Monday, April 11, 2011

Rain or Shine

The latest weather report? Check the automatic daily emails or go on-line for weekly forecasts. At the dock, it’s easy. Reading the wind is as simple as looking at the flags. Are they straining to be free from the staff, or are they a lifeless rag in the doldrums? The sky shines pure crystal or blankets everything in wooly grey. Look at the sea: gentle swells, white caps or charging elephants? Are the waves coming from the east or the south? That’s good. From the west--things are “clocking”. From the north, watch out! A front’s coming—rain, gusty, strong winds, and cooler temperatures are on the way.

One thing is sure: each morning arrives raw and fresh, independent of 9 to 5 Gridlock. Reading the weather is an old-time skill that city life has buried over time. Living on a boat prescribes relearning and honing this skill set as a life-saving measure. “What’s coming and where will we be when it hits?” are captains’ concerns and responsibility. No one wants to be caught off-guard in open water where there is no place to seek shelter.

At the dock, it’s really easy: sing a little rhyme and drink a little wine. Tomorrow is another day in Paradise.

Red sky in the morning—Sailors take warning. Red sky at night—Sailors’ delight.

What's your favourite weather forecasting trick?

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