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Old 08-08-2010, 12:17   #1
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North Med Weather WARNING !

Hi Folks,

Only 1 hour with an internet connection so I will be quick!!

We just arrived in Villifranche between Cannes and Monaco!! Stuff me if we haven't seen some BIG super yachts!!

However we have also be amazed as some of the really dicey weather. This post is to just alert those heading this way to be a tad careful in the northern part of France and Italy. We have been at 44 degrees North in St Margahreta, Italy and now here at 43 degrees North. Thats the same latitude as the top of Nova Scotia, south of Tasmania and 600 NM's south of the Cape of Good Hope!! So the weather is volatile.

We hear the warnings on the VHF for thunderstorms and of course I try to avaid them, but we clipped the butt of one in the Tyrrhenian Sea off Italy and we pummeled by 50 to 60 knot winds for over an hour (I reckon it was more but...).
Gale warnings are posted all day every day and their 30 knots is a real 30 knots right on the pecker no matter what direction they say its coming from.

After the storms there is no wind for days. It makes sailing a bit more difficult than other areas.

The folks from the forum who sail here a lot have much more advice than me, but for now we are hanging out in Snug Harbour eating the cheapest Camembert, Brie and Roquefort in the world!! Sensational!! Everything else here is a bit more expensive than we have encountered so it will be a gourmet cheeze diet for us



Mark
PS Photos below taken in Santa Margarita, Italy. A totally unmissable anchorage.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:31   #2
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i have just looked at the long range forecast for next two weeks and it appears the weather you are experiencing now will come and go over the next 8 days
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Old 28-08-2010, 20:44   #3
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I just joined the net. I will be sailing out of the Naples, Italy area for 12 days the end of Sept. Besides the VHF what are you using for your weather forecasts?

I'm pre-planning my trip the old fashioned way - paper charts, plotting tools including parallels, dividers, fingers and toes, but will have portable electronic navigation via a netbook (yet to load with Navigation Software) and old Garmin GPS.

I have a Maptech Med CD and am not pleased with the quality of their charts. I've used their CD's and Ocean Navigator software for sailing Turkish waters and Adriatic cruising but these appear to be German charts with little detail.

I have looked at Polar Navy Polar Navy and Open CPN OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage. My concern is not with the software but with the quality of the electronic charts for the Tyrrahenian Sea. My paper charts were 2/3 copies ordered from Bellingham: www.tidesend.com/.

Any suggestions for navigational software and appropiate charts for the Naples area between L39N and 41N will be appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 28-08-2010, 22:30   #4
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Those are some disturbed clouds in your pictures.

Unusual clouds are always a bit of a worry because I don't know what to expect. If I looked up and saw those clouds, I would wish that I was somewhere other than there.
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Old 29-08-2010, 01:13   #5
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Originally Posted by madgicone View Post
I just joined the net. I will be sailing out of the Naples, Italy area for 12 days the end of Sept. Besides the VHF what are you using for your weather forecasts?


Any suggestions for navigational software and appropiate charts for the Naples area between L39N and 41N will be appreciated.
Thanks
"MAD"
For charts - either buy Italian when you get here or order British Admiralty ones. For the latter there are many sites, but the Imray site is probably your best bet. The Italian Waters Pilot is also your friend and lists the specific chrts for where you want to go. Electronically we primarily use CMAP though have some navionics as well.

Weather info is broadcast continually on channel 68 in Italian and English. It covers all Italian waters so it can take a long time to go round but goes up to 3 days ahead and is fairly (say 70% but we've not actually counted) accurate, given the complexities of weather in the area. Also use MeteoAM.it! Il portale Italiano della Meteorologia. If you are moving towards Sardinia or western Sicily the regularly broadcast French weather (channel 16 for alert and channel) are also very good.

Med weather is often complex and unpredictable. We certainly found the Ligurian Gulf (where Mark describes) particularly interesting as it is effected daily by (i) 3 major weather systems in Biscay/Gulf de Lyon, the NE Alpine lows and the north-Sahara, and (ii) a steep and twisted surrounding landscape which distorts direction and dramatically affects wind speed as well as promoting thunderstorms.

However, there are lots of sources of weather info and if you are (i) ready for the sudden but usually short lived unforecast storm, (ii) on top of developing mistrals and (iii) confident in your anchoring, then you'll be good.
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Old 29-08-2010, 01:59   #6
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Weather info is broadcast continually on channel 68 in Italian and English. .
Yes its very good, but their sea state forceasts take forever..

One thing I was not sure about was the actual regions the use. I know thenames but not the boarders.
Naples area is Central Tyrrhenian Sea East I think. But if you can check it and all the regions you will be more comfortable.


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Old 29-08-2010, 03:20   #7
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The borders are inevitably imprecise (the wind isn't aware of them!) - the most complicated place we found was the NE tip of Sicily where the rather different arenas of S Tyrrenhian West, the Sardinian Channel and the Sicilian Strait all meet. There is map of the sea areas in the pilot.
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Old 29-08-2010, 14:43   #8
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Thanks. I have Italian Waters Pilot and will bring it with me. It helps to prepare but so much better to hear from someone who has experience in those waters. I'm on a charter with a group that likes to pull into a marina or tie up for the night more than anchoring out but we will do both. I have done a lot of anchoring in the Med. I like to sleep at night so I try to set a mean anchor and willing to give it more than one try until I am satisfied.

So what I am hearing is to listen to the weather but be prepared for micro systems. Are there winds like the bora? I'm used to Chesapeake Bay squalls but I'm sure the patterns producing squalls in Tyrranian Sea are very different

Again thanks for sharing.
Capt. MAD,my initials not my disposition
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Old 30-08-2010, 08:16   #9
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Old 30-08-2010, 09:41   #10
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Mark as to suggestions on cheap food ( I just finished spending the whole summer sailing around Nice).

Right now Peaches are in season, lowest ever pricing. Secondly try and get out of teh marina and shop in Geant or Carrefore ( there big pricing differences between local supermarkets and the giants.).

Secondly take the train to Ventimilla in Italy from time to time, cheap food and cheaper drink. ( its where the french go to buy boozes and cigs).

Also in my experience search out the restuarants a road or two back from the beach, ( Cagnes is very good for this), the Formules for lunch usually start at 6-7 euros, and A very good lunch ( three courses can be gotton for 10-12).

The cafe in the train station in Nice is also very cheap.

If you do stay for longer ,soon the restaurents will switch to off season menus and things get cheaper again.

Another suggestion is to buy a cheap french electric grill ( about 18 euros in Geant). Great for frying steak, prawns, etc and keeps the heat out of the boat, put it on the dock and plug it in. You can get nice steak for 3 euros each plus some a tin of potatoes ( slice them, fry on the grill with some chopped onion). then make a roquefort sauce, heat some roquefort, add a little creme fraiche and a drop of djion mustard. Bliss a beautiful meal for about 5 euros.

Dave
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:33   #11
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MarkJ... your coming into the Tramontana season now mate...
The Gulf of Lyons(Lions) will be starting to roar on a regular basis from now on till spring sending NE'lies screaming down towards the Ballerics and beyond... you've got to get below Cabo de Gato further south before you escape their influence... Enjoy.
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