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The joy of boating

The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. `Lean on that!' he said. `Now then, step lively!' and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.

`This has been a wonderful day!' said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. `Do you know, I`ve never been in a boat before in all my life.'

`What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a--you never--well I--what have you been doing, then?'

`Is it so nice as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

`Nice? It's the ONLY thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing--about--in--boats; messing----'

`Look ahead, Rat!' cried the Mole suddenly.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

(Kenneth Graham - Wind in the Willows)

A Cursed Sea

Day after day, day after day, 

We stuck, nor breath nor motion; 

As idle as a painted ship 

Upon a painted ocean. 

Water, water, everywhere, 

And all the boards did shrink; 

Water, water, everywhere, 

Nor any drop to drink. 

The very deep did rot: O Christ! 

That ever this should be! 

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs 

Upon the slimy sea. 

About, about, in reel and rout 

The death-fires danced at night; 

The water, like a witch's oils, 

Burnt green, and blue and white. 

(From the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge)


“It is a curious fact, but nobody ever is sea-sick - on land. At sea, you come across plenty of people very bad indeed, whole boat-loads of them; but I never met a man yet, on land, who had ever known at all what it was to be sea-sick. Where the thousands upon thousands of bad sailors that swarm in every ship hide themselves when they are on land is a mystery.” 
(Jerome K. Jerome,
 Three Men in a Boat)

Tears at sea

"Slowly crossing the deck from the scuttle, Ahab leaned over the side, and watched how his shadow in the water sank and sank to his gaze... But the lovely aromas in that enchanted air did at last seem to dispel, for a moment, the cankerous thing in his soul... the step-mother world, so long cruel- forbidding- now threw affectionate arms round his stubborn neck, and did seem to joyously sob over him, as if over one, that however wilful and erring, she could yet find it in her heart to save and to bless. From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such wealth as that one wee drop." 

(Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

British rainfall

Depressions pass over Britain frequently. They form in the Atlantic and move east across the country, bringing changeable weather.

Why does most rain fall in the west?

Highland areas receive more rain – many of these are in the west.

Prevailing winds come from the south west carrying moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.

Which types of rainfall commonly affect Britain?

Relief rainfall

Prevailing winds bring warm, moist air to the western British Isles.

Air is forced to rise over high areas.

Air cools and condenses.

Clouds form and it rains.

Air descends on the other side of the mountains.

It warms up and therefore becomes drier.

Frontal rainfall

The British Isles are affected by a number of different air masses. When warm and cold air meet, a depression forms:

When a cold polar air mass meets a warm tropical air mass they do not mix – they form fronts.

The colder air mass is heavier than the warmer air mass, therefore the lighter, warmer air rises over the top of the heavier, colder air.

As the warm air is forced to rise it cools. Also, the warm air is in contact with the cold air along the fronts, and this also cools.

Condensation occurs and clouds form.

Rain occurs along the front.

In the UK, depressions often follow a similar pattern. First, a warm front passes over, bringing rain and then warmer air. Then a cold front follows, bringing more rain and cooler air.

On synoptic maps, warm fronts are shown by a red line with red semi-circles. Cold fronts are shown by a blue line with blue triangles.

Convectional rainfall

When the land warms up, it heats the air above it. This causes the air to expand and rise. As the air rises it cools and condenses. If this process continues then rain will fall. This type of rainfall is very common in tropical areas but also in areas such as South East England during warm sunny spells.

(BBC Geography website)

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