Ocean Rhythm turns 10 in 2011
Strictly speaking Ocean Rhythm is much older than 10 years. At least in my world, Ocean Rhythm already came into existence around 1992 - as the name of a range of percussion instruments I was creating from Ecklonia maxima - or kelp. A truly magic seaweed which is endemic to the south west coast - Luderitz to Agulhas more or less. The last instrument was sold around election time in 1994 and most have now become collectors items - especially those decorated by our diva Heather Mac and by San artists living at Smitsdrift near Kimberley.
However the tone was set and some years later the rhythm continued albeit as ocean tides this time. South African tidal information in those days only came in the form of numbers! Many numbers in varied formats. But pictures paint a thousand words and in 2001 I published the first cyclical images generated from official south african data. I stuck with those for some years but had developed the present more conventional linear versions by the time the domain "satides.co.za" was registered. Although the cyclical images distorted the graph slightly, they were unique by all accounts and did illuminate the tidal footprint very well. Some of you might remember them.
My personal contribution towards all of this has been everything really. Except the hosting for which I pay Kalkbay Interactive and Hetzner to provide us with a professional service. However, back in 2000 I began to conduct the research, then developed the concept and provided the finance for the subsequent design and implementation. Many months of fastidious software development followed in the years to come. I presently maintain the service and see to the arduous task of the annual renewals. As I said - everything really. Not a big organisation - just me.
I am the sole-proprietor of ADF Interlink which is the official publishing entity of this service. And yes, I do pay the naval hydrographic office for the the raw tidal data as well. The collective but un-audited amount of professional IT hours spent by myself over 11 years on this public service lie well beyound 2300 hours. You do the maths.
Acknowledgment must go to Captain Dennison and Professor Shillington for their encouragement towards my endeavours in the early days. Naturally thanks should also go to the patient staff at the hydrographic office.
Over the years, I have also attempted to answer most e-mails and the most frequently asked question has undoubtedly been a request for some Lunitidal Interval. A subject over which I will have to put pen to paper in the future.
The trickiest time to maintain the service was while I spent 14 months on the Antarctic continent. There, 10 of us and many data-loggers shared a moody 9.6kb data line into the net - every now and then a byte was clocked in and out of the ether and surfing the net had a different meaning. Given those very restricted bandwidth conditions, it required considerable advance planning to keep Ocean Rhythm up and running during 2007. It must be said, it was easier to maintain the service from Ethiopia in 2005. I might have to do it from Marion island in 2011 (and did).
In any event, there are some less obvious parties who claim an interest in ocean tides. I am referring to a bridal service which carries a link to Ocean Rhythm on their site. Not so obvious at first, but on investigation I learnt that they organise weddings on the beach - obviously! A large group of users hail from the angling community but the most puzzling referral ever, came from a porn site. Their particular interest in tides remains a mystery to me.
Thank you for you custom and support
Cheers on many more!