Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Back in Charlotte Harbor
Monday, January 25, 2016
Android apps I use for weather
There are an overwhelming number of weather apps out there and when you find one you like you tend to get a bit biased. Here are mine:
My goto app is a grib downloader called PocketGrib. A free version is PocketGrib Lite and will download two days of grib files. The full version is four bucks and allows eight days of weather to be downloaded. For your file you can select resolution down to .25 degrees, interval of time down to 3 hours, up to eight days, and a mess of parameters that include: wind, pressure, air temp, waves, clouds and humidity. Once downloaded the data can be displayed on a map, meteogram which is basically a bunch of graphs, and the data tab that is in column and rows.
Raindar is my next app. This is an intuitive map and radar display. Zoom in and out with pinch and move around with ease. It automatically animates to give you a clear picture on when you are going to get clobbered. My boat neighbors think I have a sixth sense after they see me checking the anchor snubbing line and bringing in the cushions then 15 min. later we get hammered.
Weather Underground is a nice local weather app that includes some helpful features such as moon phase, sunrise and sunset times, and a easy to read forecast chart.
An honorable mention is this modeling website not an app at all, though there are similar apps they are not suited for mariners, the site stands out because it gives a great visualization of coming weather. It takes some fiddling with to get the most out of it but once you do, it will improve your sixth sense that much more.
These have been what I use when we are on grid, in a coming post I will write about my off grid system.
Lately it has been a fight to bring the anchor in. The chain will jump off the gypsy and get jammed on the windlass. This is potentially dangerous if the seas and wind are bad when the jam happens. One problem is if the gypsy is just getting worn, but at 300 plus dollars to replace I need to try all the free options first. There are two issues that have been on my mind with the chain. One, the chain may be a bit worn and two, it is as twisted as a middle aged man at Key wests fantasy fest. First we need a nice calm day and now after 3 consecutive storms have come through we have it. Next is to deploy our secondary anchor. Now i can remove the primary anchor from the chain and flip it end to end. There, new chain and I can get the twist out. I keep a line spliced to the bitter end and then attached in the anchor locker, this way I don't run out the anchor and chain right off the boat and if I need to I can cut it away. BTW splicing old line sucks.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Well we have been back on the water for a week or so now and have had 3 good blows come through. We are in Charlotte harbor for the last one which was 30 plus knots of wind for 36 hours. You can imagine how boring that gets. The good is that it all calmed down this morning when we decided to lift anchor. The bad is we were now in 4 ft of water and the boat floats in just under 5 feet. So we are now a little island until the tide comes in.