Hello from WA state, can’t tell you how much great info your site brings us, thanks for that! I was wondering if you have ever done research on cruisers’ favorite pick for an all-around good (at least weather-resistant) camera? I would assume most folks are getting into digital now. Any ideas? Thanks…we are selling out and moving on board next spring to play for the summer up here then head on down the coast mid-Aug. CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Warmly, Dianna
Archive for 2004
Dear Madam, Sir, Two years ago, I ordered your Mariners Weather Book and read it. A compliment to your book. It is one of the best books, to learn maritime weather by sailors. On page 366, you refer about the Dvorak Technique to understand hurricane forecasting. Please give me the detailed information about this book: Where can I order it? What’s the price? Yours sincerely, A. Schroeder
We’ve had an ongoing conversation about the forecasting process over the years with Dave Feit, who runs the Marine Prediction Center. Recently Dave pointed us to a new (to us) resource, which is a technical discussion of the North Atlantic and Pacific forecasts. This includes how the weather models are behaving, and what various scenarios are for the different forecast products. These “interpretations” are done in a sort of shorthand.
During the recent collision of hurricane Ivan with Grenada, one of our Sundeer 64s, Jedi, was at anchor in Mount Hartman Bay. We were able to contact Jedi’s owners, Nick and Josie, through the help of another cruiser in Venezuela. While we’d not wish this experience on anyone, their comments serve to put the blow into perspective, and to analyze what could help if one was ever caught in such a situation.
Jedi was originally called Polaris, and has a slightly shallower draft (by six inches/150mm) than the standard Sundeer 64s. She is ketch rigged. The photo above shows one of her sisterships. Following are our questions for Nick and Josie, and their answers.
In the olden days, prior to launching Beowulf, we made it a point never to interconnect electronics. Although a standard protocol for exchanging data existed (NMEA 0183), we felt it was safer and more reliable to have our gear totally independent.
When we started to install electronics aboard Beowulf we adhered to this approach, except for the radar display, where we had B & G depth and speed information portrayed. Then someone showed us a radar with the GPS waypoint on the screen and we got another interconnection. As we moved into electronic charting this added a another layer of interconnection – data from the various devices into the PC, and eventually heading data from the PC to the autopilot.
While we were at first leery of this approach, we grew to enjoy the benefits. Along the way it became apparent that the actual connections were easy. But we never really understood what was going on electrically and in terms of data transmission.
We’ve been receiving e-mails from some of our friends in the Southern Caribbean with early reports of what happened in Grenada. News is still sketchy, but we’ve picked up a few details. First, our prayers go out to all of those in Grenada, and to everyone who is worried about friends and loved ones in the area.
The bottom end of the Caribbean (including Grenada and Trinidad) is considered out of the hurricane zone.
However, as with all generalities that deal with weather, and as recent events have shown, this has to be taken with a grain of salt.
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Dear Steve, I am thinking of installing the Interphase http://www.interphase-tech.com/pcview.htm forward-scanning sonar on the steel 55′ sail boat that I am building. It would seem that every sail or power boat should have one of these in order to be able to see what lies ahead and to be able to avoid any obstacle. But so far I was not able to find anybody that has had any experience with it. So I am writing to you with a hope that in your research of the new electronics for your FPB you may have looked at Interphase sounders, or you may have heard from someone that used it. Would you please share your thoughts regarding this gear? – Remek
What, and how much safety gear to carry is one of the toughest questions to answer. What is right depends on your budget, risk tolerance, space available, and where you’re headed. It is easily possible to spend a very large chunk of freedom chips on this category of gear. And this is against the background that it will probably never be used!
We’ve recently been going through this process ourselves. In our case, we’ve got plenty of room on the new boat (83 feet). But just because we have the space, and can afford this gear, does not mean we are going to carry every possible item!
Here’s our approach. Easy gear first.