The wind is still outside. Or it was while I wrote that sentence. I heard only the hum of our neighbor’s condenser unit, the churr of insects, the muffled chuffle of a distant lawn mower. Then I heard a lift of leaves. A rustle. I raised my eyes again and saw oak leaves tickle; the heavy boughs that hold them dipped and swayed with a slow, gentle nod. I don’t think that’s quite a force 3 wind.
Wind speed tables, developed in the 19th century and still useful now, classify winds into forces, ranging from Force 1 (1-3 mph) up to Force 10 (55-63mph). A Force 3 wind is described as a gentle breeze. Small, glassy waves form in its presence, only 6.5 inches to a foot in height. A flag will occasionally stir in a Force 3. I see no flags and no water with enough fetch to show me what they’d do. The neighbor’s pool won’t cut it.
I’d like to be out in a Force 3 wind. My notes say that’s 8-12 mph, which seems higher than I would have thought to cause those conditions. I wish we had a wind gauge.
If a Force 3 is where we can get on a steady course and just go, both of us on the windward side of the boat because it’s heeling, and there are no other boats around, I’d like to be out in a Force 3 wind. I think that would be the perfect wind speed for our little boat; a Force 3 wind is described as promoting comfortable sailing.
Today is overcast and cool. If we were to sail, we’d need long pants and fleece and windbreakers. I love fall sailing; the lake is generally empty and silent, and the changing leaves are like sparkling gems on the mountainside. Maybe we can go this weekend. Our paddleboarding days might be over for the year, though.