Monday, December 30, 2013

freaque waves forced capsize and abandoning Atlantic Challenge

Here's a picture of a row boat in the middle of Atlantic, encountering a freaque wave:

I am a little late in reporting this case which was reported from the BBC News England of December 17, 2013:
Two friends taking part in a challenge to row across the Atlantic have been rescued after their boat capsized.

Nick Rees, from Farnham, Surrey, and Ed Curtis, from Anglesey, north Wales, set off on their journey on 4 December.

They first capsized on Friday after a freak wave knocked them out of their boat, their blog said.

But after their boat rolled over again and suffered damage, the team decided with race organisers and coastguards that they should abandon the race.

A statement issued by Atlantic Campaigns, which organises the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, said the pair reported on Tuesday morning their boat had capsized and suffered damage.
. . .
 On the team's blog, the families wrote: "We have yet to speak to the boys directly but are very grateful for the operations put into place by Atlantic Campaigns to ensure their safety. Come home boys."
So  freaque waves forced the capsize of Mr. Nick Rees and Mr. Ed Curtis' boat, suffered damage, and had to abandon the challenge. But the important thing is that they are safely returned, welcome back!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Breakup and sinking of Texaco Oklahoma – March 27, 1971

Just came across this old news from this Bryant's Maritume News:
Breakup and sinking of Texaco Oklahoma – March 27, 1971
The SS Texaco Oklahoma broke in two after being hit by a freak wave in the North Atlantic on March 27, 1971. The forward section, including the navigation bridge, immediately lost all power. The forward section then collided  with the after section, destroying one of the two lifeboats rigged on the stern section, and subsequently sank, resulting in the death of thirteen mariners. The mariners in the stern section attempted to jury-rig a radio to send a distress message, but were unfamiliar with the process of sending Morse Code messages. High seas carried away the other lifeboat. When the stern section began to sink, the remaining mariners attempted to abandon ship in liferafts. A passing vessel found the survivors the next day. Of the 44 crew members on board when the tanker left Port Arthur for Boston, only thirteen survived. The casualty led to enhanced inspections of cargo tanks and improved methods of calculating hull stress. A memorial service, officiated by Father Sinclair of the Port Arthur Seafarers Center, was held in Port Arthur on March 27, 2011.
It is never too late to remember and record such a true happening that does not seemed to be widely known.  This article detailed the happening especially the results it caused but very little about the freaque wave itself -- just "being hit by a freak wave" and sadly only 13 of the 44 crew members survived, a major disaster for 31 families 42 years ago. I guess the communication was not as well developed as today. Does the Morse Code still required for mariners today?  At any rate today's technological advancement in communications should hopefully prevent this kind of tragic case from happening again.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Five washed into the sea by a wave in Meco, Portugal

An ordinary sandy beach, an early Sunday morning outing, nothing seems unexpected, sadly still unexpected tragedy happened to 5 university students as this Portugal News reports:

Fears are mounting as searches continue for five university students who went missing on a beach in Meco during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Seven students in total were on the Moinho de Baixo beach in Alfarim when they were washed into the sea by a wave.
One has been found dead and another survived the ordeal.
The survivor told search and rescue teams that the group had been sitting near the water’s edge when they were taken by surprise by a freak wave and washed into the sea.

Let's hope and pray the still missing can be found alive. What can we do? How can we prevent similar things from happening again  by just "sitting near the water's edge"?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Exciting new boat design for safer fishing on deadly Bering Sea

I found this following news in the today encouraging, even exciting, as well as comforting:
ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Few professions are as deadly as commercial fishing on the Bering Sea.
Crews face rogue waves and frigid gales that toss around heavy machines and cause vessels to pitch, yaw and roll on turbulent waters. The dangers are so constant that they’ve been made lore on the long-running cable show “Deadliest Catch.”
Over the years, efforts to keep crew members safe have taken many forms, from changing the culture among fishermen to equipping them with emergency gear such as survival suits that can help them survive the icy waters longer.
The latest proposed solution is being built in a dry dock north of Seattle: a $35 million, 190-foot vessel that would enable fishermen to work behind the safety of the hull, rather than out on the deck amid the dangerous wind and waves.
The ship, commissioned by Seattle-based Blue North Fisheries, represents the culmination of efforts to keep fishermen safe, said Chris Phillips, managing editor of Fishermen’s News, an industry publication.
“If he’s out there standing in the elements in 15 degree weather and 15-foot waves crashing on the deck, he’s not very happy,” Phillips said. “But if he’s in a well-lit and heated space, he’s a lot happier.”
According to federal statistics, 32 fishermen died on the job in 2012, a drop from 42 the year before. Still, the profession remains one of the nation’s deadliest with a 2012 fatality rate of 117 per 100,000 workers, compared to 17 for construction crews.
Jennifer Lincoln, an injury epidemiologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health, said the vessel’s design represents an attempt to avoid the hazards completely. “It’s a big deal to engineer out the occupational hazard from the beginning,” she said.
Currently, a crew member is at risk while the long-line is being reeled in. Usually a crew member has to hook the fish being reeled in to process them. That requires standing out on the deck. And sometimes crew members get tossed into the water.
In Alaska, for example, 158 fishermen died between 2000 and 2012; 49 of those fatalities were crew getting tossed overboard, Lincoln said.
Under construction in Anacortes, near Puget Sound, Blue North Fisheries’ new flagship vessel is due to hit waters in late 2014. It will be the first of its kind for U.S. commercial fishing — a similar model is already in use in Norway.
The long-lines of hooked cod will be pulled from under the boat. The opening, described as an elevator shaft by Blue North Fisheries co-founder Patrick Burns, is in the bottom-center of the vessel — a so-called moon pool. The opening goes up two stories to a platform where the crew will reel in the long-line.
The design will work for bringing in cod, but not for crab, the prize haul on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” which has been on the air since 2005, observers said. From there, the fish will move on to the process line.
Beyond keeping fishermen away from the waves, the vessel is being designed to act as a floating processing plant. Blue North’s goal is to process more than 90 percent of each fish, leaving little to waste. The previous average was about 70 percent, the company said.
In years past, crews raced against each other in a deadly derby, trying to catch as many fish as possible under a tight deadline. Now, cod hauls are regulated under a quota system, which has relaxed time pressures on the crews.
Coast Guard officials also check to make sure vessels weren’t overloaded. “You’re not trying to catch as many fish as you can,” said Kenny Down, Blue North’s CEO. “You’re trying to do the most of you can with the fish you caught.”
The design aims to change the way fishing is done in the Bering Sea.
“Nobody knows if it will catch on,” but I think it deserves a chance,” Phillips said. “I suspect when the Blue North is out and fishing, the rest of the industry will want to follow suit.”
The fans of the TV show "Deadly Catch" are all too familiar with the kind of scenes of working "out on the deck amid the dangerous wind and waves".  If the new design described in this article can be put into practice, those scenes will soon be a thing of the past. It is clearly long overdue, but it is never too late and exciting to see it become a reality. Let's hope and pray that it will!

The above AP picture accompanied the article is presumably the finishing product of what the new fishing boat looks like -- may be all the future fishing boat should looks like this, why not?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trinida Fisherman Missing at Sea

 This news today in Trinida Express by Susan Mohammed:
A MAYARO fisherman, missing since a rogue wave capsized his boat on Tuesday, is suspected to have drowned.
Matthew Brown, 24, of Eccles Road, could not be found despite several searches by other fishermen in the area, said the Coast Guard.
Two other fishermen—Richard Phillip, 35, and Alexis Cassinare, 40—who were also in the boat were rescued.
According to police, around 8.30 a.m., the Coast Guard were alerted that a pirogue named Zaboo, carrying three fishermen, had capsized off Point Galeota.
When they went to the area, they discovered Phillip and Cassinare floating on the cover for a cooler.
The search for Brown continues today.
Last month, a helicopter crew rescued a fisherman clinging to a rock off Point Galeota after waves swamped his boat. Two other fishermen swam to shore.
Cpl Samlal of Mayaro Police Station is investigating.
So another tragedy identifiably caused by a freaque wave that capsized the 24 year old victim's boat and he went missing and suspected to have drowned. Nothing new really, just another drowning by another identified freaque wave. No more information, no more details. May the victim be rest in peace, sympathies to him, his family and his friends. That's their sad loss. Another case registered for the internet realm, otherwise just another case for the local file.  Life goes on!  The science world remains clueless about the what and why of freaque waves.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

A picture of picture rock in Lake Superior

Winter in the winter water wonderland Michigan -- a picture of picture rock in Lake Superior. What a peaceful scenery!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A happening in the Clipper round-the-world race

Here's a news article in UK Independent entitled "Freak wave hits British yacht racer Michelle Porter off Africa":
A British woman injured when her yacht was hit by a “monumental” wave off the coast of South Africa was being treated on Sunday night.
Michelle Porter, from London, was evacuated to a hospital in Port Elizabeth from one of 12 yachts which were taking part in the Clipper round-the-world race. Her yacht was “rolled” by hurricane-force gusts, but she escaped with torn ligaments and severe bruising.
The 11-month race began in London in September and the fleet has so far completed around a quarter of the 40,000-mile course.
Ms Porter said: “I feel a bit numb, a bit sick, and also pretty devastated that I’ve had to leave the yacht.”
Now here's a picture of the rescue effort in the Southern Ocean reported here:

That's the typical scenery we might expected from South Indian Ocean off Africa. I guess the story is not really unexpected either.  At least it's all's well that ends well!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Bishop Coyne's quote of St Augustine

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering… Now, let us acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation— that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances. May we never take for granted the gift of our individuality.” 

– Saint Augustine of Hippo

2013 Thanksgiving post

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who's responsible for the freaque wave occurrence?

I find this news in Taipei Times reported by Shelley Shan upsetting! Politicians hold the Ministry of Transportation  officials "accountable" for the freaque wave occurrence in the recent freaque wave attack in NE coast of Taiwan:
The legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday passed a resolution asking the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to submit a plan to protect visitors to coastal areas after eight people were killed by a rogue wave on the northeast coast on Saturday, and called for the officials responsible to be held accountable.
How foolish and  irresponsible can politicians be? Arbitrarily blame the occurrence, totally beyond anyone's control, on some administrative personnel.  I guess this is an universal problem of politics in dealing natural disaster with ignorance. People elected them to take care of people's welfare before things happen, NOT to play blame game after it had happened. Their blame game certainly will not prevent something like the happened disaster to happen again.

What's really in need is more research to understand the natural phenomena.  They should appropriate more funding for more measurement and research, a lot more to be effective -- something the politicians will never understand!!! These stupidities are not only confined by Taiwan's politicians.  But Taiwan's politicians seem to be more notorious of this kind of foolishness.

Saint Firmina, the Patron Saint of the Sailors

Saint Fermina (or Saint Firmina, is equivalent) is the Patron Saint of the Sailors, Amelia and Civitavecchia. In Amelia is celebrated on November 24th each year.

I think we can also reasonably pray to St. Firmina for the calming of freaque waves!  St. Firmina, pray for us!

Monday, November 18, 2013

An "all of a sudden out the blue" story in the Yacht Race

This news item from Scuttlebutt Sailing News reported, with video, what happened when a freaque hits:
The infamous Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean have long been known as being home to some of the least hospitable conditions on the planet for professional sailors, let alone the amateur crew taking part in Race 4 (Cape Town to Western Australia) of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race. 
GREAT Britain crew, Jim Hendry, Ben Pate and Mark Heywood were on deck when a huge wave crashed over them, knocking them into the cockpit. Jim, who gladly suffered no major injuries recalled: “I was sitting there, talking and singing quite happily, when all of a sudden out the blue, a big massive wave came out of nowhere and knocked me, Ben and the yacht, everything flying.” 
Ben Pate commented: “I’ve looked to my left and Jim is lying there with his head in a pretty peculiar position. It didn’t look like he was breathing. I called his name a couple of times and he didn’t respond. After a while, he gave a little cough and started breathing again.” 
After coming round and being checked by on board medics, Jim is making a full recovery, has now returned to his watch duties and is incredibly grateful for his team mates assistance, saying: “Unfortunately I got hit, but that was it. Thanks very much for the crew for helping me out and getting me back together.” 
There are twelve identical, British registered 70 foot ocean racing yachts, carrying 240 international amateur crew, each under the command of a professional skipper, on the world’s longest ocean race. It is now 10,000 miles out of London on its 40,000 mile, 11 month marathon journey. The fleet left Cape Town on 4 November and is expected into Albany, Western Australia towards the end of the month. The unique event ends back in London in July next year. 
More at 
Clearly this is a real freaque wave hit case being recorded by a video and told by those who experienced it. For something  "all of a sudden out the blue, a big massive wave came out of nowhere", I don't think there's any doubt there.  

Now this is a real encounter with freaque waves and they all fortunately survived to tell it -- it's just a day in the life of sailors! But what I wish to know is what might this freaque wave looks like on a paper? I mean if the wave can be recorded would it be looks like the Draupner wave???

I very much doubt it!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tragedy at NE Taiwan's Longdong Cape (龍洞灣岬)

This picture from Focus Taiwan sows the waves that caused a major tragedy happened in NE Taiwan:
Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu said Sunday that security at northeastern coastal areas will be tightened after eight people were killed and eight others injured by freak waves at Longdong Cape (龍洞灣岬) in the city's Gongliao District a day earlier.
Here's what had happened:
. . . a 26-member group from Shulin Community University that was visiting the Longdong (龍洞) Geopark Saturday to attend an outdoor learning course.
The group consisted of lecturers, students and members of their families. The deceased included six adults and two schoolchildren.
All eight bodies had been retrieved by 7 p.m. Sunday, but none of them could be resuscitated after being rushed to nearby hospitals, including Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and the Keelung branch of the Tri-Service General Hospital, according to New Taipei Fire Bureau officials.
What a terribly depressing tragedy! A nice learning opportunity in a beautiful natural surrounding was destroyed by the freaque wave!  Our heart goes to the eight who lost and their families. May God bless the living and the dead.


The local news reports in Chinese called the freaque wave 瘋狗浪.


This blog post in Chinese has good information and discussions on freaque waves concerning this tragedy I am not allowed to copy any of it so for Chinese readers it is worth to pay a visit of the blog!

A reflection on Edmund Ftizgerald day!

Such a beautiful ship, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, that lost 38 years ago today. We remember her every year without exception. 29 souls along with her wreckage rest in peace at the bottom of Lake Superior. May God bless them and their families!

A personal memory: I did a preliminary hindcasting of the waves during the disaster presented at the Great Lakes Research Conference in the spring of 1976. I don't remember what was the title I used, but I do remember my old colleague, Bob Pickett, suggested it should be called "How big was the wave that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald"! That turns out to be an unanswerable question. In-spite of all the later further efforts at hindcasting with more sophisticated approaches, we just don't know what had really happened. In 1975, that was 20 years before the Draupner wave being recorded in the North Sea, no one had ever alluded to freaque waves at the time. Now it seems universally accepted that the lost of the Fitz was caused by a freaque wave. It doesn't matter, we'll never know the real facts beyond speculations, scientific or otherwise!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Happened in Wales' Aberystwyth

According to Wikipedia Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within CeredigionWales. And here's a picture that comes with an article published in WalesOnline yesterday:

As the article describes: 

This is the terrifying moment a freak wave hit the seafront in Aberystwyth at the height of the weekend's storms - and nearly cost a photographer his life.
The huge surge of water hit the promenade in Aberystwyth at around 7.30pm on Saturday night, knocking photographer Keith Morris to the ground and destroying his £6,000 camera.
The Ceredigion town was among the worst-hit places as gale-force winds battered several parts of the country.
In photographer Keith's own words:
 “I’d been taking pictures of the storm since around 4.30pm in the afternoon as conditions became windier and windier and went back out at around 7.30pm knowing that was high tide. 
"I actually had my back to the sea when the wave hit, I was photographing people watching the storm from the Marine Hotel on the promenade, when, all of a sudden I was knocked flat to the ground by this huge force behind me. 
“I was on the road, under two-feet of water. 
“I’m extremely lucky, if I had been standing closer to the railings on the prom, there’s a good chance I’d have been sucked out to sea and nobody would have been able to rescue me in those conditions.
. . . 
“I’ve been filming these storms for decades, been soaked plenty of times but have never seen anything like this.
 . . .“It was a freak of nature, four or five times bigger than any other wave that hit the prom that night.
“A completely unique one-off. 
“I’m just thankful I lived to tell the tale.”

He was absolutely correct in being thankful, of course. Because if anything worse happens, any rescue effort will unlikely to be timely and successful.  And we are also being thankful for the eye-witness account he provide, which gives us some indication on what had happen.  Though we are still far away from able to scientifically understand what led to the happening and what to expect in terms of predicting it's happening in the future! We still wish to thank the good lord to keep the lost only in monetary estimates!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

An open ocean freaque wave picture!

Is this the picture of a freaque wave? I tend to think the answer is YES!. I found this picture from this article that carried a sober title: "Surviving a capsized rowboat in the open ocean". Clearly this wave picture is an open ocean wave picture. It is, in my opinion, unusual. Since we don't usually see a deep open ocean wave picture like this one. Also it appears it happened in an otherwise calm sea condition. That's why I think this is a freaque wave out in the open ocean being captured!  There's not much information available. The caption says "Rough seas Photo: Alvolv via Shutterstock" that's all we have. I assume the photographer must be a Mr. Alvolv and he certainly has my deep and sciencere appreciation for allow me to copy this picture. And of course the author of this article, Joe Spring, for choosing this picture.  He may or may not realize that an open ocean large freaque wave picture like this is far from plentiful like surf pictures.

What I am wondering about right now is whether or not the 1995 New Year's day freaque wave recorded on single point wave gage on the StatOil Draupner platform in the North Sea is something like this one? No one can generalize from a single point measurement to a spatial real wave. We can only guess and conjecture. We need real open ocean measurement! WE NEED REAL OPEN OCEAN MEASUREMENT! Or at least more pictures like this one!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

What-makes-sneaker-waves-so-sneaky-and-dangerous published this very worthy reading article recently with an interesting title: What-makes-sneaker-waves-so-sneaky-and-dangerous by Craig Miller of KQED Science. Some important point that everyone should aware:
These waves are especially sneaky because they can often occur when the weather is perfectly nice.
“We don’t see a lot of weather during these events,” says Larry Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Monterey. “And that kind of feeds into the ‘sneaker wave’ thing.”
But the presence of sneaker waves means that the weather is bad somewhere. . . 
That's not reassuring, but pretty much summed it up what it is all about! Here's more:
. . . while size matters, a sneaker’s danger is compounded by the speed it’s moving when it hits the shore.
“A lot of times these waves may only be 4-6 feet in the open sea,” says Smith. “But they’re moving at a much higher velocity than we usually see on the coast.” Meteorologists measure the velocity of a moving wave by the “period,” the distance from the bottom of the trough on one side of the wave to the bottom of the trough on the other side.
Smith and his colleague, Warren Blier, got their pencils out for us and calculated that in open waters, where the wave is seeing little-to-no friction, a 5-foot-high wave with a period of 20 seconds will be traveling at a highway speed of around 70 mph, easily twice as fast as the more typical waves we see along the coast. It’s not uncommon for sneaker waves to have periods of 20 seconds or more.
“When the waves begin to feel the beach bottom they will begin to slow down substantially,” says Smith. So that wave with the 20-second period will hit a typical beach at something like the speed of a running adult.
Unfortunately, many of our beaches aren’t typical. “The catch is that along our coast we have many steep beaches that don’t slow the fast-moving wave down,” says Smith, citing as examples Monastery and Carmel River Beaches, located just south of Carmel.
Since there's no systematic scientific research done on these feaque waves publicly available yet, and indeed all beaches are not typical, the local practical experiences from coast guards and weather forecasters are most certainly invaluable and should always paid attention to!  Beach goings are for enjoyments, nearshore freaque waves are part of the nature's offerings, be on guard! Don't let these unexpected yet expected happenings ruin our well deserved enjoyments!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunrise at Southern Lake Michigan

Here are two Lake Michigan sun rise pictures as viewed from north Chicago over the weekend.  I copied the awesome pictures from Michael Bennett, who "sheared them publicly" Mega Thanks!

More fascinating picture from his site, well worth a visit or two and more! And here's one from earlier with approaching waves, just marvelous!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Another tragidy Happened in Mirboo North, Victoria, Australia

According to Google: Mirboo North is a town in Victoria, Australia, located 155 km east of Melbourne
A tragic news happened to a Mirboo North resident appeared in theage of Australia:
Mirboo North resident Leighton Erbs died after being swept off rocks near Inverloch on Saturday afternoon.
Tributes were pouring in for Leighton, who was standing with friends on a rock shelf at Eagles Nest, east of Oaks Beach, when a wave swept the group into rough seas just before 1pm.
Life Saving Victoria spokesman Greg Scott said he understood the teenagers were not planning to swim but were engulfed by the force of the wave.
Eagles Nest is "highly hazardous'', according to Surf Life Saving Australia. Its Beachsafe website says the area experiences strong rips and big waves. Police and paramedics performed CPR for nearly an hour on Leighton after he was dragged back to the beach, but were unable to revive him

 Another very sad tragic story, another very familiar story plot. This time it happened near Victoria of Australia.  Saying too many "another" is very disheartening, but there just no way to soften the blow. What had happened, happened.  We extend our sincere condolences to the family of the young victim and pray God bless him and may he be rest in peace.  In the mean time, however, we are still left without any clue on how to cope and stop or prevent this kind of thing from happening again and again.

Monday, October 07, 2013

A fisherman's freaque wave tragedy happened in Ailadee, Ireland

This news from Midwest Radio96.1fm tells a simple tragedy:  

A search has resumed this morning for a Roscommon based fisherman who was washed off the rocks into the sea in county Clare yesterday.

The incident happened yesterday at an area known as the Fisherman's Climb, at Ailladee, in Co Clare
The same area, on the Atlantic coast between Doolin and Fanore, has been the scene of several previous tragedies.
The alarm was raised at about 5.30pm, but the recovery effort was abandoned as darkness fell.
It is always sad to read news like this, a fisherman washed off the rocks into the sea and lost. But it is by no means unusual. It had happened before somewhere else, it probably will happen again in some other places of the world at some other time somehow. Independent.Ie has further details about the case:
The 42-year-old man, believed to be a Latvian national living in Co Roscommon, was washed off the rocks by a rogue wave at an area known locally as the Fisherman's Climb at Ailladee in Co Clare.
It's understood that man was not wearing a lifejacket and may have been dragged beneath the waves by his heavy clothing.
So it was a freaque wave that caused it! And not wearing a lifejacket certainly also played a major role in this tragic case. May this fisherman be rest in peace and could help future cases not to make the same mistake of not wearing lifejacket like he did again.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Ocean being shutdown!

On the 3rd day of the month of October of the year AD2013, the federal government was shut down, the dictatorial president determined to shut down the ocean as well. This according to Miami Herald business :
Thursday back in South Florida, a day after limits for the National Institutes of Health made headlines, it was the fear of food drying up and a prohibition on fishing in waters of Florida Bay that took center stage.
Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.
The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks. 
Biscayne National Park is also off limits. Enforcement rangers will be on duty, Kimball said. 
Capt. Mike Makowski, owner of Blackfoot Charters in Key Largo, estimates this eliminates 60 percent to 70 percent of his hunting grounds.
And with the ocean being shut down, no freaque wave will be allowed to happen, of course! So while scientists not able to control, or even understand, freaque waves, a dictator can do anything!


Government was reopened after 16 days.  Business as usual again.  Of course the ocean was never shutdown. The political game play is just sickening!  Luckily this is God blessed country, the country is robust, her people are all hard working, kind and smart, even when they made a mistake elected an impostor, the country will emerged stronger and better than before. God bless America!

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Typhoon Usagi in Southern China

Here are two photos of interest from showing the recent Typhoon Usagi visiting Southern China:

A surfer jumps from his board after catching an unusually large wave in Hong Kong's Big Wave Bay on Monday.(Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)

People watch waves hit shore as Typhoon Usagi approaches Shantou in GuangTong province.(Reuters)

Now this second picture posts a nagging question: the big wave is obviously coming, why the two people still standing there not to run away for safety? Are they for real?

By the way here's the path of Usagi that appears aiming directly at Hong Kong and southern edge of Chinese mainland;

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yes, God is in Antarctica too!

This is an article with a clever title "There's no God in Antarctica" that attracted me to take a look. I have never heard of the author, Jo Stewart, or the site, a magazine of some kind. There are some language used in this article seems to be unnecessary, may be just for the magazine.  Anyway, the article is a super travelogue with super pictures that I have not seen elsewhere. And this video is well worth the watching to feel the ocean in action down there!

I found especially intriguing are the two pictures interior and exterior of the church I don't think I have seen other Antarctica articles ever mention:

along with this narration:
Obviously whoever built Trinity Church on King George Island hadn’t heard the old sailor’s adage, “Below 50 degrees south there is no law; below 60 degrees south there is no God.” This little slice of Russian Orthodoxy is maintained by a priest year-round, and he does such a good job it even has a church-like smell—that unmistakable potpourri of candles, incense, guilt, and shame. That’s an impressive feat given the funk of penguin vomit and seal excrement almost constantly hanging in the air in Antacrtica.
So I find myself admiring the author to go to Antarctica and willing to spend time to visit and experience the church smell!

And this interesting signs picture:

with the background scenery shows surprisingly a calm and tranquil Antarctica Ocean. For the trip of getting down there the author has this to say:
For many, the trek to Antarctica involves sailing from the southern tip of South America and crossing the Drake Passage, a.k.a., “the Drake,”  which is known for whipping up some of the roughest seas on the planet. Just for the record: I hate the Drake. Most travellers get to experience the passage from a comfy cruise ship with an icebreaker hull (still not exactly a picnic), but if you’re in a smaller working yacht, as I was, it’s a whole different kettle of krill. In storms, these yachts lurch, roll, and shake so violently that eating is futile given the inevitable seasickness, sleep is nearly impossible, and a simple task like dressing yourself is pure slapstick. Being surrounded by a churning, featureless gray-black monster that has no regard for your life is a sobering experience for a land dweller.
which is of course no surprise to any one. It also reaffirms that I have no intention of visiting Antarctica even on a cruise ship.  

Upon enjoy reading this superb travelogue I like to register one disagreement with the author -- I would like to change the title to "Yes, there's God in Antarctica too!"

A rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over

The statement "A rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over" is certainly does not seem to be strange or unusual to freaque wave news followers, because it is no longer some rare happenings, it is more frequent than anyone would like to hear! We hear it again this morning from this News article by Chris Trenkmann:
TAMPA - When Harrison Mettling and five of his friends set out for a day of fishing, they never expected to be the ones who were fished out of Tampa Bay.
"We saw the storm coming in.  We thought we could get in in time.  And then it was a little rough," said Mettling.  "It wasn't that bad, and then a rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over." 
Here's the rest of the story:
Mettling, 24, said the once tranquil bay near Weedon Island became more like high seas, and six foot waves began pummeling the 18-foot boat.  The craft's bilge pump seemed to be emptying the water fast enough, until a cord got tangled in the boat's propeller, effectively shutting down the motor.

The helpless boat, unable to steer or power through the waves, capsized.

"When the boat flipped over, it hit me in the head and I was kind of seeing stars for a little bit," Mettling said.  "I couldn't figure out where was up."

Mettling managed to come to his senses, and during the next two hours, swam nearly two miles to shore.

Jared Lyons, 24, and girlfriend Brittany Whitten, 23, recalled the force of the rainfall.

"It hurt," Whitten said.  "It felt like needles."

The Lakeland couple said after setting out in the morning, the weather was virtually perfect until late afternoon.

"We got the worst of it.  We got turned upside-down," Lyons said.

For Whitten, it was her first time fishing.  It might be her last for some time.

"It was terrifying," Whitten said.  "But I caught a fish," she said, trying to put humor in a frightening experience.

The Tampa Police marine unit responded to the emergency call.  Their boat reached three of the boaters who were struggling in waist deep water.  It was too shallow to get them by boat, so officer Randy Lopez got into the bay and reached them in person.

Lyons and Whitten were rescued by a passerby.

"it's a recipe for disaster if you're not prepared out there on the water," Lopez said, noting that none of the boaters was wearing any life jackets.

"This is a prime example that if they had the life jackets on, they could have been safe," Lopez said.

Mettling said he won't make that mistake next time.

"Whenever you see a storm coming in, put on your life jackets and get in as quickly as possible," Mettling recommended.  "Don't try to wait and catch that last fish.  Go ahead and head home."
This last comment by Mr. Mettling is clearly a very sound advice based from his own experience.And of course never ever neglect to wear life jacket by any means! Bad weather and freaque waves are to be expected, please make certain don't ever get caught unprepared out there!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mid-autumn Harvest moon

This was the rising of the September full moon I took early Wednesday evening. According to the skylore says this is the Harvest Moon of 2013 since it is closest to the autumnal equinox this year on September 22.  For Chinese people this is also the mid-autumn moon, supposedly the brightest of all the full moons of the year. Happy mid-autumn moon festival everyone!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lightening over the ocean and twin water sprout over the lake

Here are two Pictures of the Day from Washington Post showing two over water phenomena: Lightening over the ocean near Maine and twin water sprout over the lake near Wisconsin:

9/11/13 Robert F. Bukaty, AP  Lightning strikes north of Mackworth Island in Portland, Maine.

9/12/13 Kevin Poirier, Kenosha News/AP  Twin water spouts form on Lake Michigan southeast of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A fascinating coastal ocean wave picture

Surfing on the Internet -- yea, the only kind of surfing that will not get me wet!-- I came across this picture from this site called "the open" which I find fascinating. The photographer has this to say "About the Shot": " Morning offshore winds perfectly groomed this wave as the sunrises." Rather poetic, don't you think?. It looks like a long swell kind of wave lazily propagated over in the morning breeze as  the sun rises, at the end the wave curled up, and expectedly or unexpectedly broke.  Was it by wind or was the energy exhausted?  The whole picture looked so calm and tranquil. All the credit and admirations go to the photographer, Myles McGuinness, for captured this in credible moment and this scene. I am not allowed to copy the picture, so I'll refrain from attempting to do it. Just go visit the site and enjoy the pictures there and be fascinated!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

What's 'freaque wave' in Chinese language?

What's 'freaque wave' in Chinese language?

I don't know. But I do have a suggestion:
which literally translates to be strangely unusual waves, I think it generally includes the implication of freaque in the words.

In Taiwan, the Republic of China, I understand their local fishermen do encounter freaque waves not infrequently.  One statistic indicated that there were 50 cases recorded during the 50 year period of 1949-1999 many of them fatal.  The local fishermen had rather unflatteringly called the wave
which means the ribbi-dog wave. It certainly carried out what a freaque wave truly meant to the fishermen out there when they encounter it. No one seems to be inclined to provide an alternative term for this folksy term yet.

Strangely enough, the mainland China doing just all western scientific researches available, but I have yet to see them doing creditable research on freaque waves per se.  I guess the ruling regime is so superstitious that they are scared of repeating the same history of Boris Yeltsin revolution that toppled  the old USSR that can still happen anytime there. The power that be, accusing people "anti-revolution" all the time but will not allow people using that term, would not even allow words like rogue, freak, freaque to exist either, so no research on freaque waves naturally. Pity!

Friday, August 30, 2013

A painting of ocean waves in the open sea

When I downloaded this, I thought it was a photo picture of ocean waves, but it turned out to be an art oil painting on a 31.89 in by 39.37 canvas:

The Spanish artist's name is Carmen Alonso, I can't find out any other informations about him (or her). As I was impressed by the scenery of large waves and thinking it was real, now knowing it's a painting, I can't help wandering whether or not the scenery is or can be real. It's waves from many different directions come together at an instant.  I guess I can not point out any specific indications to say that was not real, we can only terribly impressed with the artist's talents, skill, and vivid imagination. At the bottom of the painting there's a long patch of white foam.  Could it be the aftermath of a breaking freaque wave? Well I am imagining.  If a freaque wave occurred out there in the middle of the vast ocean, no one is out there to witness it, hence it had never happened!  Really?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 21, 2013 Full moon, another blue moon.

Here's the full moon last night which is the 7th lunar month full moon this year as seen from Southeast Michigan. 

As this is the 3rd full moon of a 4 full moon summer season, by one definition the full moon last night is also a blue moon.  I was a little puzzled at first because this one was the only full moon of the month, how can that be a blue moon?  Well what I didn't know is that there are different definitions of blue moon. 

Anyway "once in a blue moon", we just had another one, so it goes!

Santa a surfer?

Now this is something to behold -- a surfing Santa!

May be I am just being ignorant, I have never seen or thought of a connection between winter Christmas Santa and summer surfing.  This picture was copied from Drudge Report with its headline "Desperate Retailers Start Xmas Sales in August" referencing to this CNBC article. Is Santa s surfer? Well, why not?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seiche global scale!

According to Wikipedia:
A seiche (/ˈseɪʃ/ SAYSH) is a standing wave in an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water. Seiches and seiche-related phenomena have been observed on lakes, reservoirs, swimming pools, bays, harbors and seas. The key requirement for formation of a seiche is that the body of water be at least partially bounded, allowing the formation of the standing wave.
The term was promoted by the Swiss hydrologist François-Alphonse Forel in 1890, who was the first to make scientific observations of the effect in Lake Geneva, Switzerland.[1] The word originates in a Swiss French dialect word that means "to sway back and forth", which had apparently long been used in the region to describe oscillations in alpine lakes.
People in the North America Great Lakes area, especially Lake Erie, generally familiar with seiche motion between Buffalo, New York and Toledo, Ohio after high northeast winds along Lake Erie main axis. It os interest to note Seiche can also be global between Japan and Norway fjord after the 2011 earthquake as reported in this UK Daily Mail article with an interesting long title: "How 2011 Japanese earthquake created freak 5 ft waves that terrified locals on the other side of the world -- in Norway," The report is based on the Live Science article written by Becky Oskin: Norway's Weird Waves Traced to Japan Earthquake. The remarkable research was done by Stein Bondevik, a geologist at Sogn og Fjordane University College in Sogndal, Norway and his team. The findings were published July 3 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.  Here's what happened that inspired the study according the the Live science article:
The roiling seas surprised and shocked Norwegians when the waves rolled in after 7 a.m. local time on March 11, said lead study author Stein Bondevik, a geologist at Sogn og Fjordane University College in Sogndal, Norway. The waves measured nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) from trough to crest (their lowest to highest point). No damage was reported, however. "Luckily, they happened at low tide," Bondevik said.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A moonset picture

Here's an interesting picture provided by NASA -- the moonset of a new moon.  It is certainly not easy for an aim-and-shoot everyday camera to do.  This one was taken last night over Taiwan.

Here's the explanation NASA provided to accompany the picture:
Explanation: It took three worlds to create this simple image. The first world was the Earth, which was quite prominent. The dividing line running horizontally below the middle separates sea from sky. On this part of the Earth, it was almost nighttime. The second world was the Moon, which was almost invisible. The Moon had its unilluminated half masked by the red sunset glow of Earth's sky. A thin sliver of the new Moon was visible, a crescent that traces the bright curving line. The third world was the Sun, which does not appear directly. All of the light recorded in the image originated from the Sun. The above half-second exposure was taken last week from Anping, Taiwan. A few minutes after this image was taken the Earth had spun just a little bit further -- forcing theMoon to follow the Sun into the sea -- and the horizon to become dark.
Anyway clearly the ocean was rather calm at the moonset time. Or may be the ocean surface was too far away to see minutes before the sun rises for the new day!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marriage proposal made amidsts costal ocean waves

There's always some new imaginative ways of making marriage proposal memorable. This one related to ocean waves naturally caught my attention. Here's the start of the story:
On November 21st, 2012, Matthew Hartman attempted to pull off an epic marriage proposal that his girlfriend would talk about for the rest of their lives. He led her to a large rock surrounded by ocean waters at Laguna Beach, California, and then sang her a song that he wrote for the occasion. Then he got down on one knee to pop the question. Or, at least that was the plan.
A large ocean wave had other plans for the couple. At just the wrong time, it decided to crash the party and sweep the girl off her feet before Hartman could. . . . 
The article, written by Michael Zhang on March 10 this year, consisted a video and a series of picture recorded this memorable event, took place at Laguna Beach, California and planned by the future groom Matthew Hartman and his photographer friend Jonathan Hwang. Here's what had happened according to Hwang:
On the day of the event, I arrived just as his friends were laying down a path of candles out to the rock that Matt was planning to stand on. That idea was quickly swept away as an enormous wave engulfed both the candles and the friend who was laying them down. Having witnessed that scene, everyone began to panic and we almost decided to have the proposal on the beach instead of out on the rocks. I tried my best to reassure everybody, telling them, “What are the chances of it happening during the actual proposal?”
However, I was secretly hoping that the odds would be on my side and that they would get swallowed by a wave. After all, that was the shot I had dreamed about. Little did I know that I would get my chance right as the ring makes its first appearance. Looking back, it probably was not the wisest thing to put the two in potential danger, and thankfully nobody was hurt.
The last comment "nobody was hurt" is certainly the best and thankful part of the whole story.  No one can guarantee this but they just happened.  Hwang's concluding comment tells it all:
In the end, it might not have been the most thought out proposal, nor was it safe by any means, but the results from that day turned out to be both spectacular and breathtaking–literally!
So that's the way it was happened -- a nice story book like story. Hope their future life together will be just as happy and successful as this drama of making very special memorable marriage proposal turned out to be!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sounding the alarm on renegade waves

This interesting article by the Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, published a week ago, just came to my attention.  The headline of the article "Sounding the alarm on renegade waves" attracted my attention first. No one as yet, as far as I know, has ever used the word "renegade" in connection with freaque waves before.  I was gratified to realize that she wasn't trying to introduce a new name!

Here's her article:
The rogue waves were coming.
Ten feet. Twelve feet. Higher.
It was all over the news. The rogue waves could soon be pounding into Chicago like a posse of bandits, a band of terrorists, the horsemen of the apocalypse.
An alert had been issued from 9 a.m. Tuesday through Wednesday morning.
Stay off the breakwalls. Stay out of the water.
The surest way to get Chicago people to the lakeshore, short of cheap beer and fireworks, is to promise them something as exciting as rogue waves, which is why I grabbed a sun hat Tuesday afternoon and headed to the beach.
Before I went, I did what any modern person does in anticipation of disaster. I consulted Google.
What exactly was a rogue wave anyway?
I'd seen big waves in Chicago. A few summers back, as I was biking, a huge swell of water crashed into the lakefront and a towering spray swept me off my bike and almost swallowed the bike whole.
But rogue waves? They sounded especially ominous.
"Rogue, freak, or killer waves have been part of marine folklore for centuries," said the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "but have only been accepted as a real phenomenon by scientists over the past few decades."
Rogue waves, other sites reported, are also known as extreme waves, abnormal waves and monster waves.
Armed with that vast vocabulary, I went in search of terror.
The 31st Street beach on Chicago's South Side is one of the city's prettiest. The bike path is wide and smooth. The skyline rises in the near distance. In summer, the prairie grasses and wildflowers shimmer while the masts of white boats clang in the harbor. Most uplifting of all, parking is just a dollar an hour.
I cared about none of this. All I wanted were rogue waves.
There were, in fact, some waves, more than usual in the windy day, little white-topped swells that the kids splashed in.
But rogue? These waves were about as roguish as Justin Bieber.
While I waited for the rogue waves to arrive, I called Chicago's climate master for further enlightenment.
"I hope you haven't been misled into thinking you're going to see one," WGN's Tom Skilling said. "I'm a little surprised as much has been made of this as has."
He suspected that the description "rogue waves" was intended to push bikers, joggers and curiosity seekers off the shoreline and away from some dangerous big waves, though not necessarily rogue ones.
The rogue wave, he explained, isn't just a giant wave. It's a wave that is far bigger than all the waves around it.
Gulliver in the land of Lilliputians, if I understood correctly.
"The rogue wave is a freak," he said. "It's often the marriage, the intersection, of two waves that slam into each other. Rogue waves also form where you've got a wave intersecting a current flowing opposite it."
Such a wave, he went on, can happen in oceans or in lakes. There's a theory that a rogue wave caused the legendary 1975 sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior.
Rogue or not, the waves were definitely building in Lake Michigan on Tuesday, and Skilling noted that the winds — which result in waves — were also building, in a way unusual for July.
Dramatic weather, he explained, is often caused by the clash of cold Arctic air and the warmer air in the lower 48. But in summer, when Arctic regions warm up, such clashes of air are rare.
"This is not the time of year when you get highly organized winds," he said.
(I had a vision of highly organized winds arranging their spice drawers alphabetically. Or color-coding their perfectly folded underwear. But back to rogue waves.)
"It is interesting that we, even for a brief period, have winds that are as well-organized as they will be later today and into tonight," he said.
So, who knew? A rogue wave might turn up.
"If you see one," he said, "let me know!"
In the late afternoon, I drove north to the Foster Avenue beach, still chasing rogue waves. The waves were bigger there, verging on wild, though none of them was freakishly tall and alone.
Daredevils continued to bike and jog at the water's edge, but many people just stood and watched, struck still by the force and the mystery of the wind on the water.
Whatever you call it.
I am not quite certain if Ms. Schmich was disappointed that she did not really seen a real freaque wave, or she was just a little sarcastic, or may be a little bit of both.  Since she has already recognized that freaque wave can be "sounded especially ominous" and she did experienced first hand of being "swept off" her bike on the lakefront, I hope she's content with her experience and not really expect to see anything worse when she "went in search of terror".  Even though she sounded the alarm: "The rogue waves were coming" and they did not come.  That's really something good for us to just be happy, not worry!