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The following courtesy of: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/20/two-britons-missing-yacht-mexican-hurricane

Two Britons are missing after hurricane Odile swept through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula last Sunday.

The BBC reported the couple were Paul Whitehouse, from Wolverhampton, and Simone Wood, from London, both in their 40s.

The two were reported missing aboard a yacht in the Sea of Cortez on Friday, and Mexican marines and sailors were taking part in a search operation.

Their yacht was one of 25 that capsized in the hurricane, the BBC said. It is thought Whitehouse worked as a scuba instructor in the city of La Paz.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We are in touch with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the families at this difficult time.”

The British embassy in Mexico has advised British nationals in those areas of Baja California and Baja California Sur affected by the hurricane to leave through Los Cabos international airport.

A spokesman for the embassy told the BBC: “We are urgently working with authorities on the ground in Mexico to ensure the safety of British nationals following hurricane Odile, and have sent staff from our embassy to assist in this.”

The hurricane affected power and water supplies, as well as phone services, triggering widespread looting. Three other people, a German and two South Koreans, are known to have died.

Power has been restored to about one-fifth of customers in the resort cities of Los Cabos, with 200 electricity workers dispatched to the area.


Posted on the Cruisers Network Online – Yahoo Group

Unfortunately, Simone was found dead in the mangroves yesterday. The most complete information I’ve found is collected on the Charlie’s Charts Facebook page from a variety of sources, including the radio nets.
http://www.facebook.com/CharliesCharts.

For anyone who wishes to donate, Club Cruceros de La Paz has set up a donation site: http://www.gofundme.com/en7dtw.  I was a member  of Club Cruceros when we were in that area and saw the work they  do to coordinate the work during disasters. I trust them to do
well with the money collected, both for those who lost boats and the volunteers who are actually doing the work (there’s no such thing as SeaTow, it’s all volunteers to get the boats off the beaches/rocks/mangroves and remove the navigation hazards).

Carolyn Shearlock
TheBoatGalley.com <http://theboatgalley.com/>  &  The Boat Galley Cookbook

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Here’s the latest courtesy of ‘Lectronic Latitude (Latitude 38):

Hurricane Odile Damage Updates

September 17, 2014 – Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Escondido & San Carlos

sancarlos-boat-aground-jim-cochran

This boat was one of several boats that were beached in San Carlos by Odile. Nearly two dozen boats sank or went ashore at La Paz. © 2014 Jim Cochran

The biggest — and worst — news is that there apparently is no new info on the status of three sailors that are reportedly missing from boats in the La Paz anchorage: The young Mexican man named Gabriel on a steel boat is reported fine. But Holly Scott of Charlie’s Charts reports that the Mexican Navy dove on the sailboat Princess, owned by a man named Gunther, and didn’t find any sign of him or his dog. Paul and Simone of Tabasco II have not been found either.

The following is a collection of information we’ve come across about the hurricane damage in the last two days, including the first reports of damage to boats on the mainland side. It’s more jumbled than we’d like, but it’s the best we can do given the circumstances. We try to give credit in all cases, but sometimes info has been forwarded multiple times without the original source of the info being included. Yesterday we omitted giving Holly Scott credit for a chunk of our report. Our sincere apologies. Holly is a longtime good friend of Latitude and has been doing a great job of getting information out of Baja.

Cabo San Lucas — It’s our understanding that the Cabo Marina infrastructure and boats within it generally did better than the rest of the city, which suffered tremendous damage. Getting the airport back in full operation is going to be critical for two reasons: 1) getting critical supplies to the resident population, and 2) getting trapped tourists back home. That said, several news agencies reported this morning that military transports are currently flying hundreds of tourists out to gateways on the mainland. As expected, roads in Southern Baja, have been badly damaged and fuel is in very short supply. There has been looting at Costco and other stores, but these people are cut off from the world and are in desperate need of water and food. Particularly water, as it’s hot and dry in Cabo.


Most of Cabo is in very rough shape. But despite the small boat damage seen here, reports are that no yachts in the marina suffered significant damage. © 2014 The Vette Barn

 

The following are some details from Mark Drewelow of YachtAid Global, which arranges for megayachts to provide humanitarian aid for coastal communities around the world:

“At 1730 today (Monday) Cabo time I spoke with local Superyacht Agent Victor Barreda. He weathered Odile at home, and he and his wife and kids are okay. He says the  town has no electricity and it looks like every building has been damaged. If electricity doesn’t come back on, fresh water becomes a major issue quickly. Yacht Aid Global has one 75-meter superyacht that will be deeply involved in an immediate relief effort, focusing on producing 4,000 gallons a day of fresh water for locals.”

Drewelow spoke with the marina managers at Cabo and they reported that the boats in the marina and the marina itself came out “unscathed.” Mike at Driscoll Boat Yard spoke with the owner of a large motor yacht. He said there was some very minor damage to his boat, but all in all, the boats in the main part of the marina did remarkably well. Photos show that the small boats on the port side entering the harbor took a beating.

“Every yacht big or small that intends to head south to Cabo needs to bring aid,” Drewelow said. “Recovery will take months. YachtAid Global is coordinating some efforts with Marine Group Boat Works, which also has a facility in Cabo San Lucas. The Marine Group Boat Works yard in Chula Vista is collecting items that are of critical immediate need: drinking water, basic first-aid stuff, food with a long shelf life, temporary shelters, small line. If you want to help, contact Leah Yam, Cabo Relief, at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista at (619) 427-6767. You can also donate funds via YachtAid Global’s donation page.”

La Paz — Again, the most urgent matter in La Paz, homeport for hundreds of cruisers, is that the three cruisers named above are still missing. Beyond that, boats in the various marinas apparently suffered very little if any damage, while some boats on stands at Atalanta Dry Storage, adjacent to Marina Palmira, suffered damage. Bob Davis of the Shell Beach-based Irwin 44 Nirvana called the Latitude offices this morning by satphone and reported that 22-25 boats had broken free in the cruiser anchorage in front of town. Five sank and the others were washed ashore on the Mogote peninsula or into the mangroves. We hope to have a complete list in our next posting. Davis reports that there was no real damage to boats in either of the La Paz boatyards. He says also that the Mexican navy has been conducting ongoing search and rescue (SAR) operations since shortly after the storm, and that the cruising community has pulled together in an impressive effort, in some cases refloating beached boats.

It’s been widely reported that Internet and phone service are still out in La Paz, so lots of family and friends back home are desperate for word that loved ones are fine. Authorities stated that electricity is available in only 17% of the city, but they are hopeful that it will be completely restored by next week. Davis was told that the fiber-optic cable that runs from Cabo all the way up the Baja Peninsula had been severed, leading to grim projections on the timetable for re-establishing phone and Internet service. But before our satphone conversation ended, his wife Sherry suddenly got a TelCel connection on her cell. We are now told that telephone and Internet connections seem to be working well including major land line connections. Davis witnessed “an armada” of electrical service trucks arriving recently from the mainland by ferry to address electrical issues in Cabo and La Paz.


Looking northwest from just outside the entrance to Cabo’s yacht harbor damage is strewn all along the shore. But being constructed with steel-reinforced concrete, we imagine that most structures are still standing, although damaged. The building in the far right of this image was under construction. © 2014 Whitney Roe

 

The La Paz Airport isn’t yet functional, and the TransPeninsula Highway may be destroyed in several areas. However, Davis has been able to confirm that the highway is fully functional from Puerto Escondido to Mulege. Vessels have been arriving from the mainland with aid for Southern Baja, and President Pena-Nieto is said to have toured the area by helicopter.

According to Bob Davis, consensus among La Paz cruisers is that Cabo is in much worse shape than La Paz, where some stores — including Walmart — are open, although all banks are closed. He has not seen any TV coverage, but the word-of-mouth info he has gathered about desperate people looting stores in Cabo for food and water is in sync with various network TV broadcasts.

In an earlier message relayed by Holly Scott, Davis wrote: “Susan Ross of the Portland-based Endeavor 43 Two Can Play suggested that the Baja Ha-Ha fleet could potentially provide an essential service by transporting ‘stuff’ [supplies, medicines, etc.] down to Southern Baja when the fleet comes south, and to the Turtle Bay and Mag Bay regions. Granted, early November is a ways off, but based on what I am hearing regarding Cabo, it may still be in ragged shape at that time.”

We’re certain that members of the Ha-Ha fleet would be happy to do all that they can. However, with the fleet’s arrival being almost two months away, we’ll have to see how things play out. People have to also remember that even one small ship could carry far more than the entire Ha-Ha fleet, but we’ll stand ready to help.

From Lewis Stewart Keizer: “The dry storage boat yard adjacent to Marina Palmira has a number of toppled, damaged, crushed or dismasted boats. All the other marinas had spotty but manageable damage (cleats ripped off docks, etc.) I know of no boats in marinas that sustained any appreciable damage, short of one boat in Marina de La Paz with a wooden mast that broke during the storm.

“Two Baja ferries unloaded a massive number of military and mostly CFE — the equivalent of PG&E — trucks, all of which is it rumored are headed to Cabo. Cabo is in really bad shape. The word down here is that Cabo airport will not reopen until the 21st. La Paz airport won’t reopen for a few days, but info is non-specific.

“Several of the 20 or so beached boats have been refloated this afternoon. A number of others are scattered hither and yon, and will be refloated as manpower, tow power and tides permit. A military flight is airlifting a number of stranded civilians out of La Paz to Mexico City today. Don’t know who they are.”

In a Tuesday-afternoon update from Nirvana via Holly Scott, Bob and Sherry made this offer: “Bercovich boatyard and boats on the hard had NO damage. I walked through there this morning and everything is intact. . . If anyone wants me to go down there and look at a specific boat, let me know and I will. Abaroa boatyard had some damage but again, I’ve not heard of any specific vessel damage in the yard. Same story, give me a vessel name and I’ll get the specifics. Atlantic boatyard nearby Marina Palmira took a real hit: a number of boats toppled over, some stacked on others, some crushed.”

Puerto Escondido — From Jake Howard aboard the Hunter 45 Jake in Puerto Escondido on Wednesday morning: “Here is the best list I can put together at this time. Firefly is here. They were right behind us in the storm and they are OK.

BOATS BEACHED IN THE MAIN ANCHORAGE:

  • Manta – Terry and Dawn onboard OK – We will try to refloat today.  Damage to port side ama, but should be OK.
  • Cloud 9 – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – Possibly salvageable
  • Libertad – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Rapscallion — Unoccupied – light to moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • BOATS ON THE BREAKWATER/SEAWALL ON FONATUR SIDE OF THE ELLIPSE:
  • Merilon – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – may be salvageable
  • Yankee Dreamer – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Elusive – Bill on board and okay – sery serious damage – probably a loss
  • Cloud Nine – Bill on board and okay – sunk – probably a loss
  • Sea Toy – Unoccupied – sunk – probably a loss
  • Luna Sea II – Unoccupied – dismasted and moderate damage – probably salvageable
  • Small 27-ft sailboat underneath Luna Sea II – Sunk – probably a loss

BOATS IN THE WAITING ROOM OR API AREA:

  • Angel – Unoccupied – High and dry on beach – moderate damage?? – may be salvageable
  • 27-ft trimaran – (Don’t know name) – In mangroves – minor damage – should be salvageable
  • Red Something (not sure on second word in name)- Unoccupied – on the rocks at API – moderate to serious damage? – may be salvageable?
  • Estancia – Unoccupied – dismasted and sunk at big API pier – definitely a loss
  • Nikka – Unoccupied – dismasted but still floating – moderate damage but should be salvageable.

One other boat was dismasted but don’t know name.  Unoccupied. Should be Salvageable.

That’s it, I think.  FYI – Heard on Amigo Net this morning that Pantera and Bob are OK in Santa Rosalia. Lot of damage there. Old marina destroyed. All but one boat on that dock beached or sunk.  Town is awash in mud.”

San Carlos / Guaymas — John Skoriak reports: “As more photos are posted on San Carlos message boards, the damage from Odile becomes evident. It seems that three large sailboats — one trimaran and two monohulls — broke loose from their moorings. Apparently all the boats at the two marinas are fine, and the same is true at the Marina Seca Dry Storage area where I have a Catalina 36.


Now reduced to a pile of rubble on the San Carlos shore, this was once a large trimaran. © 2014 Vince Radish / Viva San Carlos Message Board

 

The boat in the first photo in today’s report, apparently taken by Jim Cochran of the San Carlos-based Bliss, broke free from her mooring and grounded on the beach at the end of the San Carlos Bahia anchorage, “which is actually one of the best and most protected natural deepwater anchorages in Mexico,” says Skoriak, “except, of course, in a hurricane from south.”

The following is the firsthand report, from Monday, by Jeff Hartjoy of the Baba 30 Sailors’ Run in the northern Sea of Cortez, who is preparing for a nonstop sail around the world via the Southern Ocean:

“I figured out where the hurricane was when the eye passed over at 1:30 p.m. It was calm windwise for 30 minutes, although I had 10-foot waves, and had to sit in the trough and roll like a baby in a box car. My ice-maker flipped upside down and the cushions were all falling all over the place, but I was happy as the wind had quieted. After 30 minutes, the wind came back with a vengeance and blew like stink. The good thing was it had shifted 90 degrees, putting me once again in the protection of the land. The wind was also beating the 10-foot waves down to where they were about four feet. If my anchors let go, it looked like I could escape. Previously, I would have had to dive over the side before the boat crashed ashore and swim for my life.

“The worst part of the first half was I was having gusts to 85 knots. They would last about 15 seconds, and heel the boat so far that the rail was in the water. A couple of times I was tending to things on deck, and the rain was like buckshot. It stung! I couldn’t see anything, as the wind was like smoke on green water. So far, the only thing that is damaged is the bimini, as the zipper started blowing apart. So I rolled it up. One of the solar panels was trying to blow off the boat, and I had to tie it down with a rope and black tape. I think this thing will be gone by 7:30 p.m. tonight, and the back half of a hurricane is usually lighter than the front half’.”

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Here’s my latest Tech Review in Yachting Times Magazine – America’s Bilingual Boating Magazine – Always available online!

ytm-cvr-sum-2014YTM-Summer-2014-tech

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Watch this incredible video of a racing yacht pitch-poling in heavy weather

A Figaro boat pitchpoled while sailing under spinnaker.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident. Xavier Macaire was the skipper of the boat and Yves Le Blevec was a guest onboard. Both of them are well-known skippers. The boat nosedived in less than two seconds after hitting a wave in heavy weather and seas.

 

Courtesy of TheSailingNewsTV

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12 Apps – On 12:12:12 – to Make Your Time on the Water Great! 

(Just updated!)

By Nancy Birnbaum

best of apps-screen

It seems like there are five times as many apps for boating enthusiasts than there were when I wrote my first annual “Best Boating Apps” review, back in 2009.

Boaters are catching the wave and diving into the App Store for everything from navigation & charting to basic communications apps for their iPads, and Apple says that they’ve sold over 100 million of them since they first hit the market. With over 12,175,900 registered vessels in the U.S. alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a few million boaters now use a mobile device of some kind. Fortunately for those who have climbed onboard the mobile tech boat, there are some terrific new apps ready to make boating even more fun and safe.

The biggest change over the past year for handheld devices is the number of apps now available that connect to NMEA data via WiFi and TCIP.  Which reminds me of the top question readers ask me, “How can I interface my boats’ systems to my iPad?” Some great news for the techie-types who want to virtually “run” their boat from the palm of their hand.

Many developers like Digital Yachts, Zapf, Ocean Equipment and ShipModul, have brought this capability to the world of iOS, thereby allowing data from instruments like wind and speed, as well as AIS and radar to be streamed to a laptop over WLAN or over WiFi to an iOS device. Note: You must have a device (such as Digital Yacht’s iAIS or SeaMate1A) that will get your NMEA data from your boat’s network to your various i-devices. But the good news is that it’s getting easier to integrate and the new apps are really well designed.

Here are a few for your consideration:

NAVIGATION

Garmin BlueChart Mobilegarmin-icon
Garmin International
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase and range from $29.99 -$69.99)

Just released in November 2012, BlueChart Mobile is the next level of Charting for boaters with iPads. It does what most of the top Nav apps do, like use the same BlueChart data available for Garmin chartplotters right on your iPad, but that’s where the similarities end and the amazing design takes you on a whole new voyage to charting heaven. The first big new element is the download interface. With BlueChart Mobile, once you’ve got your chart (via the easy in-app purchase), you’re offered a large-scale view of the area (say North America), with a simple grid overlay. By clicking on a specific box you can choose which areas to download—a great space-saver for your device. Zoom into to see chart features and overlays for weather conditions, (temps, wind direction/speed) grib info and ActiveCaptain content overlaid on the chart data.

One drawback: The new Garmin app does not support NMEA or AIS or any of the WiFi units mentioned here. Plus, you’ll have to buy iPad charts even though you may already have charts for your Garmin chart plotter.

BlueChart Mobile has ActiveCaptain inside! For those of you not already using it, ActiveCaptain is a web community that provides real-time content generated by mariners, for mariners. It’s a virtual cruising guide that never goes out of date. Read and write reviews about marinas, local boating knowledge, anchorages and hazards. More than 100,000 boaters write reviews and update the information on ActiveCaptain—with more users joining all the time. Best Feature: It’s seriously difficult to pick just one favorite feature on this terrific app, but it may just be the cool info wheels that pop-up when you click on any icon from the ActiveCaptain overlay or hazard. It’s just a really fun interface!

garmin-screenshots

RayControlraycontrol-icon
Raymarine UK
Free

If you’re lucky enough to have Raymarine electronics onboard you’ll want to have this handy app on your iPad that lets you display everything from you e-Series or c-Series Multi-function Display (v 315 or later).

Even better than RayView, RayControl puts your iPad in the driver’s seat. Use it just as you would your Multi-function Display, with touch screen interaction and a virtual slide-out MFD keypad. Chart plotting, depth/Fishfinder, engine systems, radar, even view video from any installed cameras. Uses onboard WiFi network.

raycontrol-screenshots

SEAiq Open/ SEAiq USASeaiqUSA-icon
Sakhalin, LLC
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase). The USA version is $9.99 with free charts from NOAA

What makes one Nav app stand apart from all the others? In the case of the new SEAiq, it’s the ability to view always up-to-date vector charts of the USA; however the free versions do limit you to only displaying charts of scales greater than 1:50,000 until you purchase the upgrade.  Vector charts offer more detail and faster scrolling than Raster.  SEAiq Open is unique for allowing users to install their own charts, including S-57, S-63, and CM93 charts, which means that you don’t have to purchase the same charts you’ve already bought a few times over. Though the interface is less than ideal (transfer chart files via iTunes), it is another great benefit not found in other nav apps.

You’ll need a fast connection to set it up the first time. SEAiq Free and SEAiq Open are among the few navigation apps with a useful free version. All the versions offer some good bells & whistles including ActiveCaptain, WiFi NMEA, AIS, and night color modes. You’ll need a fast connection for the set up. I found it took quite some time to download charts or transfer ActiveCaptain data and wished that it could have done it in the background while I went on with other things.  Best Feature: ActiveCaptain interface and support of external NMEA/AIS over WiFi. In fact, according to the creator of SEAiq Mark Hayden (a sailor and delivery captain), it is the ONLY charting app of those reviewed here that supports NMEA and AIS over WiFi and TCP. “The SEAiq AIS is good enough that professional pilots that board 1000ft freighters use it,” says Mark.

seaiq-screenshots 

SHIP’S SYSTEM INTEGRATION

On-BoardOnBoard Icon
ONboard Solutions
Free

It used to be that your ship’s library held all your various manuals, cruising guides and any “fun” reading took up whatever space remained. Thank goodness that ONboard came to the rescue with a great app that organizes all your boating-related reading into one really small digital space. On-Board gives you the ability to integrate and display your boat’s documents, photos, videos- both personal and from your yacht’s manufacturer, dealer or mechanic.

Get real time info from your boat’s manufacturer. Need to search for how to prime your fuel system? You can search your manuals and find it fast. Manage all your important records like maintenance, registration, insurance, financing, warranties and claims. Plus you can even manage your online subscriptions to your favorite boating pub right from the app. Best Feature: Getting your own unique email address at yourname@yacht.com!

 on-board_screenshots

SAFETY

iAISiAIS-icon
Digital Yacht
Free

This is the newest AIS plotter in the App Store and it’s by a UK company that seems to be putting out some pretty good onboard interface apps. AIS is great for anyone boating in crowded areas or for those curious about who’s out there. Any vessel that has a registered AIS device will show up with their name, vessel details, course, speed and direction which can be helpful when you’re in high-traffic anchorages or bays. Best Feature: iAIS also can be used as an overlay with iNavX. Now that’s handy!

 iAIS-screenshots

 

Float Planfloatplan-icon
Big Tuna Apps
$0.99

Everyone responsible boater knows that it’s always prudent to file a Float Plan before you depart on your trip no matter how long you expect to be out. This new app, which runs on most Apple & Android devices, will save you time due to the easy interface and ability to email a pre-filled plan to anyone you choose. Though, I found it a little clumsy in my test of the app, specifically when trying to check off selections in lists like Safety gear. One improvement would be to have a default save New Trip, so you don’t have to check that (something I didn’t see until it was too late!).

floatplan-sample

A sample floatplan that can be sent via email to your list.

 

WEATHER 

PocketGribPocketGribButtonIcon
Nicko Brennan
$5.99

It’s one thing to be able to get good weather info while you’re out there on your boat, but knowing how to interpret that info is an entirely different thing. With PocketGrib you can access, view and analyze global weather data (with a connection of course) and then display that info even when you’re offline.

See wind speed, direction, precip, air temp, waves, current, and forecasts. Grib data is supplied by NOAA’s GFS model and is updated 4 times per day or every 6 hours. Best feature: GRIB files can be downloaded to your PC via iTunes, which means that if you’re cruising with a personal forecaster service, you can view your Gribs using PocketGrib! Best Feature: This app is very well designed, easy to use and super fast.

pocketgrib-screenshots 

 

 

Intellicast Boating for iPadintellicast-icon
WSI Corporation
$4.99

It now easy to get the best weather info right on your chart with Intellicasts’ Boating for iPhone/iPad. Integrates NOAA nav charts with advanced meteorological data just like their website offers. Lots of overlay options from Radar to Satellite, Wind Speed to Temps, and NWS Marine Forecasts (Offshore) and Tides. Even track Hurricanes. Best Feature: Very handy and easy to see on the iPad’s retina display. Note: a cellular or WiFi connection is needed.

 IntellicastBoating-screenshot

COOL TOOLS & FUN, USEFUL APPS

Dropboxdropbox-icon
Dropbox, Inc.
Free

Not too many years ago, you either had to take your laptop with you ashore to send or receive email or better yet, take a tiny thumb drive, like we did in remote ports in Baja. Now there’s Dropbox. This handy app runs on any device and allows you to keep files of any kind in the “cloud.” That way you can access them from anywhere, either via the app or via your account on their website. The free account comes with 2GB of storage which you can add to by inviting others to join by sharing your files with them. The more you share, the more free space they give you. Or you can get a Pro plan starting at $9.99 for 100MB. Once you download those files, your space is freed up for more!

 

America’s Cup/America’s Cup HD (for iPad)AC-icon
America’s Cup Event Authority, LLC
Free

Just in time for the 2013 finals! The app gives you the latest news, event schedules and great videos. Enjoy the races anytime using the Virtual Eye 3D viewer including historical races. Listen to live commentary and onboard audio feeds streamed directly from the racing yachts when the finals start up in August/September. In the meantime, you can follow along as the teams wreck (er, I mean – race!) their yachts in practice events.

AC-screenshots

EasyMeasureeasymeasure-icon
Caramba Apps
Free

Easily measure the distance from your stern to that yacht that anchored right on top of you! Uses your iPhone’s camera to measure with a great 3D grid overlay. Just set up once (an easy task) and measure away! (Also a great golf aid).

easymeasure-screen 

Whale Alert – Ship Strike Reduction for Right Whaleswhalealert-icon
EarthNC
Free

You may have noticed more news about whales trying to jump on boats or boats running into whales. As more of us venture out into their world, chances of running into them increase. Now there’s even an app for avoiding whales by the good folks at EarthNC (makers of Marine Charts with ActiveCaptain!).

Whale Alert was designed to assist in the management of right whale conservation areas and to help reporting in shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Whale Alert can help reduce the likelihood of ships colliding with these endangered whales, which can injure or kill them. It is not meant to be used alone but to compliment existing protective measures. Whale Alert is the first mobile application to take advantage of the transmission of environmental data over the AIS protocol. The system takes DMA and real-time right whale observations and displays that data graphically, directly within the app.

whalealert-screenshots

Happy Holidays!

Tell us your favorite Boating App! Like us on Twitter.

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Easy-to-use & Affordable Navigation for America’s Boaters

simplecharts-icon

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 27, 2012Derek Trauger & Associates, LLC (DTA), announced the release of their updated boating app – Simple Charts, now the easiest marine navigation app available to the nation’s more than 12.5 million registered boaters.

First released in August of 2011, Simple Charts provides seamless high resolution marine charting on either the iPhone or iPad without advertisements. The new version includes popular user-requested upgrades such as access to current NOAA Weather data; Aids to Navigation including obstructions based on both NOAA and USCG data; Current track export to Google Earth and Google Maps; plus additional charts for Mexico (Sea of Cortez) provided by Blue Latitude Press) and Social Media Integration.

Simple Charts combines an always-available mobile chart plotting solution, regardless of whether you have an Internet connection (charts must first be pre-cached), with a truly clutter-free interface. This handy navigation app offers full resolution seamless marine charting and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad. With just a few simple screen taps, boaters can view all NOAA Raster Navigational Charts (RNCs) that automatically load no matter where you are in the U.S. Using the handy in-app purchase users can now add charts of Brazil, with more areas to be added.

Simple Charts is available as an iPhone/iPad app download for just $9.99, still the most affordable, full-featured charting app currently offered. Now available for Android phones! Simple Charts can be downloaded through iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-charts/id451093694?mt=8#

simplecharts-nav-screenshot-1

simplecharts-latlong-screenshot

About Derek Trauger & Associates, LLC

 

Derek Trauger & Associates is an Orlando-based design and development company specializing in the development, customization and implementation of custom software applications. Derek Trauger & Associates believe that their products should be easy to use, natural and create an intuitive experience that help people accomplish those everyday tasks easily. They have produced many well-known boating apps including Dive Spots, the BoatUS “find me” app, and Boat Ramps, which received the Boating Industry’s prestigious Innovation Award.

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WSI Launches Interactive Intellicast Boating Mobile App for Safe Fun On The Water

**Now available for a limited time at an introductory price!**

WSI (Weather Services international), the global weather authority, has released a new mobile app called Intellicast Boating. Being billed as the first application to integrate NOAA navigational charts with the most advanced weather data available in a rich interactive, customizable map environment, this one appears to me the latest must-have app for the more than 12.5 million registered boaters in the U.S.. Intellicast Boating is an essential tool to help ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience on the water. 

The app cleverly combines sophisticated, meteorological sensing data, NOAA navigational charts and highly skilled forecasts. Intellicast Boating provides complete coverage for all those anticipating water-based activity in the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. The new tool is also the first professional marine application to include full North American Mosaic Radar with coverage throughout the United States, large sections of Canada and the Caribbean. 

The technology tools used to create the hourly forecasts for Intellicast Boating provide point-specific, localized, short- and long-term weather updates for all ports-of-call. In addition, all National Weather Service watches and warnings can be viewed either as text bulletins or overlaid within the marine interactive map.

IntellicastBoating-screenshot

Screenshot from my iPad showing the SF Bay Area
chart with precip.

“Blending state-of-the-art forecasting and leading-edge radar tools with the latest NOAA navigational charts, Intellicast Boating is an easy-to-use, always-available mobile app that enables all boaters — weekend fishermen, commercial ferry operators, harbor masters, water EMS personnel and all other on-the-water enthusiasts — to gain access to expert-level tools and stay a step ahead of changing or threatening weather,” said Jim Menard, WSI’s Vice President of Digital Initiatives. “Now boaters can receive marine forecasts, severe marine watches and warnings, tides, storm and hurricane tracking, buoy updates and C-Man (Coastal-Marine Automated Network) reports in a few simple screen taps. You won’t want to go on the water without it.”

IntellicastBoating_map_marine_iPad

I appreciate how well WSI designed the app for anyone to navigate easily. There are a number of icons at the bottom of the chart  (you can also choose not to view) that give you direct access to such things as Buoy information, Marine Forecasts, Tides and Small Craft Advisory in your area. You can toggle these to create various Map layers or overlays, including Alert overlays – handy for the SF Bay!

The Blog tab provides up-to-date weather info from around the world. Touching the CITY tab zeroes in on the weather in whichever cities you choose to view, including your “home” area. This is also where you’ll find the Moon phases along with sunrise/sunset times. 

Note: A cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection is needed, NOAA Navigational Charts are provided to reference weather and tide information and should not be used specifically for navigation. Over all, the new Boating Weather app from Intellicast/WSI is quite handy and worth the money, in my humble opinion. 

The new app, providing expert-level content without advertisements, is available from iTunes at special introductory prices for the iPad ($6.99) and the iPhone ($4.99) until August 10th*. Intellicast.com is WSI’s expert consumer web and mobile service.

The Intellicast Boating app provides:
 
– NOAA Navigational Maps

•       Current NOAA navigational charts integrated into a rich interactive map environment

– North American Radar Coverage

•       First marine app to include a full North American mosaic radar covering all or parts of:

–      CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, PR, Bahamas, and Caribbean

•       Forecast radar for CONUS 

– Interactive weather overlays

•       Decoded buoy and C-Man reports

•       National Weather Service Marine forecasts

•       Marine and severe watch and warning bulletins and map overlays

•       Severe storm and tropical cyclone tracking

•       Tides

•       Several other layers including temperature, wave heights, and satellite imagery

•       Wind speeds

Highly Skilled Forecasts

•       Port-of-call observations and expert forecasts

– Additional tools for all the cities and ports on the selected route include:
  • Latest observations and almanac
  • UV forecasts
  • Sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times
  • Detailed short term nowcasts for locations within CONUS
  • Global hourly and 10-day forecasts
  • Textual National Weather Service watch and warning bulletins for the United States

*After August 10th, pricing for the Intellicast Boating iPhone app will be $9.99 and for the iPad app, $14.99.

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