On Tuesday I escaped from the madness and mayhem of US Election Day for a peaceful sail on the Sakonnet River. On the drive down to Fogland Beach I almost ran over several people who were randomly wandering around in the road near a church. What's all that about? Oh, I expect they were heading off to the polling station and were too busy thinking about who to vote for to keep an eye out for traffic.
After dodging all the undecided voters I eventually escaped to the relative safety and solitude of the river. As I sailed into the middle of the channel I relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Did I say quiet? No, it's never quiet when you're sailing. I listened to the sound of my bow wave and stern wave, the rhythmic noise of the ripples splashing against the hull, the sharper slap as the hull bounced off slightly larger waves, the wind, the almost imperceptible rustle of my tell tales...
And I started thinking? How much can you tell about how you are sailing by sound alone? I've been to clinics where they make you sail with your eyes closed to focus on using your other senses, especially hearing. I wrote about one such day at Feel on Baby.
But if all you had was an audio recording of your day's sailing what would you be able to discern? Could you estimate the wind speed? Does it sound different when you are beating, reaching and running? Could you tell what the size of the waves were? Would you be able to work out the wind speed? Could you hear the difference between sailing "in the groove" upwind and when you were pinching?