The Law of Averages

Averages are an incredible mathematical phenomenon, but they can also play into social experiments as well. If you ask a large enough sample size an obscure question and average the answers, the average answer will be correct! Now, the correct answer comes out of a series that is mostly composed of incorrect answers, and yet the average lies somewhere in the middle where the truth also lurks!

This wonder of averages is important to remember when ocean crossing. There will be fast times and slow times. Some days, you will sail farther than 100 miles in a 24 hour period! Other days, you might not even make 20 miles.

If you focus on the minute details, you will be focusing on the incorrect information. Instead, you should look at the averages.

In a day, you will have times when you sail fast and times when you sail slow. If you are pleased by the fast times, you will be disappointed when things slow down. Or, you could look at how many miles you sailed that day and be pleasant.

Now, looking at each day is also rather nit-picky. Some days you will sail farther than others, but over the course of the journey, you will find that you will sail on average 100 miles per day. Your boat might be faster and average a higher number, or your boat might be slower and you average a smaller number, but it will be in the neighborhood of 100 miles per day.

To sail 100 miles in 24 hours, you need to maintain a speed of around 4.5 knots (4.16 knots to be exact). But instead of worrying about how fast you are going at each and every moment, simply turn off your instruments and relax. Whether you trim your sails for maximum performance or you sit back and relax as you lazily scoot along, you will still get there, and it all averages out in the end.