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    Re: on finding Pitcairn Island
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2004 Sep 21, 11:45 +0000

    Peter Fogg wrote:
    > What is found between New Zealand and Australia are a number of underwater sea mounts, mountains
    > that rise from the sea floor about 4000 metres below to within a comparitively short distance, some of
    > them, from the surface. When the sea is agitated the area above the mounts 
    has a different characterisitic
    > compared to the open ocean, and could lead to speculation; such as land being near.
    Could Peter elaborate on his sources for the contention that the sea
    surface gets a detectably different "characteristic" above a seamount?
    I have a very little experience fishing over seamounts in the general
    area in question, though rather further south (around 49 degrees
    latitude). We certainly had times down there when the sea was agitated,
    as would be expected, but nothing that suggested to me that land was
    anywhere near. [In my case, the summits of the seamounts were around 700
    metres depth. They stand on the South Tasman Rise at around 1400, while
    the surrounding area is 4000 metres or so in depth. Clearly, a seamount
    which comes very much closer to the surface would be more likely to have
    effects visible to a surface observer.]
    Of course, we had SatNav and charts to tell us that land wasn't close,
    plus a powerful sounder to tell us just how deep the water was, and thus
    were not looking for subtle signs. Add in an enclosed wheelhouse and
    work to do that kept me from watching the sea all day long: Maybe there
    were features in the wave patterns that a sailing-ship master, running
    his easting down across the same area, would have observed.
    Trevor Kenchington
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus{at}iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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