of no fixed subtitle
September 10, 2004
The Beaufort Wind Scale
Invented in 1806, and its descriptions are strangely touching.
19 years ago
I've always wondered about this and what it meant. I'm glad I'm not a sailor.
Moderate waves, many white horses
Is that about the sea, or LSD experiences?
The description of
equivalent speeds for land
are also astonishingly poetic.
Wow.. thanks, Chimaera! These descriptions are like bizarre little haiku.
Good stuff. My mental imagery as I read the descriptions was scenes from "The Perfecr Storm."
daybreak and the sea breaks too white horses race winds whip away their crests go streaming our ship's prow ducks and rises water creaming on her deck beeswacky's at the rail -- he's looking pale and wishing he was still ashore and snugly dreaming
The one for
sounds very anthropomorphic (which I guess is appropriate):
Breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress.
And the one for
is just "--", meaning, "It's a hurricane! Duh!", perhaps?
wow. those are wonderful. a bit about our good man. i wonder if he, himself, composed them? Rear-Admiral, Sir Francis Beaufort, Knight Commander of the Bath, was born in Ireland in 1774. He entered the Royal Navy at the age of 13 and was a midshipman aboard the Aquilon. Beaufort is said to have had an illustrious career on the seas and by 1800 had risen to the rank of Commander. In the summer of 1805 Commander Beaufort was appointed to the command of the Woolwich, a 44 gun man-of-war. It was at this time that he devised his wind force scale. By 1838 the Beaufort wind force scale was made mandatory for log entries in all ships of the Royal Navy. Beaufort last served as Hydrographer to the Admiralty. He died in 1857 two years after his retirement. ("Hydrographer to the Admiralty." great title!)
polite company is like a mirror
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Seconded. Quidnunc is a mammal!
Fantastic post. See also the book
Defining the Wind
by Scott Huler. I recently heard the author on a local radio