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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Art And Magic Of The Open Water

What NASA sees from above, open water swimmers experience first-hand every day.

These animations based on data from NASA satellites on the left show ocean surface currents between 2005 and 2007. The movement of water as seen from above is fascinating to behold. The macro level is magnificent.

And ocean swimmers feel this movement of the water on a micro, truly human level. Just as the massive Gulf Stream moves from the Caribbean Sea out towards the Atlantic Ocean, the lone swimmer traversing along a coastline towards a rock jetty can feel the power and effects of an oncoming current with every stroke.

But while the currents look like the broad brush strokes used in Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting Starry Night, those broad strokes of water movement are much more detailed as Georges Seurat's example of pointillism in his painting Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande-Jatte. That is, from afar, the currents look orderly and dynamic, but from within, the currents are chaotic and unpredictable.

When Jose Cortinas, Leo Vigil, Rolando Elejalde, Luciana Nunez, Diana Nyad, Skip Storch and Penny Palfrey tackled swimming across the Gulf Stream, they had to face huge eddies. These eddies occur at the edges of the Gulf Stream and create havoc in many cases. While the current may be moving in one direction, the eddies are swirls that twirl around and around in incomprehensible and ever-dynamic directions, making a joke of the straight-line tangent navigational intentions of swimmers and navigators.

Sometimes, these eddies are gigantic from a human perspective.

As is the entire movement of water on the blue Planet Earth.

For more animations made possible by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the NASA Ames Research Center, view here and here.



Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Source

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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