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Old 20-01-2014, 07:27   #1
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Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Apparently Herb Hilgenberg enjoys a well deserved rest after advising during many years ocean cruisers on the weather during their ocean passage, and this by HF communication.
Are there any other weather routers about today, on the HF bands, that will offer free customized advise on upcoming weather during Atlantic crossings ?
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Old 20-01-2014, 07:43   #2
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Herb will be irreplaceable!

Chris Parker / Marine Weather Center offers daily SSB forecasts.
Listening is free.
Asking questions about your specific needs requires a subscription to the service. Email forecast summaries are also available for a subscription fee.

Herb’s retirementSouth Bound II VAX498 - Ship routing and weather forecasting
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Old 20-01-2014, 08:27   #3
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Big piece in the Globe:

Canadian weather watcher

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Old 20-01-2014, 09:17   #4
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Herb is indeed missed. While I suspect he would have put down the mic anyway, there was some unpleasantness surrounding his decision that for me just underlines the need for every skipper to be his or her final arbiter of when to venture forth. One should never rely on the weatherman for the weather, nor try to blame that person when the weather turns.
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Old 20-01-2014, 09:43   #5
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Really well deserved recognition for someone who gave up so much of his time for others.
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:56   #6
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Herb has indeed retired and will not be replaced easily. In a strange ironic twist, one vocal detractor and Editor of a popular boating magazine found himself needing rescue offshore from a boat disabled by severe weather that a good weather router like Herb might have helped him avoid. We spoke with Herb just prior to his retirement and he was very discouraged by the negative publicity and just plain tired. When we last spoke to him, one of his comments was that he was getting too old to climb his antenna tower to make repairs. He will be missed, we used his free service for decades. Chris Parker's coverage is limited and we have not heard of any reliable sources to replace the vast area Herb covered. Chuck
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Old 20-01-2014, 14:55   #7
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Herb is indeed missed. While I suspect he would have put down the mic anyway, there was some unpleasantness surrounding his decision that for me just underlines the need for every skipper to be his or her final arbiter of when to venture forth. One should never rely on the weatherman for the weather, nor try to blame that person when the weather turns.
It is sad to see Herb goes. In today's cut throat industry, his free service to cruisers does not sit well with the all other commercial enterprises.
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Old 20-01-2014, 17:39   #8
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

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It is sad to see Herb goes. In today's cut throat industry, his free service to cruisers does not sit well with the all other commercial enterprises.
The funny thing was that Herb started his "service" because there were no other alternatives at the time and he and his family had been caught out by a bad forecast. He eventually got very good at weather routing through the simple expedient of having his daily roster of yachts at sea act like little weather stations, refining the general forecast to reflect local conditions.

The one time I heard him in action on a delivery, he was pretty accurate. But of course our skipper stared for a long time at his weatherfaxes and made the final course calls and sail changes. I think some people don't get that it's got to be the skipper's call...Herb was a very good data input, but he never pretended that he was sitting on the pushpit with a moistened finger in the air.
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Old 20-01-2014, 17:54   #9
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

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He eventually got very good at weather routing through the simple expedient of having his daily roster of yachts at sea act like little weather stations, refining the general forecast to reflect local conditions.
He is in good company. That is exactly what Matthew Fontaine Maury did. He was able to identify currents and came up with the first pilots charts.
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Old 20-01-2014, 19:46   #10
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I used Chris Parker on a recent trip from Florida to BVI. Not free but a great value. His insights were worth their weight in gold.
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Old 20-01-2014, 20:00   #11
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

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I used Chris Parker on a recent trip from Florida to BVI. Not free but a great value. His insights were worth their weight in gold.
Glad you got your money worth. We were not so lucky twice in a row. We are on our own now.
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Old 20-01-2014, 20:36   #12
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

In our cruising years, we listened to Herb, and have gotten specific information several times. It was also very good entertainment in the evening when at anchor following the different boats, especially the Atlantic crossings. Positions were given in degrees and minutes, with caution added that they were unable to get a noon sight for a couple of days. Even heard a US Navy ship call to get his opinion. It is un-believeable that a few detractors could cause him to give up the cause. In one instance when a boat kept pumping him for alternatives because they had to get somewhere at a certain time, he asked "do you want me to come down and sail the boat for you also". I can still hear him say "... and have a good watch"
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Old 20-01-2014, 21:06   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

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I used Chris Parker on a recent trip from Florida to BVI. Not free but a great value. His insights were worth their weight in gold.
Touché.
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Old 21-01-2014, 02:29   #14
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

Thank you guys for all your comments. The bottom line is that there is no free HF weather routing service anymore for passages across the Atlantic, I suppose .
best regards.
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Old 21-01-2014, 02:43   #15
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Re: Herb Hilenberg : any follow-up ?

we subscribed to chris parker for over 5 years -- and met him once -- his advice to us was i can tell you what i see but you have to use more than me and then make your own decision --
we used chris and multiple models in our decision making and it is up to us

we did use chris to cross the atlantic via 1st hf voice then via winlink - we would send him our coordinates and he would email back the wx - we also used the gribs -

before we left antigua we spent a lot of time talking to chris and looking at long range models and in general they agreed - and we just kept waiting - when one window appeared we were tempted to leave but chris showed us a potential issue about a week out and we waited -- good thing as the issue showed up and we were glad we waited -
good thing - 2 boats that left that week were on a boat watch list when we got to horta
we will use chris when we decided to head westbound - when ever that will be and that could be a while
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