Sea, land, sun, moon

Circles

The Earth’s equatorial radius is 6,378.1 kilometres. The Sun’s equatorial radius is 6.955×105 km, about 109 times that of Earth. The Moon’s equatorial radius is 1,738.14. Land makes up 29% of the Earth’s surface. From the surface of the Earth, the Sun’s apparent size is 25% that of the Earth, While the Moon’s apparent size is 27%. And…

Man “surfs” Great White Shark

Some headlines are sooo good you have to re-use them, they shouldn’t be touched. From the Guardian. Doug Niblack was trying to catch another wave before going to work when his longboard hit something hard as rock off the Oregon coast and he found himself standing on a thrashing great white shark. Looking down, he could…

Review: Ocean Giants

It is a fact widely acknowledged that the BBC makes the best television nature and science documentaries. David Attenborough’s name has become a global watch phrase for excellence. But it is always the whole BBC team bringing in the best nature writing and filming and locations, in this series using the Planet Earth Polar camera-man,…

I want to do this

You might recall how I talked about the intense underwater smell associated with plankton blooms in the springtime. And I’ve swam at night and once or twice even surfed at night and love the experience particularly of night swimming, as I’ve previously said. (The real difficulty with night surfing is to see the approaching waves).…

Salt of the Earth

EDIT: Yes, this post has been published twice. There was a backend problem on WordPress. Sorry. NASA just released a cool new map of the world’s ocean’s salinity. I wish we could see the North Atlantic in better detail. It’s still early days for this though so there’ll be more to come. I look forward…

The Sea and the coast, it’s about waiting.

Some weeks ago I had an idea for a series of posts that led me to taking more video (with Dee´s video camera). The idea hasn´t worked but I ended up with a lot of video clips as a consequence. At the start I was trying to capture some specifics, and I would talk as…

These sounds …

I swam toward the promontory, passing various unsurfable reefs, the vertical cliffs high and bright in the southerly sun, reminiscent of Dover and the White Cliffs, except red and ochre, and my own. About three-quarters of the way down, I stopped to listen. To the sound of swell. You know what waves sound like. But…

Thanks Google, for fixing my storm videos

Google added Video Stabilization to YouTube, a boon for crap video takers, mobile phones and video shot without benefit of a tripod (all apply to me), (and a frightening indication of just how much CPU processing power they have available). I stabilized both the Shakespeare Beach Storm Force 10 videos and they are much improved. They…

Reminded of an old open water fear

The subject of open water fears has come up here and elsewhere occasionally, and I often get asked about dealing with it, whether it’s fear of deep water, jellyfish, cold or sharks. Particularly sharks. And anytime I ever mention sharks, you all go for it like people for whom the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week just…

Crazy water in the English Channel

I’ve watched a lot of water and I’ve been in my share. Heavy waves on Crab Island, 11 metres swell in a cross wind on the west coast, Pacific Beach in San Diego and San Francisco, howling onshores on the north Scottish coast, the North Sea and Cornwall and I live on the Irish South…

Mixing waters

A fantastic Flickr pic from user kentsmith9. Two different bodies of water meeting in the Alaskan Gulf. One is fresher water. So they have different salinity and therefore different densities. The heavier saltier water will drop underneath, leaving a line of DOM at the meeting point. Click as always to embiggen. We can occasionally see…

Sí Gaoithe (dustdevils) in Ballycotton

I’m only linking this video because of the beautiful Irish name for dust devils, (minor whirlwinds), Sí Gaoithe, meaning Spirit Breeze, from the old Irish word I’ve mentioned before, the Sí, also Sidhe, pronounced Shee, who were the Irish fairy folk, more usually known (previously) as the Good Folk or the Gentry, (so as not to offend them).…

Donal swimming in front of Brown's Island, Kilfarassey

Project Copper – reflections and debrief

Reflections on Project Copper. I’ve swam about 54,000 metres to cover the 25 kilometre coast, which were swum as a series of out and back swims, so every metre of coast was swam twice. With the experience I’ve gained of the various currents on this stretch of coast, I now know there are longer swims…

Sperm whale beached in Dungarvan

Sperm whale beached in Dungarvan Forgot to add this friday, too busy swimming and then partying but a Sperm whale beached and died on the Cunnigar sand spit in Dungarvan bay on friday. Took this pic on a rising tide last night while passing. Insert obligatory and predictable Call Me Ishmael. .

Diana Nyad abandons Cuba to Florida swim

I don’t usually write anything if a friend of mine has a problem on a long swim. But I know a lot of you came here yesterday looking for the tracker (and I don’t know Diana). Unfortunately Diana Nyad’s swim was abandoned within the last hour 12.15am EST after 29 hours. According to her Twitter, it…

Swimming in Europe: Blue Flag locations ranked and mapped

The Guardian published this map a few weeks ago.  According to them it’s “every location”, so of course I went to my usual locations and discover neither Sandycove nor the Guillamene is marked. So this applies only to locations that are entered for the European Blue Flag scheme. But it’s still useful. You’ll have to visit…

This Open Water swimmer’s words

Ocean. Green. Pelagic. Friends. Deep. Tide. Littoral. Headland. Cnidarian. Warm. Crab. Flood. Saline. Surge. Slipway. Gull. Springs. Diverse. Reef. Sand. Cove. Wet. Cetacean. Current. Ecosystem. Island. Clear. Lighthouse. Calm. Dream. Breaker. Dark. Coral. Foam. Neaps. Seal. Turquoise. Bay. Blue. Cape, Solo. Fun. Dive. Sprat. Aquatic. Wild. Thalassic. Swell. Glassy. Fish. Beach. Bio-luminescence. Grease. Offshore. Frigate Bird. Spray. Rock.…

Tall Ships 2011. Leaving Dunmore East

If you’re in Ireland, you’ll probably have been bombarded by the coverage of the 2011 Tall Ships Race, which was starting from Waterford, the second time it’s started from the port. Last time in 2006 I visited the berthed ships, but this time Clare gave me the chance to go out with her on Orca.…

Tall Ships arriving in Waterford

Waterford City hosts the Tall Ships 2011 race this week. AIS, Marine Traffic monitoring, which we usually use for tracking swims, shows the various ships arriving in the estuary. Make sure to zoom right in otherwise you won’t see all the vessels. There are some great images of the above vessel, Christian Radich and Sorlandet coming…

Penny Palfrey and crew CLEARED of shark killing allegations

I’ve been sitting on this news for a few days until it was officially released. So I’ll start with what Steve reports on Daily News of Open Water. The Investigation reported on Facebook (of all places): As organizers of Penny Palfrey’s Bridging the Cayman Islands swim, the Flowers Group launched an investigation into the reports…