Recently I watched the waves. Perhaps you are thinking, “But, Berlin, you live on the coast, don’t you watch the waves every day?” Sure, I do. I spend hours doing this. I would, if time permitted, spend days or even eons watching the waves and never tire of the rhythmic pattern of the ocean glossing rocks into sand. I think most people can appreciate the soothing composition of waves crashing rhythmically on the beach. There are even varying themes on the oceanic rhythms. Waves on a cliff or bluff, are not the hypnotic as the beach, but instead provide the experience of a syncopated symphony of nature sculpting the coast line. I will never tire of either.
But, I wanted to know the waves in the way that whales, surfers and pelicans know them. Of course, I am none of those and, in truth, I am not even a swimmer so how could I really know the waves? Only by watching, timing, and asking the right questions of the right people. So, I have to say thank you to surfers for knowing the waves in ways that I never will and being open to sharing the experience. If only I could ask the whales and pelicans…
Break zone: swells will eventually rise and fall at the break zone as a wave;
breaks are developed by the wind, tide and the contour of the ocean floor
swell direction: like wind, swells are described by the ‘from’ not the ‘towards’
a ‘north swell’ is coming from the north and traveling south; this also follows with onshore/offshore winds
swell interval: basically, it’s the measured time between waves, i.e. 4ft at 18 seconds; a longer interval means a larger wave will likely occur
wind is a surfer’s fickle friend: wind makes waves; lots of other things go into waves, but wind is a prime mover; it’s better when the onshore winds work their magic out in the ocean to move swells towards the shore where the waves can then meet the offshore winds that work to hold up the face of the wave and create a nice clean ride; wind can also kill a wave