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Old 15-05-2018, 09:56   #1
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Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

WE have every navigation aid i know of .. there’s Raymarine Radar/Scanner/GPS, AIS, VHF/SSB radio, autopilot, navionics and the YB TRACKING device. But when off grid and out of cell tower reach i dont know how to get/read the weather - current - winds forecast. We’re leaving next friday on our 1st crossing of our retirement. Leaving galveston to Isla Mujeres. Is there anything im missing ? OR MAybe I must concentrate on The sky and cloud and learn what the current conditions predict?

Thank you!! Cheers
Karen
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Old 15-05-2018, 10:25   #2
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

I would recommend a sat phone such as Iridium Go. You can request grib files through Saildocs as as well get weatherfax images and navtex reports.
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Old 15-05-2018, 10:44   #3
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pirate Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

The sky reading is a good start.. then master the art of reading swell size and directions.. this can give you up to 24hrs notice of direction and strength of the approaching storm.
Takes a while for city folk to grasp but easier for country folks who live with weather and its signs.
Sat phones are all well and good for the big picture.. but that rarely shows the micro systems that can spring up within a humungous system..
Have a grand crossing..
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Old 15-05-2018, 10:52   #4
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
The sky reading is a good start.. then master the art of reading swell size and directions.. this can give you up to 24hrs notice of direction and strength of the approaching storm.
Takes a while for city folk to grasp but easier for country folks who live with weather and its signs.
Sat phones are all well and good for the big picture.. but that rarely shows the micro systems that can spring up within a humungous system..
Have a grand crossing..
Thank you! Great advice. I Suspected this. MY husband has experience in this but I admit I do like my tools. But always open to new ways. CHEERS
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Old 15-05-2018, 11:51   #5
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

BTW - The one instrument that I insist be on board is a barometer. Note the BP on a regular basis.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:21   #6
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

You might want to take a look at the Delorme (Garmin) InReach Tracker. This is an Iridium based system that will provide: trip tracking, weather, text messaging and Rescue Beacon service all in one package. I have used in numerous time doing offshore deliveries. I won't leave home without it. JMHO
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:21   #7
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

You can use the SSB to retrieve some weather map via the weather fax services.
There are software that can run on an iPad and use the mic to listen from the fax tones and decode the map:
HF Weather Fax Marine Radio Fascimile Decoder App

The weather plugin for OpenCPN includes lots of great information such as world wide xmit time and frequencies for the various weather fax systems.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:25   #8
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

I use Weather4D on iPad, great tool.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:46   #9
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

While lookin up, dont forget to look down .. Gulf Stream. Down low n prob enough east not to bother, but notice the eddies spinning off towards your line. If you wander east, or it changes much, could be a 2 kt adverse current. Otherwise, your radar will pick up t-storms/squalls n u can hail passing ships w name u pull from AIS n ask about any significant changes in weather forecast. P.s.- I crossed 150 nm of NE Gulf 2 weeks ago n weather forecast was completely worthless... 120 degrees n 15 kts off re wind.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:04   #10
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

Not trying to hi jack the thread ... but... if I am in the Sea Of Cortez .. north of La Paz and South of San Carlos can I pick up this weather fax signal on a simple HF radio and let my iPad decipher it like the YouTube presentation did with the link above?
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:30   #11
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

I would also suggest that with a sat phone you also have list of phone numbers for the relevant Rescue Coordination Centers.

https://sarcontacts.info/ (This cannot be downloaded.)

In a medical emergency in 2012, I was able to contact Honolulu and have my crew member speak with their Flight Surgeon who recommended an evacuation. AMVER coordinated our rendezvous with a container ship 1040 miles north of Hawaii. VHF and SSB proved to be ineffective.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:32   #12
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

In a 700NM crossing of the Timor Sea several years ago (West Australia to Bali) we found Predict Wind via Iridium Go very useful. We were downloading the Grib files onto OpenCPN on a daily basis and found the predictions remarkably accurate.

Note that you need to set up the system / parameters when you still have decent wifi access. Then the grib files can be download fairly easily over the satellite, though it often took 20-40 minutes and a couple of goes to obtain the complete file (access speed was bytes per second, text files only).

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Old 16-05-2018, 10:05   #13
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

Hi Karen,

We understand as we spend more time without cell or WiFi connectivity than perhaps most when we cruise remote areas in SE Alaska and Canada.

When remote, we use an Iridium phone and subscribe to UUplus.com for email and downloading all the same weather [Wx] products you are used to online. We need the complete line-up of Wx products [GRIBs, WEFax, Sat charts, forecaster's discussion, text forecasts, etc.] Therefore, the SBD [short burst data] type of devices [e.g., Garmin Inreach] are not adequate for our Wx needs since [for now] they only provide spot forecasts.

If you are interested in more detail, we maintain a page discussing our sat comm decisions and choices in case that is useful.

Best wishes deciding what is optimal for your needs.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:09   #14
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

Thank you Bill we’ll review this tonight! Happy cruising up North.. it’s on my bucket list! I was raise in Newfoundland and dream of sailing the Northwest passages.. one day we too will be in Alaska! I’ll follow you for sure! Best of Winds.. Karen
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:16   #15
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Re: Offshore Navigation Weather Forecast Aids

Spot Just announces these new releases.
Intersting
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