Making Waves

We made our way from Dominica to Martinique, in time to participate in the Fort du France Martinique Carnaval. “Participation” means being part of the crowd. This was our third time participating and it is much like being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I posted video on Facebook.


Before going to Fort du France, we stopped in St Pierre and anchored in the shadow of Mt. Pelee for two days. This gave us an opportunity to go up to the Depaz distillery to sample some of their wares. Agricole rhum is not my favorite, but I did buy a bottle to sample aboard. A swell developed and so by the second night we moved from a stage 2-3-4 swells to frequent stage 7’s. That prompted us to move on.

We motored to Fort du France but knowing the small anchorage would be crowded, we kept on and anchored in Trois Ilets. This is on the other side of the large bay. The anchorage is fine except it is open to the east. The only time there isn’t wind blowing down on you is for a few hours in the very early morning. Otherwise, a good chop develops which makes any dinghy ride very wet. There is no swell, so the boat doesn’t roll but going ashore can be a challenge. That, combined with the lack of a proper dingy dock, does not lend itself to a popular anchorage for cruisers. The up side is that a convenient 20 minute ferry ride brings you into Fort du France (7 EU round trip).

Obviously, living on a boat makes one very well aware of the water surface conditions. Maybe Predict Wind can get their computers to report roll stage conditions at anchorages, that would be great. They “predict” for passages but not for destinations. Boats, yachts, and ships all react like corks and reflect those conditions. It is only a matter of relative size of the craft to conditions that determines survivability. The trend toward catamaran for cruisers, in large part, can be attributed to their ability to be “less rolly” than monohulls.

All this led me to consider waves. Certainly the waves of people at the carnival jostles one around and waves of covid 19 cases demonstrated how individuals can be affected. Ocean waves have been the objects of fascination for centuries, certainly by those ashore, no less than those afloat. Dramatic paintings and photographs of the crashing, churning white foamed “angry sea” abound. Not to mention the scene of the Andrea Gail desperately climbing vertically over a wall of water. Most dramatic are the images of the exploding water along rugged coastlines, themselves shaped by the very same waves. Artists have long been fascinated by this phenomena and perfected the art of glass and resin manipulation to freeze these images into 3-D sculptures. All of this seems reactive. Humans are nothing if not proactive in affecting their natural environment (by design with their cleverness or inadvertently by their stupidity).

Wave Conjunction Junction
Wave Fan

With that in mind, I have searched in vain (on Google) for things that can produce these artistic images using real waves in real time. I call them Wave Sculptures In Real Time. WASIRTs (pronounced “wa-certs”) for the easily pleased. The drawings here are some ideas that I had that may qualify. The thought is that these could be constructed of reinforced concrete and placed in appropriate locations for natural wave actions. They could be staged at different levels to operate at different tide levels. More portable units could be constructed for an ongoing “tour” of WASIRTS at different locations. Smaller versions could be marketed to beach goers as attractive beach play things. Clearly, they may inspire others to utilize what nature provides and turn lemons (waves) into lemonade (WASIRTs). Yes, I know there are some useful things waves are already doing (wave motion to produce electricity, etc). But wouldn’t it be nice to sit on your rolling stage 5 anchorage and watch those swells and wave explode into majestic displays of spent energy and knowing that it was a human designed effect instead of heading toward a calmer anchorage? I’m receptive to those who would answer a RFP to participate in these WASIRTs.

Whirl Pool with pump
Wave Cannon

One thought on “Making Waves

  1. Looking good, wish I could have been there.

    Fair Winds

    George Van Drasek

    16 Spruce Lane

    West Hartford, CT 06107



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