The Wavewatcher's Companion
, 2010 - Waves
- 336 pages
One bright February afternoon on a beach in Cornwall, GavinPretor-Pinney took a break from cloudspotting and started watching thewaves rolling into shore. Mesmerised, he wondered where they had comefrom, and decided to find out. He soon realised that waves don't justappear on the ocean, they are everywhere around us, and our livesdepend on them.
From the rippling beats of our hearts, to the movement of food throughour digestive tracts and of signals across our brains, waves are thetransport systems of our bodies. Everything we see and hear reaches usvia light and sound waves, and our information age is reliant on themicrowaves and infrared waves used by the telephone and internetinfrastructure. From shockwaves unleashed by explosions to torsionalwaves that cause suspension bridges to collapse, from sonar waves thatallow submarines to 'see' with sound to Mexican waves that sweepthrough stadium crowds… there were waves, it seemed, wherever Gavinlooked. But what, he wondered, could they all have in common with oneswe splash around in on holiday?
By the time he made the ultimate surfer's pilgrimage to Hawaii, Gavinhad become a world-class wavewatcher, although he was still rubbish atsurfing. And, while this fascinating, funny book may not teach you howto ride the waves, it will show you how to tune into the shapes,colours and forms of life's many undulations.