Thursday, 6 March 2008
Enough wind for you, sir?
When they updated my favourite weather page I was surprised to see that the wind scale only went up to force 8. Maybe it’s climate change, I thought, no more big winds in the Med.
Well no, emphatically no.
The large white patch north of Menorca is where the gale goes off the scale.
I knew the wind was coming but it found me on the water all the same. Rowing home along the coast after a dawn jaunt. In the first few gusts OB heeled over even though she carried no sails or masts, but I could continue rowing. After a short time I had to turn head to wind in the gusts and pull hard just to remain stationary while I waited for the lulls. Then, when I felt the wind ease, I’d get back on course and row flat out until the next strong blow. It made for a long row home but the wind was offshore and we were close to the beach so there was no chop to speak of.
In the scant moments I had to look around I could see clouds of dust and polythene bags billowing off the shore. Spain has more determined distributors of litter than it has collectors. Every ditch and gully harbours its own hoard of rubbish, so it’s not surprising that when it blows hard a lot of that jetsam ends up in the sea. Soon we’ll have our own version of the North Pacific Gyre.
I’d lashed the oars to their pins in such a way that I couldn’t lose them. Such a loss would have been fatal in the conditions and would have see me drifting out to sea in the direction of Mallorca where I could have expected to find force 11 winds, 5 metre waves and, were I in a condition to witness it, a deal of trash.
Patins Catalans start to get blown about.