Group: Forum Members
Ginger reminds me that you were helpful at suggesting compression ideas, so the previous offer is probably not necessary. Let me know.
Ginger and I have always done our passages alone and prefer it that way. Our Atlantic crossing through the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and into Canada felt like it had elements that warranted having a third person on board. Ginger and I have come to terms with the idea that something bad might happen, so we just do not think about it a great deal.
So, I was quite surprised about the level of added anxiety that accumulated in me with the responsibility of having a crew on board. One way of dealing with this was to hire back-up for my weather forecasting/routing. I used Commander’s Weather who I knew to be experienced in these high latitude areas.
Passage making in North Atlantic waters, especially northern NA waters, I always feel that there is a target on my back. CW provided the feeling that someone had my back. Their suggestions were always in line with what I had previously worked out, but they added details and options which may not have come to mind otherwise. And it was good to have someone confirming that they saw no potential for a weather surprise in the making.
All in all, they brought down the anxiety level. They were quite responsive to give and take questions and provided reports when requested. Even between the occasional reports (where I generated a fee) they would send occasional heads up (a low is actually tracking farther south than previously forecast so winds for our trip are likely better for sailing, for ex.). Our passages proved, in the end, to be really quite wonderful weather and winds with no surprises, but CW were a very nice back-up for a trip that was very new and anxious for us.
BTW, I have used SSB (Winlink) for all wx and comm for decades of cruising. In these higher lats where the sun sets late and rises early, I could, with effort, get gribs, wx & email underway, but found it far more difficult, often impossible, when at anchor. We were very glad to have installed a sat-phone, although there is a learning curve for its use which should be anticipated.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy