How can waves be crashing on all sides of an island at once?
Dear Cecil: This is going to take a while to explain, so bear with me. My kid is a fan of the Age of Empires series of computer games, which give you a bird’s-eye view of the landscape on which your armies cavort. You can see an amazing amount of detail, but a while back I noticed something I found comical: whenever you come across an A-of-E island, you see waves crashing on the beach on all sides. Damn computer geeks who wrote this need to get out more, I thought–don’t they know waves are driven by the wind, and the wind can’t blow in all directions at once? I felt smug till we visited the Hawaiian island of Kauai over Christmas. Our cottage was on the south side of the island–we were lulled to sleep by the waves crashing on the beach. We visited the famous Na Pali coast on the north side of the island, and were impressed but a little puzzled (I was, anyway) by the massive waves crashing on the beach. Finally we took a helicopter tour, and you know what? On every side of the island