Sailing - Sail Boat


I’m still on the sailing thing. There’s so much I learned that my brain wanted to explode during the class and I’m slowly mulling it over now as I have more time.

As many of you know, I grew up in Colorado, a land locked state. There are reservoirs, of course, and I sailed a tiny bit when I was young because my parent’s boss owned a sail boat. But the water there had fewer aspects to keep in mind while handling the boat and I never realized it.

For instance, tides. On a lake, you don’t have to worry about tides quite like you do on the ocean or a waterway connected to the ocean.

We learned sailing in the Charleston Bay, where there can be a 6-7ft—or more—rise and fall in the water level. When you have a boat with a 5.5 foot hull below the water, that 6-7ft is a huge factor. You don’t want to anchor for a night only to find the tide went out and you’re now sitting on sand.

Or, when you anchor out, the boat will swing in a circle around the anchor as the tide goes out and then comes back in. (Depending on your anchor style). You see, to actually hold the boat, you play out a 5:1 or 7:1 length of chain or rope respectively. (The 1 you’re calculating with is a combination of the boat’s freeboard—how much hull you have above the water—and the depth from the waterline down to the bottom.) So, if you have 20ft between the freeboard and water depth, you’re looking at playing out over 100ft of chain. That’s a lot of swing. If you’re too close to the shore or too close to shallow water, again, you’ll find yourself on sand instead of floating.

It’s crazy but cool in my brain. Sailing is a whole ‘nother world to me! And it’s kind of cool to go to sleep facing upriver and then wake up and realize you’re now facing downriver.

Anyways, thanks for listening to my ramblings while my brain processes stuff.



13 thoughts on “Tides”

  1. Sounds like there’s a lot of math involved in sailing—which is fine with me because I love math! Thanks for teaching us more about sailing! 🙂

    By the way, I finally got around to reading a couple of story paths in Discarded Dragons and loved them! Thought you’d like to know that I left a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I look forward to exploring the rest of the endings! 😁

    P.S. I noticed you used the name Eira for one of your characters. Were you by any chance inspired after reading some snippets from my WIP? 😏

    1. I’ve been meaning to thank you for the review! It’s greatly appreciated 🙂

      The name Eira came from a friend’s daughter. It just seemed to fit. Although after using it I did notice it in your WIP. Guess it’s a good name! 😉

      1. You’re welcome! 😊 That’s quite a coincidence! I chose it for my ice dragon because it means “snow” in Welsh. It’s a lovely name! 🙂

  2. I’ve certainly never considered any of this, though I do love watching the tide come and go. One of those interesting details that will likely never make it into a book, but is important nevertheless. Always fun to learn new things!

    1. There is something about just watching the ocean that speaks to the heart. And you’re right, this is probably way more than anything that’ll get used in a story! Always have to be careful not to let the research overwhelm the writing 🙂

      1. Months later, I’m reading this book that involves a character traveling by something called a narrowboat through the canals and rivers of the UK. There’s an extraordinary amount of detail about what it all involves (mooring, avoiding banks, watching for tides, etc.) and I just found myself reminded of your post! I suppose the details do actually make it into books, and can even play a bit of a big role in it.

        Just thought I’d drop in and mention since, every time I pick of the book, I think of your posts on sailing.

      2. That’s awesome! Someday I’ll attempt a story that uses ship knowledge more extensively but I’m definitely not there yet.

        Although I am reading the Bone Ships Wake and am continually impressed with how the ship stuff checks out but is still unique to the world. It’s fun world building! 🙂

      3. That trilogy definitely has some of the most impressive world building ever! Sometimes I wonder just how much research must have gone into it.

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