Wind on the Bay

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"Wind on the Bay", pegasus, January 01, 1994,


Wind Patterns on the Bay

Bay Wind Patterns

There is almost always wind on the Bay, typically moving at around 20 knots (23 mph) during the summer months, with white caps on the water more often than not.  Strong westerly winds enter the Bay through the Golden Gate as if through a funnel and are deflected from the many islands. Hot air rising from the San Joaquin Valley creates low pressure over the Valley, which then acts as a giant vacuum cleaner sucking in air from the Pacific through the Golden Gate.  Land features, trees, buildings create obstacles that the wind has to move around.  As a result, sudden wind shifts from unexpected directions make sailing on the Bay a constant challenge.  With the large sail area of Pegasus, any gust of wind translates into greater speed but also causes the boat to “heel”.  Unlike smaller sailboats, “dinghies”, Pegasus’ lead keel prevents her from capsizing.  However, the variable winds may make for a sometimes rough journey as the boat rolls from side to side.  Luckily, there are many land features and sights to keep the eye steady on a point on the horizon.  As in all moving vehicles, this is one of the best ways to counter motion sickness!

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