Super Seiche

The Shipt order that I had first placed yesterday was finally available for pickup this morning. I had called them and the operator placed a bonus on the order, to help attract a shopper and also promised me a $15 discount for my trouble. Today, we got to Meijer’s and then back to the cabin again even before my window was supposed to begin. More importantly, we got back well before the rain set-in. It was an all-day rain and it soon turned colder too, so definitely not a beach day. We sat around surfing the web, until that got too old. Besides most of the news was way too depressing. The tweet of the day went something like this, “The RNC is really hard to listen to, because my mother is keeps dropping F-bombs constantly.” Anne turned to knitting and I busied myself in the kitchen. I baked Key Lime Pie bars, which also helped to warm-up the cabin a bit.

After I finished baking, I checked radar to see how much longer the rain was going to continue and was surprised to see that the portion of the St. Mary’s River that is just outside the cabin window was under a special marine warning box. Normally, these orange boxes indicate rough water and are for small craft warnings, but looking out the window I didn’t see any waves or much wind to speak of. Reading the details on the warning indicated that the water levels on the St Mary’s River upstream of the Soo Locks had been fluctuating up-and-down about two feet since noon. Water levels had first gone up and by the time that I became aware of all of this they were dropping again. Anne and I headed down to the beach and instead of big waves, we found a seiche. I’ve included photos of the extra-wide beach, which probably was not at its maximum extent.

We’ve had plenty of seiches in the past, but this is the first one that I am aware of that was accompanied by a marine warning. This warning was not issued for small craft, but for the big ore boats that ply these waters. Shipping was halted from going through the locks. It turns out that a seiche is a wave of sorts. It is a standing wave or a wave which oscillates in time, but whose amplitude does not move in space. This means that the water level can go up-and-down and still look calm, unlike with regular waves that come rolling in to crash on the beach. 

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