Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-08-2015, 22:51   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle, WA
Boat: C&C Landfall 38
Posts: 255
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

That article on the misconceptions of Eskimo snow words is interesting - didn't realize there might not really have been so many - but the last paragraph makes the point that even if they don't have 50 literal words they do have a rich, complex language for describing it.

And that's what I was getting at - that as sailors it doesn't seem like there's a rich, commonly known way of describing waves across the community. Like there is with many other aspects of sailing - I could describe sail trim for many different wind conditions and sail types to any decently experienced sailor and he/she would know what I meant. Admittedly sail trim is a simpler, more concrete thing to describe.

But ask your average sailor to describe the waves they were in and they'll say things like "not too bad" or "big, we took a beating!" Press for more detail and you'll both struggle to communicate it. I'm not asking for single word descriptions - word phrases or sentences would be perfectly fine - the point is we need a way to understand each other and know what the other's experience was like.

So I feel like the next stage of my growth in seamanship is learning how to assess and describe wave states, and how to respond to them.
__________________

__________________
Blog: www.svviolethour.com
Tessellate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2015, 23:00   #17
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
I'm not asking for single word descriptions - word phrases or sentences would be perfectly fine - the point is we need a way to understand each other and know what the other's experience was like.

So I feel like the next stage of my growth in seamanship is learning how to assess and describe wave states, and how to respond to them.
Perhaps after a lifetime at sea I've never had a shortage of local descriptions.... And advice.

Here's one:
"Tehuantepecker....if you can't hit the beach with a bucket full of stones...you are sailing too far offshore"
__________________

__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 07:01   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hudson Valley N.Y.
Boat: contessa 32
Posts: 826
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Best is Beaufort scale……Devised to describe a fully developed sea state as a result of various wind strengths. Most today use this scale to describe wind strength, which is ok,
but not as useful as its original intent.

Hope this helps, not ,of necessity complete,but a great place to start.

……………………………luv you all………….mike……………………….
__________________
mrohr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 11:21   #19
Moderator
 
cabo_sailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 1,905
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

This thread brings to mind the lyrics of an old Gordon Lightfoot song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald "

" does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?"


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
cabo_sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 11:23   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,917
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Lol.
I get by with hmmm, damn, and OH SH#%!.
Would be amusing to develop a spoof on the Beaufort scale using a similar vocabulary. ;-)
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 11:33   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,917
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Everyone missed the scariest one of all ROGUE and yes it comes under you had to be there. Also known as a holy sh#$% wave mine was over 70 ft tall. and cost us a crewman.
But, it gets overused a lot, I've heard people use the term for waves in the upper end of forecast significant wave height...even in 6-8' seas.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 11:48   #22
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
1 And that's what I was getting at - that as sailors it doesn't seem like there's a rich, commonly known way of describing waves across the community.

2 But ask your average sailor to describe the waves they were in and they'll say things like "not too bad" or "big, we took a beating!" Press for more detail and you'll both struggle to communicate it. I'm not asking for single word descriptions - word phrases or sentences would be perfectly fine - the point is we need a way to understand each other and know what the other's experience was like.

3 So I feel like the next stage of my growth in seamanship is learning how to assess and describe wave states, and how to respond to them.
1 it doesn't seem like That's because what IS available and USED are the height and period. And if they're breaking. That's what is NECESSARY to describe their effect on a boat. Anything else is just lyrical.

2. The experience is based on the size and frequency. It's all water, and it goes up and down and back & forth.

3 My experience: go out, deliberately, in some snotty weather, come back and ch3eck the buoy readings for where you were. You will then get to learn what the terms mean. Of course, wind over ebb, standing waves over bars and other site specific anomalies are all out there, too.

What we've all learned, over the years, is that if there is no need for additional descriptions, they just don't magically appear. Because they're not required.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 14:07   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau 50
Posts: 45
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

I sailed past Cancun recently and saw a Mexican wave 😉
__________________
Peter200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 14:14   #24
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,947
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Nobody has mention 'rouge' waves yet... they pop up quite often on CF.....

How many words do eskimos have for waves?
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 16:06   #25
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

[QUOTE=El Pinguino;1896680

How many words do eskimos have for waves?[/QUOTE]

Not sure but I highly recommend their book
'Fifty shades of Nose'....
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 16:26   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,917
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Maybe because Western cultures have done much of the studying of waves. We tend to go more technical (ie: all the parameters we have developed for describing wave forms), whereas indigenous cultures are more experiential over long periods of time and develop richer linguistic vocabularies.

For example, I bet the Kuna Indians in the San Blas, and probably S Pacific cultures, have a lot more words for waves.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 17:01   #27
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: South Pacific
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 1,451
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
...
I don't care what they may be called, when the period = height, not any fun.
Even less fun when height is in meters

But I get the OP's question. How do you describe the shape of the waves in all that technical jargon? Period and height don't get it. And how about multiple wave trains, each with its own period and height? I'm thinking of a hurricane in my past, where, as the storm went by we had three distinct wave trains. Trying to describe what that was like, when the trains combined, is very hard to put into words. And the shape those 'towers' had when all three combined is nothing like a 'wave'.

Same thing for reflections that occur near a coast. One reflection? Two? More? What's it like at the various nodes and nulls?

So maybe we're trying to describe 'sea state' rather than waves, but I agree that there seems to be a paucity of commonly used descriptions in English that convey understanding in a short phrase. Nothing like 'powder' or 'Sierra cement' or ... Best I've been able to come up with for my hurricane experience is '10 foot chop on top of large seas' but that provides a pale and weak picture of the actual experience.
__________________
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 17:37   #28
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,880
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
.

For example, I bet the Kuna Indians in the San Blas, and probably S Pacific cultures, have a lot more words for waves.
Don't know about the Indians but in the Micronesia culture, not so many words.

Instead they have developed an incredible intuitive map OF WHAT AFFECTS CHANGES IN WAVE SHAPE AND PERIOD...and use that dynamic to navigate with.

Perhaps I am not alone on this....., but on long ocean passages I become mesmerized with studying individual waves, follow the interaction and the subtle differences that verify the changing weather system from far away. I also sense the tide changes in this gaze but it would be impossible for me to catalog into words.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 17:48   #29
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Even less fun when height is in meters

But I get the OP's question. How do you describe the shape of the waves in all that technical jargon? Period and height don't get it. And how about multiple wave trains, each with its own period and height? I'm thinking of a hurricane in my past, where, as the storm went by we had three distinct wave trains. Trying to describe what that was like, when the trains combined, is very hard to put into words. And the shape those 'towers' had when all three combined is nothing like a 'wave'.

Same thing for reflections that occur near a coast. One reflection? Two? More? What's it like at the various nodes and nulls?

So maybe we're trying to describe 'sea state' rather than waves, but I agree that there seems to be a paucity of commonly used descriptions in English that convey understanding in a short phrase. Nothing like 'powder' or 'Sierra cement' or ... Best I've been able to come up with for my hurricane experience is '10 foot chop on top of large seas' but that provides a pale and weak picture of the actual experience.
Yes, I agree, But, but, but.... all of this is covered in good seagoing texts. My point is that the OP is looking for NEW, and waves have been around for soooo looong that there simply isn't too much mofre one can do to describe them.

Now, if you were going to ask me about the new things in AIS, radar, electronics, electronic navigation or closeups of Pluto, maybe I'd agree.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 18:39   #30
Registered User
 
Sailor Doug's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lake Erie
Boat: H36
Posts: 384
Re: Why are our words for waves so inadequate?

How about some thing simple like comfort factor.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
Sailor Doug is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Square waves killed our charger! BeaMewesed Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 21 28-04-2015 12:45
Is My Control Panel Inadequate? NOLA_sailing Engines and Propulsion Systems 28 19-12-2014 14:18
Rogue Waves and Seiche Waves Seaworthy Great Lakes 18 27-11-2007 12:22
A few parting words NoTies General Sailing Forum 15 24-02-2006 00:44



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.