For dedicated Atlantic sailors only

Sat 20 May 2006 15:39
As is described elsewhere in this log, when we're on passage we spend a great deal of time listening to a Canadian ex-yachtsman and amateur weather forecaster called Herb Hilgenberg. From his home in Canada via SW radio, Herb provides a weather and routing service free of charge to any Atlantic yacht that asks. Every evening you check in and tell him where you've got to and he tells you where to go to get the best wind for your passage or how to avoid bad weather. If you listen to all the boats check in, you can see how friends are getting on.
We've only been able to talk to him since Giles gave us an SSB transceiver and we got it fitted in St Lucia. When Herb first acknowledged our call, we all cheered. If you're a bit anxious about the weather, hearing Herb say you'll be ok is a very big relief. So it's not surprising that he has become a bit of legend. He started the net when he lived on a boat called Southbound 2 in Bermuda and Southbound 2 remains his call sign. Of course the one thing you want to know about any legendary yachtsman is what sort of boat he sails or sailed.
Well, we found Southbound 2. A guy called Mark, who fixed our radar and also manages the Dockyard Marina in Bermuda, bought Southbound 2 and renamed her Dreamhunter. Otherwise, he said, he'd have forever been being asked for weather advice. When Herb comes to Bermuda to see his daughter, he borrows the boat back to maintain the net. We realise a very, very small number of people will have any interest in this at all. But those who are interested will be very interested. The boat is a double ender, about 45 feet long and branded a 'Corbin'.
Southbound 2 in Bermuda's Navy Dockyard Marina