Friday, February 17, 2012

Shark attacks decline in U.S., but fatalities increase worldwide

Lunch is served!

Of the 75 shark attacks around the globe in 2011, a dozen were fatal, up from six the year before, according to the annual report by the International Shark Attack File. The U.S. had 29 shark attacks but no deaths.

Shark attacks continued to decline in the United States last year, but worldwide fatalities doubled, jumping to their highest level since 1993, according to a report released Tuesday.

Of the 75 shark attacks around the globe in 2011, a dozen were fatal, up from six the year before, according to the annual report by the International Shark Attack File, which is compiled by the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.

The United States, with 29 shark attacks but no deaths, continued a decade-long decline in attacks, all the more notable because shark numbers have been slowly rebounding since the 1990s.

Florida led the United States last year with 11 shark attacks. California had three, down from four in 2010, the statistics show.

In an incident near Monterey last October, a surfer suffered neck and arm wounds after being attacked by a shark shortly after wading into the water. The shark also snapped off a 19-inch chunk of the man's red surfboard. The last fatal shark attack in the state, in October 2010, killed 19-year-old Lucas Ransom as he body boarded at a beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Several of 2011's fatal shark attacks took place in far-off islands in the Indian Ocean, with two deaths in Reunion and two in the Seychelles. Three people were killed by sharks in Australia and two in South Africa.

Surfers were the most common victims, accounting for about 60% of unprovoked attacks.

Though the jump in shark-related deaths surprised ichthyologists, "the odds of you as an individual being attacked or dying are pretty close to infinitesimal," said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File.

Burgess also noted that humans, by harvesting the creatures for food, continue to pose a greater threat to sharks than they do to us.

"We're killing 30 to 70 million sharks a year in fisheries around the world," Burgess said. "It's pretty obvious who's the real winner and who's the loser in these interactions.",0,1556722.story

Juicing and Raw Foods: U.S. to cut funds for water testing at beaches

Juicing and Raw Foods: U.S. to cut funds for water testing at beaches: The EPA plans to cut $10 million in grants it gives annually. Water quality advocates worry that swimmers and surfers will be at even great...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Water days

Surfer Dude

Don heading out on a shortboard

Surf Glossary: F

Face Height
Face Height - The measurement of surf and wave heights by the front of the wave from the top of the crest to the low part of the trough in front of the wave. Surfline uses this form of wave measurement.

The steepening shoreward front of a wave, where most waveriding occurs.

A wave state just prior to the wave breaking, when the crest begins to show a little whitewater as the wave face steepens. Most often seen in offshore wind conditions.

The area across the ocean over which a wind with a consistent direction generates waves and sea state. The fetch length is one of the three key elements in the fundamental wave generation formula-along with wind velocity and wind duration-used to determine wave heights and wave periods in a storm or wave generating area.

Really good surf. Also called pumping, or going off.

When there are no waves to surf. Unridable surfing conditions. Some waves also have "flat" sections, which are mushy and powerless.

The white water of a breaking wave and/or the bubbles left over from a breaking wave.

The initial long-period waves that travel faster than the main body of the swell.

Fujiwara Effect
When two tropical cyclones rotate about each other. This is caused by the lack of steering winds in the upper atmosphere so the cyclones actually end up affecting each other.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Surf Glossary: E

A circular movement of water, air, or wind that develops on the side of the main body of movement. Eddies will develop in areas adjacent to where the main body of movement is interrupted by projecting obstructions like points of land or islands. Southern California is a classic area for a near-shore south wind eddy system when strong northwesterly winds blow in the outer waters. Point Conception, the offshore islands, and low-pressure inland all contribute to the development of the eddy circulation.
El Nino
A warming of the ocean surface in the Eastern Pacific that begins off the western coast of South America. The warmer water can greatly enhance tropical cyclone development in the Central Eastern Pacific, as well as wintertime storms throughout the North Pacific due to the contrast between the warm water and cold air. The North Pacific jet stream and storm tracks shift further south which generates more wind, swell, and stormy conditions in California, while the areas further north experience milder weather.
A unit of measurement for the power in a wave. Usually in meters squared or centimeters squared.
A term used to describe how breaks within a region will pick up an incoming swell relative to whether they face the incoming swell or not. For example, if you have three breaks facing different directions: break #1 faces south. Break #2 faces southwest. Break #3 faces northwest. Now if we have a incoming S swell: Break #1 would be the best-exposed, #2 would be partially exposed and would most likely be consider average, it would get enough energy to break but not as much as the first beach. Break #3 would be facing away from the swell and would not break.
A term used to indicate that a tropical cyclone has lost its "tropical" characteristic-a warm core center that was the storm's primary energy source. Once "going extratropical" the remains of the tropical cyclone often merges with a cold "winter type" cyclone. The resulting effect of mixing the remnants of warm tropical air with cold air creates a "combustible" type of weather system, which often supercharges the storm with very intense wind speeds and extremely large waves. Extratropical storms usually happen in the fall when late season tropical cyclones converge with early winter storm systems. The storm in the movie "Perfect Storm" was a classic example of an October extratropical storm.
A relatively calm area found near the center of storms, primarily hurricanes and typhoons. Also termed as the "eye of the storm". In hurricanes or typhoons, the eye is either completely or partially surrounded by the eyewall cloud.
Eyewall/Wall Cloud
A deep, thick band of clouds that surround the eye or center of a tropical cyclone.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Surfer Bro Nathan

C street, pipes section at surfer's point

Body Surfing

surfing with angels

Beach Bunnies

Surf Glossary: D

Deep Water
Water deep enough so that surface waves are not affected by the bathymetry on the ocean bottom. Generally, water more than 1,000 feet, or at least deeper than one-half the wavelength of the existing waves is considered deep water.

Deepwater Breaks
Surf spots where the swells have a steep transition from deep water to shallow water so the waves are generally bigger and more powerful than elsewhere. Also includes surf spots where the deep water bathymetry of the ocean floor can greatly focus longer period swells (over 16 seconds) to create larger and more powerful waves. Spots with underwater canyons like Blacks are a prime example.

A) The unit of measurement for direction to analyze where wind and swell direction is coming from. North is 0 or 360 degrees (12:00 o'clock); and then moving clockwise, east at 90 degrees (3:00 o'clock), south at 180 degrees (6:00 o'clock) and west at 270 degrees (9:00 o'clock). Northeast may be anywhere between 0 and 90 degrees, southeast between 90 and 180 degrees, southwest between 180 and 270 degrees and northwest between 270 and 360 degrees. B) Degrees also are used to measure Latitude and Longitude, with minutes and seconds used a fractionals between the degrees. One degree of Latitude will always equal 60 miles at that same location. One degree of Longitude will always vary due to the curvature of the Earth toward the poles.

The process of wave energy filtering into the lee of obstacles such as breakwaters by the transfer of the wave energy along wave crests. Diffracted waves are smaller than the original waves.

Where the wind or swell is coming from. In the marine community, directions are always identified as the direction the swell or the wind is "coming from," not the direction it's headed.

Double Up
When two waves combine, often creating an extra powerful wave with twice the amount of energy. Double up waves often create the best waves to get barreled or tubed on because the interaction of the waves forces the waves to break in shallower water than normal, which creates hollower, steeper waves.

A reference to the direction further along the crest of a wave from the location from where a surfer drops into the wave. The direction toward which the surfer is riding. Waves can also be described as "down-the-line" when the wall is long and fast.

Used to describe waves that are very hollow and hard-breaking.

In wave forecasting, the length of time the wind blows in the same direction over the swell generating area, or the fetch. Duration is one of the three key elements in the fundamental wave generation formula-along with wind velocity and fetch length-used to determine wave heights and wave periods in a storm or wave generating area.

Surf Glossary: C

Caught Inside
A circumstance in which a surfer is trapped between the shoreline and breaking waves. This usually means the surfer will have to wait for a lull between the larger breaking waves for a chance to slip into clear water.

Central Pressure Index (CPI)
The minimum atmospheric pressure in the eye or center of a hurricane, which is used to estimate the wind velocities in the storm. The lower the CPI, the faster the wind speeds.

Bumpy ocean and wave conditions that are rough due to strong winds and/or currents. Wind velocities are usually over 12 knots to create choppy conditions.

Good surfing conditions with decent wave energy, a smooth or glassy ocean surface and very little onshore wind. Offshore winds blowing into the faces of the waves can create clean, groomed conditions.

Clean-up Set
A much larger wave or a set of waves, which breaks further outside than normal. A clean-up set usually "cleans" the line-up of surfers caught further inside.

When all parts of the wave-down the line or crest of the wave-break at the same time. (Opposite of closeouts, the ideal waves for surfing are ones that break from one side to the other so the surfer can angle across the face of the wave.)

Combo Swell
A combination of swells from varying directions, which will create peaky and crossed up conditions as the waves merge together. Combo swells are great for most beachbreaks but break up the perfect lines at most reef and point breaks.

A surf condition when waves are coming in very frequently and in predictable quantities.

Continental Shelf
The underwater shelf extending from a continent out to sea to a depth of about 165 fathoms or 1,000 feet. Long period swells of about 20 seconds will begin to feel the ocean floor at about 1,000 feet.

A line on a map or chart representing points of equal value compared to datum or starting point. An isobath is a line connecting points of equal depth below a datum to measure bathymetry, and an isobar when used to represent atmospheric pressure.

Describes the vision of a series of swells marching in from the horizon.

The end sections or shoulders of waves. A term usually used on the more closed out days when surfers try to find shoulders or corners to ride.

The top part or lip of the wave or swell.

Older term used to describe the concave face of the wave just before breaking; the area just before the barrel. ("Shoot the curl" was a popular longboard expression from the '60s.)

An atmospheric closed circulation rotating counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Surf Glossary: B

(verb) The act of taking off deep behind the peak or a section on a hollow wave, and surfing through the barrel or tube of the wave to the other side of the peak. (Also a proper noun: the short intense right peeling off the reverse side of Pipeline in Hawaii.)

Backing Off
The action of a wave as it passes from shallow water into deeper water closer to shore. The wave becomes less steep, or the broken whitewater fades away. Tends to occur shoreward of offshore reefs or sandbars. The wave may reform and break again in even shallower water closer to shore.

A reflected wave, caused by water pushed up onto a steep grade of beach, which then rushes back out to sea against the general wave movement. This can create spectacular explosive wave effects, as the backwash and incoming waves collide.

The space inside a breaking wave between the lip and face. A surfer may be completely hidden from view during a barrel ride, especially from shore. One of the most difficult, best and most enjoyable acts in surfing, but often very difficult to complete due to changing variations in every different wave. Another name for tube.

The measurement of depths of water in oceans, seas, and lakes. The topography of the ocean floor or underwater bottom

Beach Break
Waves breaking over a sand bottom.

Blown Out
A surf condition caused by strong onshore winds, which create ugly chop on the wave faces and through the lineup. Generally considered unridable.

A very large wave, well beyond the session's normal wave size.

Australian term for big waves breaking further out and isolated by deep water. Also called bombie or cloudbreak.

A section of a given wave in which the line of the wave bends, or appears to bend, toward the shore. The bend creates added intensity, often causing the wave to build into a peak, or grow hollower or steeper throughout its general curve. Nicknamed "bowl" because the wave suddenly becomes concave from a variety of angles, not just from the base or lip.

Break Line
The line where waves begin to break. All things being equal, waves will begin to break when they reach water depth equaling approximately 1.3 times the wave face height.

When a wave passes from deep water to shallow water it steepens as the wave energy is forced upward. We call this "shoaling". With increasing steepness, the wave face finally becomes too unstable and the crest or top part of the wave tumbles or "breaks" down the face of the wave.

Broken Up
A surf condition in which waves approach the beach and break apart into different peaks/lines with a clear separation between the ridable shoulders. This is usually caused by two swells from different directions and or periods overlapping the same break. Also called "scattered peaks".

Bumps on the ocean surface created by wind, usually between 6-10 knots in velocity. Definitely not clean but not choppy or blown out either.

A floating object moored to the bottom of the ocean to mark a channel, anchor, shoal, rock, etc. Buoys with sensitive meteorological and oceanographic instruments are also moored in deep-water locations to measure wind, weather, and wave information. This information is used to help forecasters monitor the progress of swells as they pass the buoy location.

Surf Glossary: A

A peak-shaped wave, with left and right shoulders, and the highest point of the crest in the middle of the peak.

Artificial Reef
An underwater structure man-made for one or more reasons: 1) aiding ailing ocean ecologies by giving sea fauna a home/feeding ground or 2) creating quality surf where there's otherwise none or 3) helping with beach erosion by lessening impact of swells pushing sand away from shore.

Atmospheric Pressure
The air pressure or force exerted on the Earth's surface caused by the weight of the air above, usually between 950 - 1050 millibars at sea level. Air pressure is also measured to indicate the presence and movement of weather producing high and low pressure systems.

Ice waves in the Croatian Adriatic coastal town of Senj

Monday, February 6, 2012

A good surfer

-ID hazards (currents, rocks, entry/exit points) and know your friends in the lineup or make some by being polite and positive

-Plan to avoid all possible hazards including those on your rig (noseguard, blunt fin edges, UV protection, adequate leash for wave size) and learn first responder techniques to address and triage injuries-- hopefully making new friends in the process

-Respect ocean, the culture of surfing, those of higher ability and be prudent in all actions accepting responsibility for your mistakes and those of the less experienced

- Know your personal limits of ability of your equipment, yourself and physical fitness and adapt them to your session.

-Allow your body to rest adequately between sessions, eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, protein (especially after a surf session) and avoid fad diets, processed foods, drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Warm up prior to surfing. Stretch after surfing. Respect your body.

-Use surfing as an outlet to be a better individual. Be a steward of your ocean and other users. Do not hassle others or become a victim to feeling surf rage but instead take an opportunity to teach and learn in each session. Help those in need and set a good example for surfing while maintaining a healthy sense of self-respect. Again defer to those of better knowledge and ability in hopes that you may learn, progress and do right by them.



Well said, clayton.

Surf angel knows his way around the breaks

Felix the Air Cat