Sea Science

Sea Science: There’s a reason that green flash at sunset is so rare

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell When mariners share sea stories of encounters with gales and rogue waves, rarely does a session end without mention of the elusive green flash. With…

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Sea Science: Gulf Stream current, eddies keep big river of the Atlantic moving

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell The Gulf Stream “system” begins with westward surface flow through the Caribbean, looping through the Gulf of Mexico, then northward as the Florida Current (FC)…

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Know the Florida Current, the southern leg of the Gulf Stream

Sea Science: by Scott McDowell The strong northward current between the eastern shore of Florida and the Bahamas is officially named the Florida Current (FC), as clarified by Dr. Arthur…

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Sea Science: Rogue Waves, part 2; Design specs not good enough

Sea Science by Scott McDowell Rogue waves are not uncommon throughout our world’s oceans, as documented by dozens of examples in this space last month. What’s more surprising is that…

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Rogue waves are real and more frequent than mariners think

By definition, a rogue is one who behaves unexpectedly and abnormally, often causing damage to anything nearby. This succinctly describes the extremely large and unpredictable rogue waves that are gaining…

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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 naked…

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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 occur from cloud to ground. Lightning begins…

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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 incidence of reported lightning casualties in the United…

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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 healthy body functions. Without…

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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 among the major oceans…

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