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You can email us at

Useful weather links:




Frank Singleton, sailing weather guru:


Meteo France:




Herb Hilgenberg:


National Hurricane Center:


Caribbean Weather Centre:


Canadian East Coast:

NOAA also provide their complete North Atlantic forecast by voice on several SSB frequencies, 6-hourly, delivered in the form of a synthesised voice (Metal Mickey) which takes some getting used to!


Since 1987, Herb Hilgenberg (Southbound II) has been delivering a daily weather forecasting and ship-routing service on 12359.0 kHz at 2000 UTC. This is a free service applicable mainly to trans-oceanic and long-distance sailors.


The Caribbean Weather Centre, through Chris Parker, offers a subscription service by SSB voice or by email. Sponsoring vessels may talk to Chris daily (except Sundays) and obtain a customised forecast for their area or intended route. Chris operates from Florida/Bahamas and covers the Caribbean, US East coast and North Atlantic. We use this service extensively. Chris is an expert hurricane analyst and his emails on tropical storms and hurricanes are invaluable.


Email by SSB


The “Saildocs” service is available free via Sailmail (see the Communications section). This provides Grib Files (computer generated wind strength and direction charts) for any area of the world, and a host of forecast information for localised areas, most emanating from National weather sources.




Navtex is a radio-based maritime information and safety system provided on a dedicated radio frequency from stations worldwide but covering mainly coastal regions. Receiving range is about 200 miles from the transmitter. As well as weather, Navtex provides navigational warnings and distress and safety information. Our Navtex receiver has a printed paper output so we can receive weather forecasts even when the set is unattended. Coverage of the Caribbean is limited to a small area round Puerto Rico, but coverage of the East coast of the USA and Canada is very good. This is one of our prime weather sources for coastal sailing.




The Weatherfax service is another free source of oceanic weather and provides, mainly, synoptic charts by SSB radio, through a decoder or modem, to a laptop computer or direct to a printer. The recipient has to have the knowledge and expertise to interpret synoptic charts to provide forecast information but it is often useful to have these available to understand forecasts provided by others and to understand how the weather systems are being driven.



Obtaining accurate up-to-date weather information is vital to the live-aboard cruiser. Nowadays, there is abundant raw data available on weather systems and a proliferation of sources which interpret it and provide forecasts. As well as availability, there has been a recent explosion in delivery methods, especially via the Internet. For the long-distance cruiser, Internet sources are not particularly useful as few long-distance cruisers can afford the satellite based Internet delivery systems necessary to provide Internet offshore. With the increasing availability of WiFi inshore, Internet delivered weather sources are becoming much more relevant for inshore and coastal cruisers.


We use the following weather delivery systems aboard “Al Shaheen”. As our present cruising area is Caribbean/East coast of North America, our present focus is on sources relevant to this area.


Inmarsat C


See the Communications section. Inmarsat C provides valuable 6-hourly free oceanic weather forecasts and storm warnings in text form, either to a laptop or, in our case, to a dedicated small receiver screen. Those for the Eastern Atlantic are provided by Meteo France, and for the Western Atlantic by NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), both first class sources.


SSB voice


Daily voice forecasts for the Caribbean are provided on SSB by ham radio amateurs “Eric” (from Trinidad), “George” (from St John USVI) and by Chris Parker (on Bel Ami) operating as the Caribbean Weather Centre from Tortola. Most cruisers listen to at least one of these daily. Of the three, Chris Parker is the only professional forecaster and he is also a hurricane expert.


Sailing 2012.

Sailing Prior Years.

About Al Shaheen.

About John & Jenny.



Boat Insurance.