If I’m at home, before I head out for a paddle, I will use the facilities of the internet to check out the likely conditions.
As I munch through my bowl of muesli, I’ll sit at the desk and look at a few websites. Naturally, I’ll view some weather forecasts. I guess everyone has their favourites. I use the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) as my main source viewing synoptic charts, coastal waters forecast, wind and wave forecast maps, rain radar, local Sydney forecast and tidal predictions. I’ll have have a quick squiz at Seabreeze, comparing their forecast with the BOM. What I like about Seabreeze is the graphic format for displaying the observations, means I can easily see if the forecasts are proving correct.
Using the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory site I’ll check the sea surface temperatures for Sydney and, crucial when I am heading out to sea, the offshore wave data. This lets me know the wave direction, height and period. Importantly, the waverider buoy picks up the maximum wave heights and periods. The Sydney Ports wind, wave and tide page links to other buoys offshore from Botany Bay and inside the bay giving me further information if I am paddling down that way. There are many other websites to use, sometimes I look at the ocean current data provided by CSIRO.
All this data is starting to give me a picture of what I am likely to encounter. By now, my muesli is finished and it is time to get out in the real world.