Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale
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'Calm; smoke rises vertically ...' In just 110 words, the Beaufort scale provides a clear, elegant measure of wind speed from 1 to 12 ('devastation occurs'). This quirky, compelling book uncovers the life and voyages of its creator, Sir Francis Beaufort, hydrographer to the British Admiralty in the age of sail. Equal parts history, mystery, textbook and memoir, it charts the scale's antecedents and influence through two centuries of exploration and scientific discovery.