Members' Online Book: Weather Reception and Analysis, Chapter 2 of 18

React to The Weather, Or Plan For The Weather

Snugged up for a bit of unsettled weather.

Being a controlling sort of guy, and a bit of a wimp too, I have always put a lot of effort into getting good weather forecasts and really understanding them, so as to not only get ready for nasty weather, but to really plan our cruises to maximize our enjoyment.

Now, I’m sure many of you are, at this point, saying “duh, doesn’t everyone?” And the answer to that is, “no, they don’t”. Many, perhaps most, cruisers are just looking at the immediate area around them, either via text or radio broadcasts or GRIBs.

By taking this approach, they are practising what I would call tactical weather management—reacting to the weather as it comes.

Get Strategic

On the other hand, probably because many of the places we have cruised have few safe harbours, I have, over the some 25 years I have been doing this, developed an approach to not only pick good weather windows to go to sea, but also, when coastal cruising, to look out as much as two weeks so that we can visit interesting, but often exposed, places when the weather is kind and be snugged down when it’s cruel—a strategic approach.

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.