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BrentD22
02-21-2005, 10:06 AM
This past Sunday I was on the summit of Chocorua for some time and I was pretty sure I could see the ocean toward the south southeast. It looked like a long narrow streak of shinning glowing water. I could not be sure, but I can't amagine anything else that would look like that and take up so much of the horizon. Lakes would be frozen so I guess it was.

Has anyone else seen the ocean from Chocorua Summit?

What other mountains have you seen ocean views from in NH?

What is the best view in the Whites for you?

kltilton
02-21-2005, 10:59 AM
I have never noticed the ocean from Chocorua, but then again i have never really looked. I've attached a photo from this summer in the general direction you described. You can see Chocorua Lake in the foreground.

I've seen the ocean from Washington before and have seen the lights of Portland, ME from Mt. Kearsarge North at night.

As for my favorite view it would have to be Madison looking into Great Gulf or Lakes of the Clouds looking down into the Ammonousuc Ravine. But Chocorua is high up there.

SE from Chocorua Summit (http://pubpages.unh.edu/~kltilton/chocorua.JPG)

BrentD22
02-21-2005, 04:15 PM
The views where unlimited. There was basiclly no clouds except a few in site to the north, but even then there wasn't much.

I could also see a large city of lights at the same angle of Chocorua Lake.

How far is it possible to see with the bend of the earth? I could see all the way to the horizon without a problem.

The moon was so bright it was difficult to look directly at it for any longer than a few seconds. I also had a small headache.

kaibar
02-21-2005, 04:50 PM
Seguin island in Casco Bay. It's best in the early spring when the mountains are covered with snow but you can see them from the Portland area.

CaptainJim
02-22-2005, 11:02 AM
Given the curvature of the Earth, to the average height man (5'8" - 5'10") at sea level the horizon is only 6 miles off. Obviously the higher you are the further off the horizon. This is why someone buying a real expensive (25, 50 or even 100mile) radar and putting it on their 20 - 24' center console boat just 6' off the water is wasting their money. Unless they have a 50' - 100' tall mast to put it on they're limited by the curvature of the Earth because radar is operates on line-of-sight.
Capt.Jim

ps: from Chocorua I'm not sure... I'd have to do the math, but you're pretty high up (3475') and only 65 miles to the Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunkport Maine area. So its entirely possible on a clear day to see the ocean provided there are no high mountains in between.

Tom Rankin
02-22-2005, 11:04 AM
The views where unlimited. There was basiclly no clouds except a few in site to the north, but even then there wasn't much.

I could also see a large city of lights at the same angle of Chocorua Lake.

How far is it possible to see with the bend of the earth? I could see all the way to the horizon without a problem.

The moon was so bright it was difficult to look directly at it for any longer than a few seconds. I also had a small headache.

There is a formula you can use for viewing from a peak to the ocean (or vice versa). Take the elevation in feet and multiply by 1.5. Then take the square root. That gives you about how many miles you can see. For instance, Katahdin is 5267 feet, times 1.5 = 7900, the square root of which is about 89 miles. So, if the ocean is less than 89 miles away, it is theoretically visible.

From peak to peak, you have to somehow know the highest point of land along the line of sight from peak to peak. Say the 2 peaks are 4000' and 5000' and you know the line of sight is always clear above 1000'. So you'd do the math above for 3000' and 4000' (subtracting 1000' each time), and then add the 2 values up. This is equivalent to standing at the highest point along the line of sight and being able to see each summit in the distance in opposite directions. The example above would allow you to see these 2 peaks 144 miles apart.

DougPaul
02-22-2005, 12:45 PM
The above formulae assume light travels in a straight line, or at least assume an average or "standard" atmosphere. Depending on the temperature and humidity profiles, light can be refracted yielding a nearer or farther visual horizon.

Doug

BrentD22
02-22-2005, 02:04 PM
That is all too confusing for me.


I did out the math and it's about 50 miles give or take to the ocean in the direction I saw it.

Tom Rankin
02-23-2005, 07:39 PM
The above formulae assume light travels in a straight line, or at least assume an average or "standard" atmosphere. Depending on the temperature and humidity profiles, light can be refracted yielding a nearer or farther visual horizon.
Doug

Correct, the formula is only a SWAG.

If it's crystal clear, allowing you to see very far, usually the atmosphere is fairly stable, and the formula works reasonably well.

I suppose we've all been on a mountain top where the visibility is 0, and at other times it seems like you can see forever. That's part of why we climb!

afka_bob
02-24-2005, 06:15 AM
On a very clear day atop Camel's Hump in Vermont, I thought we could see Montreal with the aid of 10X binoculars. Is this possible, or were we crazy?

Waumbek
02-26-2005, 07:53 AM
Yes, I've seen the Atlantic Ocean from Chocorua summit, on a very clear day in early winter, never on the hazy summer trips. I also doubted if I was seeing that far. But Scudder's White Mountain Viewing Guide confirms that it's possible to see the ocean from there. Scudder says that if you summit before 10 a.m., you can see the sun glinting off the ocean.

kaibar
02-26-2005, 01:34 PM
Given the curvature of the Earth, to the average height man (5'8" - 5'10") at sea level the horizon is only 6 miles off. Obviously the higher you are the further off the horizon. This is why someone buying a real expensive (25, 50 or even 100mile) radar and putting it on their 20 - 24' center console boat just 6' off the water is wasting their money. Unless they have a 50' - 100' tall mast to put it on they're limited by the curvature of the Earth because radar is operates on line-of-sight.
Capt.Jim

ps: from Chocorua I'm not sure... I'd have to do the math, but you're pretty high up (3475') and only 65 miles to the Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunkport Maine area. So its entirely possible on a clear day to see the ocean provided there are no high mountains in between.



I run a 48 mile radar with a color screen not so much for seeing other boat traffic but weather. Most sailboats have a radome mounted at least 30 feet off the water and a radar reflector usually in line with or above that. I can pick up boats between the 12 and 20 mile rings quite often and my dome is 12 feet off the water but in fog I'm usually running my radar at 2nm or less. I do use it to follow the weather and rain which I can pick up all the way out to my 48 mile rings so it was worth it for me plus the 4kw dome gives signifcantly better detail than my old 2kw/24nm radome. I regularly see the presidentials from my boat at sea level as long as they are still snow covered in the early spring in summer haze it's a rare day that you can see them from the Portland area..

-Kaibar

forestgnome
02-26-2005, 07:30 PM
I believe they were named the "White Mountains" by sailors a few centuries back. They were a landmark, visible from sea, especially when snow covered. Back then, the peaks were white for most of the year because it was colder. New England was rebounding from a mini ice age in the 1600's.(yes, global warming without SUVs)
I hiked Mt Chocorua today. It was clear to the SE and I could just barely identify the ocean by its' flatness. The SE is a difficult direction to observe at midday, too close to the Sun.

BrentD22
02-27-2005, 09:19 AM
Yes, I've seen the Atlantic Ocean from Chocorua summit, on a very clear day in early winter, never on the hazy summer trips. I also doubted if I was seeing that far. But Scudder's White Mountain Viewing Guide confirms that it's possible to see the ocean from there. Scudder says that if you summit before 10 a.m., you can see the sun glinting off the ocean.

That is exactly what I saw. The ocean was shinning from the reflection of the sun light. It was the clearest day I've seen on a mountain top in a long time.

jjmcgo
02-27-2005, 12:39 PM
"New England was rebounding from a mini ice age in the 1600's."
A few years back, an historian postulated one of the reasons for the American Revolution was poverty and frustration over years of New England crop failures due to excessive rains and low temperatures between 1735-1775.
Mt. Washington was reportedly first seen from the ocean in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazano from off the coast near today's Portsmouth, New Hampshire, according to http://www.mountwashington.org/visitor/mountains/mountains.html.

JohnL
02-27-2005, 02:40 PM
I've been able to see the ocean from the lower ledges on Whiteface so without doing any math, it would follow that you could probably see the ocean from Chocorua.

JohnL