Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
As you already know, my lighthouse home is surrounded by sea.
The English Channel is to the east and to the west stretches out the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see.
This ocean is often turbulent. That means there is nearly always a high swell on it – especially in the winter. And when this swell hits the coast – or my lighthouse, it crashes into huge waves.
lf you are reading my blog post in Britain, or parts of Western Europe, even if you can’t see the Atlantic from where you live, the chances are, it still has an effect on your life because it has such a huge effect on your weather.
Although the Atlantic is the second largest ocean on Earth, it still covers approximately one-fifth of the planet’s surface. lt was also the second youngest (after the Southern Ocean) once Pangaea had broken apart.
When you look at it on a globe, you can see it has a sort of ‘S’ shape to it as it sits between the Americas to the west and Europe and Africa to the east. lt covers over 41 million square miles – or 82 million square kilometres, and is fed by many major rivers from the continents on both sides. This contribution of water is the largest in any large sea. ln spite of this feed of fresh water, the Atlantic tends to be the saltiest of all the large oceans.
The name ‘Atlantic’ came from Greek mythology and means ‘the Sea of Atlas’. Atlas, as you may remember, was the character who was condemned to hold up the celestial heavens.
There are many islands in the northern half of the Atlantic including the Azores and the Caribbean islands and of course lceland and Greenland.
The Equator divides the north of the world from the south.
The Arctic Ocean is in the north and the Southern Ocean is to the south. The Atlantic is attached to the lndian Ocean at the southern tip of Africa and the Pacific Ocean at the Southern tip of South America (and also through the Drake Passage).
Deep down under the surface, there is a long range of mountains running like a long spine down the centre of the Atlantic. lt seems strange to think of mountains under the sea but there are some just like on land. ln fact, some of the mountains are so high they sometimes poke up above the water to create islands like the Azores and lceland.
This mountain range is called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. lt is about 1,000 miles across and extends from lceland down to almost the entire length of the ocean. On each side of this mountain range the ocean floor is fairly flat with just a few very deep trenches.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is formed as the continental plates pull apart. They leave gaps in the Earth’s crust and this allows molten rock from volcanic activity to spew up with some force. The molten rock cools in the sea water and forms ridges each side of this spilt or ‘trench’.
Each side of this mountain range the sea gets to a depth of up to 5,500 metres. Each side of the ocean there is a continental shelf. Here the water is much shallower.
Generally speaking the water in the North Atlantic circulates in a clockwise direction and the water in the South Atlantic in an anti-clockwise direction. But there is a complex mix of many currents that turn and twist and some may move warm water and some cold. This movement and the action of the wind above them will affect weather patterns.
The Gulf Stream is very important to us. lt brings warm water right up from the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic and warms our western coastline. lt warms the atmosphere of the British lsles and North West Europe.
On the other side of the ocean the cold Labrador Current flows down from the Arctic bringing icy winter temperatures and heavy fog to north-east Canada.
And of course there can be hurricanes any time from May to December in the Caribbean and along the east coast of North America. They develop off the coast of Africa and move westwards.
There are also many storms in the North Atlantic, especially in the winter, making sea crossings difficult and sometimes even dangerous.
However, the Vikings (986) and Christopher Columbus (1492) managed to bravely make their way across to the Americas.
Since then, many ships have crossed taking a huge population to the Americas. Other ships have facilitated (helped make possible) transatlantic trade taking manufactured goods and commodities like cotton and sugar from once side to the other.
And although a lot of goods are now taken between countries by aeroplane, shipping is still a very important industry.
l see some of these ship go past my lighthouse in the distance.
l always wish them well as they go on their way.
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And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: What is H204?
Bill: lt is for drinking.
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
The undersea mountains
Atlas was a character from a story
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
One of the things that is really important for Auntie Alice to do at the end of the growing season is to clean out her garden pond of fallen leaves. Once the first frosts loosen the leaves it only takes one Atlantic gale for them to all come tumbling down.
The water will become a horrible, slimy mess otherwise.
You will often find that old cottages have a pond in the garden. The hollow could have been dug out when earth was taken and used to build the cottage’s walls. Sometimes there will be a big pond on a village green where a lot of earth was dug out to be used a building materials.
Mud was mixed with a combination of clay, dung, straw and animal hair to make a stiff, sticky daub.
The walls were made of what is called wattle and daub.
Wattle is a kind of large woven strips of wood or split branches – just like the side of a big basket and then the daub was smeared on the top to create a solid wall.
This method of building houses has been used for building houses and barns for over 6,000 years and is still used in some parts of the world today.
The constructions are surprisingly strong.
Some cottages had pink walls. Originally the pink would be from animals’ blood. This sounds really yucky, but in those days you couldn’t go down to the local DIY store and buy a pot of coloured paint. People used what ever was to hand to create what they needed and everything that could be useful was not wasted.
Anyway, if Auntie Alice needs to paint her cottage walls we help her and we go to the Rocky Bay Ironmongers to buy what we need.
If you have a pond in your garden, remember that they can be very dangerous to little children. If you put a metal grid across them just under the water, not only does it stop children falling in but it can help to stop herons taking any fish that you might have.
A wattle and daub wall
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
What do these expressions all mean?
To fly off the handle
To become hot under the collar
To blow one’s top
To give someone a piece of one’s mind
On the warpath
lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE LlTTLE SANTA SACKS
After Auntie Alice had finished clearing out the pond it started to get a bit chilly and so she went inside to carry on with her knitting.
She had some red and green yarn left over from knitting sweaters for the family and decided to use it to make some little decorations.
She has given me the patterns to give to you and here is the first one.
These little Santa sacks are very easy to make.
You can hang them on a tree to decorate it and even fill them with little gifts or chocolates.
SANTA SACKS (KNIT ONE)
Using 4mm knitting needles and dk yarn cast on 25 stitches
Knit 2 rows
Stocking stitch 20 rows
Garter stitch 10 rows
TO MAKE UP
Sew up base and one side
Crochet 70 chains OR 50 chains into a length of yarn leaving tails of yarn (about 8-10cm)
Thread a yarn needle onto the end of the chain and pull it through above the first purl row of the garter stitch at the top of the sack
Knot the ends together and hide the knot inside the sack
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers
To lose one’s temper – to become angry