One Constant You Can Rely On With Sailing – Change!

I did a 30 hours sail the other weekend. In the course of it, we drifted without steerage on a still sea, we ran with a following sea, and we beat against Force 5 with wind over tide. None of those conditions was very exceptional, but part of the great attraction of sailing is the evolutions of weather, sea, and (on long passages) light that we go through.

This attraction is especially so when we are set out to anticipate the changes, for example when we choose our day’s sailing, or our passage, or our offshore race plan. As far as possible we aim to make the best of the prospective favourable weather and tide conditions and avoid the worst effects of adverse conditions. Achieving this is a real source of satisfaction.

Sailing through the changing conditions is a big part of the great experience and the appeal of sailing!

The wind forecast websites available and on at least a 24 hours basis usually have high accuracy. I always like to see the synoptic charts as well – the time sequenced charts give a picture of the overall dynamics of the weather systems.

Sometimes the weather surprises us – by not changing! We usually tire of that when it happens: it is either too light a wind and we get nowhere for hours, or is a challenging and ongoing bash upwind.

Sailing through the changes provides the great experiences of sailing. Anticipating the changes is great satisfaction!

A sea breeze cloud on passage from Ile d’Yeu to Les Sables d’Olonne (Frank Singleton)

Frank Singleton’s photo is taken in the cruising ground of our Summer Cruise. Frank’s weather website is particularly designed with yachtsmen in mind. It is specifically referred to in the RYA web pages on weather.

By one of those delightful chance encounters when in harbour, I with the rest of skipper Jonathan Lees’ crew fell into conversation with Frank in port of Ile de Ré. He gave us valuable advice about sailing to Rochefort, and it was only as we said our goodbyes that he mentioned his work; weather advice and the website, which I (and the RYA) am very pleased to make known to readers!

On a different subject, for our 25th Anniversary Celebration on 14 September we are mounting a display of pictures from our very varied activities. Please give a little time to look through your photographs for memorable shots of people, our yachts, places and events and send them to Andy Bowerman ( bowermanandy0@gmail.com ). If you cannot scan the old prints, we hope you will be prepared to send them to Andy (email Andy for his postal address). If you put your name and address on the reverse we can send them back afterwards.

If you haven’t already let Andy know you are coming to the late afternoon drinks and the buffet supper, drop him a line about that as well!

Happy sailing!

Ted Sankey

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