Freezing spray

For those who live in the northeastern U.S. or southeastern Canada, an unusually active stretch of severe winter weather began in late January 2015 and is ongoing in the middle of February at this writing.

Wrapping up hurricane season

Hurricane season officially ended for the Atlantic and the eastern and central Pacific at the end of November. The season was a study in contrasts across these three regions, which are under the purview of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla.

Changing seasons

Columbus Day weekend has now passed in the U.S. at the time of this writing, and there are certainly signs on the weather maps of the North Atlantic and North Pacific of the more active weather patterns characteristic of the colder season beginning to show up.

A tale of two storms (and more)

My last newsletter spoke about the coming El Nino and its possible effects. An even earlier newsletter, “In Hawaii, Hurricanes Hardly Happen,” published one year ago at this time, talked about the relative infrequency of hurricanes in the vicinity of Hawaii. In early August, not one, but two hurricanes affected the Hawaiian Islands. This is very uncommon, as indicated in the earlier newsletters. Let’s take a look at what happened.

El Nino on the way

There have been many stories in the news recently concerning the El Nino phenomenon. This is mainly because it appears quite likely that a significant El Nino event will take shape in the coming months and persist for up to a year. With this in mind, it is worth taking a look at what this might mean for those planning ocean voyages during this period of time.

Seeing global winds

You’ve heard of working for peanuts, but how about for pickled herring? Software developer Cameron Beccario, who devised a fascinating and informative global weather visualization website called “earth”, has been offered pickled herring and salmon from an Alaskan commercial fisherman, a confessed big fan of “earth.”

Strategies for both directions

From Tonga to NZ: The most eastern departure point has some advantages and some disadvantages. From here we are looking to leave in the top of a high pressure as the wind swings from southeast towards the east. But being…

Winds against the grain

Ocean voyagers are interested in the winds along their routes for obvious reasons, whether voyaging under sail or under power. Gathering information about expected wind speeds and direction for a voyage is a key component of the decision making process that will determine the exact route of the voyage, the timing of the departure, and whether intermediate stops are made and how long their duration may be.

Rallies and weather

I recently become aware of a blog post by John Harries on his Attainable Adventure Cruising website, and thought I should contribute to what has been an excellent and spirited discussion about sailing rallies in the fall.