Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-02-2017, 05:19   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Things, winds and ways within weather systems

I have never used sails. Evenso, wind is a concern for me in my outboard-driven cabin cruiser.

I have never been out at sea, though I am working towards this. I cruise the inland waterways of England.

A couple of nights ago I was lolling in the cabin, and the wind was quite lively, and for hours the boat moved about on its mooring lines, and bumped on its squeaking fenders. Then all of a sudden there was a sudden large jolt to the boat, quite violent, but only momentary. Naturally I wondered what it was as it was very different from what I had been experiencing. As I began wondering about this there was immediate calm and serenity from that moment on. I therefore came to the conclusion that it must have been a wind front. How interesting I thought that it was so abrupt and definite a joint between the two different air masses; it had the feel of a thunderclap. I would have expected such a joint between air masses to be big, wide and gradual.

Other times there has been a real gale blowing. The tree tops were filled with a devilish howl and fear-generating scream, far beyond the gale the weather report warned of, and this got me thinking that within that gale weather system there will be all manner of variants within it which are too numerous and local and momentary to be mentioned. So therefore large weather systems must be full of all manner of interesting ‘things’ like that abrupt end, and like the mini almost tornadoes I heard screaming in the treetops.

So I wonder, you as sailors having got to know the nature of wind and all the interesting things within it, what have you known which you have found to be interesting or remarkable to witness within the wind and its ways.
__________________

duggybuggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2017, 01:49   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seward, AK
Boat: Rawson 30 PH
Posts: 145
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

I wouldn't be so fond of something that can kill you. I like to enjoy the wind too, but a healthy respect is in order.
__________________

joel383 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2017, 10:57   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by joel383 View Post
I wouldn't be so fond of something that can kill you. I like to enjoy the wind too, but a healthy respect is in order.
I agree with you there. But interesting nonetheless, the anomalies within the broader weather systems. We heard about aircraft experiencing sudden turbulence to various degrees of magnitude, and also the extremely dangerous wind sheer, the unforeseeable downward draft which a landing aircraft is vulnerable. there must be all sort of air eddies and currents, strange bubbles of very low temporal air pressures which could be quite remarkable and catch one off guard. This would be my worry, like a freak wave which could be catastrophic, all happening in a strange moment. I would think that being at sea and with a sail it would all become apparent just what anomalies there are.

The wind is such a potentially powerful force, of course, and i wonder, like wind sheer which downs landing planes, how often it is something like that which a sailor has had to contend with.

I suppose it is the same with many things in life, like driving. I have only ever had two crashes, or rather gentle bumps which have been my fault, but these have been black ice. I am very aware of the potential for black ice always as this is something which 'catches you out' as it is unusual to meet.

I remember once being on a roof. It was a pleasant day. I'd been near the edge doing some cementing repairs. Then later when I was in the middle of the roof there was this crazy momentary gust which almost knocked me off my feet. It terrified me that something like that could happen anytime.

And so this is what I think, that most time people come a cropper, or have a close shave, it is probably some anomaly which could not be foreseen.
duggybuggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 02:25   #4
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 16,772
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Hello duggy buggy,

Well, yes, often wind streams are full of anomalies. Wind sheer is common, and the result is that what your masthead instrument tells you does not really reflect what the boat is experiencing.

Sometimes air flows have squalls embedded in them.

Weather forecasting is pretty good for the broad strokes of synoptic flow, but the very devil is in the details, which is what we boaters often get. You'll have an over all understanding: a trough is moving above or below your area. But the devil is hiding in there in the wind shift and how vigorous it might be. And since weather forecasts are based on averages, you have to remember that the puffs will be up to 50% stronger, and here, where we are, they only warn you the puffs will be up to 40% stronger, which covers most of the situations -- but not all.

We can't have any effect on it, we just have to understand that weather can be quite unstable, and it is our job to prepare for the various instabilities we expect based on the forecast, or what we see in the sky. Actually, the sky gives you lots of warnings.

Imo, Boatman 61 can describe succinctly what to look for in British skies, and how to adjust for what to expect, way better than me.

Sorry, Boatie! over to you and northern hemisphere wx.

Ann

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 02:58   #5
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 24,179
Images: 2
pirate Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Thanks Ann.. but I'm not biting..
Most of my interpretation is instinct based and in the moment so to speak.. I have over the years come to realise that as you say weather forecasts are broad brush strokes often painted by some guy in a basement somewhere playing with computer models who makes statements like 'Winds F2-3 with slight sea's' and I'm bouncing around in a F6 and 2.5metre sea's 5 miles off the coast.. or winds 15-20km/hr and I'm ploughing into 40kts at 1.5kts on full throttle trying to get into Cadiz..
These days I just look at the sites like passageweather to get a feel of the trends/frequencies of the fronts moving across my route rather than taking it for gospel as I did in the 80'/90's.. the 'Old Dependable's' aint dependable anymore.
Last years Transat W-E had Easterlies all the way up to 043* N.. not a single appearance of the SW'ly or W'ly which since 2000 had been helping me across.. maybe its got something to do with this magnetic shift of the Earths core that is supposedly taking place.. who knows.. all I know is the unexpected is becoming the norm.. and it makes life interesting..
__________________


Born To Be Wild.. Click on the picture.
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 05:11   #6
Registered User
 
Sea Dreaming's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Whoo! Finally made it back to Mexico!
Boat: Cheoy Lee Offshore 38
Posts: 1,452
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Duggybuggy,

I have no insight to wind on the sea. I am experiencing coastal wind for the first time as an adult and don't know much about it. My experience has all come from living on the eastern slope of the rocky mountains of Colorado. There the winds are heavily influenced by local land structures. The wind can hit a Craig in the rocks and accelerate as the wind rushes through. Or the wind can seem to come from all directions as it his valleys and causing the wind to churn over its self.

Right now, in the Sea of Cortez, we have been getting the tail end of a storm that swept California. The prediction is winds to 30 mph but we have had gusts up to 50. It's a very interesting feeling to feel your world tip as the boat heels. Thankfully one can anticipate the next gust by the freight train sound as the gusts approach. I am glad we are on a dock at the moment. Being well protected we aren't getting the worst of it.

You mentioned wind whisting. There is almost something musical being around so many sailboats in the wind. The wind hits the rigging of some setting off vibrations that "twang" like a guitar. And someone as something on deck that is actually making a pipe organ like sound. All this noise is interesting!
__________________
If toast always lands butter side down, and cats always land on their feet, what would happen if you strapped toast to a cat's back and dropped it? - Steven Wright
Sea Dreaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 18:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

That is very helpful to me. The words of experience speak volumes beyond those words.

I have seen pictures of waterproofs, and some you would never know anything was there except that some water betrayed them. But there will be things like that out there which are invisible, but potentially disasterous.

I remember as a young man when I was a courier. One time I was sitting next to a guy who told me he was a pilot and that I should wear my seatbelt at all times, not just when the light came on, because anything can happen at anytime without warning, like a window blowing out.

I suppose you could easily find yourself caught in, say, a maelstrom. You must have read Poe's 'A Descent Into The Maelstrom'. No. Well you are in for a treat just as much as I am with my introduction to sea sailing.
duggybuggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 19:51   #8
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 16,772
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Duggybuggy,

There are old sailors' rhymes, or saings, like "Red sky at night: sailor's delight," and "Mackerel Skies and Mares' Tails means Tall Ships Wear Short Sails". Now, the first one seems northern hemisphere, east of the Rockies correct, and the other, more universal.
They are what passes overhead before the front arrives. Possibly googling something like Maritime Sayings would give you more. Those old, simple mnemonics can really dovetail nicely with what you read.

If you get hold of a weather book for fishermen aimed at your part of the globe, it may provide a lot of help. We bought "Weather For NZ Fishermen" shortly after arriving in NZ, and it was helpful to us.

Sea Dreaming: Yes, puffs to 50 can realistically be expected in an average of 30 airflow. The averages are for 10 min., here, but all averages are affected by the whole range of data. That average of 30 might also "catch its breath and only blow 10 for a moment, and that 10 will lower the "average", which is the sum of all the data, divided by 2. It's the midpoint. And is the underlying reason you are always hearing the advice to reef the first time it occurrs to you. The average windflow strength is increasing. Sailors sail to the gusts, not the averages, so when you hear, 20-25, just accept that you'll see puffs in the 30-40 knot range, and the weather forecaster was (amazingly), right! The sky doesn't lie. Weather forecasts often get it wrong, but they are so much better now than they were 30 & 40 yrs ago, it's amazing.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2017, 20:56   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Ann, that is interestingly useful, that a lull lower than the predicted average therefore suggests a blast higher to be expected. You just might have saved my life with that because I may not have thought with that considered logic. I will remember that. I like that.

I have done a quick Google of sea sayings......Should keep me busy for the next four months. So many of them, and I love that kind of thing....Probably win a few quizzes, too, into the bargain. But what a rich history the sea has. I went to a lovely maritime museum today. I love all that rich history of the sea, and yet, somehow I don't feel myself a sailor anymore than I do a bicyclist. But yet there is something calling me which seems to be growing as I piece it together. I will get a lot from those sayings, not just the knowledge, but the connection with the history of what happened before. The quay where the museum was situated was very busy 250 years ago, a golden age for England, and yet the very same quay was also the exact place the Romans chose to use 1,750 years before...the very same place, with building evidence to prove it. I sometimes wonder if one of these persons came back to life that they would in no time regain their bearings and within a month have premises and investors and contacts and be back performing as if they had never been away, becoming involved in politics and civic building schemes, etc.

I have bought a book on reading the weather. It seems good and well tested, but there is clearly a lot of experience needed.
duggybuggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2017, 06:44   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 167
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

I think you're over dramatising a little. Wind events that 'suddenly' overwhelm a boat are exceedingly rare. Most of us sail conservatively, within reach of shelter, not out of fear of sudden events, but because it's pleasant to do so.
There are constant variations in wind direction and strength; that's one of the things that makes sailing interesting. Developing the skills to deal with the wind is challenging.
To give a couple of examples of the sort of thing you imagine:
We were sailing in very light winds in the Solent when the wind increased very quickly to gale force. It happened so quickly that it became dangerous to go up on deck to reef the mainsail. We could have dropped it, but I decided to ease the mainsheet, spilling the wind as we sailed (very rapidly) to more sheltered water. There was no real danger. Had we been in open water, we'd have dropped the main.
We were once in a South Coast Marina. The wind was howling, the boat heeling and rocking. We decided to 'give it a go', and prepared thoroughly, full foul-weather gear, lifelines etc. Outside the harbour was virtually flat calm. We had to motor.
No doubt people will post more dramatic 'wind events' than these, but they are rare. Don't let imagined hazards put you off coastal boating. If you're prudent, it's very safe. You almost certainly won't get 'pounced on' by the wind.
Yellowtulip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2017, 07:00   #11
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 24,179
Images: 2
pirate Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

The Canaries can be an interesting sail.. its been known for boats drifting down the coast of an island under full sail being knocked down when they emerge from the 'Wind Shadow'..
Watch the water as well as the skies.. its amazing how much it can tell you.. a clear weather squall can be spotted a couple of miles away giving you time to drop/reef the sails.. whitecaps suddenly dancing on the horizon or.. the really violent ones which will flatten the sea as they approach.
Regarding the sound of wind in the rigging.. I've found every boat sings a different song.. some pleasantly musical.. others a harpies screech..
Ann.. you forgot the counter to 'Red sky at night.. Sailors delight..!!'
Red sky in the morning.. Sailors warning..!!
__________________


Born To Be Wild.. Click on the picture.
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2017, 14:54   #12
Registered User
 
Hydra's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lorient, Brittany, France
Boat: Gib'Sea 302, 30' - Hydra
Posts: 1,230
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

The "gustiness" of the wind (ratio of maximum to average wind speed) isn't always the same: it is stronger in unstable conditions (e.g. sea warmer than air) than in stable ones. It is also stronger ashore than at sea, because buildings and trees create large eddies.

Alain
Hydra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2017, 22:57   #13
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 16,772
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Nah, Boatie, i din't forget it: I say it to myself all the time, but I thought that was a Southern Hemisphere thing!

Thanks for checking!

Off now, to watch the start of a race,

Cheers,

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2017, 06:52   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Thanks folks. Thanks for the reassurance. It is a daunting prospect for me. I have to learn myself, which is ok, but a few well chosen words from experienced sailors means a lot, for it is not just what you say but what you might have said but haven't. It was a concern of mine: just what could be lurking out there to trip me up. Cheers.

The idea of reading the sea is something I will take on board and learn, and will seek some books today.

This is not mine, but something I heard some comedian say on the tv some 25 years ago or so, and it tickled me and stuck with me. Just a silly thing. 'Red sky at night, shepherds' delight. Red sky at morning, your sheep are on fire'.
duggybuggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2017, 15:08   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 167
Re: Things, winds and ways within weather systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by duggybuggy View Post
Thanks folks. Thanks for the reassurance. It is a daunting prospect for me. I have to learn myself, which is ok, but a few well chosen words from experienced sailors means a lot, for it is not just what you say but what you might have said but haven't. It was a concern of mine: just what could be lurking out there to trip me up. Cheers.



The idea of reading the sea is something I will take on board and learn, and will seek some books today.



This is not mine, but something I heard some comedian say on the tv some 25 years ago or so, and it tickled me and stuck with me. Just a silly thing. 'Red sky at night, shepherds' delight. Red sky at morning, your sheep are on fire'.


Sounds like it might have been one of Dave Allen's cracks. Sadly missed.
__________________

Yellowtulip is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
weather, wind

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New and Looking for ways to research Hawkeye0914 Powered Boats 10 20-12-2016 11:30
Crew Available: Looking for a Ride within the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia) Marie-Helene Crew Archives 0 29-11-2009 19:04
Things that work and things that don't... svHyLyte Construction, Maintenance & Refit 58 03-11-2006 22:13
Multiple Trips to the Bahamas within Twelve Months freedbill Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 15 28-07-2006 09:01
Bird Flu Could Hit Americas Within A Year CaptainK Health, Safety & Related Gear 2 09-03-2006 22:49

Advertise Here


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:35.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.