Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kick ‘em Jenny

May 23, 2007  Wednesday
Kick ‘em Jenny

Last year we when we sailed from Carriacou to Grenada we went down the windward (eastward) side of Grenada.  It was a rough day and was the first time that Bill ever felt seasick.  So this year when we sail down to Grenada in a week or so we intend to go down the leeward side and see how it is.  The high mountains will probably block the wind and we will wish that we had opted for the windward side again.  Anyway, when we sail down the leeward (westward) side of Grenada we will pass closely by Kick 'em Jenny.

Kick 'em Jenny is an active underwater volcano.  There are two exclusion zone bands around Kick 'em Jenny.  The innermost circle covers directly over the volcano and boats are never supposed to go directly over it.  Boats are supposed to avoid the outer exclusion circle on days that the volcano is showing more activity than usual.  The reason for this exclusion is because of the gases emitted from the volcano.  The air bubbles in the water make boats susceptible to sinking because the aerated water is obviously less bouyant for the boats.

So that got me to thinking.  What percentage of normal seawater must be replaced by air bubbles in order to become dangerous for floating objects such as sailboats?   To further complicate the thinking process, one must remember that a boat also contains air spaces that increase bouyancy, and each model boat is different.  Our boat is 27 gross tons (24 net tons), with a deplacement of only 16 tons when fully loaded.

This sounds like a wonderful problem for our math genius friend, Terry.  So, here is a challenge to Terry:  When you have nothing better to do, please see if you can calculate the air percentage required to make sea water unable to support our boat.  That should be fun for you.

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