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the Degree Confluence Project
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United States : Florida

10.9 miles (17.6 km) WNW of Belleair Beach, Pinellas, FL, USA
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap topo aerial world confnav)
Antipode: 28°S 97°E

Accuracy: 62 m (203 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Confluence in the background. Starting grids in the foreground. To avoid extreme congestion, the race started in ten waves. #3: Confluence probably somewhere behind the Ford sign. My wave splashing ahead on the left. #4: Pier 60, landmark of Clearwater Beach. Removing the wetsuit. #5: On our way to the confluence. #6: Never use a hair-dryer and extra strong hairspray simultaneously! We did not catch any fish. #7: Captain Ronald and 1st mate Dave. The boat can also be seen in Lethal Weapon II, we were told. #8: GPS proof

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  28°N 83°W  

#1: Clearwater Beach from the confluence.

(visited by Olli Sundell, Mari-Helena Hoikka, Ronald Mokrzan and Dave Hargus)

12-Nov-2007 --

On the 10th of November 2007 some of the best triathletes in the world, and by a glitch of fate I, over fifteen hundred of us, from 52 countries had gathered to Clearwater Beach, Florida, eyes fixed towards 28°N 83°W. The sun had just risen behind our backs and the sand under my feet felt a bit cold from the night, but doing the warm-up in a full length wet suit that was hardly a problem.

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship was about to begin, and soon we all would be swimming straight towards the confluence, only to turn back after one kilometer, a mere 16 km away from this magic point. After that another kilometer back to the beach, a 90 km bike and a half-marathon lay ahead of me, before I could get back to my favorite pastime, confluence hunting.

To be honest, I almost forgot about the confluence while there. It was only the following day in the evening that I suddenly remembered this point, and our flight was at 13:20 the next day! Close to our hotel there was a marina where you could hire boats for fishing trips. It turned out to be no problem finding one that was willing to start early next morning; fishermen always do.

The point was not indexed, and being 16km from the low flat shore of Florida, it was not sure how much, if anything, would be visible at the point. The day started clear so we (Mari-Helena, Capt. Ronald Mokrzan and 1st mate Dave Hargus) decided to give it a try. We set off before sunrise. We left the harbour and slowly the beach started to get thinner and the buildings smaller and smaller in the horizon. More things proved to be visible to the naked eye than to my pocket camera. From time to time I tested whether anything at all would show in the picture. The beach had disappeared long since, and only the tops of the higher buildings were still visible at the point. Even the display of my camera could reproduce, after zooming, some rectangular shapes between the sea and the sky. Maybe this would count as a succesful visit!


 All pictures
#1: Clearwater Beach from the confluence.
#2: Confluence in the background. Starting grids in the foreground. To avoid extreme congestion, the race started in ten waves.
#3: Confluence probably somewhere behind the Ford sign. My wave splashing ahead on the left.
#4: Pier 60, landmark of Clearwater Beach. Removing the wetsuit.
#5: On our way to the confluence.
#6: Never use a hair-dryer and extra strong hairspray simultaneously! We did not catch any fish.
#7: Captain Ronald and 1st mate Dave. The boat can also be seen in Lethal Weapon II, we were told.
#8: GPS proof
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
In the Gulf of Mexico, about 10 mi from land.