Penrhyn Mawr

Swell, Wind Waves, Tides and the Effects of Landforms

Presentation by Tom Bergh for

SEA KAYAK GEORGIA SYMPOSIUM. Year 2023. Tybee Island, GA

Sea kayaking places us directly within two primary and unusual marine energy systems. Tides and their resulting currents, and ocean swell with their long periods.

Swells are moving hills of heavy, dense energy with often dramatic effects on the surface topography of the sea. Swells can intensify forces in the coastal zone, and often push Paddlers into heightened Fun or Fear dimensions.

Wind, above all environmental variables, has the greatest daily impact on most sea paddlers. So predicting wind speed, its direction, and understanding its impact on the texture of the sea, is essential to your seamanship skills. Winds are the movement of air caused by differences in temperature and pressure.

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