|* Bob Cook, a professional sailor
& weather router, offers expert passage planning
* Precision weather routing for the Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific and Indian oceans
* Global resources for marine weather: highs, lows, fronts, winds, seas and storms
* Optimal weather windows, ocean current routing, hurricane & storm avoidance
* Regular in-route communications via telephone, sat phone, email and HF SSB
* Private Marine Coast Station: Freqs: 6224, 8294, 12353, 16528 and 18840 khz
* Call or email us in the US at +239-775-7435 or "oceanpro.weather @ gmail.com"
* If one is planning a serious offshore passage, he / she should have the highest level of confidence in their vessel, the crew, one's navigation and most importantly, one's ability to stay ahead of and to act strategically to changes in the weather. Every yacht, power or sail, large or small planning on making an extended offshore passage should have weather reception and route planning capability onboard or should hire a professional weather router to provide weather routing services for their planned voyage(s). Yet, collecting and analysing weather data twice a day, everyday, although necessary and critical, can be a complicated, time consuming and tedius process, especially on a vessel underway.
Weather is critical to all boaters, power and sail, whether cruiser or racer, and whether they are crossing an ocean or competing in a day race. Yet many boaters do not have the expertise or the precise weather information needed to do good weather analysis and passage planning. One needs to have the necessary communications equipment or access to the requisit weather resources. One needs to study the historical weather patterns and currents. One must have the ability to receive and analyse weather model and satellite images onboard daily. To do this one needs to have reliable two-way communications equipment, (satellite phone or HF SSB), a computer and data modem. One must know how to use all this equipment, what services provide weather data, know what imagery to acquire, be able to analysis the data, how to route strategically, do passage planning given the major ocean currents like the Gulf Stream current, how to choose the optimal departure weather window and finally, to make the critical "go / no go" decision. Many skippers and vessels have not taken these steps and many yachts, ships and crew have had difficult passages, sustained damage or have been lost at sea because of it. Contact Ocean-Pro Weather Routing, professional global weather routers. We are highly experienced, maintain daily contact with you, advise you prior to your departure and keep you advised of and ahead of the weather affecting your passage anywhere in the world.
|My name is Bob Cook. I am a long time
sailor. I have sailed professionally for over 20 years
and have accumulated over 150,000 nautical miles at sea.
I understand and can assemble the necessary historical
and present weather info and help to route you safely and
efficiently globally. I have multiple networked
computers, (primary and backup) and high speed internet
access. I have excellent meteorological and oceanographic
products and worldwide communications capability via
email, sat-phone and SSB. We operate our own FCC licensed
Private Marine Coast Station on marine HF bands. We have
24/7 emergency power backup. With these resources I
believe I can help you choose the departure weather
window, help plan your optimal cruising routes, can stay
in communication, and keep you ahead of the weather to
your final destination. See our "Communications" page for
helpful info on satellite phones and HF SSB voice and
Who can use weather routing?
Every yacht or ship planning an extended offshore passage needs good weather forecasting, departure timing and optimal route planning. This includes sailing yachts, motor yachts, trawlers, mega yachts and super yachts, any yacht planning an extended offshore, transAtlantic or transPacific voyage. Yachts participating in transAtlantic or transPacific rallys can use Ocean-Pro Weather forecasting and route planning expertise for safey, comfort, speed and route efficiency. Popular transAtlantic and transPacific rallys include the ARC Rally sponsored by the World Cruisng Club, Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Caribbean 1500, ARC USA, ARC Europe, World ARC), the Baha HaHa Rally and the Pacific Puddle Jump Rally sponsored by Latitude 38 magazine and the Salty Dawg Rallys. We are one of the sponsors for the popular transPacific Pacific Puddle Jump Rally. Pictured here are just a few of our clients' yachts, both sail and power.
along as a virtual crewmember on your next offshore
Ocean-Pro weather and sea state forecasting, current analysis and optimal routing:
The chart at the right depicts the popular world cruising routes, transPacific routes, transAtlantic routes and transIndian Ocean routes. The cruising routes are represented by clusters of colored dots representing actual vessel daily positions and headings. The blue dots represent the reported daily positions of vessels heading west, yellow dots for vessels heading south, red dots for vessels heading north and green dots vessels heading east.
Clicking the chart image will display a much larger version of the same image. Note in the North Atlantic, the two sailing routes most commonly used by vessels to cross the North Atlantic, are from the US east coast across the northern Atlantic to the Azores and Europe, and from Europe vessels sailing south west and then west across the tropical North Atlantic to the eastern Caribbean. In the North and South Pacific Oceans the common sailing routes are from the US west coast (San Francisco, San Diego, Puerta Vallarta and Panama), to Hawaii and the Marquesas. In the South Pacific the common cruising route is from the Marquesas west to French Polynesia to New Zealand and Australia.
When you start planning your extended cruising we will be happy to help you with your weather forecasting, passage timing, utilization of ocean currents and passage routing advice in anywhere in the world! (This chart is courtesy of Pangolin/YOTREPS).
* As a professional sailor and weather router, I can advise and help people with all aspects of route planning and passage weather. From 1985 to present I sailed professionally as an offshore sailing instructor and delivery captain. For 20 years I essentially lived at sea, teaching others the art and science of safe, efficient, coastal and offshore passagemaking. I have written an a practical 200 page, illustrated text/workbook. To date I have taught over 500 adult students the elements of vessel preparation, weather routing and offshore passagemaking. Together with my many crews, I have sailed all over the Western Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, including transAtlantic. In 20 years I have accumulated over 150,000 nm at sea which is about seven times around the world.
Our open ocean passage weather and ocean current analysis involves significant resources and knowledge. It involves analyzing historical, present weather, forecast passage weather, and ocean currents and with some knowledge of the vessel, equipment, crew and desired destination, advising the skipper as to upcoming weather events, alternative strategies, and if appropriate a specific optimal route plan. The route plan should consider the vessel's resources, weather, currents, avoiding hazards, maximizing boat speed, safety, comfort, etc. Weather forecasting and route optimization strategies rely heavily on sophisticated computer models to predict weather, seas and ocean currents many days ahead. However computer models, even as powerful as they are, are not infallible. To trust their outputs one must compare the output with what trained meteorologists believe will happen and compare any computer model forecast data with that of one or more other computer models. We will look for not only the forecast but also consistency between the various forecast resources.
At my office in Naples, Florida, I have high speed internet access to the major US and World Meterological Organization weather services and I operate a Marine Private Coast Station. Every day I am looking at NOAA coastal, offshore and highseas forecasts, satellite imagery, forecast imagery (synoptic, surface, and upper air). Every day I have instant access to weather forecasts generated by NCEP's and US Navy's global and regional computer models. The NCEP's models I use include the GFS, RUC, NAM, WWIII and NGM. The US Navy's models include the NOGAPS and COAMPS models. The UK has an excellent model which I check often the ECMWF. Some universities with meteorology programs have developed and maintain NWP models. Penn State and the University of Wisconsin have excellent online weather data. Every weather model has it's own blind spots, strengths and weaknesses, so no one model by itself should be relied upon with certainty. Some models have great long range predictive capability of from 8-16 days. Other models are more near term, 24-72 hours. Some are global in scope, whereas others are regional in scope or even country specific. Some are very high resolution. Others are low to medium resolution.
At the right is a sample image from the NCEP GFS model. The GFS model is a global model, with excellent 3-5 day predictive capability. The model's "resolution" or minimum unit of area for showing weather variables, is a 54 kilometers (about 28 nautical miles). This is very good resolution, especially compared to standard marine forecasts or weatherfax charts. The GFS model can provide detailed forecast data for any one or more of up 150 different weather variables, to 16 days. It is also a global model, meaning it is used by meteorologists to forecast weather globally. It is quite accurate to 3-4 days, less accurate to 5-6 days, and useful to 8-10 days. At times the GFS model may not perform as well as other models (such as the ECMWF, NAM, or NGM), in predicting tropical storm tracks, convection based activity, frontal development or near coastal weather. offshore weather
If you would like additional information on the computer models we at Ocean-Pro Weather use, here are two helpful links. The first is the UCAR / NCEP NWP weather models info page. The second is the NHC's TPC (Tropical Prediction Center), NWP Tropical storm models info page.
With our excellent weather forecasting and route planning tools. We at Ocean-Pro Weather can help rally and race organizers, skippers or navigators with weather globally. We can provide transAtlantic and transPacific passage planning, weather window advice, optimal routing, daily communications, daily position logging and daily weather updates. Any vessel equipped with an HF SSB and or sat-phone (voice or email), can stay in daily communication and immediate the best weather data than is provided by the traditional means, offshore and high seas forecasts, weatherfaxes, etc. With good forecasting vessels at sea can make early and slight course corrections to assure that the safest, fastest and most comfortable route is taken. The communications schedule between the vessel and weather router can be daily or more or less frequently, as necessary. Obviously more frequent communications and updating enables the skipper to have advance notice of changes weather changes and very best chance of adjust his course or trip plan early.
Remember that weather features like cold fronts and lows can develop and move rapidly, 10-30 knots is typical. Sailing yachts are generally sailing at 6-10 knots. The speed at which weather systems can move and change can easily outpace the average sailboat by a factor of two or four to one. The weather can usually overtake a sailing yacht at a closing speed of 10-25 knots. 12 or 24 hours notice of a weather change may or may not be enough time to enable the vessel to take advantage of or avoid storm conditions. Without timely, detailed, long range passage weather routing, sufficient to make needed course changes early, the weather will win every time. A skipper using Ocean-Pro Weather Routing with the best weather tools available can put the odds back in the skippers favor.
The importance of reliable, regular, two-way communications:
Having regular communications and timely weather updates is important. It can make the critical difference in speed, comfort and safety of any offshore passage. Our weather is changing constantly and it takes a lot of time to receive and process the appropriate weather images. Weather features can develop or accelerate and move much more quickly than expected. Sometimes, just 12 hours is enough of a window, for a cold front, low or gale to develop into something much more serious than the forecasters predicted. Experienced sailors know that they need to obtain the relevant weather forecasts and imagery and analyze it daily or twice daily. This is usually done once per morning and again come evening. Having timely weather, seas and routing information is especially valuable seasonally, (fall, winter and spring), when there are severe cold fronts and lows rolling off the US East coast, and in summer, when tropical storms or hurricanes can develop, grow in size, and move rapidly. But each \par Weather analysis session takes time and clear dedicated thinking. Sometimes the skipper or crewman responsible for monitoring weather is just too busy, too tired or off watch, and not able to give weather monitoring and analysis the attention it deserves.
Pre-departure weather, passage weather, sea state and routing, plus daily updates in route:
The weather analysis can be studied just once prior to a vessel's departure or it can be studied on a regular, ongoing basis, at sea using long distance satellite or HF communications. With reliable long rang communications you can update your position, status, weather, seas and routing plan in a brief 5-minute conversation every 12 or 24 hours. If you take your vessel and crew safety and comfort, and your route and sailing efficiency seriously, even if you have weather reception capability on board. He can provide a professional second opinion, a back up source of weather, seas and routing or he may even be your only source of weather or Gulf Stream current information. A weather router can relay position reports or brief messages to family members on shore and call ahead to a next port of call to make arrangements for your arrival. In an emergency he can serve as the emergency communications coordinator with the USCG and other international SAR organizations.
Resources for offshore weather, sea state and ocean current imagery:
I access my raw weather data via the internet, often as high resolution, near real-time forecasts, satellite images and forecast weather images. I use a high-speed cable, modem, router and multiple computer network. I like and use the various marine forecasts and marine imagery provided by the various branches of NOAA, (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration). I also like and use US Navy's weather resources assembled by the FNMOC, (Fleet Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Center).
The various country specific weather services have different specializations, strengths and weaknesses. When I am routing vessels across the North Atlantic I may use the well known US NWS weather data or the Canadian Meteorological Office for their Artic weather or iceberg warning data, the Bermuda Weather Service or the UK Met Office for weather in the Eastern North Atlantic, Europe or tyhe Mediterranean. When I am routing vessels in the North or South Pacific I may use data supplied by the NWS's Honolulu weather office, the New Zealand Meteorological Service, the Fiji Met Service or the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
For analyzing ocean currents in the Atlantic and Pacific and especially Gulf Stream current where it starts in Yucatan Channel and Gulf of Mexico, through the Florida Straits and then flows north along the US East coast and eventually northeast and east to the North Atlantic. I use near realtime velocity and SST and SSH satellite altimetry imagery and computer model forecast imagery. I obtain my near realtime imagery from several sources including NOAA, John Hopkins University, Rutgers University and US Naval Oceanographic Office. We can thus obtain extremely high resolution, near real time images of Gulf Stream and it's adjacent eddies and currents. I use specialized software to display, magnify, and grid the high resolution images to define features and setting waypoints. Using high resolution, near realtime images and graphics software I can see and analyse individual current stream elements, (temperature, direction, velocity, size, etc), and am able to recommend routing and waypoints with an accuracy usually to better than 2-3 nautical miles. With Gulf Stream current axis usually running at 4-6 knots and its numerous warm and cold eddies spiraling clockwise and counter-clockwise on both sides of the Gulf Stream current, this level of precision makes a big difference in reduced passage and race finish times. The Gulf Stream weather can be highly unpredictable and subject to winds and instability in the atmosphere over and adjacent to the Gulf Stream.
I have been providing weather routing to yachts globally since 2003. I have excellent communications resources, using voice, email, telephone, cellular, satellite phone, and SSB, (ham or marine). The most frequent vessel communication system now is satellite phone vs HF radio. HF radio has fallen into disfavor. The best communication method is email vs voice. Email has many advantages over voice. Iridium is the most popular satellite service. It is global in coverage, very reliable and not that expensive. If you have HF email capability onboard and use Sailmail or Winlink we can certainly communicate by HF email. My years of passage planning, offshore sailing, routing and weather forecasting resources and experience are available to you. Having a weather router with my combination of offshore sailing, weather, routing, communications and knowledge of the popular world cruising routes and destinations, can make a huge difference in the safety, speed, comfort and efficiency of your passages. I will be happy to talk about your planned passage, weather, routing options and answer any questions you may have.
Sail smart. Sail safe. Sail fast!
Capt Bob (Robert) Cook
Office: 239-775-7435, Cell: 239-877-4094
Fax: (Same as above numbers. Call first)
Mail: 3012 Sandpiper Bay Cr. D-301, Naples, FL 34112