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Weather plays a large role in sailing! Join us as we pay a visit to the National Weather Service station in San Diego to catch a glimpse into the future weather patterns that will effect the America's Cup Races.
The Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (http://sccoos.org/) gathers live data about winds, waves, surface currents, temperature, and water quality, and makes it available to everyone. In this piece, Oceanographer Art Miller tells us about this system, and about how America's Cup sailors can use this kind of data and modeling to improve their race performances.
To access wind modeling data, visit:
How can a wind-powered sailboat move faster than the wind? Why do the America's Cup sails look like airplane wings? With the beginner in mind, Exploratorium senior scientist Paul Doherty introduces the basic physics of sailing and sail design. You've probably heard about the Texas-sized island of plastic trash swirling in the center of the Pacific Ocean. But did you know we have our own pockets of floating trash right here in San Francisco Bay? Join us on a trash safari with Sealife Convervation—a research and education group studying the volume, distribution, and sources of trash in the San Francisco and Monterey Bays.
Astrophysicist Paul Coleman and expert ocean navigator Kalepa Baybayan visited the Exploratorium as advisors to our Polynesian Navigation project—a large-scale Web resource (launching April 2010) that will feature the astounding navigation practices of the Pacific Islanders, who were expertly navigating the Pacific thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.
Paul Coleman works at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, where he concentrates on the large-scale structure of the universe. Kalepa Baybayan is an expert navigator who mentors Hawaiian youth in native navigation practices. Both men are native Hawaiians. We spoke with them about traditional navigation practices, the balance between science and spirituality from a native perspective, and the benefits of being grounded in one’s culture.