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Old 05-02-2012, 18:45   #1
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Weather forcasts, ?????????

I live on the South Eastern corner of Australia, Just where the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Straight merge,

I was looking at the weather on TV The other night,

The wind was coming from the North straight down the Tasman,
It was coming from the East from NZ,
It was going to the North West out of the Southern Ocean, and East from Bass Straight,

And meeting at the Corner where the three oceans met,

So. My Question is,
If your sailing in the middle of it, What use is the weather forcast to you,
If the wind is coming from all directions at the same time,

Considering also that sailing around that corner of OZ, you sit and wait for a Westerly or an Easterly Wind depending on which way your going,

When the wind is right and you have a decent window ahead of you to complete the trip, you go, But halfway through you cop this,

This is also the corner where the Sydney Hobart race boats sank,

And yes, I do know, you are in very deep ****, and shouldnt be there, But your there,
So what do you do,

Please keep the fool, stupid, and dumb comments out of it,

I am asking for sensible answers from people who have been through these conditions,

The reason I am asking is that I still have to get my Baby home around that bloody corner, When it gets repaired,

Thanks,
Brian,
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Old 05-02-2012, 20:41   #2
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

I don't know that area of the world, but maybe there's a good season?

As for what to do, if you get caught anyways... There is no recipe, formula, or solution that always works. So the state of the art for the sailors in 2012 is to read a stack of books, to get a lot of different ideas about what people have seen and what they have done, what worked and didn't, and then, when you are out there... try to coalesce all of those random experiences down into a series of experiments, to keep trying to find the right thing to do, until you find something that works.

I think the 'bad weather at sea' body of knowledge tends to be poorly handled by the sailing community because:
- We are fundamentally nerds who want clean, simple answers. Especially if they are derived from first principles. There are too many variables and too little information to think this way.
- Many are too self conscious (or the same, but projected differently, prideful) to discuss it openly. I've listened to many 'storm' stories from friends and it is very very difficult to politely interrupt their narrative and give them a different take on what happened or what other things could have been done. Commenting on the shape of a mans hull is similar to commenting on his wife's breasts -- there is absolutely no polite way to do it, joke about it, or even mention it. 'Storm' stories are the same-- just shut up, listen, and be sympathetic. No one wants to hear that it wasn't that bad or they made it worse by not doing something different, and knowledge transfer suffers.

It's interesting, but I feel other communities of people are better at handling things like this. The aviation community keeps it very simple-- it's nearly always the pilots fault. Maybe not if the wings fall off, but there might be a contributing factor that the pilot didn't stick his arms out the windows and flap. Sailors are a bit less 'professional', which is a good thing in other arenas, but it also means that our manners are that we only rarely second guess other people.

So.... I feel the best thing to do is read books. Especially ones written by people with boats and crews like yours.

One thing I do not feel like the current books cover well is... pluck. Or inner will to survive. I really feel that is one of the most important things-- Never Give Up, Never Surrender.
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Old 05-02-2012, 21:51   #3
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

Thank you for that, Much appreciated,

There are people that have gone through that bit of nasty sea, and I was trying to get their opinion on what they did, How they coped, Etc,

Any thing they did that made it easier for them,

Books wont do that,

This is basically when you have done every thing possible to avoid bad sea's and weather and you do get caught out,

If you come through there when the weather and sea is right, it is a pleasant sail, Either way.

Thanks,
Brian,
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Old 05-02-2012, 23:30   #4
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

Have you seen the Drag Device Database? There are a lot of stories in there of catamarans in heavy weather.
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Old 06-02-2012, 00:40   #5
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

BOM puts out reasonably accurate 3 day forecasts for coastal weather.

When reading them we need to keep in mind that they are not specifically directed at cruising sailors. They seem to be more aimed at short term water related recreational activities.

The number of yachts cruising the coast is very small. A misdirected beach forecast could cost millions and a few would start putting jobs on the line so our meteorologists need to walk a fine line.

I've found that I need to interpret what is said in terms of what I can handle (15 knots good, 20 not so good). Specifically on the NSW coast I need to watch wave period (SE wind against East Coast current gives a very nasty, choppy sea) and to accept that good weather for coastal cruising at my comfort level is down to one or two days a week and that we can have weeks of bad weather.

I haven't checked Victoria but safe ports on the NSW coast are available roughly one days sailing (maybe with a bit of motoring) apart.

So my plan is for going up the NSW coast is to watch the forecast and to have a quick dash between ports as weather windows present.

Maybe you could do the same.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:10   #6
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
BOM puts out reasonably accurate 3 day forecasts for coastal weather.

When reading them we need to keep in mind that they are not specifically directed at cruising sailors. They seem to be more aimed at short term water related recreational activities.

The number of yachts cruising the coast is very small. A misdirected beach forecast could cost millions and a few would start putting jobs on the line so our meteorologists need to walk a fine line.

I've found that I need to interpret what is said in terms of what I can handle (15 knots good, 20 not so good). Specifically on the NSW coast I need to watch wave period (SE wind against East Coast current gives a very nasty, choppy sea) and to accept that good weather for coastal cruising at my comfort level is down to one or two days a week and that we can have weeks of bad weather.

I haven't checked Victoria but safe ports on the NSW coast are available roughly one days sailing (maybe with a bit of motoring) apart.

So my plan is for going up the NSW coast is to watch the forecast and to have a quick dash between ports as weather windows present.

Maybe you could do the same.
This is for after you leave Bega, Nice 3 day window, and then it changes a day out,
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:08   #7
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

Mr B, i have not been there or ever intend to for the reason you stated and others. The 2 links may be of some use to you as you head home, the first maps if you find that you dont have detailed maps of some areas: also links to weather info prob based on BOM forcasts
NSW Boating Maps
The second is more cruising based but i have not had a good look at it.
Australia Sailing Adventure

Any way good luck fixing you boat and with the journey home
regards
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Old 06-02-2012, 16:24   #8
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Re: Weather forcasts, ?????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwaiting View Post
Mr B, i have not been there or ever intend to for the reason you stated and others. The 2 links may be of some use to you as you head home, the first maps if you find that you dont have detailed maps of some areas: also links to weather info prob based on BOM forcasts
NSW Boating Maps
The second is more cruising based but i have not had a good look at it.
Australia Sailing Adventure

Any way good luck fixing you boat and with the journey home
regards
Thank you For them.

My paper maps were like them before they became mush, They just dont have enough detail on them,

The Garmin map I have in My GPS Goes into great detail and you can zoom right in, in very high detail. Which the paper maps just dont have,

They have all the depths, and shows precisely where I am on them, I have found them to be very exact and spot on, It even gives submerged rocks just under the surface, Which is very handy,

It was a bit out at the south side of the entrance to the Burnett river, Qld, It said I was sailing on the beach, But once in the river it was spot on.

I also have a full chart on my computer, which I use as a back up, But it is no where near the full detail on my Garmin card,

If this Garmin map wasn't so great and in such detail, and I only had the paper charts,

There was no way, that I would have sailed single handed from Fiji, I would definately have hired a captain to sail it for me,

But also in blowing the Garmins cards accuracy and detail.

I still very much rely on the depth sounder and my own eyes when I am in close to shore,

A sand bar can move day to day,

I know Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay because I have fished and boated and skied on both,

So checking the Garmin card against my own knowledge, It seems to be very much on the ball for accuracy,

I will just have to wait and see, But nothing beats my own eyes, If it looks dodgy, I stay clear, Or back off, Straight back wards out of there,

I hear people saying they turn left or right when they enter shallower water,, But that can get you into a lot of trouble in shallow water,

Its safer to go back wards as that is where you have been and it is safe, and I only motor in shallow water.

Cheers,
Brian,
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