Day 15 of ? – Run like the Wind

16 Mar

Good morning everyone. I hope you’re all doing well on this fine day. Yesterday I posted about the radio and the batteries so today I’d like to write about the other sailing challenge – the winds. And while I’m still becoming learned in the sailing arts, I feel I have a good enough understanding of how everything works to take a stab at explaining this oft-neglected but important subject.

Like the most exciting games in the sporting world, the best winds are the ones that come from behind. There’s nothing complicated about this – it’s the sailing equivalent of “food goes in here”. Wind blows in the desired direction of the boat, the boat goes in that direction.

Next up you have the perpendicular winds. These are like the overtime wins of the sailing world – sure you get three points but your opponent still gets two. Perpendicular winds can move the boat in the correct direction but it’s a less efficient use of the wind.

The third type is called the headwind – they come straight at you. These are the worst ones – a playoff loss, if you will. By all scientific logic if you’re experiencing a headwind you should end up going backwards, but I’m told by a reliable source that this is not always the case.

The final type is no wind at all – a straight up tie. In the unlikely event of a perfectly calm sea one can simply turn on the engines and motor until the wind picks up.

Now what does all this mean for recreational sailing vessel One White Tree and her intrepid band of sailing people? Well, I’m going to reveal to you now the one weird trick of sailing between Australia and New Zealand (the one the fat cats in Canberra don’t want you to know about!)

Start in New Zealand

You see the prevailing winds in this part of the world go from east to west and this makes sailing in the other direction (from Sydney to Auckland for example) much more challenging. But not to worry. I’ve been reviewing the wind forecasts and it looks like we should get enough of the perpendicular winds to make it across without any problems.

Or so it seems…

Stay tuned for more technical updates and weather reports – only on http://www.diehardthree.com!

Boat View

OWT port bow and jib sail in national park.

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