Rogue Waves No Longer Illusions
Sailors have come home from the sea with stories of monstrous waves since seafaring began. Tales of towering crests creating hollows before them, and sucking bows down as the water drives over the bridge. Many believe the Waratah never managed to recover. We have heard of super tankers that have returned to port with bows ripped away.
Now the BBC confirms these are no figments of imagination. It speaks of waves 26 meters high, and of lifeboats stove in at their davits 20 meters above the waves. Scientists have learned to detect giant waves from satellites.
They have discovered these are more common than they thought. But, they are not there yet when it comes to predicting when they will rise from the ocean depths.
Between 1829 and 1833 the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai painted a picture he called ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ with Mount Fiji in the background. Scientists now believe this was a rogue wave, not a tsunami. Sometimes Auger watches a tad uncertainly from the sidelines.
We can only marvel at the awesome power of nature, and admire those who go to sea in ships with our produce, and return with the things we do not make ourselves.