The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

The Importance Of The Big Picture


In this chapter I’m going to discuss a real world example of how we used the tools we have discussed in this book to manage a weather risk while transiting Hudson Strait and the northern coast of Labrador—no place to get caught by bad weather. Let’s jump back in time to Saturday, 27 August 2011:

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Dennison Berwick

I agree that the more sources for weather the better and have already installed a Weatherfax in order to get synoptic charts. I wasn’t aware I could get GRIBs via Sailmail – maybe another reason to spend the money and get the necessary modem for the SSB.

Hans Jakob Valderhaug

We are simple folk and like to believe we run a simple ship, so forgive a response that may be a bit on the side.

Having cruised Spitsbergen relying on weather forecasts over public radio (shortwave from Kvitsøy in the 1990s and longwave from Igerøy in the early 2000s) we truly appreciate the availability of GRIB files over our Iridium phone. A limitation of the GRIB files we get from Saildocs is their N-most limit at 80º – even if your inquiry was for predictions further north.

If sailing the N coast of Spitsbergen and the wind is from the north we miss out on the predicted wind strength, as the information is outside the area available on the download. And the N coast of Spitsbergen is possibly the loveliest part of the island group. This problem may have an easy solution, anybody?

And by the way: Having gone through the mind-boggling exercise of getting our Iridium to communicate with our PC last year, any further installation of technically advanced equipment is currently not on the agenda. I just couldn’t cope!

Colin Speedie

We run GRIB files via our Iridium phone using Ugrib software, and although the detail is a little sketchy, it will go up to 90 degrees – that might be worth a look.