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Greta Thunberg sails back to Europe on La Vagabonde

Dec 29, 2008
708
Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Their website has a link to a tracker overlaid on PredictWind. Looking at
the track they are about 120 NM slightly NW of Bermuda going 5 knots heading 062. They are getting hammered in 11 foot waves with 9 second period if Windy is showing accurate numbers and looks like next 24 hours of similar conditions. As the storm moves north conditions will improve but the next 24 to 36 hours look tough before they get better as the storm center drifts East some before turning up the coast. They are very good sailors and have a very good boat. At least the temps for both water and air are in the 70’s. I hope they go into Bermuda for a rest break. They look like they will need it if the WX is what Windy says it will be.
Looks like almost perfect conditions to me. If all they’ve got are 11 foot seas off shore, I’ll take that all day and night long. What I don’t like are the 20+ foot seas and 45+ kt winds.
 
Feb 14, 2014
4,209
Hunter 430 Saba Waveland, MS
@jssailem talked by phone this morning about their bearing of 68° and why.

John thinks is it for comfort of riding 11' waves in a catamaran. Waves hitting them on the Port side back quarter.

But the clinker is still passing the Azores and their notorious calms.

My course and timing has them head on into the winds off the Continent on Dec 3rd.
So burn some diesel... oops not in Greta's plan.
Jim...
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
So, mostly for the learning experience, I added the Weather Routing plugin to my OpenCPN install and downloaded the GFS Grib to see what the routing would look like. Here's why I came up with, doing just a little guessing at their polars, and leaving the other settings as default:
1574734802930.png



This route has them arriving early on the 3rd, though my guesses at polar speeds are only wild guesses.

Really interesting to see how OpenCPN has all of this integrated now. There are a lot of other options in the Grib and Weather Routing plugins that I haven't played with yet either. Lots to explore and learn.

It also does matter what Grib you use. Loading one of the PredictWind Grib models takes a more southerly route instead, and arriving 15 hours later.

Sadly for @JamesG161 I can't find a combination of models and settings yet that moves arrival past December 9th. :beer:
 
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Feb 14, 2014
4,209
Hunter 430 Saba Waveland, MS
What me worry over winning/losing beers?:cool:

They are finally making a dash EAST. My guess is they get 2 days of a 10 knot run then then...
Diesel time...:doh:
Jim...

PS: If they purely sail, then those cold beers for me, looking good.:pimp:
PSS: Does using engines disqualify the bets?:stir:
 
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May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Indeed our travelers do continue to progress farther north. Good thing too, as there is a High bringing calmer winds just a couple hundred miles south of them. It looks to me like the High will still catch them in a couple days, which would make for some calm turkey cooking weather, except it doesn't seem like turkey eating is in their plans.

My updated route, accounting for their continued northerly track, is Windy as forecasted. Currently at spot 5. I still have them arriving on the 4th, although the routing will get interesting later this week, between the segment of calm followed by a couple of Lows moving north of them that may disturb the prevailing westerlies.
After having enjoyed what looks (from the comfort of my computer screen) like a nice day of sailing, Vagabonde has now slowed a bit, stuck in the calm between two Lows. My updated guess is - Windy as forecasted, currently at point 6. I've knocked down their mileage for the next couple of days as they search for wind. Still some interesting routing decisions for them to make over the next week or so, but I don't expect their voyage to take much more than that. When I have some time later I'll play with OpenCPN some more to see what the routing tools there say.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
It looks like they are 1230 nm from Lisbon, the reported port. If the 9th is the date of arrival they would average a leisurely pace of 94 a day. The 2nd Dec would require 205nm per day. The have done that but it would be pushing. The 5th Dec would require 134 nm per day. A very easy pace for such a yacht. I think my bracket 2-5 Dec chosen at the beginning is very possible, maybe probable.
Time and weather will tell.
It is interesting they are avoiding a stop in the Azores.
Going out on a limb but I do not think they will fire up the diesels till they enter the harbor. I’m going to bet they will have a big reception gathering upon their arrival.
 
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Likes: shemandr
Jan 1, 2006
4,361
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I think when they, Greta and crew, came into NY on the incoming trip they were towed to the dock. There was an effort to obscure that from the hundreds of fans present. Going to the dock with some mechanical assistance is a safety necessity on the Hudson River in either of the marinas there. I would assume it’s the same in other ports. But it would be cool if a pilot boat would take them in with sweeps.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Maybe a fire boat could spray water at the hull guiding the boat in on water pressure. That might be cool to see.
Maybe it doesn’t matter who is burning fossil fuels as long as they do not. :poke:
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Here's what OpenCPN predicts for their route now (using the latest GFS Grib) -
1574824009894.png


I found a Polar for an Outremer 45, and slowed it down to match the types of speeds we've seen them going on this trip (probably due to ocean waves and not sailing the boat full out for comfort). ETA to Lisbon is now late on December 3rd.

The purple line is today's prediction; The yellow line above it is yesterday's. Looks like the rest of the trip is split into two halves - calm between meandering systems, followed by pretty strong winds on the beam for the last couple days.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
10,822
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Nice write up @Davidasailor26.
I understand OpenCPN is open source software, is that true? Do you pay a fee for the Grib data? Are there features that you purchase like maps?
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,361
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I have to ask what version of OpenCPN you have? It might be time to upgrade mine.
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Nice write up @Davidasailor26.
I understand OpenCPN is open source software, is that true? Do you pay a fee for the Grib data? Are there features that you purchase like maps?
@jssailem yes everything I’m using is free and/or open source. OpenCPN is free and open source, and has a Grib viewer built in. I’ve downloaded (free) NOAA Raster and ENC charts for my local area. I haven’t tried looking for charts of the eastern Atlantic; the built-in base map has good enough resolution for this exercise. The weather routing plug-in is a separate add-on for OpenCPN, but it is also free and open source from Weather Routing Plugin.
To get the Grib files themselves I’m using PredictWind. I’ve registered as a free tier user there, which provides access to download 50km resolution Grib files from GFS and their two proprietary models. They offer higher priced tiers as well for higher resolution and ECMWF gribs for people who are doing this more seriously (prices from $29 to $500 per year). They provide an app that you use to specify your cruising area and download the gribs. Then point the OpenCPN Grib viewer to the Grib files and do the route calculation.
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I have to ask what version of OpenCPN you have? It might be time to upgrade mine.
I’m using 5.0, which was released this March. They changed the look a bit but it seems stable and pretty good, at least in my casual use. I mostly just use it playing around at home to look at potential trips, and to try to keep up with its capabilities. For actual on-the-water charting I have a regular B&G plotter.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,361
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Yeah, I'm a little behind with 1.1. I only use it at home for studying charts, planning and silly stuff like this voyage. But I enjoy looking at charts.
 
May 17, 2004
2,099
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Here’s another excerpt from Nikki’s facebook page, from earlier this morning. Gives some idea on their routing decisions and state of mind having been sailing for a couple weeks now -


Day 15

After a speedy day averaging 10 knots straight towards Lisbon, it’s been a slow night. The wind is down to around 10 knots - which combined with a sloppy sea state left over from the wind we had today - makes for a relatively sluggish and noisy time - noisy due to the slapping of the sails from side to side in the swell. The sailors among you will I’m sure remember the sound well ... with a shudder perhaps! In fact good news is that it’s just begun to fill in and shift - happy days for me at 1 am on watch!

We are heading north to search out the NWesterlies for the next few days and position ourselves well for the latter part of the trip - where there is a chance of northerlies / NEasterly winds down the coast of Portugal. Ideally we would be downwind or at least taking those on our beam (side) - hence the trip up the map now.

The day was a relaxed one. Lots of reading - sleeping - I think a game of Yatzy snuck in there. In our groove. It was our 14th day too - not quite close enough to the end to start thinking about land plans - so just another day in the office type thing!
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,361
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Actually, re-checking I have version 4.0.
I’m going to start an Open CPN thread for advice about updating and optimizing it.