What individual weather
observations are cruisers still using? Most of us receive our weather
information and forecasts by electronic online or broadcast sources, but we've all heard the old sailor's axioms about sky color, rings on the moon, wind
direction changes, cloud formations and even bird behaviors. Now, I'm a coastal cruiser with a lot of broadcast info and always within three days of a safe anchorage. Like everybody, I'm observing the waves clouds and wind
at my moment, but I don't interpret much from nature to foretell my future. I have a barometer, but I totally ignore it. Outside my immediate environment
for immediate conditions the only tool that I use for forecasts from direct observation is the "backing" or "clocking" of the wind. With the approach of a tropical storm I can use this information to decide which side of my position I will expect the passage
of the storm and therefore, select my best protected anchorage. Of course, this observation is usually matched by broadcast information. So, the question stands, outside of the immediate surrounding wind, cloud, and rain within sight from your deck
; what clues do you use to foretell conditions by observing nature and not the electronic broadcasts?