The Triton

Scott McDowell

Scott E. McDowell has a doctorate degree in ocean physics, is a licensed captain and author of Marinas: a Complete Guide available at www.scottemcdowell.com. Contact him at scott@scottemcdowell.com.

Author Archives

Science of rainbows explains much, steals the magic not at all

Rainbows require sunlight and moisture in the air but it’s the magic angle of 42 degrees that causes rainbows to exist. Light rays from the sun appear to the …

Lightning: The formation and risk to swimmers

Lightning bolts represent a tremendous discharge of electricity: 100-300 million volts and 30,000 amps. Most often, they occur between clouds, but 25 percent …

Chances for lightning strike higher than for major lottery win

Because of severe injuries and death caused by convective (rising warm-air) storms, the National Weather Service has compiled accurate statistics on the …

Water is crucial to survival

Survival at sea is primarily decided by the availability of drinking water. Our body needs to consume roughly one-half gallon of fresh water daily to maintain …

Ocean salinities remain consistent for millions of years

The strong salinity of seawater is known by all, and variations can sometimes be detected by taste. But on the global scale, salinity is remarkably similar …

How to spot a rip current and get past it

More than 100 drownings occur each year in the United States due to rip currents. In Florida, more people are killed annually by rip currents than hurricanes, …

Invisible killer: Electrocution while swimming in your boat slip

People die each year in the U.S. while swimming in fresh water around boats and piers with alternating current (AC) shore power; seven persons in 2012 alone. …

Vast oceans are actually thin layers covering the globe

We all have a mental image of the mighty Atlantic – vast and abyssal with average depth of 2.4 miles and the Puerto Rico Trench exceeding 5 miles. Not …

Atmospheric fronts the driving force behind meteo-tsunamis

Tsunamis are well known for their inundation of coastal regions in the South Pacific, but most Floridian boaters have little concern with this natural process. …

Editor’s Picks

Bridge repair to close New River navigation in February

Bridge repair to close New River navigation in February

UPDATE Dec. 6 A planned repair of the railroad bridge in downtown Ft. Lauderdale will close navigation to the city's major shipyards for …

Hiring yacht crew challenges captains

Hiring yacht crew challenges captains

Hiring crew is one of yachting's biggest challenges, according to some captains. They aim to pick the right candidates, but often …

There’s one more step after selling a boat: Take care of the crew

There’s one more step after selling a boat: Take care of the crew

The goal of most of the exhibitors at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is to sell boats. From the anecdotal stories I heard …

Government officers clarify policies for yachts in U.S. waters

The rules for yachts and crew in U.S. waters can all be found in written regulations, but there are often questions as to interpretation. …