Weather and the Ocean of Air

By William Holmes Wenstrom | Go to book overview

Chapter XXI
ON THE WATER -- MARINER'S WEATHER

Day Boating -- Cruising Along the Coast -- Blue Water -- Fog and Wind and Weather

LIKE all other outdoor people, boatmen and mariners are interested in sunshine or cloudiness and rain. But two particulars of weather afloat, which may influence more than mere comfort on the water, are of special concern. The first of these is horizontal visibility -- or lack of it in the form of fog. The second is the wind, and the seas that rise with the wind. Aside from these vagaries of weather, there are varieties of boating itself which determine the particular interests of a weather man afloat, and also limit the technique that he is able to employ.

For any weather studies on the water, the best tool is a mind conversant with the fundamentals of aerology in general, and (in the north-temperate zone) modern air-mass-and-front- analysis in particular; and the best technique is the closest practicable approach, commensurate with available time and facilities, to the methods of modern professional weather analysts. Hence this chapter includes mention of considerable apparatus and technique that may be possible for a mariner under various conditions; whether it is practicable for him, whether he wants to bother with it, is of course his own affair.


Day Boating

Most boating in general, and most day or afternoon boating in particular, is done in small, not too expensive open boats of great variety, ranging from paddle or sail canoes through small sailboats to open motorboats, inboard and outboard. Serious

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