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Old 17-12-2007, 16:31   #1
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Weather ALERT for Passagemaking....

Does anybody know or heard of an organization that, for a fee when you sign up for their service, will actually tell you when your "weather window" is acceptable to leave from your specific location, when to leave, and transit to your next specific location?
A broker once told me about this type of service and I'm interested in finding out more info, I believe he said these guys were actually meteorologists.
This broker used the service while cruising the Carribean and their advisory was correct 99% of the time.......... it sounds like a good service worth a few bucks.
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Old 17-12-2007, 16:52   #2
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Plenty free sites out there, haven't heard of any pay ones. Sounds like could be open to litigation if they got it wrong. . . there's one on the homepage portal at the moment PassageWeather - Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers (free) . . .
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:02   #3
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The site I'm referring to will actually call you to tell you to depart at a specific time..... as far as litigation, you know attorneys are into every aspect of business, I wouldn't be surprised if they make you sign a waiver of some sort........ that's just another of life's little irritations......... these days nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions....... some of it is even humorous.....
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:20   #4
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Friend of mine had a great observation if I may be so bold . . "You go to a wh***house for justice, you go to a courthouse to get f****d" .
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:31   #5
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I am not aware of any service that offers what you are looking for. There are however two sources via SSB. One is Chris Parker which is a paid service (I am not a big fan) and the other is Herb Hilgenberg of "Southbound II". Both will advise you on weather conditions for your routes but both leave the call to go or not to go to you. If you plan to let someone else make this decision for you perhaps you might consider staying at the dock.
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:36   #6
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Telling me that they are meteorologists sure doesn't make me feel all that comfortable. I would much prefer that it were run by experienced sailors that have made that particular passage several times.

Meteorologists make better predictors for aviation than marine forecasts.

Any sailor worth his salt will take the time to learn this stuff him/herself. The bottom line is, it's your life and those guys aren't going to be there if it all goes wrong. It will only serve to make you angry towards someone else and give you an excuse to give-up (that's not a positive thing).

The worst thing that a sailor can do is listen to other sailors about "The right time". In my experience, that paralizes a lot more sailors than it helps.

IMHO, listen to the marine weather forecast, every day for weeks at a time. Write down the verbage from each forecast then compare it with the actual weather on a daily basis. You will learn more from this than any other thing that you can do. I used to tape record the reports, then write them down, word-for-word, every day. I also used to draw my own weather charts from these reports.

Learn how low presure systems work and how high presure systems work and how they interact with one another. Learn how they are different at different latitudes and why. Learn what presure gradients are and what it means when they are close together or farther apart. Also learn how to read the sky and clouds.

There is no excuse for not learning this stuff and you have no one to blame, if you get out there and got it wrong. If YOU get it wrong, it will be a lot easier to take then if THEY get it wrong and you will learn a lot more from it.
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:48   #7
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High Cotton -

There are a number of such services available. One that's used by a lot of cruisers, including John Neal and Amanda Swan of Mahina Expeditions (see Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars ) is Commanders Weather.

We've used them, found them to be reasonably priced, provide outstanding forecasts, routing info and customer service and highly recommend them. They provide information and insight beyond what's generally available.

Their website is Commanders' Weather

If you're a professional meteorologist (or an amateur weather aficionado, like Don on Summer Passage) with access to a myriad of resources you might be able to match the quality of their routing and weather information, but few of us are. Also, you'd need a high speed Internet connection to use many of the sources - Weather FAX just doesn't cut it.

Regards,
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Old 17-12-2007, 20:17   #8
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High Cotton -

There are a number of such services available. One that's used by a lot of cruisers, including John Neal and Amanda Swan of Mahina Expeditions (see Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars ) is Commanders Weather.

We've used them, found them to be reasonably priced, provide outstanding forecasts, routing info and customer service and highly recommend them. They provide information and insight beyond what's generally available.

Their website is Commanders' Weather

If you're a professional meteorologist (or an amateur weather aficionado, like Don on Summer Passage) with access to a myriad of resources you might be able to match the quality of their routing and weather information, but few of us are. Also, you'd need a high speed Internet connection to use many of the sources - Weather FAX just doesn't cut it.

Regards,
Bill

RaptorDance....... That's what I'm referring to....... I think it's an advantage to gather as much info as possible in order to make an "educated" decision that could make or break your day, even if it is someone else's opinion......... after all, I've gained tons of info from this site and it's basically opinions from some very "street smart" sailors.
Thanks for the info, I'm gonna look into these services, what can it hurt?

Afterall, Ellen Macarthur used "Commanders' Weather"....
that tells me something!
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Old 17-12-2007, 21:00   #9
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Used "Commanders Weather" seven years ago for weather advise/conditions on our Hawaii trip. Provided updates via Sailmail. Would use again.
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Old 17-12-2007, 21:13   #10
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The Bumfuzzels travelled the world on paid forecasts......Will this post be deleted?
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Old 17-12-2007, 21:35   #11
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I'd venture to say these METEOROLOGISTS know more about MARINE WEATHER than I could ever learn !

Ken Campbell - Director of Marine Services30 years of experience in private weather forecasting and yacht race forecastingMasters degree in Meteorology from Florida State UniversityWeather forecaster for U.S., Hong Kong and Dutch Admiral's Cup teams20 years of Marine forecasting including race forecasting and routingOn-site weather forecaster for Nippon Challenge ('94-'95 and '99-'00) also '02-'03 One World Challenge America's Cup campaignsNumerous successful Volvo and Around Alone campaigns, including ABN AMRO in the '05-'06 Volvo campaign
George Caras - Director of Operations
32 years of experience in private weather and marine forecasting Masters degree in Meteorology from State University of NY - Albany9 years as Director of Operations for a major weather forecasting company15 years of Marine forecasting including race forecasting and routingForecaster for Assa Abloy and Brazil1 in the last two Volvo campaignsRemote weather support for America's Cup and Admiral's Cup campaigns
Tom Mattus - Meteorologist38 years of experience in private weather and marine forecasting Bachelors degree in Meteorology from Penn State University12 years as Supervisor for a major weather forecasting company15 years marine forecast experience including race forecasting and routingOther areas of forecast experience include snow and ice
Chris Wasserback - Meteorologist14 years of experience in private weather and marine forecastingBachelors degree in Meteorology from Western Connecticut State University9 years marine forecasting experience including race forecasting and routing5 years experience in Aviation Meteorology for flights worldwide
Brynn Campbell - Meteorologist14 years of experience in private weather and marine forecastingBachelors degree in Meteorology from University of Massachusetts - Lowell7 years marine forecasting experience including race forecasting and routing15 years experience in systems software and data communications
John Leavitt - Meteorologist30 years of experience in private weather and marine forecastingMasters degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University15 years marine forecasting experience including race forecasting and routing18 years experience forecasting for a variety of commercial and industrial clients
5 years forecasting experience for a New England Nuclear Power Station
Other weather forecast experience for the US Air Force and as a consultant
Oliver Lucia - Meteorologist8 years of experience in private weather forecasting and marine forecastingBachelors degree in Meteorology from Plymouth State University3 years marine forecasting experience including race forecasting and routingForecast experience for a variety of commercial and industrial clients
Dave Pietras - Meteorologist28 years of experience in private weather forecasting and marine forecastingMasters degree in Meteorology from SUNY - Albany20+ years forecast experience for a variety of commercial and industrial clients
Other experience includes forecasting for highway departments, airports and ski areas

Pat Healy - Marine Sales25 years of world-class coaching experience and on-site weather forecasting for Olympic and World Championship regattasBachelors degree in Meteorology from the University of WisconsinHead Coach - Canadian Olympic Sailing TeamRegatta Director, Louis Vuitton Cup - AMERICA's Cup '95Head Intercollegiate Sailing Coach - U.S. Naval Academy
Dr. Len Walstad - Gulf Stream Specialist21 years of analysis and forecasting of ocean dynamics, specializing in the Gulf StreamDoctoral degree in Applied Mathematics/Physical Oceanography from Harvard UniversityContributed to development of the first operational forecasts of the Gulf StreamPrincipal investigator for the Coastal Marine Demonstration Project Uses experience with Gulf Stream characteristics, infrared satellite imagery and altimetry data to produce his Gulf Stream analysis and discussion
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Old 18-12-2007, 02:42   #12
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Hi

We are the proud owners of a Solaris Sunstream 40 Catamaran and, until we sell it, a Cartwright 36 Pilothouse. OK, at the moment we are 'boat poor', but is there any better way to be financially overstretched?

My wife and I are preparing the Solaris for a one way trip south from the Great Lakes to Margarita Island, off the Coast of Venezuela, hopefully within the next year. In the interim, all we have to do is continue working, prepare the cat, sell the Cartwright and two houses etc., etc. We are looking forward to an exchange with other sailors about everything from boat prep, gear, Caribbean harbours, heavy weather sailing in catamarans, clearing customs/immigration in foreign ports, to - you name it.

Cheers mates!

Brad and Jane
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Old 18-12-2007, 02:56   #13
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The Bumfuzzels travelled the world on paid forecasts......Will this post be deleted?
Only if it gets infested with snide comments, such as the above (or worse).
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Old 18-12-2007, 04:09   #14
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Weather routing service

I've used Commander's Weather four times and was very satisfied. They can email you or call you on your satphone, if you have one. Their service is very personal and responsive. Jenifer Clark is another possibility, especially if you're planning to cross the Gulf Stream.
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Old 18-12-2007, 07:56   #15
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You might also contact Lee Chesneau ( Lee Chesneau's Marine Weather ). His approach is to make you self-sufficient. I've been to two of his courses and was very pleased with the knowledge I walked away with. With what I learned, I feel pretty confident about routing myself with weather fax products anywhere except over the Gulf Stream. I would want some imagery that is only available off the 'net for that.

Jenifer Clark ( Jenifer Clark's Gulfstream ) is indeed the most well-known and respected source of information for routing near and across the Gulf Stream. Unfortunately, I have been told that she has worked to reduce the public availability of satellite imagery and other data collected by the U.S. services and civilian agencies in order to further her business of selling that information together with her value-added analysis. If true (and I don't have confirmation), I find that distressing and would avoid her. You might call and ask her directly. If you do, please report back.
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