The routine on-board is getting organized, the watches are changing smoothly and we’re sailing along in 16 knots of wind, shifted almost all the way to the North. We’re about to officially enter the ridge zone. That’s much closer to shore than two years ago at Transpac 2001 . You can tell on the latest surface analysis, that things are pretty unsettled in the North East Pacific Basin. First there is Tropical Depression Dolores coming from Baja. Then there is that low with the embedded fronts, going over the Pacific High system and potentially splitting it in two weaker highs.
So we must be wizards to figure all this out… Well not quite. There is a lot of guessing involved.
In the early days of the Dot-Com boom, I remember meeting with a startup that was going to do the next killer IPO. The guys we’re supposed to be building the most accurate weather site anywhere, get the numbers up, go public and buy a home by Diamond Head. They had gotten commitments from major brand venture capital firms and just needed the blessing of a technologist. I got the call. They figured that I built a few successful technology companies like Borland and that I knew something about weather from sailing and flying airplanes. Fair enough, I visited these twenty something net-entrepreneurs, meeting with them in plush hip designer offices, South of Market. In the room everyone wore Armani, Prada, Brioni and probably Tortelini Bolognesi. Real Bulgari jewelry and watches, Cartier pens and Chanel Numero Cinq. The PowerPoint kicked in. Presenting “The Weather Net Channel, the most accurate forecast anywhere and everywhere”. So I had to ask: “How do you guys do it?” They said: “Well, we are applying for patents on the following forecasting
methodology: We spent half a million dollars in research that confirmed that if you know today’s weather and you forecast for tomorrow the exact same weather actually reported today, you’ll be more accurate than 90% of the media forecasts. Our method is to call up the weather talkers at every airport and to automatically forecast for tomorrow, today’s actual weather and repeat this process daily. We’re applying for patent protection.”They were dead serious. I couldn’t stop laughing. They are now probably retail clerks at Nieman-Marcus.
Weather is hard and there is a good reason why the Ancient Greeks had Aeol, Poseidon, Zeus and other Gods make the weather a bi-product of their capricious tempers. That’s almost as good of an explanation as any.