Ship Wakes

Nested Vs

Nested Vs, Crete

61A-200-046 (Linhof 250 mm)
Flight 61A; 35.5N, 26E, 1 Nov 1985

The opportunity arose to document nested-V wakes during the 61A mission of the shuttle Challenger. During an ascending orbit over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, while observing and photographing the turbulent eddy fields that were so dominant in those waters just a year earlier, a set of nested-V wakes suddenly jumped into the scene from a formation of ships. A sequence of photographs was taken, of which the photograph opposite is the middle one of the set.
    These outstanding pictures permitted Dr. Walter Munk, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and his colleagues to devise an entirely new concept of the interaction of ship wakes and the waters through which the ship sails. In the case of these three ships north of Crete, it could be determined that their bows were constructed with a bulbous nose and that the ships were sailing at speeds greater than the most efficient hull speed for the particular vessel.

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