhere in the world. It happens anywhere, anytime when you are least expected. Never ever let your guards down!

Update:

I guess a different but more positive and emphatic way of expressing the sentiment "Never ever let your guards down!" as in the last sentence of my above post could be "Nature must be respected!" That's the title of an article published in the Seacoastonline.com this (Tuesday) morning. It's a good article to read even you are not from seacoast. Here are the relevant comments:
This past weekend was a tragic example of what can result from a failure to be cognizant of the power of the Atlantic. A Plaistow man was killed when his 14-foot boat was hit by a rogue wave off Hampton Beach; another man was hospitalized.

Both men were from the Seacoast, so it wasn’t likely for lack of knowledge that this incident occurred. Partly to blame is a disregard for rules of safety and how quickly the ocean environment can change, even a short distance from the shore.

Reports indicate both men were standing up in the small boat and were fishing when the wave hit, knocking them overboard. Neither, according to authorities, was wearing a life preserver.

A fall into the water just offshore might not have been a problem in warmer waters, but in the northern Atlantic, it quickly turned deadly. That is because the water temperature at the time was reportedly around 56 degrees, a temperature at which hypothermia takes hold quickly.
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below its normal level of 98.6 degrees to 95 degrees or cooler.

Hypothermia is dangerous because it affects the body’s core — the brain, heart, lungs and other vital organs. Even a mild case of hypothermia affects a person’s physical and mental abilities, and increases the risk of accidents. Severe hypothermia causes loss of consciousness and may result in death.

Cold water is especially dangerous because loss of body heat occurs 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. How quickly an individual becomes hypothermic depends on many factors, including personality and behavior, environmental factors, dress and physical condition.
The man who died off Hampton Beach on Sunday was in the water for approximately 45 minutes, the N.H. Marine Patrol indicated. His cause of death was determined to be cardiac arrest resulting from hypothermia, and he was 25 years old.

This, and many of the other accidents that occur in New Hampshire’s natural environment didn’t necessarily have to happen. It is a sad consequence of a common attitude that dismisses the real dangers even the most innocuous natural environment poses.
Please read the whole article even you are not from New Hampshire. It will well worth your while.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

(from here)

"O Sacrament Most Holy,
O Sacrament Divine,
all praise
and all thanksgiving
be every moment thine!"



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ocean waves at our finger tip

For desk sailors like me who are eager to observe very large waves, technology has made it possible to capture them by the expert photographers, and thanks to the Youtube that has made it readily available to the rest of us. Here I found 3 Youtube videos of different kinds of waves in the ocean that are simply beyond fascination:







These are all real, very, very real happenings of the real ocean out there. We have 21st century science with all kinds of brilliant scientists all over. Theories have been advanced, models have been constructed, and volumes of books have been published. Now a simple question that still needs to be asked is how much do we know, really, really know about these ocean waves?

Friday, June 12, 2009

'Wave piercing' boat design

It is always exciting to see something truly new rather than something that gives you the nagging feeling of "same ol' same old". Well, I came across this futuristic boat picture:

and become intrigued by the words "wave-piercing" in this article in the marinelog.com entitled "Rolls-Royce introduces wave piercing anchor handler":

Rolls-Royce is adapting wave piercing technology, well-proven in high-speed catamarans and trimarans, in a new offshore vessel design, the UT 790 CD .

Rolls-Royce Chief Design Manager--Offshore Svein Kleven said: "With the UT 790 CD, we can support offshore exploration and production further and deeper while at the same time improving safety and minimizing the impact on the environment."

A wave piercers hull, according to Rolls-Royce, pierces through the water rather than riding on top of the waves, allowing the vessel to run continuously at service speeds regardless of the sea state, reducing fuel consumption and improving crew comfort.

This technology eliminates slamming and allows for a smooth ride even in extreme weather conditions. At speeds of 14 knots and violent storm conditions (9 meters significant high waves), tank tests have shown no water above forecastle deck level.

In extreme wave heights, water will be visible at the forecastle long before the situation gets critical, giving the captain an early warning which allows him to reduce power to maintain generous safety margins.

Not a boat designer or a boat user myself, I can recognize this is something new. Not too many people can afford Rolls-Royce, but if for clear better and more stable ride and safety, could this be the boat design of the future?

Here's a picture of a smaller ferry boat also with wave piercing design by Gold Coast Yachts:

and an article by Dag Pike that explains the basic ideas:

The unique design of the Gold Coast wave piercer has the twin hulls extending a long way forward from the accommodation module. They are long and thin with a very fine entry with a curved almost oval cross section which, at the tip sweeps up into a narrow entry strut to support the module. The engines are located well aft in the widest point of the hull, and the 425hp Lugger diesels are coupled to Hamilton water jets.

The long, slim hulls operate in the wave piercing mode with a very gradual increase in the lift generated as the hull immerses to give a very smooth ride. Roger Hatfield believes that it is a mistake to have a flat top surface to the immersed forward hulls as this only encourages them to dig in and develop a pitch-poling lever, an experience of the earlier Incat designs. Incat solved the problem by shaping and extending a central hull to give lift if the hull immerses beyond a certain point but with forward hulls remove the need of additional buoyancy.

In operation ‘The Edge’ gives quite remarkable performance. On a run out to St. Barts with a full passenger load, the open sea conditions were irregular eight foot waves, the sort of conditions where I think I would have turned back for passenger safety and comfort. ‘The Edge’ coped quite magnificently, although to improve ride comfort, the boat was "tacked" off the wind to create a longer effective wave length. We made the 18 mile passage in under an hour with only minimal seasickness among the inexperienced passengers. The run back with the wind and sea astern was a pure delight with minimal motion, and the bows showing very little tendency to bury as we overtook the waves.
This new 'wave piercing' boat design would most hopefully can alleviate the vulnerability of nearshore and offshore vessels from wave attacks, some of them could be freaque waves. Anyway happiness is learning something new each day!

Sarah's fantastic run

The following narration was in today's Manchester Evening News, an article written by Ben Rooth:
"I went on holiday to Thailand, in November 2007, and signed up for a luxury trip on a speedboat.

"The seas turned out to be extremely volatile, and the boat hit a freak wave which sent it flying up in the air, along with all passengers.

"The impact of the landing caused me to break one of my lumbar vertebrae, and the doctors later told me that I come incredibly close to being paralysed.

"My back was eventually fused together with eight pins, so I was fantastically proud when I finished the race - and raised some money for a fantastic cause."
The speaker was Sarah Newton who participated the "Great Manchester Run" last month. It is indeed fantastic to be able to cross the finish line of a 10k race after broken her lumber vertebrae that was caused by a freaque wave as she described. It is not clear how the freaque wave happened, but it does not matter and it did happened. I admire her courage and recovery. I broken my left hip in January of 2005. The hip replacement surgery was a total success, but I still can no longer run and even walk is not smooth at times. I blame it on aging process, but I need more of Ms. Sarah's courage nevertheless.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Natural disasters under Commie in China

As we are enjoying our North America spring/summer now, we may not immediately realize it's the beginning of frosting winter for our friend downunder in the southern hemisphere. Well that's normal seasonal changes. But what we have not yet heard from our agenda-driven media is what's happening now in the other side of the northern hemisphere -- the ordinary people in mainland China under the Commie regime are enduring through the worst nature disaster of drought in the norther provinces and flooding in the southern provinces. Here are some pictures of what flooding and droughts are like:



Most of us are probably only heard about flooding and drought, but never ever seen what it was really happening, especially the drought. Now you can see the despair on the people's face facing the dry land, the Commie government of these people is so rich from stealing and seizinf from people that Obama and Clinton have to kowtou to them, those commies couldn't care less about people's plight, may not even admit it, and so our media are just happy to accommodate. Most people of the rest of the world may not ever see it. I found these pictures in the anti-commie Chinese language news sites (e.g. EpochTimes.com).

I don't know what's there that we can do. Just be aware and pray, I guess.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tragedy in Phuket Island, Thailand

This news with headline "Giant waves off Thai coast drag British tourist to his death" in Scotsman.com by Andrew Drummond is making the rounds today:
A BRITISH tourist has died after giant waves dragged him out to sea off the coast of Thailand.
The man became the third holidaymaker in two days to die off the island of Phuket.

James Henry Paton, 21, drowned when a freak wave, which police described as three metres high, trapped him, his girlfriend and two other Britons, and took them out to sea on Saturday.

Two British men and Mr Paton's 21-year-old girlfriend, who is four months pregnant, were rescued but Mr Paton's body was found a kilometre off shore.

A day earlier a Frenchman and his Thai girlfriend died in the same way. And two days before, an Australian family was rescued.

Police say there were red flags up along Karon beach warning tourists not to swim.

Police Colonel Chanat Sutima said: "It is dangerous to go swimming in the rainy season because of the undertows, but many tourists do not realise that."
Here's a picture of Phuket Island I found from here.

It is really rather hard to imagine that a peaceful place like this can have fatal freaque waves. Of course its the responsibility of the tourist to heed local advice or warnings. Waves of 3 m high are not necessarily considered as giant waves in general, but they can certainly cause tragedy to happen nevertheless. Here, again, reiterates the difficulty of defining a freaque wave. Nobody doubt the freaqueness of a 3 m high wave when tragedy occurred, but a recorded over 30 m high waves that does not cause any mishap because there was no one around usually will raise question on whether or not it really did happened. So's the age old question on tree falls in the forest when no one around, did it really made a sound?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Power generating waves


Here's a fabulous wave picture took at Cannon Beach on Oregon by hickerphoto. These waves are real, they can generate real powers for real. It is such a simple fact even my 5 year old granddaughter can understand completely. But sadly it is too difficult for the politicians to understand. They want to cut the research funding for wave energy research. The only thing they know is hoax, global warming hoax. What had happened to American? Wake up, American!