Wednesday, May 25, 2011


For years I have read about how difficult sailing can be in the Mediterranean Sea -- rough, choppy waves and winds that can switch direction instantly without warning.  The eastern Med is known for the Meltimi -- very strong winds from the north during the summer months.  Yachts can be locked into anchorages for shelter for days at a time when a Meltimi is blowing.  The Meltimi is strongest in late July and the month of August.  But Meltimi can start in late May or early June with less frequency than occurs in warmer months of summer. 

This morning was our first exposure to a very short-lived Meltimi experience.  While I was hanging laundry on the deck the wind was blowing nicely from the south.  Suddenly, with no light variable differences in direction like one might normally expect, the wind switched 180 degrees and increased force significantly.  The much stronger wind from the north lasted only an hour or so, then all wind died completely -- resulting in a much warmer day.

This sudden 180 degree switch of direction and the stronger force got me to thinking.  How does a boat sailing with wind vane steering handle this sudden change?  Can't think that would be a pleasant experience.

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