-- Last Updated: Sep-18-13 2:19 PM EST --
That tricky aspect of relative motion can be fun, and also confusing to a lot of people. For example, many think you can perceive current in the absence of stationary landmarks, such as how the boat behaves, but without stationary objects to relate to, you can't. I once swam into the middle of a very wide, semi-swift river in the dead of night (I knew the area well and knew I could drift in safety and have good swim-to-shore options for several minutes. Otherwise I'd never have done such a thing). Once well out from shore, the trees were just a shapeless black mass so I had absolutely no sense that I was drifting as I treaded water and looked all around and up at the night sky. After about a minute of treading water out there, one foot touched bottom and it scared the hell out of me!! The water was moving, and me with it, but I couldn't perceive that at all, so when the water got shallower and my foot accidentally bumped the sand, it felt to me like I'd kicked the back of an enormous fish that immediately darted way upon contact. Pretty scary for a moment (!), until I realized what had actually happened. And THEN I realized, "hey, this current is really moving along."
Another time, at the same location, I paddled a canoe out onto the river during a very high flood. It was just after dusk and visibility was poor. Someone had recently posted here to stay off that river because the current was way too fast to deal with, but I knew the current was manageable and therefore wanted to measure its speed with my GPS. I stopped my forward movement through the water by "anchoring" myself in place with my paddle, and then just drifted with the current, checking my GPS to see the speed. As I marveled at all the boils and mini-whirlpools appearing and disappearing all around me, all moving with the current at the same speed as my boat, I soon lost all sense of motion relative to the land beneath me. Then, I cast a glance at the forest on shore and my first reaction was to be amazed at how fast the clouds in the sky were moving. The "motion" of the clouds passing the treetops was an illusion which was more obvious than the cause, which was me drifting with the current and moving relative to those trees. For just a moment I felt like I was sitting absolutely still in space while the clouds in the sky went racing by behind the treetops. It wasn't long before the illusion was lost, but it was neat for that moment.
Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs
Sport Cases (Electronics)
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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