Monday, 30 November 2015
Where does the wind come from?
One thing a sailing boat like Moondancer needs is wind. But have you ever wondered what wind is and where it comes from? The sun heats the ocean and the heat is released slowly. Heat from the ocean warms the air and warm air rises.
When the warm air rises from above the ocean, cold air rushes in to replace the warm air – that movement makes wind.
In weather prediction terms, cool air produces high pressure and warm air causes low air pressure.
The wind pushes against the sails and the Moondancer travels through the water. But it’s more complicated than that. You need to put up just the right amount of sail depending on the strength of the wind.
And there are lots of other complicated maneuvers to learn to be a proper sailor.
It’s nice and calm today and the crew have let me control the tiller. This is connected to the rudder which is used to help make the vessel turn.
You have to turn the tiller the opposite way that you want to turn. The tiller will also help keep the Moondancer traveling straight, but you have to adjust it slightly as the vessel gets pushed sideways by the waves.