Archive for the ‘Padaro Beach’ Category

Things That Go “Whoosh” at the Beach

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Julia’s involved with the snowy plover recovery effort at Coil Oil Point, which makes me really proud (and jealous). On December 13 she was the docent on duty when someone told her that a jogger had made a channel between Devereux Slough (which was very full at the time) and the ocean. The slough had been close to breaking through, and the docents were on the lookout for that to happen naturally as a result of rain or high tide, but for a human to engineer it was officially frowned upon.

Here’s what the slough looked like before:


Here’s what it looked like when she got to the place where the jogger had made the channel:


Once that channel was made it didn’t take long for things to get exciting. Julia headed back to the docent office, made a call to her boss, and a few minutes later was back at the channel. Here’s a short video she made when she got back, before her camera’s battery ran out:

A few minutes after that, Harold Marcuse made the following video from the other side of the channel. You can see Julia on the far bank:

Harold has some more photos in his blog posting I found at Edhat: Devereux Slough Breached. According to Julia, it was a pretty exciting event. The “whoosh” of the water exiting the slough was really loud.

On the subject of things that go “whoosh” at the beach, Julia also took some video of an event down at Padaro Beach, just west of Carp, yesterday (Christmas Eve). My sister M’Liz, my brother-in-law Steve, and my nephew Jamie were up for a visit, and they gave William an early Christmas gift of a model rocket, and helped us set it off.

The first launch didn’t go so well; we were using an older motor that didn’t have enough oomph to get the rocket off the launchpad (though it did have enough oomph to start a small fire and melt the pad, which was fun):

We did a quick repair with duct tape (hooray for duct tape!) and used a newer motor on the next try:

I was surprised by how much altitude we got. We were using a C5-6 black powder motor, which didn’t mean anything to me beforehand, but which I now know was rated to generate 5 Newtons of thrust, and to fire its streamer-deploying charge 6 seconds after burnout. The rocket arched slightly in the direction of the ocean as it ascended, such that Jamie commented, “that’s going in the water” (which you can hear on the video). We lost sight of the rocket at apogee, and apparently the streamer never deployed. If the streamer had deployed, I think there’s a good chance the rocket would have drifted back onto the beach with the gentle sea breeze, but without the streamer the rocket landed in the ocean, because that’s where we eventually noticed it, floating just outside the surfline.

After a few minutes of staring at it and trying (unsuccessfully) to flag down a passing paddleboarder, William demonstrated why he’s such an awesome kid by stripping off his shirt and swimming out to recover it. I don’t think this particular rocket is ever going to fly again, but at least now we have it for forensic analysis: