Sailing into the wind

Sailors sometimes need (or want) to go in the same direction that the wind is coming from. With only wind to power their movement, this may seem like a losing battle. And it is – if you take it head on.

Instead, sailors tack into the wind. They aim slightly to the left and leverage the wind to push them toward their goal, albeit in an askew fashion. Then, they tack to the right, bringing them back toward their goal and then askew to the right, overshooting it a bit. This continues over and over until they reach their destination.

This indirect course is longer, but it achieves the goal.

Sometimes the best route to your goals is indirect. Try a little tacking next time you get stuck taking something head on.

Photo credit: jhbdel