I sure get the feeling that the sculling community isn't all too hip on
safety. I've heard it all, from not wearing flotation vests (even CO2
variety); to the business about heel restraints; to not being concerned
about rowing in very cold water without protection and, yes, also the
bit about potential pinnings under a capsized boat without requiring
rowers to have a simple pony tank for breathing while inverted.
Now, I agree, the vast majority of rowers never encounter any problems
whatsoever. Absolutely agreed. Let me make this analogy then. Look
at your automobile. Would you like to:
- Remove and discard the seatbelt?
- Disable airbags?
- Stiffen-up the walls so that crumple zones don't absorb energy?
- Disable ABS brakes?
- Replace shock-absorbing bumpers with nice solid ones that don't
- Take out that tempered safety glass and put in standard glass?
- Weld that collapsible steering column shaft so that it won't collapse
- Get rid of that child seat for your kids
I'm sure there are more items that can be added to the list.
The point should be obvious. I think most people today would not
consider purchasing an automobile devoid of all the safety-increasing
technologies that have been developed over the last several decades.
Yet, it is probably safe to say that most drivers have never had an
accident requiring most of these devices.
So, why is it that it is OK to get on a skinny unstable boat in frigid
water with barely any clothing and virtually no safety devices?
Let the slugfest begin.
I would not say people are lax about safety, but each situation
requires different reasoning as to why or why not to wear a pfd or a
dry suit. The lower lagoon we row on, has all powerboat traffic banned
so in my opinion a secondsry PFD is not needed since there is virtualy
no chance of anything coliding with us while we row. If I rowed on the
upper lake, you can bet I would wear an inflatable PFD like you have (I
almost bought one a month ago) or at the very least carry a pfd
strapped to the boat.
In the marina at MDR the speed limit is controlled in the areas we row
in so once again, I do not wear one. Actually a pfd will make it
harder to get back in during a capsize since it will catch on the seat
as you hual yourself in. My shorts were ripped by the seat and tracks
when I tried to get in once. However, if I were to go in the open
ocean, I would most definately wear a PFD. I would probably even stow
some inflatable thwarts and straps should something drastic hapen.
This weekend on Casitas there was a huge Cigarette boat getting ready
to launch and to be safe we decide to come in and pack up since it was
very high off the water and he would not be able to see us off his bow.
It should of not been in Casitas in the first place, and I thought to
myself, it would be a good idea to wear a PFD today if he was out with
I suppose safety gear is directly related to risk. You would not wear
a full hocky setup to prune roses even though it would definately keep
you from being poked! If you wanted to run through them, then that is
the proper atire!
I experienced this first-hand trying to get back on a kayak. That's
why I switched to a hand-triggered CO2 vest as it has significantly
less bulk. If you think you need it you can pull the cord. Othewise
it is most certainly out of the way.
> I suppose safety gear is directly related to risk. You would not wear
> a full hocky setup to prune roses even though it would definately keep
> you from being poked! If you wanted to run through them, then that is
> the proper atire!
True. However, the intensity or nature of the activity may or may not
provide evidence for increased safety. I'll give you a personal
example. This summer I almost had a heart attack. Sitting in front of
my computer on an otherwise fine Sunday night. The culprit? Stress
and dehydration. Didn't see it coming by a mile.
You never know what could happen. Like those poor guys that got
trapped under their boat by a strange set of circumstances involving
the oarlocks and oars. A truly stupid way to die that could have been
prevented by simply requiring a small air bottle to be strapped beside
each rower during these sorts of events. They weigh nothing and cost
nothing, but the life they can save...
BTW, they do allow exactly ONE power boat on the logoon (other than the
lifeguard's). For some strange reason CSUN has clearance to bring in a
power boat for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Talk about exactly the
wrong type of activity for the lagoon. It typically happens in the
summer and, even though they claim that the skipper is very experienced
and knows what to do it is really uncomfortable being in the water with
a ski boat tooling along. I don't know which rocket surgeon came up
with the thought that this was a good idea, but, we have to live with
Evidence that the oarlocks had any relevant part in delaying the rescue
of the 2 inverted Germans in teh World Championships at Dorney in August
has yet to appear. Unfastening oarlocks to remove the oars has never
been a part of any procedure for rescue of people trapped in their
inverted shells. Were it so, then it would also be the duty of
potential rescuers to ensure, before the event, that they were fully
familiar with the range of oarlocks being used by competitive rowers &
to plan & prepare accordingly.
OTOH, when something goes messily wrong, rather than blame any of the
1. The crew disabling or rendering ineffective their foot release mechanisms
2. The regatta committee failing in its duty of care to check what is,
in the UK, a mandatory safety requirement for foot release
3. Both members of the crew unnecessarily & foolishly laying back in the
boat after their race & thereby losing their visual horizon & so
precipitating their own inversion
4. Apparent lack of any clear procedure for rescue should rowers be
trapped by a capsize - hardly an improbable occurence in an event where
there has been the deliberate decision to _not_ check safety equipment -
this prolonging the inversion with the potential for drowning
5. Failure of the rescuers to have familiarised themselves with the
proper operation of equipment which, while recent, is hardly new.
all those fundamental flaws are instead ignored, while blame is planted
upon a piece of equipment which was irrelevant to & blameless in the
chain of events which brought about the mishap & whose sole safety
function in rowing is to _retain_ the oar at all times against release,
both under normal use & in the event of accidents.
A truly stupid way to die that could have been
> prevented by simply requiring a small air bottle to be strapped beside
> each rower during these sorts of events. They weigh nothing and cost
> nothing, but the life they can save...
I do not think you can or should expect rowers to train or compete with
a charged air-bottle on their persons or in the boat. You are proposing
to encumber a rower with a supposed safety device which, in real case of
need, might prove impossible to use due to confusion, injury or
equipment damage. In contrast, the passive safety solution (which it
seems those 2 rowers deliberately or through lack of safety education
disabled) is so much more simple & effective - that the feet
automatically release on inversion - & requires only a pair of
properly-fitted lengths of stout cord.
Good safety works by the KISS principle.
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: ca...@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)
On the Australian oarlock matter I have been using those oarlock for
more than a year both myself and some of my athletes. Although I
believe that they are a total waste of money, there is no way that they
might have caused the trouble. I can see them be a problem for a
novice crew trying to back it up at the start and maybe causing the
flipping (again for a novice crew it's not justifiable for a crew that
is racing internationally).
I believe you are right in that case there are other factors that came
I was going to write the same thing about the suggestion of charged air
bottles. In addition to what Carl has said, if an inverted rower has
the mental wherewithal to think about the air bottle, find it, detach it
from the hull, activate and use it, then he has the wherewithal (and the
proper amount of air in his lungs) to reach forward and untie his feet,
which as soon as he leans forward would be unnecessary anyway because
his feet would come free as soon as he leaned forward.
Carrying an air bottle in a rowing boat is no more useful than carrying
one in a closed cockpit kayak. By the time the kayaker could get and
use the bottle, he could have ejected from the cockpit and swam away
(assuming he couldn't roll up).
> seems those 2 rowers deliberately or through lack of safety education
> disabled) is so much more simple & effective - that the feet
> automatically release on inversion - & requires only a pair of
I still say this is an exaggeration of the mechanism, Carl. The feet do
NOT "automatically" release upon inversion. It depends on the posture
of the legs upon inversion. If the rower was supine when the boat went
over, then he would have to move stern-ward somewhat (and probably away
from the deck a bit) before the feet would pop out of the shoes. The
ankle MUST flex enough so that the heel can be lifted the 1~3 inches
(depending on strap length) necessary to pull the shoes away.
> Good safety works by the KISS principle.
True, that. Or, for the homies in the audience, trudat. ;^)
Yes that is the same lake. Casitas does not allow any body contact
with the water (ie no swimming and no dogs in the water.) It makes no
sense to me that you can not swim in a lake, but it is OK to have a
boat with two dragster engines belching out all sorts of stink into the
water with an exhaust that is under the water line. The lake is a
little quick to give tickets, but they tend to understand when a shell
is flipped even if you have to push the shell to shore.
It is sad, but all of the facilities form the Olympics have been
removed. However, there is currently a club being started that has the
backing of a few high schools and one college to get a propper
boathouse and dock put in. It will be a few years off before any
propper facilities like a boathouse are built, but the lake has given
the OK and a propper dock is the first step and in the works.
On Dec 5, 5:34 am, marco.b...@gmail.com wrote:
> > This weekend on Casitas there was a huge Cigarette boat getting ready
> > to launch and to be safe we decide to come in and pack up since it was
> > very high off the water and he would not be able to see us off his bow.
> > It should of not been in Casitas in the first place, and I thought to
> > myself, it would be a good idea to wear a PFD today if he was out with
> > us.Are you talking about Lake Casitas? The lake where the Abbagnale
First let me say your shells are absolutley amazing and if I had the
money it would be at the top of my list. Also why no USA distributor?
Now in response to the shoes not releasing. I am relatively new to
rowing, but why don't the shells have a cleat type system like Bicycle
pedals. I see it as a natural progression of a propper retention
system. Is it illegal for racing? Has it been tried before and was
never liked? I have some extra pedals and shoes that I could rig
something out to test the idea, but would not bother if it was not
allowed in competition for some reason. I have flipped my bike many
times and never once had an issue getting my feet out even though it
requires a twist to unlock. I guess it just happens subconsciously,
and even if the flip happened and it did not release a quick twist and
your out. However swimming with shoes is not too fun.
On Dec 5, 7:40 am, KC <kc_s...@sonic.net> wrote:
> Carl wrote:
> > marti...@y.z wrote:
> > <snipped>
> >> You never know what could happen. Like those poor guys that got
> >> trapped under their boat by a strange set of circumstances involving
> >> the oarlocks and oars.
> >> A truly stupid way to die that could have been
> >> prevented by simply requiring a small air bottle to be strapped beside
> >> each rower during these sorts of events. They weigh nothing and cost
> >> nothing, but the life they can save...
> > I do not think you can or should expect rowers to train or compete with
> > a charged air-bottle on their persons or in the boat. You are proposing
> > to encumber a rower with a supposed safety device which, in real case of
> > need, might prove impossible to use due to confusion, injury or
> > equipment damage. In contrast, the passive safety solution (which itI was going to write the same thing about the suggestion of charged air
> bottles. In addition to what Carl has said, if an inverted rower has
> the mental wherewithal to think about the air bottle, find it, detach it
> from the hull, activate and use it, then he has the wherewithal (and the
> proper amount of air in his lungs) to reach forward and untie his feet,
> which as soon as he leans forward would be unnecessary anyway because
> his feet would come free as soon as he leaned forward.
> Carrying an air bottle in a rowing boat is no more useful than carrying
> one in a closed cockpit kayak. By the time the kayaker could get and
> use the bottle, he could have ejected from the cockpit and swam away
> (assuming he couldn't roll up).
> > seems those 2 rowers deliberately or through lack of safety education
> > disabled) is so much more simple & effective - that the feet
> > automatically release on inversion - & requires only a pair ofI still say this is an exaggeration of the mechanism, Carl. The feet do
> NOT "automatically" release upon inversion. It depends on the posture
> of the legs upon inversion. If the rower was supine when the boat went
> over, then he would have to move stern-ward somewhat (and probably away
> from the deck a bit) before the feet would pop out of the shoes. The
> ankle MUST flex enough so that the heel can be lifted the 1~3 inches
> (depending on strap length) necessary to pull the shoes away.
> > Good safety works by the KISS principle.True, that. Or, for the homies in the audience, trudat. ;^)
> -Kieran- Hide quoted text -- Show quoted text -
Marc, if you search this news group using groups.google.com you will
find many recent and not so recent discussions of a product called "Krew
Klips" which are clip-in shoes that use Shimano bicycle pedal cleat systems.
Marc, which college is supporting this? Just curious as I learned to
row in the so.cal college rowing scene. Also which high schools?
i think you've answered your own question there! i don't know if i clip
system like on bikes has ever been tried or suggested, but heel
restrients are so simple and so effective(and with so few
disadvantages), that there's little motivation to experiment with
Risks versus rewards. You can implement all the safety devices you
could possibly think of and still die trying to row (or anything else
in life). Your odds of reducing risk with all the safety devices are
great, but risk is still there.
Last night I went for a row. It was 4 degrees Celsius and the water
was calm, but it was dark outside. A friend saw me taking out my boat
and implored with trepidation as to why I would venture out into the
darkness and cold in a single scull--why would I take such risks? My
friend was rowing in an 8+ and I was in a single. I asked her why she
felt she was any safer in an 8+ and whether rowing in daylight versus
darkness would make any difference. She gave the usual answers--safety
in numbers in the 8+, better vision in daylight. I didn't agree with
her answers--they difference is not all that clear cut.
I thought about her question a lot during my row--but risks cross my
mind during every row. I could somehow flip and be knocked
unconscious--and drown. I could flip and be caught under the boat
somehow--and drown. I could experience sudden cardiac arrest--and
drown. I could hit or be hit by another boat, sustain injury, and
I do what I can to mitigate the risks. I know and follow the traffic
pattern. I am a skilled sculler. I can get back in the boat easily.
I am never too far away from shore when I row, and in the middle of an
urban area. My boat is well maintained and has the proper safety
equipment (heel ties, bow ball, enclosed buoyancy compartments). I use
navigation lights on my boat to make my presence known to others, and I
am an advocate of lights for other users of my river. My jersey is of
a light, visible color that will keep me warm even when wet. No motor
boats are allowed on my river. I have good life insurance. My wife
understands the risks (she is a rower).
I don't feel that I am being lax with regard to safety and I recognize
that I still face risks. My rowing is bolstered largely with safe
practices and behaviors and does not rely so much on "devices" as a
safety net. All those devices in your car are useless if you fail to
practice safe driving behavior. As a paramedic I saw my fair share of
dead car occupants who were belted in and had the benefit of
airbags--but still did not survive, usually because they were engaged
in reckless behavior, or were victims of other drivers who were
engaging in reckless behavior. I feel my behavior is safe, and I
employ reasonable measures to protect myself from others who may not be
Just some thoughts.
Waste of time. In a panic situation there is no chance that a rower
will have the presence of mind to unstrap an air bottle and breathe
from it; besides, anywhere which wouldn't be seriously in the way
rowing (beside a rower is ridiculous - there's just no room, it would
have to be in a footwell) would be no easier to reach than the shoe
fastenings. It's better just to use proper heel restraints which will
leave you with your feet out of the shoes if you go in.
The main benefit of the clip-in shoes is that each rower gets his/her
own pair of shoes... no rowing with shoes that don't fit, and no more
sharing foot bacteria and fungi.
The heel straps are still the best safety system though... although
maybe only marginally better than clip-in shoes.
> Are you talking about Lake Casitas? The lake where the Abbagnale
> brothers got a ticket for celebrating their gold with a swim now let
> cigarettes boats in?
There had been a park ranger person there earlier, I don't know where
they were when the kids with the cigarette boat left their truck and
trailer down at the boat launch and went tooling around the lake at
what looked to us to be more than the speed limit after spending a good
hour trying to figure out how to make it work. In fact, now that I
think about it, I'm surprised they let that thing in...
Normally all we ever see in the water are little fishing boats, I
imagine they were as concerned for themselves as we were when we saw
> 2. The regatta committee failing in its duty of care to check what is, in
> the UK, a mandatory safety requirement for foot release
It is mandatory but it's not the regatta's repsonsibility, no more is it a
cycle club's repsonsibility to check that very single nut on every bike
entered is done up. Regattas do their best (IMHO) to check every boat
(despite the cries of it's already been checked once) but a 100% check is
difficult to achieve which is why the rules don't require it.
The standard of boats at Wycliffe Head this weekend was not very good and
there were several failures. Given that most of the entrants at Wycliffe are
juniors this is even more worry as are comments - to a completely unattached
heel restraint - of "but we've been rowing with it like that for ages.
... I concur.
My comments about the community (to generalize to an unfair degree)
being lax about safety wasn't meant to highlight one particular aspect
of it or piece of equipment but rather a general principle. The above
quote is just one example of the sense I've been getting.
I understand the difference between competitive all-out efforts where
you do all you can to gain another hundreth of a second of performance
and recreational rowing. To paraphrase from a post by Mike Sullivan in
another thread, it's less about the boat and the equipment and more
about the rower and the genetics. So, why is it that recreational
rowing doesn't promote safety?
Here's another way to look at it (or ask it). Why is it that in the US
you can walk into a store like Sports Chalet and find all sorts of
canoes and kayaks to choose from and not a single shell?
Cost can't be an issue, there are recreational shells that are
affordable (and volume would make them even more so). I think it is
because these boats have evolved into something that does not feel
"safe" to the average user...in other words, an acquired taste of
sorts. SOT kayaks feel very safe and require very little in the way of
My guess is that shells have natural-selected themselves away from the
mainstream and into corners of activity where the ideosyncracies of the
activity are tolerated, if not desirable. Refer to quoted text above
as one example.
Just a thought.
The overhead of learning it. It doesn't take much to learn to row
reasonably, I get ppl going in 3-5 lessons where they can row,
back, turn, handle boat well on and off the water.
you can throw a kayak/canoe in the water (one of the big flat bottom kind)
and throw on a lifejacket and paddle away.
We, in rowing, do not do enough to promote recreational safety
but a damn sight more than the kayak/canoeing companies who sell
recreation by the hour or by the boat.
To be blunt, true safety is beyond the average person. The
average person won't have the swimming skills, the strength, the
cold water experience, the knowledge, nor will be interested in
taking time to learn it all. You can be like a rec kayaker, throw on
a wetsuit and a lifejacket and go paddling out and hope for the
best, 99% of the time in Cali inland waterways, things work out
So you're preaching to the choir here, Martin.
Another guy got washed off the beach into the ocean in
the north coast last week, somewhere near Bodega.
This happens about once a month (in the papers anyway).
Signs are up. They call them sneaker waves, but
there's nothing sneaky about them.
I think all people who walk on the beach, or on a wharf,
or pier, should pass a swim test (surf test in big surf if
you are at a big wave beach) or be required to wear
So why not have just a bare stretcher arrangement (top tube, one stay to
the keel, in some way similar to Carl's system) in each boat and clip
the board with heel-tied shoes on?
Same applies for seats, why not have just the undercarriage and clip on
a seat-top... but that's another topic.
- Cost still is a reason.
- Rowing (well) is harder and not very intuitive.
- Operation is more complicated, putting in oars the right way, with the
right setting, rigging, having a moving seat, stretcher setting,
launching, landing, minimum width/length of water.
- Parts are even bigger (double length boat & 'paddle'), affects
- Requires a certain care due to facing backwards at a higher speed.
Or go one tiny step further and just swap the entire
footplate/shoeplate/shoe assembly: 3 wingnuts.
I do this in my 2x because I row a lot with a person with tiny feet
that slide around too much in typical-sized shoes. So we got an exra
assembly (not expensive at least for the Fluidesign) and tiny shoes.
Also, this preserves heel height, footplate angle, and tiedowns, at
least with the Fluidesign design.
A comfortable teammate gives more power and fewer complaints.
> The overhead of learning it. It doesn't take much to learn to row
> reasonably, I get ppl going in 3-5 lessons where they can row,
> back, turn, handle boat well on and off the water.
They do teach and sell SCUBA? Far more expensive than recreational
sculling and you have to take various courses before allowed to do it.
But, I do agree with you. People are lazy. Particularly in the US. We
like to buy stuff and use it right away. Manual? What manual?
I think that, done properly, a class of user-friendly recreational
shells that mainstream retailers would be willling to sell (and profit
from) would do great things for the sport. I'm not sure what that
would entail though. I might go talk to the manager at the local
Sports Chalet and see what I hear back. I'm fully expecting to hear
"What's a shell?".
My next challenge is to teach my 8-year old to row. The going
backwards part is a problem that's easily solved by only teaching him
in still water and low wind so he can fumble and learn without worries
about being pushed around.
I thought I just wrote that - or at least I wanted to.
We're swapping everything, including the crosstube and the strut down
to the keel. All that remains behind are the toothed tracks on each
side and the toothed track at the keel.
In the Fluidesign the crosstube, down-strut, and footplate are welded
together anyway. The shoes are screwed onto a shoeplate which bolts
onto the footplate. A sliding arrangement on the bottom end of the
down-strut allows one to vary foot angle, and the lower part of this
slider carries the heel plate and the tiedown anchors. Hope this
explanation makes sense.
most of the commercial courses in scuba are BS, not near enough
Having a FISA sculling certification card isn't a bad idea though.
Scuba divers die often enough it usually doesn't warrant headlines
It should be considered that Scuba will have a more rigourous
self-selection I think than rowing would, Scuba simply looks hard
to do and more dangerous than rowing does from an outsider's
> But, I do agree with you. People are lazy. Particularly in the US. We
> like to buy stuff and use it right away. Manual? What manual?
> I think that, done properly, a class of user-friendly recreational
> shells that mainstream retailers would be willling to sell (and profit
> from) would do great things for the sport. I'm not sure what that
> would entail though. I might go talk to the manager at the local
> Sports Chalet and see what I hear back. I'm fully expecting to hear
> "What's a shell?".
I would never encourage a retailer to sell rec rowing shells.
too much overhead in learning.
It's almost impossible for me to sell my old rec open water boats
because they're too old and stable for people who know how
to row, and when newbies call on them, I suggest they take lessons
first and I never hear from them again.
> My next challenge is to teach my 8-year old to row. The going
> backwards part is a problem that's easily solved by only teaching him
> in still water and low wind so he can fumble and learn without worries
> about being pushed around.
Good swimmer? Comfortable swimming in the lake? Can he/she
open eyes under water in the lake, swim out and tread easily
in deep water?
Every 8 year old should.
Absolutely agreed. Particularly in the "what could go wrong"
> It should be considered that Scuba will have a more rigourous
> self-selection I think than rowing would, Scuba simply looks hard
> to do and more dangerous than rowing does from an outsider's
Rowing looks simple from shore. :-)
>From an offline conversation:
"I'm begining to equate rowing shells to bicycles. Few start with a
$10,000 racing bike. First you start with a beater on traning wheels
and figure out the balance part. Then you take the wheels off and get
better at balance. Beyond that it is up to you how far and wide you
want to explore biking. You can stay with pleasure bikes; go the route
of Tour de France or get into heavy duty mountain bikes (flat water
vs. rough water?). This is probablly a good parallel. From the
outside riding a bike looks very easy. If you've never done it the
balance part can be daunting at first. Once you learn it becomes
second nature and you can approach the most difficult terrain without
worring much about falling over."
> Good swimmer? Comfortable swimming in the lake? Can he/she
> open eyes under water in the lake, swim out and tread easily
> in deep water?
Are you kidding, he's been taking swimming lessons since he was six
months old. He better!
>> Good swimmer? Comfortable swimming in the lake? Can he/she
>> open eyes under water in the lake, swim out and tread easily
>> in deep water?
> Are you kidding, he's been taking swimming lessons since he was six
> months old. He better!
There's a whole nuther dimension to open water swimming than
swimming. even excellent swimmers can get panicky in
open water - it's pretty amazing to see.
Yes! I've witnessed this first hand while snorkeling and diving in the
Caribean (off the island of Saba). A couple of people, who'd never
been swimming in the ocean, hyperventilated within a few minutes of
jumping in (with fins, mask and a snorkel). I guess it has to do with
seeing water move around you and, at times, when you are in the trough
of a swell, not being able to see anything but water. I don't know.
I call it "reverse-claustrophobia".
It has to do with the sensation that you don't know what's below you,
behind you, and you're very far from shore, or where you could put your
feet on ground. I'm fine in open water, but I do get a tinge of this
sensation every time I'm out.
I snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (can't scuba due to a lung problem)
in June '05. I remembering following a certain arm of the reef out to a
point where it just dropped off into darkness. It was a thrill, but
also a tiny bit scary in a way. Some people over react in this way,
even when they just jump in a lake from a boat. All of a sudden -- it's
not a pool, they can't see more than a few feet through the water, and
they freak out.
No Marks for that spelling of Carl
downtown Panic City.
I have trouble with heights, I'm good to fly, but standing in high
places is very unsettling to me. I can manage, I've rock climbed
and never shirked a ladder climb, but I usually have to compose
In Newport back in about '81, during the long Cali drought,
Newport Bay completely settled out and went crystal clear
for a couple days. I noticed when we were going out
toward ferry lanes a strange sensation in my stand up whaler
coaching 3 eights doing steady state. As we got past
the lanes I could see the bottom, an easy 50-60 feet
below. I became dizzy and felt like I was going to fall. I stopped
the crews so they could check it out. There was absolutely
no swell at all, so we rowed out on to the ocean for the next
couple days, the second time we turned around at Newport
Pier. I got used to it, but it was unsettling to feel like I
was high up, when actually not.
Another time before when I was rowing, I had a hilarious incident of
phobias. After summer nat'ls, I switched sides and rowed a
pair w/ a teammate every afternoon after we both got off work.
He worked as a beach guard, I stopped by his tower and
bodysurfed a bit while I waited for him so I could catch
a ride as well. While in the water, I encountered a jellyfish,
and went through rather stupid looking gyrations to avoid
it, and it's nasty stings. Rick saw me, and laughed at me.
He then ran down to where I was, went into the water,
picked up the jelly by the top and started chasing me
with it. ha ha big joke.
We arrived at the boathouse later, there was a bee swarm.
"Cool", i thought, and got right out of the car and walked
up to where bees were beginning to clump up and tried to
see if I could spot the queen. Bees everywhere.
I noticed Rick was in the car still. I asked him to come
out and look, and he shook his head with an emphatic
"no f***ing way!"
ha, sweet revenge. I went over to his car, which was
basically at the edge of the swarm, and opened up the
passenger door wide open and made a sweeping
motion with my arms to invite/brush the swarming
bees into his Pinto.
he reached across and we had a brief tugawar over
I yelled out: "watch out for the bees, rick, they're gonna
Me too. Had an interesting experience in Amsterdam a couple of years
back (no drugs involved). There's a museum called "Nemo". It looks
like the bow of a ship coming out of the ground. Anyhow, once you get
to the top floor, the roof, effectively, you have three ways to get
back down. You can go back down the various floors; you can simply
walk down the sloping roof back to street level; or you can take a set
of stairs off to the side.
If I remember correctly Nemo is five or six floors. I decided to go
off the side of the building. The minute I stepped out onto the
landing it got very weird. The stairs are made out of steel grating.
The holes are large in comparison to the thickness of the metal cross
members. So...you can see all the way down six stories almost as if
you were standing on clear plexiglass. It took a couple of seconds for
me to decide whether or not to go down this way or back it up. I did
go down that route, but it was weird.
A brain is an incredible thing.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs
Hello Henning, did you have something like this in mind for the foot
> > I have trouble with heights, I'm good to fly, but standing in high
> > places is very unsettling to me.
I didn't make it to the top of the Statue of Liberty a few years back.
Managed to get to the top of the stone work, then the first level of
steps. I ran aground on the last part where there are a couple of very
steep spiral stair cases. I made the mistake of looking back after I
was 10-15 steps up. I had to walk backwards back down to that level and
never made it to the top.
And to think I was strapped in to a 1939 Tiger Moth for some acrobatics
a few weeks back!
(PS I'm lousy with balconies with low/weak looking handrails)
The steps are steep and high. Once I got to the top I pretty much
demanded a helicopter come get me--I wasn't going to just walk my way
back down. They had a chain embedded in the steps on one side, and I
managed to back my way down slowly, while my brother just jogged down
like there was nothing to it.
I even had trouble with St. Paul's in London. But the London Eye? No
This is fun too:
Especially sitting on the edge of the Diving Board overhanging a sheer
2000' face and watching swallows swooping beneath/behind you.
Going down the cables is even more exciting than climbing up; 45
degrees looks a lot worse going down and facing out than it does going
up and facing in!
My Mother climbed it with me once, she must have been about 60 at the
The clog arrangement shown in the middle picture seems like a good
alternative to shoes. I usually don't do up my shoes very tightly
anyway, and a broad velcro flap would probably work just as well. It
would be far simpler and would eliminate the need for heel tiedowns. I
believe Peinert and Maas use something like that in their boats, so
perhaps they would sell clogs separately.
One US masters sculler has eliminated the footstretcher entirely by
having a boat built with the bulkhead at the aft end of the cockpit
placed exactly where he wants his feet and then attaching clogs to it.
Simplifies, saves weight, and ensures that most people won't borrow
your boat. I suppose spacers could be used to move the feet towards
the bow or change foot angle if necessary.
Indeed. I definitely get slight willy-nillies from heights, but for the
most part, I enjoy it. Ever since I was a kid I was climbing high pine
trees with friends who would get stuck half way up, climbing bolders at
the nor.cal beaches, etc. I never got into rock climbing as a sport
I don't shy away from looking over high ledges or standing on high
platforms, if I feel that they are safe... IOW the visual stimuli isn't
enough to freak me out that much.
BUT... when I climbed up on to my roof last summer to paint some dormer
windows, I was NOT comfortable. My house is only 2 stories, but the
roof is kind of steep (though not as steep as some). I painted one
dormer window, but didn't finish it, and got someone else to do the
other 2. So, to me, it's not so much the sensation of being high, but
just what my perceived risk is of slipping and actually falling.
yeerrghhhh.... (shudder). I'd do it, but my smile would
be somewhat forced.
Straying OT further. Speaking of Grand Canyon, years ago
went there with bride/kids. We walked down Bright Angel
to a point where the kids could be able to walk back without
trouble, I continued down to nearly bottom, then ran back up.
I noticed a phenom when I got very deep, almost a sense
of vertigo from having a massive canyon wall on one side
of me in close proximity. The sensation was extremely
noticeable there. I wasn't sure if the cause was visual
or not, but I've since noticed it to a lesser degree standing
next to some of the large walls at Yosemite, and even once
in a small boat in close proximity to an aircraft carrier.
I found that the exposure on some of the granite on the hike up to the
cables was worse for me than the cables - I guess I'm easily appeased
by something I can grab onto but the hike up and back down freaked me
Your mom rocks!
Same. Putting shakes(shingles) on a roof at the moment. Didn't like it
at all. After two days and knowing the noggins(?) will hold don't have
a problem. The last few could be fun though.
As kids we used to climb trees about 30 feet high. One of us would chop
the tree down and the lot would fall in the river. Good fun unless the
cutters aim was off. Now about 12 feet is the limit and that's with
safety lines and proper forestry ladders. I think I perceive that 95kgs
hit the ground harder than 75kg used to.
On Dec 7, 2:06 pm, "Taniwha" <david.mcco...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> KC wrote:
> > BUT... when I climbed up on to my roof last summer to paint some dormer
> > windows, I was NOT comfortable. My house is only 2 stories, but the
> > roof is kind of steep (though not as steep as some). I painted one
> > dormer window, but didn't finish it, and got someone else to do the
> > other 2. So, to me, it's not so much the sensation of being high, but
> > just what my perceived risk is of slipping and actually falling.
> > -KieranSame. Putting shakes(shingles) on a roof at the moment. Didn't like it
Here's a shot of online acrophobia for all you heights fearers:
I took that summer 2000 with a disposable camera... came out pretty
well, IMO, considering.
Reminds me of the Big Wheel scene in the Third Man. I let the film
buffs complete Harry Lime's words about the little ants below.
Talking about those ants - what might have happened to one of them had
you dropped your camera?
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: ca...@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)
Hmmm... is this a test or a genuine question? ;-)
Either way, my guess would be: probably not much. I'm sure it'd hurt a
lot if you were hit by a falling camera, but I doubt it'd inflict much
more than a couple scrapes and a bump on the head or shoulder or
where-ever it hit. A plastic disposable cheapskate-special model camera
probably has a pretty slow terminal velocity, due to the high surface
area/mass ratio, and it's flat-ish irregular profile will ensure
tumbling, which will slow it even further.
Terminal velocity is Vt = [(2mg)/(CpA)]^0.5
The only thing we don't know there is C, the drag coefficient of a
plastic disposable camera, which actually varies depending on the mode
of falling (how it tumbles). But a quick search with The Google reveals
some interesting terminal velocities, in meters/sec:
Tennis ball 31
USA Penny coin 20 (about 45 miles/hr)
Ping-Pong ball 09
I would guess that the camera would fall somewhere around the speed of a
penny and/or basketball... faster than a ping pong ball obviously, but
not as fast as a tennis ball or baseball. In other words, a person
could throw a camera about as fast as it's terminal velocity. Given
it's low mass, the camera would not have enough kinetic energy to
inflict much damage. KE=0.5(m*v^2) Yes, it would hurt, but I doubt it'd
do much more than that.
Interesting that a fastball pitched by a pro baseball pitcher is about
at the terminal velocity of the ball. Now THERE's something that could
kill you if it hit you in the head just right (thanks partly to the high
mass of the ball)
The eifel Towers observation deck is pretty high up. Not sure how
high, but high enough. A camera falling from that high would seriously
ruin someones vactaion. Even if it was a plastic disposable. If it
were a typical 2 pound digital camera there would be a lot of kinetic
enegy behind it and it would do some serious damage. Regardless of
wind resistance and drag, its still moving fast enough to knock someone
out. Hell even falling over if your head hits first has enough energy
to kill you.
I am an avid rock climber, and falling debris is much more of a hazzard
then the dangers of the climb itself. I have been the belayer for a
friend who was climbing about 90' above me when he dislodged a rock the
size of walnut or so and it ht me in the shoulder and it felt like I
had been hit with a baseball bat. The rock did not fall straight down
and skipped down the wall which slowed it down, so it could of hit even
harder. Needless to say, I wear a helmet now when I belay in areas of
loose rock and when I lead climb.
On Dec 8, 7:20 am, KC <kc_s...@sonic.net> wrote:
> Carl wrote:
> > Kieran wrote:
> >> Mike Sullivan wrote:
> >>> <david.hender...@aea.be> wrote in message
> >>>> So the Grand Canyon Skywalk wouldn't be your thing, then?
> >>> yeerrghhhh.... (shudder). I'd do it, but my smile would
> >>> be somewhat forced.
> >>> Straying OT further. Speaking of Grand Canyon, years ago
> >>> went there with bride/kids. We walked down Bright Angel
> >>> to a point where the kids could be able to walk back without
> >>> trouble, I continued down to nearly bottom, then ran back up.
> >>> I noticed a phenom when I got very deep, almost a sense
> >>> of vertigo from having a massive canyon wall on one side
> >>> of me in close proximity. The sensation was extremely
> >>> noticeable there. I wasn't sure if the cause was visual
> >>> or not, but I've since noticed it to a lesser degree standing
> >>> next to some of the large walls at Yosemite, and even once
> >>> in a small boat in close proximity to an aircraft carrier.
> >> Here's a shot of online acrophobia for all you heights fearers:
> >> I took that summer 2000 with a disposable camera... came out pretty
> >> well, IMO, considering.
> >> -Kieran
> > Reminds me of the Big Wheel scene in the Third Man. I let the film
> > buffs complete Harry Lime's words about the little ants below.
> > Talking about those ants - what might have happened to one of them had
> > you dropped your camera?Hmmm... is this a test or a genuine question? ;-)
> -Kieran- Hide quoted text -- Show quoted text -
No offense, but did you bother reading my whole post? The physics
greatly dispute your claim.
First of all, it matters not how high the Eiffel Tower is, and being
that I was there (took the picture) I am well aware that it is "pretty
high". :-) All that matters is if terminal velocity is reached, which
I assume it will be, well before the camera hits the ground.
Falling rocks and digital cameras are a lot different from a flimsy,
lightweight disposable plastic camera. A baseball is the same size as a
tennis ball (roughly) yet falls MUCH faster.
Now, consider a plastic disposable camera. Could you throw it at me,
hard enough to severely injure me? I doubt it. Would it hurt a lot?
Sure, but I would be fine. A plastic camera like that weighs very
little, yet has lots of drag. So - it will not get going very fast,
despite how very high the Eiffel Tower is, NOR will it have enough
kinetic energy to do much damage, even if it is seemingly traveling fast
enough to matter.
For example, a baseball traveling the same velocity as the camera would
inflict much more damage for two reasons: it has higher mass, and the
flimsy plastic camera would probably break apart on impact, absorbing
much of the energy (like crumple zones in your car). A rock falling
from your partner's errantly placed foot, or a baseball, or even
(maybe/probably) a digital camera - would all cause more damage /
injury, even at slower speeds than the plastic disposable camera.
I dont deny that it would hurt for sure and physics can tell you a lot
about what will or could happen. Yes a disposable camera would not be
as bad and would shatter upon impact, but it would still be damaging to
an effect. I know height does not mater much either once terminal
velocity is acheived. Being an engineer I took physics as well. I can
remember one real world mention of physics in class where in the early
days of Baseball (cant remember when though) some catcher wanted to
prove he could catch the highest dropped ball to emulate a really high
pop fly. It was just a stunt for the record books. Anyhow, they
dropped the ball from a Blimp (dont remember how high either, but rest
asured Vt was hit). Anyhow, he caught the ball, but the velocity was
so high the impact into his glove caused his arm to buckle and the
glove smashed him in the face breaking the bones in his face as well as
his hand, wrist and I believe forearm. I wish I had more facts to back
this up, but it was a real world lesson I never forgot in college.
Other real world things I have seen are. I fly R/C sailplanes and have
seen a model glider collide with another in the air and have the parts
rain down from about 200 ft or so. Anyhow a cluster of 4 AA batteries
(taped together like a block) which probably weighs about 4oz or so was
one of the items that fell from the plane. Anyhow, it blew straight
through a car windshield and through the plastic in the dashboard and
was caught in the wiring in the car under the dash. This battery would
weigh less then a small digital camera.
On another mid air colision, one wing was sheared off one plane about
400' up or so and the plane spiraled to earth. The sheared off wing
fluttered down slowly, but the remaining portion of the plane hit the
top of a cab over Motorhome. It hit right above the cab over sleeping
area. Anyhow, it punched right through the roof, sheared off the
remaining wing and the fuselage kept going through the mattress and
into the wood support frame. The gliders total weight fully assembled
when flying was less then 60oz. The glider is streamlined so it has
fairly low drag and it was made mostly of fiberglass, but everyone who
witnessed it was surprised it could do that much damage. However the
damaged wing still attached was twisted from the colision and fluttered
on the way down that it probably kept the glider from hitting Vt and it
still did some serious damage.
Anyhow I mean no dissrespect in any way. I am sure your figures are
correct, but in the real world what should happen and what actualy
happens sometimes can be astounding. It may not defy physics, but it
is still surprising to see the amount of damage a simple object can
produce. I know physics is sound and if it were not for physics, we
would not have accurate artillery.
Regardless, I would not want to be clockled by any camera dropped from
the eiffel tower.
Sorry guys, I didn't want to start a war ;)
Kieran - thanks for the email & attachment, which I'll read, ponder with
interest & give you any meaningful reactions I might have.
Now to said camera. I reckon Kieran was cheating a bit as we nowadays
assume one of those nice little digital jobs - compact but dense - & his
picture's resolution & focus led me to assume one of those. OK, I'd
refer a disposable camera, but some skulls are a whole lot easier to
penetrate than we might imagine (as are some sculls). The problem with
impacts by irregular objects is not just of total kinetic energy but
also of contact area, shape, location & deformability - which bit of
what shape hits you in which alignment & exactly where on your cranium -
or even in your upturned face. Small kids & the aged are also far more
vulnerable than adults. And Kieran's so tall it may be that if one hit
him it might not yet have reached terminal velocity.
So back to the sharing of phobias: as with security, things work fine
for as long as we trust each other & break down as soon as some grotty
psychopath learns how easy it is to hurt, maim or kill, or some fool
gets careless. No amount of imposed security, homeland or otherwise,
will then protect you in a system originally meant to function on trust
& respect. Leaving aside the global aspects of that statement - I avoid
such places as multi-tiered shopping malls with galleries around a
central atrium - it only take someone carelessly resting their shopping
bag on the 4th level guard rail for a can of beans, a couple of seconds
later, to embed itself within someone's former brain. Report that sort
of mishap once & suddenly those latent psychos will think, "That's a
neat idea!" - most crime being imitative.
And so we go back to lax safety: to be truly safe you need either the
wit to fully understand the mechanics & environment in which you
operate, or the imagination to absorb the lessons others may offer, or a
breadth of practical experience (which may be observational) of what can
go wrong & what will save you - with all of which you also need
equipment & procedures with a requisite minimum of designed-in safety -
or else you have to be curbed by rules & provided with enforced safety
procedures & supervision which may truly curb your enjoyment.
Rowing has a large population on the water with minimal water savvy,
limited swimming ability, sure their boats won't sink, sure everyone
else will keep out of their way & look out for them, & with scant
experience of crisis management. They'd be witless & useless in a
sailboat in rough weather, but are enjoy great confidence in their
severely limited aquatic expertise, This bulk is leavened with a small
proportion of those who've been there, seen it, done it & know what can
go wrong & why. It can be the devil's job for that minority to curb the
gung-ho part of the majority who believe that the truth is whatever they
want it to mean, that physics is crap & that care is for cowards.
Sadly, too many top officials come from that sector - for all the
familiar reasons which cause froth rise to the top.
Which is why I am horrified to see the guys from the flying club above
the Castaic lagoon fly over the lake every so often. I had a chat with
a lifeguard and he failed to understand what KE could do to an
unsuspecting lagoon visitor.
I wish you had the details, too, because the published terminal velocity
of a baseball in still air is ~93mph, and catchers catch fastballs of
that velocity all the time. Maybe the people in the blimp pulled a
trick on the poor guy and swapped out a much denser (fake) baseball?
Or maybe the size &/or density of baseballs has changed over the years?
I think I remember reading once that they have changed.
Or, (I think this is most likely) the catcher was able to catch a 90+
mph fast ball coming at him from a pitcher who aimed it at his hand, but
getting properly aligned under a 94mph ball dropping from the sky may
have been much more difficult. Maybe a combination of this, weather,
and maybe a slightly different ball added up to injury for the catcher.
> Other real world things I have seen are. I fly R/C sailplanes and have
> This battery would
> weigh less then a small digital camera.
Again, mine was NOT digital it was as 35mm film disposable camera. It
weighed almost nothing, as every single part of it was plastic, except
for the springs and the actual film. Even the lenses of those cameras
are plastic, I think.
As Carl points out, if the impact was JUST RIGHT, it could do some major
damage... probably not kill, but if it hit one in the eye, or right on
the temple, it'd do some bad things. But straight down on the head from
above, or on the shoulders or back... I doubt it'd do more than really
F&*#ing hurt a lot. Again, terminal velocity for a camera like that is
probably much less than one could throw it. And I don't think a thrown
camera could hurt you TOO badly. But again, as Carl pointed out, it
does depend on many factors, like if the camera hits you just so, on a
soft spot of the head, or if the plastic structure is aligned just so,
such that it wouldn't break as easily.
> Anyhow I mean no dissrespect in any way. I am sure your figures are
None taken, I was just surprised at your response, and your seeming
implication that height mattered (which it does, but only to a point.)
> I know physics is sound and if it were not for physics, we
> would not have accurate artillery.
Or much of anything, really. ;^)
> Regardless, I would not want to be clockled by any camera dropped from
> the eiffel tower.
Nor would I, but I think I'd survive it.