Windfinders are Sea Folk women who advise Sailmistresses, Wavemistresses, and the Mistress of the Ships in plotting a course based on the wind and currents. Windfinders can be found on every ship the Sea Folk inhabit. Many Windfinders can channel, using their ability in the One Power to change the weather to avert storms and speed their ship along to its destination. The Sea Folk call this Weaving of the Winds, which is another name for Cloud Dancing This contributes to the Sea Folk's already well-deserved reputation of speed on the water.
As Weaving of the Winds manipulates the weather with flows of Air and Water, most Windfinders are particularly skilled in those weaves. In fact, Windfinders typical channel powerful flows of Air and Water that are much thicker than most Aes Sedai would dare to attempt. Conversely, many Windfinders have little to no skill with Fire or Earth, even less than most female channelers, since due to the nature of their society's need, they do not cultivate those skills.
Secrecy and revelation
For years, no Sea Folk ship would allow passage of an Aes Sedai on their ship for fear the Aes Sedai would discover their Windfinders could channel, and take them to the Tower to be trained. To allay suspicion among Aes Sedai, the Sea Folk usually send their weakest channelers to the White Tower to give the impression that the One Power does not flow strongly among the Sea Folk and to stop a possible investigation by the Aes Sedai into potential channelling abilities among the Sea Folk.
Although it is the higher ranking Sailsmistress who usually decides who is allowed passage on her ship, the Windfinder is given the right to specifically refuse passage to a passenger who can channel. This long lived tradition of denying passage to Aes Sedai ended when Elayne Trakand and Nynaeve al'Meara requested passage on a Sea Folk raker on business for the Dragon Reborn and Windfinder Jorin din Jubai White Wing granted their request.
During the Last Battle the Windfinders and the Sea Folk fought heroically in Thakan'dar valley, near Shayol Ghul. In particular the channellers rotated in groups of 13 to use constantly the Bowl of the Winds against Shai'tan manipulation of the weather in the valley. Also when a group was busy with the Bowl the others were constantly occupied against the attacks of Dreadlords.
List of Windfinders and apprentices (with level of strength when known)
- Jorin din Jubai White Wing - Windfinder of Wavedancer.
- Shalon din Togara Morning Tide - Windfinder of clan Shodein. 11(+2)
- Taval din Chanai Nine Gulls - Windfinder of the White Spray.
- Renaile din Calon Blue Star - Windfinder to the Mistress of the Ships. 18(6)
- Dorile din Eiran Long Feather - Windfinder of Windrunner. 19(7)
- Caire din Gelyn Running Wave - Windfinder to Pelanna. 17(5)
- Tebreille din Gelyn South Wind - Windfinder to Mareil. 17(5)
- Shielyn - Windfinder to Zaida din Parede Blackwing 23(11)
- Senine - Windmistress to the former Mistress of the Ships 19(7)
- Nestelle din Sakura South Star
- Chanelle din Seran White Shark 19(7)
- Talaan 2(+11)
- Metarra 8(+5)
- Kurin 18(6)
- Naime 16(4)
- Rainyn 13(1)
- Rysael 16(4)