English channel crossing

Discussion in 'Stability' started by Mik the stick, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Mik the stick
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    Mik the stick Senior Member

    On holiday I crossed the channel in a ferryboat. The captain said the weather was force 8 but not to worry the boat was fully stabilized. I was way up on deck 8 and it looked calm to me. I thought it was maybe a bit over force 4. I wondered if a seagull can fly in a force 8 because I definitely saw one. The boat was so stable it felt as though we had never left harbour.
     
  2. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    This is a picture of what Force 8 looks like:

    [​IMG]

    You didn't say if the gull was flying into the wind or just being carried along by it.

    The seas may not be fully developed because you were in the Channel, but there should have been a stiff breeze none the less.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That is a fresh gale with waves of about 7 meters and foam flying. The wave crests are starting to break. Wind is 34 to 40 knots. Ducks can average about 50 mph. I think seagulls may be about the same.
     
  4. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    All this is stupid but the seagulls are faster than ducks. Ducks better support long distances, they are slower but more powerful. (Indeed, Gonzo, me, either, I know nothing about birds)
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I am surprised at the lack of information for bird's flying speed. Only a few seem to take the interest of ornithologists.
     
  6. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    This may be true, but it takes a determined bird to fly into a 40-knot headwind, like his tail is on fire or something. In my experience, when the weather turns bad, even bird brains know enough to go somewhere else or stay perched somewhere.
     
  7. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I've crossed the Channel on Ferries when half the passengers were er er green around the gills and we were allowed to still get to the outside areas, to enjoy our sandwiches.....;) I seem to recall seagulls still searching for scraps on the lee side.

    Mostly it seems, the Ferries will sail in an 8 or 9 but not beyond that. The biggest problem is getting blown around in the harbour mouths and docking areas as well as any narrow channels. That nice picture reminds me of an Open meeting a couple of years ago when we were sent out in those conditions to race!. Bear in mind this was in 4 meter single handed dinghies, well half of us finished and the second reach was a real blast. I don't think anyone gybed.....;)

    The swallows and nightjars etc seem to have left the southern UK now, probably took the northerlies a week ago. It's quite interesting to note how the weather circulation influences the migration. Now the starlings are just beginning to congregate, small numbers now but we'll see 2k+ of them in a month or so.
     
  8. Mik the stick
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    Mik the stick Senior Member

    Well according to the posted picture the wind was never force 8, and the seagull was gliding ie definitely not flapping its wings.
     
  9. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    You have to check if the gull was flying close hauling, reaching or blown past you.

    I once photographed a seagull in irons... I was standing at about 45o and neither of us was going anywhere :D
     
  10. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    What looks 'calm' from deck 8 of a large ferry may feel quite different at sea level.
    But the captain probably meant to say the forecast was 8 Beaufort....
     

  11. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    Which ferry was it, Mik? We cut our teeth on those channel ferries, so to speak, when we developed and tested the first four-fin active stabilization system for fast cats....and installed it on the 49m Condor 9 wavepiercer. That was about 24 years ago...
     
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