Nautical charts and pubs change nearly as fast as the tide sending each sailing second mate back to kintergarden’s cut & paste lessons each time a new notice to mariners arrives with the ship’s mail. So it may seem ironic that the one chart which hasn’t changed much in over 200 years, was created by am man shipwrecked at age fifteen due to a faulty chart… The Beaufort Scale. Wikipedia tells us:
Beaufort developed the first versions of his Wind Force Scale and Weather Notation coding, which he was to use in his journals for the remainder of his life. From the circle representing a weather station, a stave (as in musical notation) extends, with one or more half or whole barbs. For example, a stave with 3 ½ barbs represents Beaufort seven on the scale, decoded as 32–38 mph, or a “Fresh Gale”. Beaufort didn’t really invent something new here; rather, he eventually succeeded in getting others to adopt it as a standard when there was no existing standard.
While the information hasn’t changed much (nor has chart most of us are familiar with, shown in the picture above) the way in which the information is displayed can be depicted in a variety of ways. Below is just a sampling, be sure to leave a link to your favorite rendition of the scale in the comments below…. and not, the Beaufort-esque chart for determining the scale of a bar fight, doesn’t count.
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