Monday, March 26, 2007

Bear Grylls

Recently, I've been watching 'Born Survivor' on Channel 4 (a renamed version of 'Man vs Wild' from the Discovery Channel), featuring the superb Bear Grylls. This Saturday he was dropped onto a Polynesian island, where he demonstrated, with aplomb, the techniques for surviving in such an environment, and then constructed a raft from bamboo stalks and banana-twine, with which to make his escape.

There was one thing in particular which fascinated me: trying to retrieve a plastic bottle from the white-water amongst the shoulders of the island, Grylls claimed that waves come in sets of seven, with each wave in a set slightly stronger than its predecessor. Grylls used this rule to count the waves, and then time his excursion to retrieve the bottle. Is this true? I've never heard this before, but it's the type of thing I'd have thought that kids would be told for matters of safety, if nothing else. And if it is true, why is it true?


Anonymous said...

I was told that as a kid - not for safety reasons but to anticipate the biggest wave to jump into at the seaside!

Gordon McCabe said...

I feel deprived now. I used to pop down to Melksham regularly to play on the beach there, and I never got to experience such a thrill.

I've found this reference on the subject:

Deacon, M. "The Biggest Wave (Folk Belief and Science)." Folklore 95 (2), 1984: 254-55. A note on the factual basis of legends about the seventh (or ninth) wave being
the biggest in a series.

Sadly I let my subscription to 'Folklore' magazine lapse some years ago.

Anonymous said...

Bear is a big FRAUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That idiot stays in hotels when he claims to be sleeping in the wilderness...The list goes on and on and on.. Check out survivorman instead..