We’re watching yesterday morning’s nor’wester sweeping down Eggemoggin Reach and charging into Great Cove.


 Its winds are gusting up to 30 miles per hour, which is not a worrisome event, unless you’re an inexperienced sailor in a small boat without a life jacket. Such winds make our usually lazy waters get up and line dance.


In nearby Naskeag Harbor, fishing boats bucked and pulled at their moorings while sea gulls hunkered down and faced into the wind.

In natural coves and man-made harbors, the entering trains of ocean waves are forced by the land’s shape and shallower water to bend (“refract’) and fan out toward the shore in fascinating whitecap (“spilling wave”) patterns.

There are extraordinarily complex phenomena going on here. For those interested in finding out what they are, we recommend How to Read Water by Tristan Gooley (The Experiment, LLC, 2016). (Brooklin, Maine)