Pororoca

It’s the height of rainy season here and by the time you read this we will have started the long crossing to Porto De Moz, via Melgaco.

I have had to change the route several times due to seasonal flooding. It’s not going to be easy – what with the spring tides, peak rainy season and the Pororoca, we are entering somewhat into the unknown, but we have to get moving after another unplanned set of delays.

The Pororoca – the watery beast that river-dwellers greatly fear – is coming later this week. 25th March to be exact. It is a giant wave surging upstream from the sea – we call it a ‘bore’. It produces a great roar, and can be heard up to an hour before it arrives. It tumbles in from the ocean and travels up the Amazon for up to 500 miles on a path of destruction. While the region’s residents accept the river’s wrath and start moving their boats and animals, some adventurous souls – bore riders – grab their surfboards and rush to meet it.

The beast they will ride is a tidal bore wave that flows in from the ocean and propagates to dozens of rivers around the world. Along the Amazon, one of the strongest bore tides brings big waves that travel for miles and seem to last forever – perfect for a long ride.

Local legend has it that three mischievous children travel up the Amazon playing practical jokes. But the scientific term of this frivolity is the familiar force of nature we call gravity. During new and full moons, when the river is relatively shallow and the ocean tide is high, water flows into the river from the Atlantic, rather than the other way around. As river and ocean collide, the Amazon’s flow reverses (at least on the surface) and a water swell speeds upstream with incredible force.

 

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The pororoca (Portuguese pronunciation: [poɾoˈɾɔkɐ]) is a tidal bore, with waves up to 4 metres high that travel as much as 800 km inland upstream on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. Its name comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it could translate into “great roar”. It could be also a Portuguese version of the term poroc-poroc, which in the native indigenous’ language was a way of expressing the act of destroying everything. It could be also a portmanteau of the words poroc (to take out, to tear away) and oca (house).It occurs at the mouth of the river where its waters meet the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon is best seen in February and March.

The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim (on the adjacent Guamá River). However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the shores of the river (often entire trees), in addition to dangerous fauna. In 2003 the Brazilian Picuruta Salazar won the event with a record ride of 12.5 km lasting 37 minute

I will credit the header image when I have identified the owner.


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