Archive | Weather


Passage hindsight: sailing from Madagascar to South Africa

Sailing from Madagascar to South Africa is technically challenging. The Mozambique Channel separating them is famously dangerous, in particular for the effect of gales blowing up from the Southern Ocean against the south-setting Agulhas current. For a reference point that may translate better to sailors in North America, I’m told it’s comparable to experiencing a […]

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Friday night's sunset in Coal Harbour, Vancouver before Saturday's windstorm. Red at night sailor's delight, eh?

Windstorm sends early warning to boaters, as Coast Guard responds to more than 30 cases

Tucked into downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour for Saturday’s windstorm, we could not only hear it howling through sailboats’ rigs, but through the trees at nearby Stanley Park. Every so often, I poked my head out from down below to survey the jibs of nearby boats; hoping no complacent sailor had left a sail such that it could […]

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How to get free NOAA weather forecasts sent directly to your computer

The weather “is a matter about which a great deal is said, but very little done.” It’s a brilliant quote that’s usually attributed to Mark Twain but was actually said by his friend, Charles Dudley Warner. Regardless of where it came from, it’s true: There’s very little we can do about the weather, except prepare […]

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All is well after last week’s storms

By the time the forecast windstorm arrived, its strength had been downgraded a tiny bit.  But it was still very strong when it arrived Thursday night (aside: why do these things always happen at night?). For an assortment of reasons too complicated to detail here, we spent the night at our cabin on Camano Island.  […]

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The wind is windy

Early on Tuesday morning, when the wind gusts started hitting 50 knots, we could feel a noticeable change from the mere 30 to 40 that had been the norm for the previous few hours. No longer were we just swinging on our Bruce anchor and all chain rode, but heeling sharply as though sailing close-hauled. […]

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