Plain Sailing

Brace the sails: what El Nino means for PlainSailors

After hearing so much about El Nino, and the damage it has caused in terms of flooding across the UK, I thought it would be interesting to consider what El Nino means to casual sailors.

Article Image

Obviously, El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon which, amongst other things, sees stronger and warmer winds and waters heading north-eastwards across the Atlantic, from South America to Europe.  As we’ve seen, it can cause unprecedented strengthening of weather systems, as well as transporting weather systems to places where it typically isn’t prevalent. 

That means hurricanes in the US, and droughts in Australia, and, for us in the UK, that has meant stronger winds and a lot of rain, whilst further north, the warmer water is melting the polar ice at a faster than usual rate. 

For yachtsmen in the UK, this means the coastlines have seen faster and stronger winds – so get reefs in your sails to avoid them becoming over-powered.  Obviously it goes without saying that you should always check the weather forecasts before heading out into the sea, but as this is the strongest El Nino for over 65 years, it’s something to take even more seriously!

Good news for other customers, though – the winds and weather in the Mediterranean (and particularly Greece and Croatia) won’t be impacted too much.  If anything, it will make the weather more mild during the winter season.

So check the weather, or head out to Greece or Croatia!

Get out on the sea next week!  Charter an 8 person bareboat yacht from Rhodes from Sat 30 Jan to Sat 6 Feb from just £1,060!   (That’s £133 a head, and the organiser will get a FREE Helly Hansen Crew Midlayer jacket worth £100!)