We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, September 8. 2013
Gwynnie is up in Eastport, Maine and learning about the Old Sow whirlpool. According to Wikipedia, Old Sow is the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere, located off the southwestern shore of Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada, and Moose Island, the principal island of Eastport, Maine.
According to popular etymology the name "Old Sow" is derived from "pig-like" noises the whirlpool makes when churning; however, a more likely origin is the word "sough" (pronounced "suff"), defined as a "drain," or a "sucking sound." Early settlers to the area may easily have mispronounced "sough," as "sow," due to its similar spelling to other words with "sow-sound" endings, such as "plough."
The whirlpool is caused by local bathymetry and extreme tidal range where waters exchange between Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy, combined with the unusual topography of the location's sea floor at the confluence of the numerous local currents.
Old Sow is one of five significant whirlpools worldwide (Corryvreckan, Scotland; Saltstraumen, Norway; Moskstraumen, Norway; and Naruto, Japan are the others). Although the tidal currents within Western Passage surrounding Old Sow compare with faster whirlpools elsewhere, the speed of Old Sow's vortex is considerably slower than Moskstraumen, the world's most powerful whirlpool.
Tremendous water turbulence occurs locally in the greater Old Sow area, but it does not usually constitute a navigation hazard for motorized vessels with experienced operators at the helm; however, small craft — especially vessels with keels (sailboats) and human-powered vessels — are warned to avoid these waters when the tide is running.
Besides Old Sow and its numerous "piglets" (small and medium whirlpools surrounding Old Sow), other area phenomena include standing waves, upwellings (that on rare occasion may even spout several feet into the air), and 10- to 17-foot-deep or more, non-vortexing depressions in the water.
Robert Godfrey writes in Smithsonian Magazine: “The reasons for the Old Sow are several. To begin with, some 40 billion cubic feet of water floods into Passamaquoddy Bay with each incoming tide and mixes with the countercurrents from the St. Croix River to the north of the bay. There's a 400-foot-deep trench to the southwest of New Brunswick's Deer Island Point that continues as a 327-foot trench to the northwest. Bisecting the trench is a 281-foot undersea mountain. All that water flooding into the bay has to negotiate a right-angle turn to get around Deer Island Point, and then it slams into that undersea mountain. When heavy winds coincide with especially high tides, it becomes liquid chaos and disaster for the unwitting seafarer.”
"'A local fisherman summed it up pretty well when he said, 'I didn't
"The Old Sow is a tidal whirlpool, and so opens up at a location
"'There was absolutely no sensation of dropping or falling," said
"Even when the Sow isn't present in all her glory, smaller whirlpools
"David and Ruth Sousa, residents of nearby Calais, Maine, saw the
"An experienced sailor, Sousa decided it would be fun to give the
"Local sailors advise those who get caught in the Old Sow to simply
"Several years ago, Eastport resident Barbara Barrett was out fishing
"'The kids were laughing the whole time. It was a very interesting
"All the members of the survivors' group laugh as they recount their
"'Watching the whirlpool also is the best way to truly understand
chaos theory," adds Godfrey. "You never know what the Old Sow will do
next. It's chaos in its purest form." Godfrey encourages the curious to
visit Eastport and go out on the bay with an experienced local captain
to see the action firsthand. Afterward, the shaken and stirred visitors
can apply for membership in the Old Sow survivors' association."
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"Gwynnie is up in Eastport, Maine and learning about the Old Sow whirlpool."
Doc is down in the Florida Keys and learning about the advantages of writing in the third person. He then realizes the brilliance of the tactic. When someone criticizes something he said, he can merely point to the offending words and claim, "Hey, I didn't write that -- he did!"
Doc is then struck with jealousy as he realizes the Keys don't have anything fun like Old Sow down there, just boring old voracious sharks, ravenously hungry barracudas and death-dealing jellyfish. Doc then wonders why some smart entrepreneur doesn't rig a big fishing net across the bottom of the Sow to catch all the wallets and jewelry from the victims up above, then realizes that the Keys have the advantage in this case, because it's easier to slit open a shark's belly to retrieve the valuables than deal with a big net.
"Doc, that's horrible, wanting people to die like that!"
Hey, I didn't write that -- he did!
And welcome home, Gwynne, and congratulations on your escape. With Bird Dog telling us for almost a decade how vile and evil and liberal and decadent and disgusting all Californians are, I'm a little surprised they even let you go. Was money involved? A big payoff to the gatekeepers is the usual ticket out.
And thanks for the fun pics. As a vile, evil, liberal, decadent, disgusting native Californian, it was nice to see a touch of home. I'm sure both of our other California readers feel the same.
Doc then ponders whether or not he should give some editorial advice to Gwynne, then decides as long as he keeps it in third person, he's safe from outside criticism. He then informs Gwynnie that in order to remove the 'line breaks' from pasted text, which caused all those shortened paragraphs up above, the trick is to first paste it into Notepad, which removes any embedded commands, then paste that into the Maggie's editor.
"You've got a lot of nerve, Doc, telling me how to write my blogs!"
Hey, I didn't say it -- he did!
This third-person stuff is GREAT!
Give us a break, Doc! There's only so much formatting we can do on an iPhone. As Maggie's profile of Gywnnie points out, she is an elderly Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) and has even more difficulty with the iPhone than her dutiful scribe! That is why we write using third-party or plural forms. Happy?