Sailing with Bernoulli
I get asked all the time, “How does a sailboat sail against the wind?” Albeit counterintuitive, sailboats have to stay close to the angle of the wind to get the most power and speed. It’s explained by Bournelli’s Principle in which air going over one surface of an object (the mast) is faster than the wind going over the other surface.
Hence “lift” happens. So too with speech and singing, as told by newlyweds Mitchell and Molly Warmbein while sailing the York River. “When air becomes exhaled it goes by force into the vocal fields, or chords, creating sound from the negative pressure of the Bournelli effect,” Mitchell explained. It happens hundreds of times a minute, “thousands of times if you’re singing really high,” Molly chimed in. Suddenly the wind picked up, as if scientist Daniel Bournelli wanted us to get back to the task at hand.
Sailing with Gilligan
I can’t tell you how many people out sailing on the York River find themselves singing the lyrics to “Gilligan’s Island,” a TV show from the mid-1960s that I somehow missed. The imagery of a three-hour romantic adventure cruise remains in the American psyche because they nearly died in a storm. They wound up stranded on an island, seemingly in perpetuity. Viewers had to suspend their disbelief about how all the guest stars managed to reach the island. Like Gilligan, Williamsburg Charter Sails goes out for a three-hour cruise, but with better results.
While serenely sailing the York River, we got to talking with Carla and Claude Davis of Atlantic City about Superstorm Sandy and how it devastated northern New Jersey in 2012. People can go for days without electricity, but not water.
“They take water for granted,” Carla said. Claude works in the city water department. “You can always light a candle, but that won’t provide you water,” he said. People can also live without TV, but not their smart phones. I allowed as how I would hate to live away from the river. “Well then, you need water for sustainability on two levels,” Claude said.
Let’s Go Sailing with Bernoulli
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