In the boat

LJA130270What’s as tall as a small office building, snaps large vessels in half and inspires a small tribe of surfers to launch themselves into an unholy maelstrom? Giant waves. The bigger the better — or worse — depending on who’s talking; better for extreme surfers, worse for seafarers. Until very recently giant waves lived only as lore. There was the story of the Tlingit Indian woman who returned from berry picking to find her entire village disappeared. The polar explorer Ernest Shackleton once reported narrowly surviving “a mighty upheaval of the ocean,” the biggest wave he’d seen in 26 years of seafaring. But witnesses of a 100-foot wave at close range rarely lived to tell, and experts dismissed stories about these waves because they seemingly violated basic principles of ocean physics. Continue reading

Rubber duckies at sea….

I posted this more than three years ago. It just seemed appropriate to repost in light of Pope Franics’ encyclical Laudato Si….

Sunglass-Rubber-DuckDid you know that on January 10, 1992 – a cargo ship lost overboard 28,800 “rubber duckies?” In fact the bathtub objects came in all sorts of shapes and animal figures. The duckies were lost in the mid-Pacific ocean about where the 45th parallel crosses the International Dateline. Some are still out there, circulating in gyres – most likely in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch gyre – but some of the duckies have been recovered in Maine and Scotland, clearly escaping for distant gyres and other lands.  Will this information change your life?   Continue reading