Friday, August 9, 2013

Finding a Replacement Weatherman

I need to start getting the blog up to date so here goes:

Quite a a few boats had been able to sail the short 25 to 100 mile legs needed to get here to Bora Bora in everything up to gale force winds but now there is a need for real decent weather to get through the Cook Islands.

The weather has been less than ideal for heading west for the past few weeks. Ian, on Chaotic Harmony, was a profesional meterologist when he had his day job and gave great weather insight on the morning radio "Net". He left Bora about 3 weeks ago and is now in Tonga and out of radio range.

We are all getting bored with Bora Bora and feeling like the extra time being spent in the Societies is going to cost us somewhere further down the road. Weather was always the topic of conversation at Happy Hour every day.

Tortuguita doesn't mind strong winds from behind but hates the cross swell hitting the sides so I saw a small window of opportunity to make the 700 miles to Suwarrow. We were the first ones to leave. Basically we were test case for my weather forecasting abilities. Or to put it another way, we were the only ones to put our lives on the line to test the BS and weather theories that were flying around the bar every day. Once outside, we radioed back that things weren't too ugly so most boats started leaving Bora the next day.

Well, since other boaters thought I knew what I was doing with the weather, I was volunteered to be the group's weatherman.
My job was not to forecast but to consolidate weather from the many different sources and relay it over the radio net in the morning. In Bora, with internet, there was alot more and better presented data. At sea, I download what I could from different sources using Sailmail and spend close to an hour analyzing the noise to come up with a reasonable forecast. I have had some help occasionally from my friend, Peter Rice, who has been our personal weather router for this trip.

Anyway, we were the first ones in to Suwarrow. There were 3 other boats there. 2 had come from Hawaii.

More on Suwarrow later.

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