Tag Archives: sea

The Atlantic – I

The Atlantic Ocean is in me.

For almost 20 years since it got its hook into me, I’ve been haunting, (in a moderate non-weird way), the Irish Atlantic coast, primarily the west, south and my own Copper Coast in the south-east.

For many years, in the depths of grim nights, I have stared into the dark and summoned the ocean as a blanket. I can float on groundswell as it pulses and lifts and lowers me. Experience the ground vibrations from huge breakers. Smell the plankton. Feel the wind tighten my face. Taste the salt. The Atlantic became as much part of me as I become a miniscule part  of it.

It’s a grey ocean. Grey, not gray, my American friends. The word was surely invented for the Atlantic. Not a dull description of colour, it’s a dimension, a world, a universe, The Soulstealer Sea. The Grey Atlantic, not the Blue Pacific. It’s a metal ocean. Steel and iron, verdigris if you are lucky. Hard.  Complete.

Welcome to my ocean.

{The photographs of the Atlantic in this three-part series are the best I’ve  taken, over a two and half year period, of various representational of elements of the Atlantic. It’s a personal, creative and a continuing journey. It is as important to me as taking the photographs to let them be seen. I feel like a photographer for once. All are better on full screen for a more, well, immersive experience.}

A Wave
A Wave
Winter Horizon I
Winter Horizon I
Winter Horizon II
Winter Horizon II
Sky & Sea
Vast
I - Swell.resized
Visitors from Far Away
The Sky In The Sea
The Sky In The Sea
Squall
Squall
A Reef
A Reef
The Storm Will Pass
Storms Always Pass
Local
Local
Evening Sea With Two Islands
Evening Sea With Two Islands

 

Force Nine
Force Nine

Ocean Temperature Variation

Those who don’t swim in the swim much are often confused about what temperature to expect.

The specific heat capacity of the ocean is greater than land or the atmosphere.
This mean it’s will stay at a specific temperature and not quickly change.
The volume of the ocean contributes to it retaining heat, as only a much smaller volume of land can retain heat.
Short-term atmospheric conditions have little effect, so for example, the extremely cold spell over Christmas and the New Year had little effect. The primary cause of temperatures changing are ocean currents.
My own notes from last year the water temperature is about the same. Christmas Day, coming after almost two full weeks of very cold temps was still 7.5 Dec Celsius. I measured that same temperature last weekend, toward the end of January, after the even longer cold spell.

Ocean temperature also doesn’t vary much over a 24 hour period, less than 1 degree. So for those yet to experience a night-swim, because actual air temperature can drop, but the sea stays the same, the water may feel warmer at night, (though it is about the same).

Because it takes much longer to change, the larger implication is that the ocean temperatures “lag” the seasons. It’s warmest in autumn after the summer is over usually September or so, and coldest in February/March, usually after the worst weather has broken. The coldest day I measured at Tramore in 2009 was 5.1 Deg. Celsius on the last weekend of February.
I find it can stay fairly comfortable to late November, certainly still above 10 Deg. Celsius.

There are of course local variations. Sandycove has that coldest bit right at the entry because of the fresh water inflow. T-Bay has a shifting (but very rare) up-welling cold current, that can drop the water temperature by 2 degrees in 24 hours.
Summer rain run-off, streams, rivers , all have local effects. But by local I mean maybe 100 metres at most.