Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
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Re: Wind Direction Question from Noob...
Speaking for Mountain lake sailors everywhere... There is ALSO a prevailing wind direction that exists for long periods of time (hours is pushing it) for mountain lakes.
What a lot of new sailors miss is wind is like water in a river... It gets eddys and currents in it, it doesn't like obstructions, and swirls around them, and over them, creating "oscillating" or "local changes of direction." The REALLY great sailors (of which I am not), learn where those "local changes" happen for a given direction, and exploit them to go the direction they want..... Lemme give you an example.
High shoreline (mountain, or cliff edge)... which has the wind COMING from that edge... as you get closer to it, winds ROLL down the edge, and stream along it. You can usually pick up a 90 degree shift closest to the edge (trick is sometimes its only a fraction of the power of the actual wind)... knowing whether the 90 degree change is a LIFT or a HEADER is the hard part (generally comes from the angle of the shoreline - which is NEVER perfectly straight, versus the angle of incidence of the wind that approaches it).
The other advice given here is very good. Know your points of sail, and how to rough-trim for them. Know that teltales and windexes sometimes will disagree, for 2 reasons, one that altitude can bring a change of prevailing direction, and low altitude disturbences (dirty wind) can cause the tales to be off.
Regardless of all above, your trim needs to be set for the winds you are experiencing NOW in the space you are at the time... Apparent wind is the only thing the throws most new sailors off... the effects of YOUR movement on the water creates an additional change in direction... the faster you go relative to the winds speed the more it changes it. Also as the winds come up, your own speed affects it less... which is why most sailors can do well with predicting wind direction when the winds are up... but struggle when the winds are VERY light.
Keep at it, and all these responses will make more sense. Have fun, and sounds like you are!
"Rum Line" a 1982, S2 7.9 - Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.