Originally Posted by amandla
Next Spring I'll head from Panama across the Pacific.
Does anyone have suggestions for downloading weather on a crossing?
Grib files, weather maps? What would be the best system to get?
I have SSB and I download NOAA on my computer but the downloading is not always reliable and it covers a wide area without specific details.
I also have an Iridium on board.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.
Download gribs via your ssb. it's pretty simple and painless if you have sail mail. Unless you plan to go out of season, or are doing some unusual passage, that will be more than sufficient. It doesn't take any special skill to read grib files - you'll pick it up pretty quick.
The other thing is, unless you're sailing a pretty fast boat, weather routing doesn't do a whole lot for you but make you worry (trust me on this one). I've done a bunch of long passages with and without weather routers & without weather forecasts at all and unless you have a really good reason rum line sailing almost always works out best.
There are a couple of websites that offer free weather grib software. I think ugrib was the last one i used. You're not leaving for awhile so download the software and start looking at gribs on a daily basis so you get a feel for how to read them and how the data compares to other sources of weather. Once you get used to them gribs are more than enough info.
I've crossed the Pacific a couple of times from Panama so if you have specific concerns ask away. As long as you follow the guide books you'll be fine. just don;t get caught out of season.