My David Atlas, J.S. Marshall, R.H. Douglas, Walter Palmer 79th sail of 2008 was last Tuesday, on a dark, dismal, cloudy day. Right after breakfast I checked the regional weather radar map on Accuweather.com and saw a huge band of rain coming in from the west, likely to arrive around lunch time. I hate the prospect of sailing in the rain, even though it is true that racing in the rain can be the Best of Times.
So I set off right away for Fogland Beach aiming to fit in my David Atlas, J.S. Marshall, R.H. Douglas, Walter Palmer 79th sail before the rain arrived. At the beach there was a brisk southerly whipping up some waves that were crashing into the southern side of the beach where I usually launch, so I drove around to the more sheltered northerly side of the Fogland peninsula for a more controllable Laser launching and recovery experience.
Had a good session doing the usual stuff. Reached across to investigate the bridge connecting the Sakonnet River to the Seapowet Marsh. Then a few circuits up and down wind to work on boatspeed; some mark rounding practice around mooring buoys; then off upwind again to the middle of the river to play in bigger waves. Towards the end of the session a few rain showers came through so I called it a day and headed for the beach.
On the narrow pebbly strip of land north of Fogland there was an RV with a large trailer behind it. Hmmm. Might be a windsurfer. I've seen them here before with rigs like that. I give the driver a cheery wave but he shows no inclination to leave the warmth and shelter of his cab. Maybe he's one of those hard-core windsurfers waiting for the storm to come before he goes sailing?
Wait. Didn't Peconic Puffin put on his bucket list that he wanted to come and windsurf at Fogland to see "Sir Tillermeister"? Maybe it's the Puffin. The guy gets out of his RV and wanders around a bit. Hmmm. He does look a bit like a puffin. Maybe it is The Puffin.
Should I go over and introduce myself? Nah. If he is Peconic Puffin and he's come here to find Sir Tillermeister he will make the first move. He will know it's me. Apart from being the only Laser sailor in sight there's also my bumper sticker "Cheat the nursing home. Die on your LASER". It's pretty easy to know who I am. And I can hardly approach a perfect stranger and say, "Hi. I am Sir Tillermeister. Are you The Puffin?" He would think I am nuts.
So I do the cool reserved Brit thing and don't introduce myself.
And so ended my David Atlas, J.S. Marshall, R.H. Douglas, Walter Palmer 79th sail.
"Who are David Atlas, J.S. Marshall, R.H. Douglas and Walter Palmer?" I hear you ask. Well, according to Wikipedia, which is renowned for its truthiness, they are some of the scientists responsible for the early development of weather radar just after the Second World War. So, as I used weather radar to plan the time of my 79th sail, I named it in honor of them.
Contrary to what it says at Askville, I'm pretty sure that it is not true that "Christina Andreas Doppler was the one who invented the Doppler radar in 1842." Quite apart from the fact that Professor Doppler's first name was Christian not Christina, and that he was a guy not a girl, his seminal work on how the observed frequency of waves depends on the relative movement of the observer and the source of the waves, Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels, was published about a century before the invention of radar.
You can't believe everything you find on The Google.