Wind and mood

Initially, I thought this is the rare case where one might find a perfect 1.0 correlation.  Reflecting on wind further, I realized the relationship is much more complex.  When there is no wind, the mood is frustrated/disjected.  If the lack of wind persists, the mood grows darker.  When there is no wind for a day or more, depression and hopelessness sets in.  One questions whether the destination will ever be seen.  When the wind picks up to 8-10 kts, smiles emerge on the crew.  The sailing is smooth and comfortable with slight heel.  It is relaxing.  Wick it up a bit to 12-15 kts and more attention needs to be paid to the sails.  The mood goes from chilling to a heightened level of happiness.  Increase the wind more to the mid-20’s and the mood changes to excitement and enjoying/controlling the speed.  In the 30’s to 40’s, the mood morphs into focused attention with a douse of fear, please let me get the sails reefed and I hope I don’t screw up.  No one wants to test their lifevests.

While the above is generally true, mood is clearly influenced by the direction of the wind.  When the wind shifts and is coming from the direction of your destination, all is not lost, but it means it for every mile you sail you only get half a mile toward your destination.  We had a nice broad reach going for at least 24 hours, when it slowly shifted on May 23.  Sure enough we had to tack and instead heading directly in the direction we wanted, we had to head north instead of east.  The mood on the boat soured and continued to decline as the new wind remained consistently out of the east.  We had to travel 60 miles north of the latitude where we needed to be.

Sea state is another consideration. Relatively flat to 3-4 ft rollers is pleasant.  When we headed with the wind on our stern a couple of days ago, it was scary to see a 12 ft wall of water coming at the stern.  Fortunately, the waves did not break and the stern rose to meet to gradually meet the wave.

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