The Beaufort Scale and Jersey’s Public Art.

Right now we are sailing in some rough seas.  We were supposed to leave Falmouth at 6:00PM but the Captain ordered all on board at 4:00 so he could get around Land’s End to beat a storm.  But after we were on board the captain told him a sand bar was blocking the river entrance and we had to wait until high tide, so we didn’t get out until 6 PM anyway.  So we are pitching until we round Lands End, and then we will start rolling.  The captain told us to limit movement, stay off our balconies and stow anything that could break, like cameras and computers.  Yes Sir!  By the time we get to the Fishguard pilot station tomorrow the seas should have subsided.  Right now it is rough but not nearly as bad as other sea trips we have taken.

There is a wind scale that sailors use called the Beaufort Scale that is used to gauge weather.  It was developed for the Royal Navy in 1805 by Sir Frances Beaufort.   We do not have that much wind on our voyage right now, just heavy seas, but I thought it would be time to talk about the Beaufort Scale.  Here is how the Royal Meteorological service defines the Beaufort Scale.

On the Island of Jersey, set in concrete along the sea walk there are plaques marking the Beaufort Scale and some are whimsical.  Here is the Jersey Beaufort Scale.  It pretty much follows the Royal Meteorological Service, until you get to nine, then they show some creativity.  I particularly like 9, 10 and 12.

0 Calm  Smoke Rises Vertically

1 Light Air,  Wind felt on face

2 Light Breeze, Water surface covered with ripples.

3 Gentle Breeze, Wind extends light flag.

4 Moderate Breeze, Raises Dust and loose paper

5 Fresh Breeze, A well conditioned Man of War can just carry Royals in chase

6. Strong Breeze, Umbrella’s used with difficulty

7. High Wind,  Whole trees In motion

8. Gale, Twigs are broken off trees

9. Strong Gale,  Chimney pots may fly

10. Whole Gale, All boats are in harbor, pray God

11. Storm, Widespread damage.

12. Hurricane, Yacht crews decide to take up golf.

Sitka has its Mariner’s Wall, with names of Sitka ships.  Jersey has park benches dedicated to its ships.

It also has 26 benches, one for each letter of the alphabet with its phonetic name, Morse Code signal, semaphore signal and letter flag.  I have picked three at random to show you.

Jersey has other public art, some of it participatory.  11 school groups and 8 knitting clubs banded together to create “The Knitted Reef” which is on display in the Maritime Museum. 

Also in the maritime Museum is the Occupation Tapestry, a work of art designed from old black and white photos.  There are 12 panels, each panel of the tapestry is 1 x 2 meters and each was completed by the women of one of the island’s 12 parishes.  They drew, by lot, which part of the occupation they would sew.  The panels were unveiled on the 50th anniversary of the end of the occupation.  (The 74th anniversary is this Thursday, May 9).  I didn’t take pictures of the panel but I do have pictures of the liberation monument and some of the decorations going up for the celebration.

Finally some bit of whimsey form the Jersey Maritime Museum,  a Jukebox of sorts, that plays sea shanties on a hurdy gurdy. 

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