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May the wind be with you; Bura eddition

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going."

 When sailing along the Adriatic coast and around Dubrovnik, you will encounter three main types of wind:

  • Bura (a north-east wind)
  • Jugo (a south-east wind) and
  • Maestral (a north-west wind, also known as the great windsurfing and sailing summer wind which acts as a natural air cooler on warm summer afternoons).

As well as Tramuntana (a north wind) and the east wind Levanat. Those winds can reach storm strength while other side winds blow mostly moderately.

In additional, rarer wind currents such as Lebić (southwest wind) and Oštro (south wind) appear infrequently.

Each of these Adriatic currents is specific in its own way.  Anyone who is sailing needs to know how to recognize them in order to take advantage of their energy, or if needed, to react on time and to move swiftly to a safe harbour.

 

Bura – a cold north-east Adriatic wind

Bura is known for its capriciousness. This unpredictable wind blows from the mainland in gusts, often beginning suddenly and unexpectedly.

It is relatively cold and dry, reaches moderate strength and can last for several hours. It purifies the air, and therefore brings nice weather. Visibility during Bura is excellent and the weather is sunny and clear. Although Bura is primarily a winter wind, it blows throughout the year, especially in the morning. When Bura is of local origin, it will blow itself out in less than a day.

The signs of Bura:

  • Increased air pressure
  • Drop in temperature and humidity
  • Forming of clouds over the peaks and along the tops of coastal mountain ranges. From time to time these clouds break off and spread and eventually disperse and disappear.
  • During the warmer seasons, large storm clouds with lightning but without thunder are created. This lightning is accompanied by a rise in pressure, and later with a breeze from the south.

Folk traditions in Dalmatia include a belief in three powerful "March Buras (Marčana Bura). This belief is rooted in fact, because March is one of the windiest months on the Adriatic coast and Bura is the most common wind in this time. Folk meteorologists even predict the three exact dates in March, when the stormy Bura occurs, often referred to as 7, 17 and 27 March.

 

Sailors generally believe that Bura lasts nine days – it takes three days to be born, then grows for three days, and takes three days to die. . In Dubrovnik, a folk saying claims that there is no winter if Bura hasn’t done its job.

Sailing during Bura

If you are sailing along the coast and see a rocky zone without vegetation, be aware that a strong Bura blows there. Bura blows in gusts which can be very severe and unexpected, bringing strong waves that can endanger sailing vessels. If you find yourself at sea when Bura springs up, we advise you to reach the nearest harbour. For all the surprises that Bura brings, sailing during Bura is not recommended as it requires expertise, extreme caution and skill to navigate in these difficult sailing conditions.

 “Bura says: While I am sailing, you will not!"

 

"May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face.“
(The quote from "Fair Winds and Following Seas"- origin of this old Irish song is unknown but is often used as a nautical blessing.)

 

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