So why should you learn how to receive and interpret weather information? Surely all you need to do is employ a weather router? Well, no, and this chapter tells you why you need to read the rest of this Online Book.
Weather Reception and Analysis
When you have spent twenty years voyaging in the northern North Atlantic and adjacent Arctic waters in an open cockpit sailboat, you learn something about weather, whether you like it or not.
In this Online Book, John takes you step-by-step through the methods he uses to receive weather information while offshore and in remote places. And best of all, the sources and methods he uses are absolutely free. He also shares how to minimize your transmission costs for further savings. None of this is unproven theory. This is the way John “does the weather” on Morgan’s Cloud’s Arctic voyages.
Table of Contents:
There’s a lot of great weather information out there these days…and a lot of hype too. Here are some tips that will help you tell the difference and decide what’s worth spending your money on.
We got our hands on a real live professional meteorologist, who is also an offshore sailor, and wrung 4 great tips out of him that will make your voyages both safer and more comfortable.
Starting with this chapter I’m going to focus on weather reception tools that we use when we are offshore or in remote places where the internet is not available. Let’s start with weatherfax and why it’s still important.
In this chapter I’m going to get into the details of how we request and use GRIBs to get the maximum amount of information for the minimum data size and cost, when at sea or in remote areas with no internet.
Used correctly, and coupled with some effort to understand high altitude steering winds, GRIBS can be used to predict weather trends a surprisingly long way in the future. And that can substantially increase your enjoyment of cruising. This chapter will show you how.
In this chapter I’m going to write about how we receive voice (well, not really voice, per se) and text forecasts while at sea and in remote places.
In the last chapter I explained how to receive text forecasts while offshore. Now I want to share one of my favourite forecasts, that I suspect very few people know about or bother to get.
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.
In the last chapter I wrote about the importance of understanding the weather systems in a wide area around you rather than just looking at a GRIB or forecast for your immediate area. I believe this is so important that I’m going to write about another storm to drive the point home.
I have written a lot about weather up to this point in the book, but in many cases routing for the combination of the prevailing weather and any current or tide can be the most important contributor to a comfortable and safe passage. In this chapter I look at a real Gulfstream passage and discuss what to look for.
Few pieces of new gear have created more buzz in the offshore cruising community than the Iridium GO!. And there have also been few pieces of gear that have been surrounded with as many myths and as much confusion as the GO!.
John busts the myths and analyzes the benefits of buying an Iridium GO!.
The whole process of buying, installing and working with a satellite phone can be downright intimidating and very frustrating. John explains how to make the whole process easy. The results of 15 years of experience with Iridium devices.
So you bought a satellite phone or Iridium GO! to get email and weather information while at sea. But what software is best to use with it? John has the answer based on some 15 years of real world experience.
What if we could plan our cruises around the weather for as much as two weeks into the future, even without internet? Well, now we can. John introduces two new chapters in which he will explain exactly how. Hardware, software, and a step-by-step guide.
There are so many weather reception and analysis tools out there, all claiming to be the best. But which ones really work? John has been testing a bunch of them all summer on a real cruise to challenging places and tells all.
Most discussions about weather reception and analysis in the cruising community end up focused on the tools and technology. But that’s not what matters. In fact, planning fun and safe cruises is all about how we USE the tools and THINK about weather. That’s just what this chapter, based on some 25 years of real cruising experience, is about.
With modern weather reception and analysis tools we can plan our cruises and voyages as much as two weeks ahead. John shares how.
Many experienced voyagers rave about the benefits of understanding how the upper level (500-mb) charts influence future weather, but how can we gain that understanding with a reasonable amount of effort? John has built a study guide that will do just that in about 10 hours.
Andy takes a deep dive into the world of automated weather routing, integrated with navigation, and all running on an iPad, a very different approach than the one John has detailed earlier in this Online Book. You can decide which works best for your type of cruising.