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January 3, 2011

Sir Francis Beaufort Declares a Weather Day

Day 25
January 3, 2010
Ubaldo Islands
Mileage: Zero

Awoke this morning to a gray sky, racing clouds and whitecaps out in Canal Moraleda.  We cooked brekkie as usual, but left the tent up just in case.  Our camp is set on a tiny islet with a narrow white sand beach topped by a shell midden just above high tide and just below the tangle of native scrub.  Our tent and MegaMid just fit on the flat patch of shells.  We're on the south side of the island where the vegetation is tallish, over on the north side the scrub is bent into tortured shapes forming a thick carpet of flagged vegetation.  The wind that formed these arbores banderas is rising quickly and it doesn´t take long for us to decide to wait and see what Patagonia is going to do today.

This is what it looked like before it got windy!
  Gradually the wind fills in and by noon it is truly howling through the trees above our tent.  After a morning of hot drinks, reading, crosswords, and BonIver on the iPod I decide to circumambulate our little haven in the storm.  Here's a short video shot from the north side of the island.

You can be the judge, but here is what the Beaufort Scale has to say:

Moderate waves of pronounced long form. Many white horses, some spray. CHECK.  That's force 5.

Some large waves, extensive white foam crests, some spray.  CHECK.  That`s force 6.

Sea heaped up, white foam from breaking waves blowing in streaks with the wind. CHECK.  Force 7.

Crests break into spin drift, blowing foam in well marked streaks.  CHECK.  Force 8.

Okay, so what we have here is Beaufort Force 8, quaintly referred to as a Gale with wind speeds around 34-40 knots (aka 39-46 mph).

In our world this is otherwise known as a sleep-in, a rest day, a weather day, or a Honeymoon!  Today we`ll go nowhere and enjoy the protection of our snug camp.

Love to everyone at home.  Thinking of you all during the holidays!  Thanks for the comments, encouragement and well-wishes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...I love this post, well written. I miss you two!!!