Saturday, July 23, 2005


motozaru, originally uploaded by vibromama.
Boomers are the bane of any coastal traveler. These well-baited traps occur over isolated shallow places that are not always obvious to the causal paddler-by. The depth that a wave traveling the sea “feels” underneath it is equal to about one half of the distance between its successive crests. Over places shallower than this, a wave may break violently and with little warning. Typhoon waves are long: 50 meters or more, so a wave may topple over surprisingly deep water. The very shallow places are always obvious with crashing and foam, but the real treachery occurs where the depth is just right for about 1 in 50 waves to break. All one can do is watch out for these on approach and try to avoid them.
While photographing this boomer off an outlying cape, suddenly, an unusually large wave broke very near my kayak. Instinctively, I braced for the ride, but the foamy crest subsided before it reached me. I sprinted away from the danger zone, all involuntary muscles at maximum tension. Boomer-ridden places are not for sightseeing!


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