The clues

In a rock garden near Black Rocks, waves passing along one side
steepen noticeably once in a while.

Waves have increased by a foot on the beach over lunch while the wind
stayed calm. The forecast called for increasing winds in the morning.

Half way between Ireland and Scotland, the wave pattern that has been
present for the last hour became choppy. It changed back within the hour.

What are the waves saying?

At Black Rocks, an underwater reef is on the one side. If one watches,
one may see a large set break in that area infrequently. Given that
area, it is best to use the other side for entering/exiting the rock
garden.

The waves without wind are saying the wind is coming but it’s late.
Paddling after lunch, one could see a wind line approaching as the waves
continued to build. The wind arrived as it passed by.

Between Ireland & Scotland, the waves told me of a light current from
the opposite direction of the waves creating the chop. It ran the hour
before slack water.

Waves can tell you a lot if you just watch and learn from them. Given
their complexity, they will often surprise you just when you thought you
had them figured out. Don’t worry, they are just giving you another lesson.

Watch for the clues and learn to read the story behind what is happening.

By Sam Crowley

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