2009 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery banner

River Science: Wind Speed

Mouse over to sample the wind.
The Lion Rampant flag flaps atop the fore mast.

Of all the weather phenomena our students study, the speed and direction of the wind have the most immediate effects on our ship. Not surprising, considered that the Half Moon is a sailing vessel! In 1609, Hudson's progress along the narrow river was often at the mercy of favorable winds.

We use hand-held anemometers to accurately measure the wind's speed. As the wind blows through and spins an anemometer's fan, the electronic instrument records the wind's highest and average speeds.

We recorded wind speed as part of the Deck Log, which the the research team of DeNiro, Matt, and Nadia incorporated into their presentation project.

When we study wind speed in depth for research projects, we often simultaneously compare wind speeds on deck and at the mast tops. Our findings during these experiments indicate that the wind is consistently stronger at higher elevations.

Mouse over to feel the breeze.
Mr. Van Grondelle tries out a anemometer as his hair and clothes whip around him.

This would have come as no surprise to the shipwrights who constructed the original Half Moon in 1607-8; after all, top sails are designed specifically to harness those higher, more powerful gusts.

Voyage Homepage Our Crew Learning Half Moon homepage