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Sunday, September 04, 2011

For Southbound sailors on the Wild West Coast the key to a comfortable passage is good weather information.  Once at sea and out of range of cell phone service most sailors are limited to continuous marine weather broadcasts on their VHF radio. Listening to the computer generated voice is a drag and often you'll have to listen for quite some time to 'get to' the information that interest you.  Alternately, you can download the same forecast as a text document via Single Sideband Radio (SSB) using a service such as http://www.Sailmail.com .  For Sailmail users Coastal weather forecasts for the Washington Coast can be found in Catalogs:  Catalog/Saildocs/Pacific/North/US Coast.
  
From North to South
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Zone Forecast: Coastal Waters From Cape Flattery To James Island Out 10 nm (PZZ150)
Saildocs request: pzz150
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Zone Forecast: Coastal Waters From James Island To Point Grenville Out 10 nm (PZZ153)
Saildocs request: pzz153
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Zone Forecast: Coastal Waters From Point Grenville To Cape Shoalwater Out 10 nm (PZZ156)
Saildocs request: pzz156
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Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Shoalwater WA to Cascade Head OR out 10 nm (PZZ250)
Saildocs request: pzz250
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Zone Forecast: Columbia River Bar (PZZ210)
Saildocs request: pzz210
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Not using Sailmail try sending a email to:
query@saildocs.com

Leave the subject line blank

In the body of the message type:
Send pzz150
Send pzz153
Send pzz156
Send pzz250
Send pzz210

In a few seconds you'll receive emails with the weather forecasts for the above zones.  Very cool and much better than listening to the continuous marine broadcast.