Free weather service for yachts transiting the Red Sea

Published 20 years ago, updated 4 years ago

A transit of the Red Sea has previously had to be made without access to accurate weather information, making the passage for the last 600 miles north to Suez hard work against the predominate 20 to 25-knot northerlies. However there are lulls and southerlies, but predicting these locally has been very hit and miss; you leave when the weather looks OK, and hope for the best.

However, this has now changed. Dan Martin, the man behind Buoyweather, has kindly offered to provide a free weather service for yachts transiting the Red Sea.

The service works through the SSB net (8173 at 0500UTC), which this year was run in a very professional fashion by Ian Pepe on Skive. Skive has recently passed through Suez and the net is now being run by Michael Briant on Bambola.

The weather information is e-mailed automatically to a nominated yacht from Buoyweather each day for rebroadcast over the SSB net.

Buoyweather itself works by downloading the NOAA weather files, updated twice a day, into its database and making them available via automated e-mail requests to users who have signed up on the website 7-day forecasts are available for individual Lat and Long positions as well as 5-day passage forecasts.

We used the data to great effect, spending time in beautiful Marsa and reef anchorages when the weather was unfavourable and making north whenever the wind was favourable. Consequently, we didn’t experience any beating to windward at all.

The free Buoyweather service makes accurate weather data available to all yachts transiting the Red Sea, even though they do not have e-mail. Next season, yachts should contact Buoyweather to make use of the service again.

Brian Savage, Theta Volantis

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