About two months ago I was trying to get ready for the 2010 Singlehanded Transpac. A big important part of that was to do a 400 nautical miles solo and get, at least, 100nm offshore. If you happen to live in San Diego, though, the 100 miles offshore mark will get you just outside of the Southern California Bight… and into a totally different set of winds.
I spent lots of time trying to figure out the wind ‘out there’ using public sources but I didn’t manage to find anything. Really. May be I wasn’t being lucky, but all the sailing sites that provide forecasts seem to have a ‘Southern California’ wind map (with the west-end around San Clemente Island) and a ‘all the way to Hawaii’ map (covering most of the eastern north-Pacific), but nothing in between. It became very frustrating to try to figure out if I’d have 30 knot winds or just plain calm. And in one of my trips I headed out expecting 35 knots and big waves… and spent a long time adrift with zero-calm wind.
And that was the origin of Koh Samia’s weather map.
A web page where I can go and check the wind predictions west of San Clemente Island. In fact, thanks to NOAA‘s forecasts (our tax money at work!) I can have access to the wind predictions everywhere in the globe! And all this while using a XXI’s century interface (based on Google Maps) that allows me to zoom in, zoom out and move around anywhere in the world. Cool, eh?
And even more! I usually like to go back in time to see what happened and try to figure out what will happen in the future… so I will keep all the data all the way back to June 19Th 2010 (2010 SHTP start day).
And, as the data I’m using is freely available from NOAA and the mapping interface is freely available from Google, I’ve decided it to keep it open and keep it free (as in beer). You’re totally welcome to use it as much as you need to.
Hope you like it. Now it’s time for me to fix my boat and go sailing again. 2012 is not that far away…