Beneath the waves, the world that the surfer doesn’t see

Wednesday, 22 August, 2012

This might be as close as it is possible to get to a behind-the-scenes look at the waves surfers traverse.

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That’s the great thing about the Pacific, it’s one giant coffee cup

Friday, 10 August, 2012

Traces of caffeine have been found parts of Pacific Ocean… do you have any thoughts as to how that state of affairs came to be?

In a new study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, scientists found elevated concentrations of caffeine in the Pacific Ocean in areas off the coast of Oregon. With all those coffee drinkers in the Pacific Northwest, it should be no surprise that human waste containing caffeine would ultimately make its way through municipal water systems and out to sea – but how will the presence of caffeine in our oceans affect human health and natural ecosystems?

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Garrett McNamara’s record breaking surf of a 90 foot wave

Monday, 18 June, 2012

I’m pretty sure I spent at least a night in Nazaré while I was wondering around Portugal this one time, but do not recall seeing surf conditions remotely like those in which Garrett McNamara recently took out the world record for surfing the biggest known wave, that measured a calculated height of about 27.5 metres, or 90 feet.

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I’m not planking underwater, I’m extreme shallow snorkelling

Thursday, 16 June, 2011

The Extreme Shallow Snorkelling Team (ESS) seem to enjoy operating in very shallow waters, where depths may only reach 15 centimetres, or six inches.

Extreme Shallow Snorkeling, or E.S.S. as it is more commonly known, was created in 2006 in the Nusa Dua area of Bali. The first ever E.S.S. was done in a large – but extremely shallow – pool of water left on a beach by the tide. A mere 6-10 inches in depth, it was swarming with life! Brightly colored fishes and crustaceans swam amongst small corals and seaweeds, and even a moray eel was spotted in these ankle-deep waters.

Shallow water snorkelling isn’t the only interest the ESS have in nature though, as their blog goes to show… insects and spiders also appear to fascinate them.

Via Lost At E Minor.

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The dark underwater ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico

Friday, 25 June, 2010

Photos of the sea-floor below the area of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where a plethora of deep sea creatures reside in environments known as cold seeps, and live off the hydrocarbon-rich fluids and gases that seep from the seabed.

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Flip, is that an oil rig, a floating baseball bat, or a sinking ship?

Thursday, 22 April, 2010

Flip ship at 90 degree pitch

The 108 metre long, 711 tonne, Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) vessel is a barge like ship launched in 1962, originally designed to assist the US navy develop acoustically targeted submarine missiles.

Today it is used for both oceanographic and meteorological research tasks.

FLIP’s stability and soundlessness make it an ideal platform for listening to ocean acoustics; hydrophones can detect anything from whale calls to underwater earthquakes. One recent find: the sound of all-night fish choruses as loud as fans in a stadium stomping their feet. Other sensors, lowered from the deck by booms and winches, can measure temperature, wave height and water density. Doppler sonar deployed along FLIP can pinpoint the motion inside waves with an accuracy of one centimeter per second in a cubic kilometer of ocean.

Flip ship in port

Complete with both horizontal and vertical sets of doors, basins, and showers, the ship pitches to a 90 degree angle when ballast tanks at the front of the vessel are flooded.

Still the only example of its kind in the world, when docked in port (above photo by Noisemakers) the vessel resembles a baseball bat.

Needless to say it is often mistaken for a stricken, or sinking, ship by those not familiar with its operation, while flipping to its vertical position.

(Thanks Adam)

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Surf photography that’s as impressive as hanging ten

Monday, 28 September, 2009

The intricately timed surf photography of Brian Bielmann.

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Rogue waves, terror of the high seas

Monday, 31 August, 2009

Not tsunamis, “rogue waves” are supersize waves that possibly form when a number of smaller waves merge. Because they eventuate with no little or no warning they pose a significant threat to ships that happen to be in the vicinity.

Rogue waves can theoretically be as high as 198 feet or as tiny as a few feet. Up until the mid-1990s such statistically anomalous waves were disputed by mainstream science. Then on New Year’s Day 1995, the Draupner oil platform off the coast of Norway measured the first irrefutable rogue on record, an 84-footer that nipped the underside of the rig in 39-foot seas. Ever since, scientists have struggled to explain what causes the waves, focusing their research on several areas with consistently strong currents, including the Agulhas off South Africa and the Gulf Stream astride the southeastern U.S.

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Brian Wilson doesn’t surf… doesn’t even like the sea

Monday, 13 July, 2009

Who would have thought it? Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys isn’t much of a surf and sea person at all

Brian Wilson couldn’t surf. Can you dig that? The composer, arranger and lead voice of the legendary Beach Boys never learnt to ride a wave. The man who gave the world “Surfin’ USA”, “Surfin’ Safari” and “Surfer Girl” didn’t have a clue about waxing a board and hanging ten. According to his wife, Melinda, he didn’t even like the ocean all that much.

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Clovelly

Sunday, 23 September, 2007

Flags at Clovelly beach Sydney

Sea spray, gale force winds, and pounding surf, Sydney’s Clovelly beach has the lot.

It was hold onto your hats, and only open doors on the downwind side of the car, weather at Clovelly yesterday afternoon.

I could taste the sea salt on my lips for hours afterwards, but hopefully the spray didn’t affect the photo quality too much.

The snaps from a Saturday afternoon spin over to Clovelly can be found on my Flickr page.

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