Waves and waves


Every time you get in the water it is a different adventure. There are days, like today, where the Ocean is flat as glass. Those days you can concentrate in enjoying the beautiful feeling of your arms breaking the perfect surface. You can feel yourself gliding through the water, you can look around and enjoy the landscape. You can hear your breath, your heart and almost your thoughts. You can concentrate in the rhythm of your swim, the peace around you, the silence, you can almost forget about the world. Other days, well, other days that is not the case. Other days the Ocean challenges you, you can feel its power, its strength, and your swim becomes a matter of dealing with it, of coming to terms with it. “It’s ok”, I tell the Ocean, “I’m not here to fight, I know I cannot win, I just want you to allow me to enter your waters for a few moments”.  I love those kind of days, you can feel Nature, you can feel the power of the water, you can feel how small you actually are. The swim then is like a wild dance, you only can concentrate in not drinking too much water, in keeping your head above the surface, to try to synchronize your strokes with the waves.

And talking about waves, there are a few things that define a wave. Two of those things are  persistence and fetch. Persistence is for how long that wind has been blowing (time) and fetch is over how much sea has that wind been traveling (space). We can see waves as soon as the wind starts blowing called “wind waves”, but sometimes we can also seen very different waves when there is no wind to drive them, there are waves forced by a wind that is not there anymore (like a storm), those are called “swell” (such a beautiful word, huh?). OK, this might be a bit confusing, I leave you with a couple of examples I’m sure it will help you understand…

This are “wind waves”

Raw footage – Wellington storm – 13 Feb 2017 from NIWA on Vimeo.

And this is Swell…

Southern Ocean waves from Aitana on Vimeo.

Can you see the difference between the two of them? Have you ever been in a big swell?

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