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Secrets of the St. Lawrence
The wind and the waves - Conflicting seas
Baie des Sept Îles
- "Just look at those waves. And I thought we'd find calmer seas here. Let's get out of here right away."
Live and learn! When waves strike a vertical barrier such as a cliff or a wharf, they are reflected and rebound.
But as they flow back out and meet incoming waves, their crests cross and build quickly, producing a choppy, confused sea up to a few nautical miles offshore. It's not very comfortable for anyone on board.
If you are mathematically inclined, you can use the formula opposite to draw up a chart showing how high the waves will build, depending on the fetch in Baie des Sept Îles.
In such a confused sea, it wouldn't be wise to try to seek shelter near a cape or a point.
When waves approach shoals from an angle, they bend toward the shallows, increasing in height.
In the lee of an island, this refraction effect produces a cross sea. These confused and choppy conditions can make navigation very difficult and even dangerous, depending on the wind speed.
The same cross-sea effect can be produced by refraction when the shoal is an underwater mountain or point.
- 1. Fore to aft
- 2. What Cartier missed out on
- 3. Conversion
- 4. The Secrets of the St Lawrence
- 5. The wind in your sails - Hard a-port!
- 6. The wind in your sails - Fast or slow?
- 7. The wind in your sails - The wind's paths
- 8. The wind in your sails - Against the wall
- 9. The wind in your sails - Solar energy
- 10. The wind in your sails - Under the stars
- 11. The wind and the waves - The windway
- 12. The wind and the waves - Wave wars
- 13. The wind and the waves - Graveyards
- 14. The wind and the waves - Conflicting seas
- 15. Symbols
- 16. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... - Legend
- 17. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... - Calling all sailors
- 18. The St Lawrence, from 1 to... Hot spots
- 19. Local listings - Québec - Pointe-des-Monts
- 20. Local listings - Pointe-des-Monts - Cap Whittle
- 21. Local listings - Cap Whittle - Blanc-Sablon
- 22. Local listings - Gaspésie - Baie des Chaleurs
- 23. Local listings - Îles de la Madeleine
- 24. Sailors take warning - White-outs
- 25. Sailors take warning - The sky above us
- 26. Sailors take warning - Keeping a weather eye
- 27. Sailors take warning - Fair weather and foul
- 28. Sailors take warning - The unexpected
- 29. The four seasons - Wind aplenty
- 30. The four seasons - Vessel icing
- 31. The four seasons - Ice cycle
- 32. Extra - Beaufort
- 33. Extra - Handy references
- 34. Extra - Old Salts and Sea-dogs
- 35. Extra - The crew
- 36. Extra - A to Z
- 37. Extra - Stations
- 38. Extra - Areas
- 39. Credits
- Date modified: