Friday, April 18, 2014

Nothing But Rain

Carrabelle couldn't get any wetter.  It rained all night and all day and it's still raining.  So besides taking a short run in the rain to stretch the legs and a quick motor out on the bay to check some engine work I had done, I searched the boat for leaks and found some unfortunately.  Rainwater entering the deck not river water entering the hull.  So I took care of a couple before dinner.  I will get the rest tomorrow, that is, if I don't head south.  The weather is changing in favor of the sailors wanting to go south.  The winds are predicted to shift from east, southeast to west on Saturday and then north on Sunday and Monday.  It should be nice easy sailing for the 8 or so boats lined up to go on Sunday. The bold will leave Saturday, stronger winds and bigger seas.  I don't know if I'm quite up to it.  I am still not fully engaged, but we will see.

GRIB files are Gridded Binary files used in meteorology to store weather data for use in forecasting. There are programs available that will enable the user to view these files on computer, iPhone, or iPad that greatly enhance forecasting for sailors.  I have learned to obey the laws of GRIB after getting my rear kicked after yelling, "Damn the GRIBS, full steam ahead".  Below is a screenshot of just how one component of weather, wind, is presented at one specific time.  The user can scroll through the hours of the day and days of the week and watch changes as predicted.  They are extremely useful and add to the confidence of a passage.

The program above is called GRIBview and it is the free version that is downloadable here:

The little arrows show wind direction and strength.  The tail can have a barb with each barb representing ten knots of wind.  The arrows above have one barb so the winds will be light at ten knots and in the right direction coming from the north.  There is also shades of color that show the distribution of wind strength.  These winds are a little too light for my sailboat, that is why I am contemplating leaving on Saturday which is suppose to be twenty knots plus..  My boat likes 15 to 20 knots to get it moving.  Anyway, enough of the lesson.

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