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What’s happened to WindDan

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An opportunity for someone to contribute positively towards stuff that would benefit a lot of us yachties.

 

I emailed CoastGuard to point out that Winddan was really useful to the yachting community.  I've had a response from them to ask if I'd like to contribute to a focus group in February.  I'm planning to be in the South Island but offered to see if I could find a replacement.

 

I would stress that the person involved needs to approach this with a constructive, open-minded and positive attitude, otherwise nothing will happen.  I would suggest we could discuss suggestions on-line before the focus group, with the aim of taking some useful suggestions along.

 

I think this point needs to be stressed as there can be, sometimes, just a little, tiny wee bit of negativity and whinging about things.  I'm sure that mostly this is as a result of the difficulty in creating the "tone" in writing, but it could be that some of us are just crusty old grumps.

 

Would anyone like to put their hand up?

 

Follows is my email to CG:

 

"Hi,

 

I just thought I would give you some input into the way Coastguard is using Nowcasting.  I am a sailor and have always found Nowcasting extremely valuable when doing long passages.  You are (were) able to compare the weather forecast with actual conditions and accurately monitor a predicted weather change in real time.  This contributed greatly to safety and enjoyment.

 

The example I would use is sailing from Napier to Auckland.  East Cape is a nasty little place to round and with Nowcasting you could sit in Napier and watch the predicted weather as it went through, timing your trip up from Napier to ensure that you reached East Cape at the appropriate time.

 

I would use a website called Winddan, which showed the information in an easily accessible format on my laptop (not really a smartphone guy).  You could watch the entire picture as the weather pattern moved through, scrolling around the different Nowcasting stations as required.  This was a huge boon to safety and enjoyment.

 

Winddan is no longer operating and there seems to be no web-based access to any Nowcasting information, that I can find anyway.  I can listen to VHF and get local conditions, which is helpful in some situations, but I can’t access remote weather.  This takes us back in time when actual weather conditions were unknown.

 

I appreciate there is an App that I guess is a money making thing for CG.  However the thrust of this app, from what I have seen advertised, seems to be to fishos in tinnies going out for a day.  We live on board and are moving around regularly and the fishing-related stuff is not particularly relatable. 

 

What I would hope for from CG is a more sailing friendly method of sharing the weather info that you have.  If there was an app that related to what I need, I would probably even buy a phone.  I’m not going to pretend I speak for other yachties, hopefully you find this email useful.

 

And – thank you for being there!"

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