Ocean Sites

(www.fermi.jhuapl.edu/avhrr/) This is by far the best site on the web and displays high resolution, real-time, false color NOAA polar orbiting infrared satellite images covering the entire East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. There are three and seven day composites available as well as archive data back several years.

(www.marine.rutgers.edu/cool/sat_data) This is the second best website (next to Johns Hopkins), that displays real time false color imagery covering large areas and 3 degree squares.

(www.ndbc.noaa.gov/rmd.shtml) This site displays buoy information such as sea surface temperatures, air temperature, sea level pressure, wave height, barometric pressure, etc.

Safety at Sea

Shipboard Observations

  • Lightning – cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud, heat lightning, measuring movement of storms
  • Clouds – different types, dangerous clouds, fog
  • Seas – swells, wind waves, Inlet conditions, current/wind interactions
  • Sea/land Breeze – wind regimes, weather conditions
  • Islands/Mountains – weather and local wind conditions
  • How to “Nowcast” at Sea A term referring to what’s happening with the weather now and in the immediate future (usually 1-3 hours)
  • What to use: Your eyes, weather tools, communications, computers
  • What to observe: Clouds, stars, sun, moon, seas, local conditions, weather charts and forecasts, weather forecast model outputs, ocean and tidal currents, ocean temperatures, air temperature, barometric pressure and change, winds, other boats, the eyes of your crew.
  • How to determine what to expect for the next few minutes or hours: Experience, some are very obvious and common sense can be used, others are more complicated and training is required
  • Have a plan for all types of severe weather conditions!!

Tips and Tools

Every boat should have the following weather tools on board:

  • Thermometer (for ocean and air)
  • Barometer – measures the air pressure
  • Anemometer (if possible) – measures the wind speed and direction
  • VHF/SS band Radio – monitor weather forecasts

Associated gear for bad weather:

  • Sea Anchor – Heavy duty
  • Plenty of foul weather gear
  • EPRIB’s (also consider personal locator devices)

Also for long passages, consider:

  • Satellite Phone – Several to choose from now (costs way down)
  • Computer and Internet Link-ups
  • Radars and weather satellite receivers

Tips and Tools

Jenifer Clark’s Gulfstream produces standard ocean and weather charts and forecasts (from a purely science viewpoint) and produces waypoints as general guidance to the mariner indicating where favorable ocean currents are located. Each participant and crew understands and agrees that the decision to sail, start, select a course, or continue with a sailing race or voyage rests entirely with that boats skipper and crew, that sailing, particularly in an ocean, is an inherently risky venture and that no assurances are being made as to the safety of the event or trip as to the conditions that may be encountered, the seaworthiness or condition of any participants boat, the decisions made by each skipper and crew, or any other matter of any kind that could relate to the safety of each person participating and the property thereof. Therefore, each person participating in these type events assumes all risk and responsibility of participating and sailing, and to the fullest extent allowed by law, equity or admiralty, releases, forever discharges and forever waives each and every claim that each person may have or come to have, whether known or unknown, against Jenifer Clark’s Gulfstream (JCG) including Dane and Jenifer Clark, from any and all claims, suits, or causes of action of any kind, however denominated, whether sounding in law, equity or admiralty, arising out of or relating to the event.