Weather

Rough crossing

On a recent transatlantic crossing, my wife Mary and I were caught by a low pressure system and forced to deploy a series drogue. The unit worked well and we later finished our voyage after 1,946 miles. We learned a…

Now and future weather tools

The term "heavy weather" makes perfect sense to any sailor who's ever been smacked around by tons of agitated ocean. Such a sailor is usually willing to devote time and money to better understanding the dynamics of marine weather and…

Circles of uncertainty

Hurricane forecasting and tracking is now far better than anything in years gone by, yet it is still far from being an exact science. Hurricanes are still a law unto themselves. When avoiding the hurricane is a matter of life…

Measuring typhoons

From Ocean Navigator #58 January/February 1994 The western North Pacific is a good place to find some of the world's most powerful storms. Meteorologists pay close attention to this area of the Pacific Ocean in order to better study these…

By the numbers

Long before the advent of electronics and high tech wind measuring devices, a qualitative wind estimating method called the Beaufort Scale of Wind Forces was used. It was invented by an early English navigator by the name of Francis Beaufort…

Weather electronics

Weather software plays an increasingly important role for the offshore sailor. The options for getting weather information at sea have been proliferating rapidly. As with many other marine technologies, weather software is quickly becoming faster, easier to use, and less…

Severe shock

We were five or six days from the British Virgin Islands, heavy into the monotony of a trans-Atlantic passage that began in Les Sables d'Olonne, France (home of the Vendée Globe solo around-the-world race). Days and nights had blended into…

Real-time routing

One approach to weather routing for voyagers is to get a weather analysis before departure and then work with that for the rest of the voyage. Another way is to do your own analysis and routing en route. There is…

Emergency dive gear

Taking a deep breath, I pushed hard off the bottom of the hull and dove down the eight feet to the prop, where the current was such that I had to grip the rudder in one hand to stay in…

Learn by doing

Early November found us in Beaufort, N.C., preparing to head south to the U.S. Virgin Islands. We hoped the offshore passage to St. Thomas would take about 10 days. We were aboard Echo, a 32-foot Marc Louis Rifflart-designed catamaran. By…

Bermuda's origins

n Atlantic, where it forms the southwestern end of the Bermuda Rise. Charts also show a number of siblings to Bermuda; seamounts, or submerged volcanoes that never broke the surface. Two of these seamounts lay just to the southwest of…