Sailing is an exciting sport which has more and more followers every day. Many start at a young age thanks to the many sailing schools on our coasts. Here they learn how to operate the sails and rigging and all the essential sailing manoeuvres.
Even though the sea is their passion and their main ally is the wind, many of the younger sailors don´t know how this atmospheric phenomenon is generated, or who produced the weather forecast they consulted before they set sail.
How is wind generated? Why does the direction of the breeze change? How can the surf conditions be forecast? These and other questions relating to the Mediterranean sea were answered at the informative talk given by the researchers of the Balearic Isles Observation and Forecasting System (SOCIB) at the Real Club Náutico of the Port de Pollença sailing school, on the day of the Stiu race, in which 50 young sailors participated.
Different topics of interest were covered in a very enjoyable way, using examples which were relevant to the experiences the sailors have at sea. Special mention was made to other cross-cutting issues such as the floating marine debris which ends up contaminating our coasts, to raise awareness amongst the young about good environmental practices.
During the talk they learnt about the work of SOCIB and its multiple observation platforms (buoys, radars, underwater gliders, etc.) which are constantly measuring the Mediterranean's pulse, recording data in real time which is accessible to the whole of society.
This is achieved within the framework of the program "Medclick: the Mediterranean in one click", a result of the collaboration between the Obra Social “la Caixa” and SOCIB, which has the principal objective of bringing the work of SOCIB closer to society in general through science outreach activities
Thanks to this approach, the vision these children have of working in scientific fields is radically changed, when they see that the main objective of this type of work is that of technological development and the sustainable management of our seas and coasts.
The same passion which they feel for the sea is shared by the scientists working to improve the quality of our waters, to avoid our beaches eroding, to improve surf forecasts or what action to take in the case of an oil spill.
This initiative was a pleasant experience both for the researchers and the participants who were very interested in the different topics, which aroused their curiosity and perhaps even the odd scientific vocation.