Weather source two more ways, and getting ready for our first outing.

On a bit more positive note than yesterday, here is what we have been doing for the last days : Water tanks topped up, generator tested (we did remember to put oil first in it), fridge and provisioning done. We are ready to go this Sunday for a week! Can you tell there is excitement in the air? It is our first little cruise, the weather is not the best but you can’t have everything in life and there is no major weather patents predicted either. We haven’t got any firm plans on destination, the mood and wind will take us where ever they want! We are flexible…

For the record we have finally set up the batten in the sail bag properly and used a bit of 5200 to reset the end. This has never been done properly from the day it was installed on the boat, hence the fitting was rubbing against the rigging… It’s a luck that is made of a softer metal than the expensive shroud. Identically we are pleased to report that our sail bag convenient system/zipper device works like a charm and doesn’t interfere with the sail operation.

So let’s go and enjoy some time off, away from all, with only one child… As our eldest is away in Italy for two weeks!

Talking of weather and new way of sourcing it, we discovered one that we can even get via SSB. This service is provided by David from Starpath School of navigation. You can obtain directly by e-mail a report of all the boat that provides data to the service in a 300 nm radius from any location. I tell you we don’t stop the progress! (sarcastic wink…) Below is the help file that explains in detail the process. We don’t have to solely rely on forecast, we can also have the real life.

Also a great way to peruse your local weather data tide and a lot more is via a great synopsis of all the information on one page avoiding the need to go all over the place to find what you are really looking for, this is in the US only sorry.


Good day, Greetings from Seattle.


To receive ship reports of weather and sea state observations within the

past 6 hours from within 300 nautical miles of your location, send an email

to, which is blank other than the first line in the

body of the message, which should be your latitude and longitude in decimal

degrees in this format:


37.123N, 135.456W


There is a comma following the latitude, and there is no period at the end.

Spaces are OK.

These are decimal degrees, ie 47° 30′ = 47.500


When we receive a valid location in this proper form, you will receive a

return email with the report. It is sent promptly but the delivery time

back to you will depend on your mail service. If you need to alert spam

filters, note it will be coming from


As a safeguard, only five notices will be sent to any given email address

within a 1 hour period.


Abbreviations for the data reported are:


ID Five to seven character reporting identifier for stations.

T One character code used to identify reporting source:

B = Buoy, C = C-MAN Station, D = Drifting Buoy, S = Ship, O = Other

TIME n UTC (same as GMT) for data display and data files.

HOUR In UTC (same as GMT) for data display and data files.


LAT Latitude.

LON Longitude

DIST Great circle distance, in nautical miles, between the search location origin and the observing

True bearing, in degrees, from the search location origin to the observing station location.


WDIR Wind direction during the same period used for WSPD.

WSPD Wind speed (m/s) averaged over an eight-minute period for buoys and a two-minute period for

land stations. Reported Hourly. Note: kts = 1.94 x (m/s).

GST Peak 5 or 8 second gust speed (m/s) measured during the eight-minute or two-minute period.

WVHT Significant wave height (meters) is calculated as the average of the highest one-third of all of

the wave heights during the 20-minute sampling period. Note: Buoy WVHTs are combined

seas whereas Ship WVHTs are observed wind wave heights.

DPD Dominant wave period (seconds) is the period with the maximum wave energy.

APD Average wave period (seconds) of all waves during the 20-minute period.

MWD Mean wave direction corresponding to energy of the dominant period (DOMPD).

The units are degrees from true North just like wind direction.

PRES Sea level pressure (hPa). Note: hPa = mb = 33.86 x (inches of mercury).

Some reports are in inches.

PTDY Pressure Tendency is the direction (plus or minus) and the amount of pressure change (hPa)

for a three hour period ending at the time of observation.

ATMP Air temperature (Celsius).

WTMP Sea surface temperature (Celsius).

DEWP Dewpoint temperature taken at the same height as the air temperature measurement.

VIS Station visibility (statute miles). Note that buoy stations are limited to reports from 0 to 1.9 miles.

TCC Total cloud cover (eighths). The total fraction of the sky covered by clouds of all types.

TIDE The water level in feet above or below Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW).


S1HT Height of primary swell waves. Swell wave height is the vertical distance between any

swell wave crest and the succeeding swell wave trough.

S1PD Period of primary swell waves. Swell wave period is the time that it takes two successive

swell wave crests to pass a fixed point.

S1DIR True compass direction, in tens of degrees, from which primary swell waves are coming from.

S2HT Height of the secondary swell waves. Swell wave height is the vertical distance between

any swell wave crest and the succeeding swell wave trough.

S2PD Period of secondary swell waves. Swell wave period is the time that it takes two successive

swell wave crests to pass a fixed point.

S2DIR True compass direction, in tens of degrees, from which secondary swell waves are coming from.



This relay to you of data from the US National Data Buoy Center is

provided with the compliments of Starpath School of Navigation



) in Seattle, WA. We offer online training in all aspects

of marine navigation and weather, and related products, such as the Fischer

precision aneroid barometer.


To receive this Help file, send an email to with

‘help’ in the subject line.


If the email requesting the reports with your latitude and longitude is not

exactly in the right format, the mail is discarded and you will not hear

back from us.


PLEASE NOTE. This is a new service. If you are experiencing any trouble

with it, please send an email to or call us in

Seattle at 206-783-1414 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 206-783-1414 end_of_the_skype_highlighting , and we will address it promptly.


One island that we know we will not be close too during next week cruise is Saddle Island in Red bay. It will be our 70th of the year. The Basque whalers of France and Spain enjoyed at least 50 years of prosperity off the Labrador coast hunting right whales and bowhead whales during the 16th century. Evidence of their presence has been found in Red Bay, Labrador, and a haven 400 miles north of St. John’s.

Between 1530 and 1600, Basque whalers from France and Spain launched at least 15 whaling ships and 600 men a season, capturing whales migrating the Strait of Belle Isle waters between the island of Newfoundland and the Labrador coast. Red Bay first came to the attention of the Basque in the 1520s, when they were fishing the waters nearby for cod. However, attention soon shifted to whales that migrated through the straits. Basque whalers hunted both the right whale and bowhead whale. Both floated after being slaughtered and yielded a large supply of baleen. They shared common migrating patterns as both journeyed through the Strait of Belle Isle, although at different times of the year. In early June the right whale passed through, while the bowhead whale usually did not arrive until October. If the larger number of bowhead bones in Red Bay is to be taken as evidence, it appears that the bowhead whale was the more important of the two and yielded a greater profit. Over 80 years, the Basques killed thousands of whales off the Labrador coast.