Monday, June 02, 2008

The sea

We have amateur video to thank for memorializing the sight of ships at sea. After the Read More! are two videos. One of a USN destroyer doing evolutions at sea. And the other of a crab fishing boat of Iceland. I guess very few landsmen, accustomed as they are to puny little machines like cars and locomotives, can fully appreciate the power of a ship. Or the infinitely greater power of the sea.

What weighs more than a World War 2 heavy cruiser and is faster than speedboat?

Where do crabs come from?

And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume,
and the sea-gulls crying.

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Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

I found, many years ago, that nothing like a storm at sea gives one an inkling of what the power of God must be like. I found them to be terrifying, exhilarating and definitely an impetus to prayer. It was better if my stomach was more or less settled.

6/02/2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Valentine Smith said...

By the looks of the stele-like bodies of land, I'd say it was off the Westmann Islands about 60 mile southeast of Reykjavik. Been there, on Heimay a fascinating place with a double-coned volcano practically within spitting distance of the harbor. Of course, everything's within spitting distance of the harbor.

6/02/2008 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger not that mark said...

The nukes are much faster than the conventional ships. Not to mention that speed is essentially free. The rooster tail on a Nimitz Class carrier is quite impressive.

Leaves those "Russian Fishing Trawlers" in the dust (algae?). You know, the ones with all of the antennas?

On deployment, the nukes would head for the nearest storm and try and hide in it and send the rest of the fleet around.

I've seen waves break the flight deck.
(North Atlantic). Fishing Trawler: completely submerged.

6/03/2008 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger mercutio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/03/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger mercutio said...

My kids call sailng on a scow "a near-death experience." Sure is, which is what makes it fun. All sail, no ballast.

Seems to me that sailing is a great master metaphor. You need to keep everything in trim and keep an eye on all of the elements. A catspaw off to windward is going to reach you soon, so you gotta be ready for the puff. There's seldom such a thing as a "steady wind."

Those big boats in a storm, though . . . whew, now there's a real near-death experience.

6/03/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Obama got it wrong when he said that if you don't go to college, you'll end up in Iraq. Being a crab fisherman in freezing northern waters is what will happen to you if you can't do anything else.

6/03/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger john sannortersoford said...

Nahncee's remark about Northern crab-fishing being something you did when you can't do anything else is wrong. These are some of the toughest jobs in the World. Crab-fishers must be highly physically co-ordinated, ready for the mortal perils of the heaving deck, to do dangerous work with expert moves in this savage environment.

6/03/2008 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


6/03/2008 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"I found, many years ago, that nothing like a storm at sea gives one an inkling of what the power of God must be like. "

And a clear, moonless night at sea, and clear-day sunrises and sunsets at sea, give an inkling of the beauty of God.

6/03/2008 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger JGFussell said...

Fifty miles off the shore of northern California on a 30 foot Catalina racing from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Three hours on three hours off. At midnight I came on deck to a moonless night and seas of 25 or 30 feet easy. Maybe they were sixty feet.

God was that horrible. We were pulled up the backside of the southeastern swell like a cable car on California Street. We then surfed down the wave face and did it again, and again, hour after hour. We had a preventer on the boom to minimize the pounding on the main.

What I remember most vividly is that the sea was so ragged in what light there was. I was sure I saw a submarine conning tower rising up at couple 100 yards in front of us. Before I could call out, or even think about the improbability, the sub broke apart in the wind spray.

I never had to venture to the foredeck despite some fool suggesting we raise the chute. Some folks are way too competitive.

Early in the next morning the wind died. Died! Gray skies. Flat gray seas. We cashed it in and motored for ten hours to reach Monterey with dolphins surfing our little bow wave.

Years of racing on San Francisco Bay in 40 knot winds cannot prepare one for the monstrous power of the open ocean in a storm, even a moderate storm. I will remember that submarine until I die.

6/04/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It was a dark and stormy night

6/05/2008 12:40:00 AM  

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