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.::z. 8/8.

elegantly wasted.

so long, and thanks for all the fish

Thursday, August 16, 2007

rip currents - at least now I know what hit me.

source 1:

Most tourist drownings in Thailand involve people caught in RIP CURRENTS on popular beaches. Phuket and big Ko Chang have the worst records, but rip currents can occur anywhere there is a surf running. All that water heading beachwards has to get back out to sea somehow, and that is the rip current.
Inexperienced people finding themselves shooting out to sea in a rip current try to swim against it, get exhausted, take in water, and drown.
(i swam against it. i'm inexperienced. i've never experienced dying like this before)

source 2:

You should exercise a lot of caution while swimming off the west coast of Phuket during the rainy season (May - October) due to rough seas. Waves can be quite high, 4 feet or more, with strong rip currents. Several tourists drown during the rainy season each year and many more have to be rescued. Bear in mind there are no lifeguards on Phuket's beaches except Kata and Karon. Do not swim in the sea if there are red warning flags on the beach.
(we did not notice any red flags. or at least, i think i was too busy checking some other stuff out. a 34yr old singaporean just drowned 2 weeks ago at the same beach before we came, due to rip currents also. i left my brains in singapore. i was on a birthday holiday dammit)

source 3:

A rip current is a narrow, powerful current of water running perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet (61 to 762 m) lengthwise, but they are typically less than 30 feet (9 m) wide. Rip currents can move at a pretty good speed, often 5 miles per hour (8 kph) or faster. They are caused by the shape of the shoreline itself, and they may be sudden and unexpected.

Rip currents move along the surface of the water, pulling you straight out into the ocean, but not underneath the water's surface. A rip current may knock you off your feet in shallow water, however, and if you thrash around and get disoriented, you may end up being pulled along the ocean bottom. But if you relax your body, the current should keep you near the surface.

Rip currents are terrifying because they catch you off guard: One minute you're bobbing along peacefully in the surf, the next you're being dragged out to sea at top speed. They occur in all sorts of weather and on a wide range of beaches. Unlike violent, crashing waves, you probably won't notice a rip current until you're right in the middle of it.
(how true. the water was just knee deep one second, and i was completely submerged the next second. i cannot stress this enough)

how do you get out of a rip current alive?

source 1:

If you do get caught in a rip current, the first thing to remember is not to panic. Panicking wastes energy and causes irrational behavior. It is also important to remember that as long as you can float you should be fine and that everyone can float.
(i tried to. i told myself not to panic lots of times. but its much harder when u're actually in that situation. at that moment i've already swallowed a lot of water, i saw the shore getting further and further and i heard my friends screaming. panic comes naturally)

Unless you are able stand on the sea floor and walk towards the shore, do not head straight for the beach as swimming against the current will only make you tired and increase the risk of drowning. Swimming parallel to the shoreline will help you escape from the current. Once you feel you are out of the current, swim towards the shore at a 45 degree angle away from the rush of water.
(i wasnt able to stand. i swam for a few mins, tried to stand, and was happy the water was at my chest level. i tried to walk, and then the currents came and pulled me back in, at the same time a big wave went over my head and submerged me once again)

If you can't break out of the current, float calmly and let the rip current carry you 50 to 100 yards from the shore until it dissipates, then swim back to shore at an angle away from the rip current.

source 2:

Surfers use rips all the time to take them “out the back” to the take-off zone. They don’t even have to swim. I suggest poor swimmers do exactly the same. ALL rips dissipate in the deeper water just behind the wave breaking zone. They have done their job, and do not go further. Once you are out in the calmer water past the break zone, tread water, put up your hand and wait for someone with a longtail to pick you up.

DON’T TRY TO SWIM AGAINST THE RIP. A world champion will go backwards against a strong rip. All but very fit swimmers will become exhausted swimming against even gentle rips.
(take note!)

DON’T WORRY ABOUT UNDERTOWS - there is no such things as a rip which will drag you under, let alone keep you under.
(*rolls eyes*)

DON’T WORRY ABOUT WAVES BREAKING ON YOUR HEAD - rip currents move out thru the deeper channels between sandbars - waves break in shallow water (largely on the sandbars) so these deeper channels often have no waves or few waves. If one does come when you are in the rip, take a breath, dive down or duck your head. You are gonna pop up on the other side - that breath guarantees it.
(ok i did this a couple of times. managed to get some good breathing pattern to keep me alive. but sometimes when my head gets out of the water, a wave would come and i'd go under again, missing a breath, opening up my eyes to see the dark water, and then i thought, my time is up, it was nice, kop khun kha)

Surf-lifesavers in Australia say if you are caught in a rip, SWIM SIDEWAYS TO THE RIP (parallel to the beach). Even big rips are never more than about 30m across, so you will soon move out of the current and hopefully into the shallow water of the sandbar where you can stand.
I think this is good advice for people who are not exhausted and who start swimming sideways immediately. Wait too long and you are likely to end up on the sandbar but in deeper water, unable to stand up, more exhausted by the swim and with big waves breaking on your head, which can be pretty frightening for the inexperienced. I reckon it is much cooler to allow the rip to take you seaward, then float around out the back waiting for someone to pick you up. It’s nice out there.
(no its not nice! ok at least some did come and pick me up. in a jetski. pulled my hair cos he couldnt grip my hand, thank god i'm not botak. and while being dragged, my trunks started to slip off due to the strong jetski current. i thought, what the hell, i dont care if i get to shore naked, just get me there! i did, however, managed to pull my trunks up with all the energy left in me. dont laugh. not funny)

*Look for the sections where no waves or fewer waves are breaking (note what a trap this is for the inexperienced: “this looks safe, NO WAVES, I’ll swim here”
*Big rips often scour sand as they go and look sandy.
*When the wind is blowing in the opposite direction, the surface of the rip is often disturbed and choppy looking.
Note however, many rips are very difficult to spot from beach or water level.

*The bigger the surf, the stronger the rip - there is more water to move back out to sea.
*Rips are strongest at low tide when all that water has to move through a shallower channel; and there is a greater quantity of water to move out because the waves breaking on the shallower sandbars tend to be bigger and more frequent.
*At the ends of beaches there is usually a rip running along at least one of the headlands, maybe both if the swell is coming in exactly front-on to the beach (most swell has a slightly oblique angle of approach).
*A longish beach like Patong or Karon typically has more than a half dozen sandbars separated by channels containing rip currents if surf is running.
*Rips are fed by FEEDER CURRENTS, which run parallel to the beach just off the sand, in the (usually small) channel between the sandbar and the beach. These feeders get stronger as they approach the big channel between the sandbars, where they turn right angles and head out to sea as a full blown rip. Sometimes FEEDER CURRENTS are strong enough towards their ends to drag non/poor swimmers sideways into the rip proper.

i'm not done yet! will write/talk more about it. dammit i want all my friends to be aware of this.
posted by zul, 11:21 AM | link | 0 comments |

you're an ocean

Sunday, August 12, 2007

we're back in krabi today after 3 days in phuket.

this is no joke, i'm not being overly drama, and i am writing this exactly how it happened.

there we were, 3 of us, swimming at patong beach. we were taunting the waves. we were tempting fate after what happened on my birthday. we went further and further out into the sea, thinking it was safe. heck, the water was only knee-deep! there were 2 other kids with us, a boy and a girl, they must be middle-eastern. the waves were big, it was fun. until the currents started to pull each one of us out.

and there we were, all 5 of us, struggling for our lives. the undercurrents were powerful, the waves kept crashing on us as we tried to swim back to shore. i gave up struggling twice. finally, my recurring nightmare came true, i thought. i do not wish to go into detail now about how i survived the 10mins of hell, but in the end, i was rescued by a jetski, i was dragged by my hair all the way to the beach. the other 4 got help from the other lifeguards. kc lost his voice from shouting. i swallowed a lot of water.

im glad to be alive. what a trip.

time to just relax. i wanna tell my stories to everyone when i get back! except my parents...
posted by zul, 4:12 PM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, August 09, 2007

at a cafe in krabi town waiting for the bus to come pick us up.

i want to write more about what happened yesterday but we were told the bus will be here in 15mins so, just to keep the statistics true, here's another entry eh.

happy national day. bleh.

"the nurse"

The nurse should not be the one who puts salt in your wounds
But it's always with trust that the poison is fed with a spoon
When you're helpless with no one to turn to alone in your room
You would swear that the one who would care for you never would leave
She promised and said, "you will always be safe here with me"
But promises open the door to be broken to me

- the white stripes, get behind me satan.
posted by zul, 12:00 PM | link | 1 comments |

the perfect storm

i cant stay here long! my buddies are waiting for me outside the internet cafe, its midnight and we're waking up early tomorrow to catch a 3hr van ride to phuket.

so, in short, we almost died today. really, not joking. our boat dived 45degrees into the water already. the waters were choppy and the waves were engulfing us. 14 passengers and 3 crewmen panicked, lifevests were thrown around the boat and for the first time in a very, very long time, i prayed to god. for a good 30mins. and i made a promise.

will write more in phuket.

till then,

34 isnt that bad.
posted by zul, 12:16 AM | link | 1 comments |

walk away

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

i'm off to krabi in a few hours. i'm going there as a single, free, liberated person. will be back on 13th night. statistically speaking, i usually blog more when i'm overseas. so i hope i'll find a cosy internet cafe there to chill in and write.

i leave with these thoughts in my mind. got this off from someone's blog. i didnt seek permission to reproduce it here. i hope u dont mind, i want to share this cos it really helped me reached some sort of epiphany after reading it. here it goes.

"sometimes, you just have to walk away. i know, we all hate to fail, hate to give in, hate to give up and that we love the challenge of life and want to keep on until whatever we are trying to 'win' has been overcomed, vanquished, beaten, won. but at times, it just aint gonna happen and we need to learn to recognize those moments, learn how to philosophically shrug and walk away with our pride intact and our dignity held high. afterall - its not your fault on your part.

sometimes you really want to do something and yet it is unrealistic. instead of knocking yourself out, cultivate the art of walking away and you'll find that things will seem a lot less stressful. my friend, if a relationship is coming to an end, instead of playing out long and complicated - AND potentially harmful - end games, learn the art of walking away.

if its dead, leave it.

this really isn't a rule that ought to be in the relationship manual or a guide for dummies - its here because it is for you, to protect you and stop any unnecessary nonsense i'd say. this has nothing to do with 'them' but it all has to do with you. YES, you. if its dead, don't go digging it up every fifteen minutes to check if there is a pulse.

its dead, walk away.

you may want to get even - don't get mad, just walk away. this certainly is much better than getting even because it shows you have risen above whatever it is that has driven you crazy. and there can be no better way of getting even than to ignore something so completely that it can be left behind. you can cry, but just walk away.

i can go on forever and try to talk more sense into you. but that my friend, will be never-ending. therefore, just let go and walk away - show you're exercising control and that you have good decision-making powers. not just any irrational thinking or immature behaviour. you are certainly making your own choice than letting the situation control you.

yes, it really is dead. walk away."
posted by zul, 9:29 AM | link | 0 comments |


Friday, August 03, 2007

whatever time that i can spare writing blogs, is spent writing on my other blog. for those who know me well, you should know where it is. i find that one to be more relevant at this point of my life. i guess i'll just update stuff here in points form and more as a reminder for future events or as a depository of memories that mattered to me.

for a start,

1) took part in the mizuno run at bedok reservoir with the team. bad organisation. good timing.
2) been preparing for the krabi trip. again, for those who are close to me, they might think that i'm a hypocrite for still going on holidays and such. i shall explain this in an entry in that other blog. will be gone from 7th to 13th august.
3) signed up for the singapore bay run (21km) and stanchart marathon (42km). still considering on the NUS run and real run. terry fox run this year will be during the fasting month. ouch.
4) got my 1st birthday present on monday. mr kew gave me a pair of flip-flops. green. thanks eh.
5) come to think of it, august always make me cry.
posted by zul, 8:16 PM | link | 1 comments |