At sea in your voyaging boat you’re often surrounded by merchant ships (within, say, a hundred miles surrounded). And many of those vessels are reporting weather information to theVoluntary Observing Ship program. What if you could receive their reports directly? Now you can with the help of Starpath School of Navigation. Very cool, see below.
From the press release: Now you can get all the ship reports within 300 nm of your location at sea that were transmitted over the past 6 hours to the Voluntary Observing Ship program. Just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your lat and long in the first line of the body of the message and you will get the reports back by return mail.
This is a FREE service, compliments of Starpath School of Navigation. Here are two samples you can try: approach to New York City (40.123N, 72.456W) and the approach to Bremerhaven in the North Sea (55.60N, 3.50E). The service should work worldwide. You can find out in a few minutes if there are any live ship reports in your location. Ships tend to be on the GC routes between major ports.
Send an email to email@example.com with the word “help” in the subject line to get a set of instructions and explanation of the reports. Do not include a signature with the mail.
The reports are compiled by the National Data Buoy Center in collaboration with the US Voluntary Observing Ship program. These data are available online at the NDBC. Starpath is simply forwarding it to vessels at sea via email as a convenience to them.
Starpath also has a way for mariners to calibrate their barometers from anywhere on earth so long as they have Internet connections. Visit www.starpath.com/barometers and see the 10 closest places with accurate pressure plus a very accurate elevation for those on land.