Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blue Water Sailors - Heavy Seas

Sailors tend to be a pretty close-knit group and they have a lingo all their own; some of it steeped in centuries of tradition.  They sail over the horizon and disappear from sight of loved ones left on the piers at home.  What occurs on the other side of the horizon can be difficult to describe.  Much of it is pretty monotonous.  Engines drone on and daily routines repeat again and again.

Sunsets are often spectacular; you don't see much wildlife.  A few flying fish jump out occasionally, glide a few feet, then plunge into the water again.  Porpoise ride your bow wave in and out of port, then disappear once you're further out.  No birds if you're far enough at sea.  Sharks' fins rarely break the surface.  

Gooney birds glide up, over, and down the wake; pirouette on a wing tip touching the surface and retrace their flight path in the other direction ...they're spectacular aviators and they venture out a lot farther than the Gulls.

Then, the skies darken, the swells pick up....and, pick up higher.....and, wow.  Heavy seas...a sailor's code for a wild ride.  Hard to clearly describe heavy seas to a landlubber.  Words don't quite cover it...even good ones.  The clip below does a good job of showing a ship, the 456' French Frigate shown above, riding out heavy seas.  Words don't quite cover it.  Sound is great on this...view full screen.


Anonymous said...

I must admit this is the first time that I've gotten seasick.
I may need to up grade my IPad.

Gus said...

There are a couple of shots I recall quite well; one, when the ship dives down the backside of a huge wave and nearly disappears behind another one bearing in. The other, when the music stops on the top of the large wave and the ship heads down again. At that point the props come out of the water, still turning, and you get a deep "lunk, lunk, lunk" that shudders the entire ship. That's when you hope the old gal can keep herself together.

Sherri Sledge Pulliam said...

I agree...I've never been seasick before, but this just about did me in! Very brutal!! Can't imagine actually being ON the ship!

Gus said...

It's an "E" ticket ride, to be sure. You do get in sync with it and carry on; you don't go outside, but it is kind of fun to go up on the bridge and step just out from behind the wind screens. The spray, sometimes in torrents, rips into you like a fire hose might. Now you know what the term, "sea legs" really means.