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Old 12-04-2015, 04:45   #1
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Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

I am increasingly concerned about a trend among National Meteorological services to overlook the needs of sailors, especially but not solely Blue water. I have written about this at The future of the GMDSS;[[<<]] A leisure sailor's view / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window Recent events have not reassured me.

The Météo France website has changed its marine weather pages yet again. All forecasts can now be book marked. However, for those without broadband connectivity, these cannot be obtained using the Sailmail text retrieval service.

Anyone in that position will have to use Navimail see the US NWS site http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/navimail.txt This is a clumsy system not nearly as user friendly as Sailmail.

On the UK Met Office site, there are printable versions of all marine forecasts but for these, again, the URLs cannot be used for Sailmail. However, the Met office does put forecast texts on “Mobile Weather” pages. These URLs can be used with Sailmail and are as good as the printable versions.

On Marine Weather Forecasts, Charts and Actuals on the Internet / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window the pages for Europe and the Mediterranean have been updated to show these Mobile Marine pages. These pages are not likely to be found easily by sailors, even those based in the UK.

This seems to be a retrograde step in safety terms.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:49   #2
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

I don't follow your logic. Blue water sailors do not in general have Internet. So are typically relying on the " conventional " methods of distributing GMDSS related and other weather info.

GMDSS weather is only highlights and covers very large sea areas in reality.

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Old 12-04-2015, 10:19   #3
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

Some (many?) Blue water sailors use email over HF to get GRIB files and, also, to get texts of forecasts from webpages using Sailmail/Saildocs. A forecast on a webpage might require a download of megabyte size. The text of the page received using Saildocs can be 2 or3 kb.

Also, others are now starting o use satellite phone - Iridium or text devices such as the Delorme inTouch. This is fine for email use but impossible expensive for any other internet use.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:39   #4
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksingleton View Post
Some (many?) Blue water sailors use email over HF to get GRIB files and, also, to get texts of forecasts from webpages using Sailmail/Saildocs. A forecast on a webpage might require a download of megabyte size. The text of the page received using Saildocs can be 2 or3 kb.



Also, others are now starting o use satellite phone - Iridium or text devices such as the Delorme inTouch. This is fine for email use but impossible expensive for any other internet use.

Indeed and at present the HF email will continue to be available and a few private service operators will make the stuff available

Agreed re satphone, since the Internet isn't a factor so, what's your point in your argument.


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Old 12-04-2015, 16:30   #5
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

Simply that the providers of marine safety information should be recognising that the internet is here to stay. It will be used, rightly or wrongly, as a means of getting weather and other safety information.

That means that for texts of forecasts to be available via email, it is necessary that URLs are static. Also that they can be accessed by Sailmail (or other similar systems - eg MailASail). The same is the when using a satphone. Clearly you cannot browse. Even if you know a URL you only want the text.

With the UK Met Office it is quite difficult to find forecast texts that can be obtained over email. I have done so and they are on my site. Fine for those that know where to find them. No Météo France forecasts can be obtained using Saildocs. Instead they have their Navimail. OK, it works but is comparatively clumsy. Most German marine forecasts have floating URLs. Even on the JCOMM site, OMM-JCOMM-GMDSS / World Marine Weather Forecast the High Seas forecasts have static URLs but NAVTEX texts do not.

I see all this as a worrying trend. Met services, or their web designers are thinking more about their sites being pretty rather than useful to sailors – even vital to safety at sea.

As a matter of safety, given that sailors are going to use the internet increasingly, we need some consistency. At The future of the GMDSS;[[<<]] A leisure sailor's view / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window, I have a shopping list –

1. All weather and navigation MSI should be made readily and easily available on-line.

2. Webpages of MSI should have good, rapid updating procedures.

3. All MSI webpages should have static URLs capable of being bookmarked

4. MSI URLs should not be changed without adequate notice and overlapping.

5. Changes to MSI web page locations should always have redirect facilities.

Read my webpage to see the argument on more detail. The future of the GMDSS;[[<<]] A leisure sailor's view / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window Jim Corenman of Sailmail/Saildocs sees the problem and is concerned about the attitude of some services vis a vis the US NWS.
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Old 27-03-2016, 00:34   #6
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

I totally agree with this concern. And perhaps those who do not understand the point have not (yet?) been confronted to the problem, maybe because they remain in areas where the met service is still friendly to bandwidth-impaired sailors.

Unfortunately, Meteo-France has always been known for having quality products presented in a clumsy way.

Recently, I was actually calling the Australian BoM names because I felt their pages were too heavy, until I found out about their Lite Marine forecast website. Now THAT should be the example followed by other met services the world around ! The only complaint I would have is that it is very hard to find. But once you know it's there, it's great and usable with Sailmail. The URL : http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/lite/


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Old 02-04-2016, 01:56   #7
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Re: Obtaining GMDSS texts on-line

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Originally Posted by belle-isle View Post
Recently, I was actually calling the Australian BoM names because I felt their pages were too heavy, until I found out about their Lite Marine forecast website.
There are a few sites around.
New Zealand Surface pressure charts - Southwest Pacific - Low-bandwidth Page - Weather Radar Imagery, Rain Forecasts and more from MetService.com
Chile http://web.directemar.cl/met/jturno/indice/index.htm

It would be nice if all national meteo centers would provide similar

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