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  #1  
Old 06-25-2007
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Butterfly Speed

On Saturday afternoon I was on a close reach doing 5.5 kts against an apparent wind of 7-9 kts. I thought we were doing pretty good and then I looked over and saw a Monarch butterfly keeping up with us on the windward side.

It wasn't in a powerdive or anything, just fluttering along beside us. I was amazed that it could make that much speed to windward. Is there a way that they can "beat" as well, or was it just a coincidence that it was on the same heading as we were?

Last edited by CapnHand; 06-25-2007 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 06-25-2007
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You were doing good with 5.5 kts in 7-9 kts apparent wind. We had very light winds this past weekend, but mostly sailed anyway. Only used the motor to get in and out of the marina.

I've always been amazed at the migratory distances Monarchs are capable of - typically flying in large groups from the Rockies all the way to Mexico. They're also the only species of butterfly to make a transatlantic crossing - with a layover in Bermuda. Incredible, considering their lifespan is only 5-6 weeks.
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Old 06-25-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
You were doing good with 5.5 kts in 7-9 kts apparent wind.
Thanks, I needed some support after not being able to beat a butterfly upwind. Try as I might, I just couldn't pass the little bugger!
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Old 06-25-2007
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I was thinking "BUTTERLY" speed was some obscure sailing term that only the hardest of sailors knew about. So I jumped into the thread to see what it meant. And discovered it was a typo.

Maybe the butterfly was hijacking your slipstream. Feel better.
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Old 06-26-2007
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Hmm... I didn't think a Monarch was capable of that much speed...
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Old 06-26-2007
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"Butterly speed is what it feels like you are sailing through when you get passed by a monarch on the upwind leg." - Wikipedia
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Old 06-26-2007
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You gotta love the concept of a Butterfly in a power dive.
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Old 08-02-2007
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Sorry to bring this back up, but I came across some Monarch information today and learned that with a decent tailwind Monarchs can do 50km/h. So maybe the idea of a Monarch doing 5.5 kts to windward isn't so unbelievable.
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Old 08-02-2007
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Considering the distances the monarchs cover, it wouldn't surprise me that they can make fair progress to windward.
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Old 08-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
that with a decent tailwind Monarchs can do 50km/h.
That will be SOG, thank you....

I don't think their VNE never exceed airspeed is that hi....

Still...pretty embarrassing to be overtaken by a butterfly....


This guy here was emabarrassed also, but he beat the butterfly.
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