Shore-based volunteer needed

Raising the courtesy flag

The Southbound Evening Net is looking for a volunteer to assemble a nightly weather briefing for the Pacific Coast of Mexico and south.

All it requires is an interest in marine weather…we’ll help you get set up, what you need to do, and connect you with cruisers thru the Southbound Evening Net via email.

Please fill out the contact below for more information!


Fill in the following form to contact the Southbound Evening Net and we will reply to you once we are back in Internet range.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


What’s up for 2016?

NOAA's new westcoast WX zones

NOAA’s new westcoast WX zones

Southbound Evening Net is undergoing a make-over and we’d like to hear from you.

With news from the National Hurricane Center at NOAA that the East Pacific Offshore Forecast (EPOFF) is getting more development effort, it now becomes more a focus for the evening transmission. We’re reading the forecast nightly on 8122 kHz at 0200 UTC and asking cruisers to compare what kind of weather they are experiencing against what the EPOFF forecast predicted.


Southbound Evening Net 2015-2016




Due to popular demand (Robert on SV Harmony and Jaime of SV Tardis) we are going to explore getting SB Net going again.

First, we’ll look for a new time and frequency. Starting on Dec 14, 2015, we’ll be haunting some old nostalgic frequencies to find a nice, new home for the net, starting at 8.122 mHz at OOOO Z (UTC). Depending  where you are in Mexico, this could be either 5pm or 6pm local times.

Try and listen up!

Summer Sessions on the SBNet

At the nav station

At the nav station

After an exhaustive consultation process, we’ve finally come to a collaborative decision. SBNet will be going to Summer Hours starting sometime between June 1 and July 15, exact date tba.

The frequency will change to 4149 kHz and the time will be directly after Jake on SV Jake will finish his evening Chubasco report.

When Jake is finished with the WX briefing, he will ask if anyone would like to take check-ins for the Southbound Evening Net. If you are aboard when he makes the call, please consider helping out!

First Aid for your First Aid Kit

Roy and Marlene Verdery in Cartagena

Puerto Escondido May 2, 2014
– It was one of the most interesting seminars at this year’s Loreto Fest, and a large crowd of cruisers strained to hear Dr. Roy Verdery’s talk.

Dr. Verdery, an internist and  hospitalist, is the author or co-author of dozens of  scientific articles as well as being an avid sailor.

His Loreto Fest talk was entitled  Medicine for Cruisers but what he actually delivered might have been more accurately entitled:  First Aid for Your First Aid Kit.

For just one example of his extraordinary suggestions:  do you have your home physician’s email address? did you get her permission to be able to email her when you have a serious problem?

Or this:  do you have four very specific antibiotics and know precisely which one is to be used for which infections?  Should you urinate on a sting ray wound or use hot water?

In fact, every onboard first aid kit should include a copy of  the notes Dr. Verdery used for his Loreto Fest talk.  But how to get a copy – that’s the question!


Revised Zones for new East Pacific Forecast

EPAC zones

Click for full size map

They Listened…

It’s very interesting the way NOAA is approaching the launch of its new East Pacific forecast service.  And the map at the left proves it.

The revised map shows three zones for the Sea of Cortez – a result I believe of feedback from cruisers to the original proposed zones which had the Sea broken into two zones.

As one cruiser put it (and I am paraphrasing), “The flaw in existing forecasts which have a “Northern Sea” above 27 degrees North latitude and another “Southern Sea” below 27 is that cruisers experience a very different reality,” he said.

Many cruisers suggested that three zones would be more useful and NOAA responded.

Now the Sea is divided into three sections – the Northern Gulf of California, Central, and Southern. As well, all the zones have had a “WFO” identifier associated with each zone which will make it easier for Saildocs to begin to distribute the forecasts.


Have a look at the zones and let me know what you think.

Also fyi –  here is what the zones look like on the  Atlantic coast in tropical waters. You’ll appreciate how extensive they are.

Atlantic tropical zones

Click to enlarge

West coast cruising life: a briefing for NOAA

Note:  Below is a briefing note I prepared for Jeffrey Lewitsky at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL. We’ve sent emails back and forth about the preparation of the EPAC coastal forecast from San Diego to Ecuador. One thing that was missing in my conversations with him was a sense of what keeps cruisers moving about on the Pacific coast of Mexico and south.  NOAA has been producing a similar product for East Coast pleasure craft for years, and given Jeffrey’s base there, I wanted to make sure he and his team had a sense of the “particularities” of life aboard over here, in the most general way.  If you have any comments to add, or stuff you think is just wrong, please let me know by filling out the comment box below!


April 1 distribution of new NOAA forecast by Saildocs

Is this the official SailMail logo?

Looks like Saildocs (a service of SailMail Association) will be able to distribute the new forecasts by April 1, 2014. Jim Corenman and his team have been in contact with NOAA and hopefully all will be ready by April 1, 2014.

The experimental bulletins will be automatically pushed out every 6 hours (230am PDT, 830am PDT, 230pm PDT, and 830pm PDT) just as soon as all the technical elements are in place, Southbound Evening Net has been informed. What this means for the SBEN is that volunteer net controllers will have very fresh WX information to relay every evening, and all other nets will also benefit.


Technical Discussion of NOAA process

For those of you who are technically-minded, here is an overview of the NOAA process (by Jeffrey), between the experimental phase, and formal adoption as an official NOAA product:

“During the period from May 1 to Dec 1 we will be working to adjust our
workflow and deadlines for current products for the forecasters that would
be issuing the Pacific Offshore Waters Forecasts once they would become
official Dec 1. Until that point, the text output will be generated
automatically on the crons that I mentioned and they will not be QC’d on a
routine basis until Dec 1, at which point they will ALWAYS be QC’d prior to
transmission. That being said, please keep in mind that these text
forecasts are being generated off our 10km by 10km gridded database and the
forecasters ARE QC’ing and updating that underlying database every 6
hours.  As part of that process, the forecasters constantly examine current
observations, satellite, radar, and evaluate the latest global model runs
(GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, NAM, etc.) to construct and update the gridded
database.  We are even in the process of taking those forecaster
value-added winds to run our own local wave model so that the 2 parameters
(winds and waves) are completely coordinated.  Partitioned wave data will
fall out of that local wave model giving us a better picture of all wave
groups (wave height, direction and period per wave group) which will one
day soon also be included in the text forecasts. The text formatters
(software) that we use to then generate the text products which you would
receive during the trial period are not 100% perfect.  Thus the caveat that
the output will not be always QC’d should be applied until Dec 1.”