Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Thu 17 Jul 2014 07:27
Still in Whitianga...
Hopefully we can get out of here tuesday morning...
Today I will continue with some advice to them that are interested in getting out in the blue ocean.
The barometer is one of the most important instruments on board. It will tell you ahead you are in for some changes.
Even if you have a good forecast there are always local changes that can be dangerous to your rigg and sails.
To get the sails ripped in a local squall is bad enough, and we can look at a few gadgets that can help you.
The old analogue barometer is of course always something that can hang on the wall and you go there giving it a knock or two.
But I think a digital barometer that gives you a graph is a better tool. A graph gives you the trend, if a slope is building up 
fast you are in for a school example of bad weather moving in your way.
Most digital barometers intended for yachts tend to be very expensive  (6000 Euros) so I found 2 very good alternatives.

The one we started off with is the Silva weather instrument, the so called PRO is only costing
around 200 Euros and it gives you humidity, windspeed (if held in the wind), temperature and the most used feature;
a barometer with a graph.
To have a backup I wear a Suunto CORE (200Euros in Panama), this also means I have an alarm on me at all times.
If the barometer drops fast it will blow the whistle.

But most important of all things is the loggbook, even in times with electronic gadgets we manually logg our progress every hour at sea.
We will fill in wind speed, barometer, boat speed, exact position, course etc.
The reason we do this is that when you are tired you tend to make up your own picture of how things are going.
We could also have a total failure of electrics on board and then the only thing we have left is the compass, paper charts and a sextant.
If we have logged our position every hour we know where we are...

Last but not least, a radar is a great way to keep track of squalls at night, they show up like huge islands on your screen, and you can follow their track.