If you're in the cockpit during a storm and wondering how fast the waves are moving, multiply the period between crests—say, 10 seconds—which you can get by counting or using a stopwatch, by 5.12 (5 is close enough). The answer for a 10-second period is about 50 fps or 34 mph or 291/2 knots. A close-enough approximation is that the wave velocity in knots is about three times its period in seconds. (Full disclosure: There should be a small subtraction from the period for the speed of the yacht; see page 16.)

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