Slow down and take the time to survey your environment. On a glance there’s nothing unusual here, or is there?! Look east across Portersville Bay and it’s just tiny waves. At my feet you see sea shells at the sea shore.

Coden, Alabama on a quiet summer day, just watching the waves, but look a little more closely. They are coming in from one direction on that side, from the other side they are coming in from the other direction. Where they meet, they form a perfect grid. Those are called grid waves.

Off of Coden Belt Road, it’s all about the shape of the land beneath the water- that’s called bathymetry. When you look farther out, you might notice what seems to be a sand bar going away from the coast. It seems to be acting like a natural barrier to focus the wave movement. The waves arrive from two different directions in the shallow water at the sand bar. Of course, the waves are generated by wind so that plays a role too.

Stop and look and you might be amazed. It’s simple symmetry. Sometimes you just have to… get off the grid!

Alan Sealls, News 5.