Weather Analysis, A Step-By-Step Guide—Part 1, Tactical

Sailing in these conditions (Near-Gale Force 7) is way more fun when the wind is aft of the beam. Good weather analysis can help make that happen.

In the last two chapters I introduced the concept of strategic weather analysis, in addition to the tactical that most cruisers do, and then detailed the hardware and software I use.

In the next three chapters I'm going to detail exactly how I go about downloading the information I need and analyzing it on a daily basis—a step-by-step guide to both tactical and strategic weather analysis.

So imagine we are in a remote anchorage on the Quebec Lower North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence—easy for me, since I recently was—or, alternatively, several hundred miles at sea on an ocean passage (the steps are the same although the goals of the analysis a little different), and it's time for our daily look at the weather.

I usually do mine first thing, but any time will do, although I do suggest getting into a routine of doing this at the same time each day.

Let's do it:

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 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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