There are two oceans here. One is visible, and the other is invisible. Both are secretly connected, with each helping to give rise to the other. The ocean you see in the picture is the ocean of water. This ocean moves in three ways--through currents, waves, and tides. The ocean you can’t see in the picture is the ocean of air. Like the ocean of water, it is in constant motion.
The currents far out in the ocean of water are driven by two tremendous wind systems known as the Trade Winds and the Westerlies. The Trade Winds near the equator blow the ocean surface water in a westward direction. The Westerlies in the temperate zone blow the ocean surface water in an eastward direction. Together these two systems cause the ocean surface waters to flow in circular patterns, clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
|Two oceans posing together.|
But there are deep currents in the watery ocean as well, currents we can’t see with our eyes. They’re affected by gravity, salinity, and temperature (among other things). As the sun warms the surface water nearer the equator, it expands and creates a slope that makes it flow to cooler pole areas. The cooler, denser water from the poles is very far beneath the surface and moves much slower than the surface water. Gravity drives it slowly to warmer areas. This alters the Earth’s surface temperature patterns, which in turn modify the ocean of air (which is also affected by atmospheric pressure and planet rotation), and thus the cycle continues again and again.
Admittedly, the above description is extremely basic and leaves out some major points, but it is accurate in its brief extent and helps to show how both oceans are intricately, even lovingly, connected. But that’s much more than most people want to know about the ocean and air currents. Still, it’s romantic somehow to see how much everything is a part of everything else. It was Leonardo da Vinci who said, “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
I only know that when I stand by the ocean shore, there is a constant wind--constant. It never stops whipping about, very often moving and violently shaking my camera as it pushes me back and forth. Leaning against one of the wooden supports you see in the picture, I was able to steady my hands enough to get what I thought was a good picture of both oceans. Alas, the invisible ocean appears to be camera shy, and so I was only able to capture the watery ocean. But if you look closely at the waves, you may see the wind dancing upon them in that connection da Vinci was talking about.