View Full Version : Met Ships

19th April 2015, 10:56 AM
Opened up this thread and expected to see posts. Apparently nothing there, unless was lost some time ago when the site was down for a long time. What I remember of weather observation ships, used to take observations every 4 or 6 hours and were sent in code to a specified Radio Station. The Observations were to my recollect. Air and Sea temperatures. Barometric Pressure. Relative Humidity, Wind force and direction. Sea swell and height, wave direction and height. Period of wave and period of swell. Height of the base of lowest cloud and type, all other cloud types Cirrus Cumulus stratus nimbus etc etc, Also the rise and fall of the barometer during a specified period, this could be read off the barograph. Most tramp ships I was on were designated observer ships so there were many hundreds of ships all over the world sending in reports continuously. Nowadays believe the weather bureaus make up their weather reports from satellite pictures. JS PS Missed out the most important info. which would make all before useless, it was the ships position. Glad I noticed before Ivan. Cheers JS

Captain Kong
19th April 2015, 11:05 AM
When I was deep sea with ESSO we sent the weather reports by telex in every six hours, with also any other phenomena's,
eg Locusts, birds , sea creatures etc. these were sent to the Weather Centre in Bracknell Hertfordshire.
Usually the Captain got the present of a Barometer for it. even tho` we did the reporting.

19th April 2015, 11:39 AM
Used to be a Barograph at one time. All the equipment was supplied by the Met Office, sea bucket, Marine Barometer mounted on gimbals, theres a word you don't hear at sea nowadays "gimbals", Stevenson Screen and all the dry and wet thermometers for same. Barograph, code cards and all the necessary equipment necessary. Don't think the shipowner would have volunteered you, if they had to supply. Cheers John S

Ivan Cloherty
19th April 2015, 01:32 PM
[QUOTE=j Glad I noticed before Ivan. Cheers JS[/QUOTE]

Oh! Woe! is me, I don't think you forgot anything John! or did we have to send our course as well (just hoping!)

20th April 2015, 12:09 AM
May have had speed as well. Going back 50 years and seems like last week. Used to keep you awake on those long ocean passages. Brian is correct when he says Bracknell , however if sparks couldn't raise used to send via Lands End or any other Radio Station he could contact for forwarding. We never won the Barograph and I never fell asleep either. Cheers JS

Ivan Cloherty
20th April 2015, 07:28 AM
Did you ever throw the canvas bucket just astern of the ER cooling water discharge, not guilty m'lud!

20th April 2015, 11:50 AM
I think the met office put out as good weather reports then as they do nowadays with all their instant satellite pictures. In fact in a lot of cases the weather we get here in WA is usually at least 12 hours adrift with their present estimates with all their modern gadgetry. Used to use the sea bucket and temperature seeking to find various currents especially the Gulf Stream. Was a distinct counter current inside going against off Florida if went close enough inshore and could always get a good idea by the sea temperature. JS

happy daze john in oz
20th April 2015, 12:04 PM
Have to laugh at times on the cruise ships. Each day at noon when at sea the bridge gives out a report to all, position, sea and air temp etc. They also give depth of water and it is quite amazing the response from some of the passengers who do not have a clue as to what it is all about.

20th April 2015, 12:21 PM
#8 Should have read out the log Extract that went into the office in carefully neatly written sheets posted on from the next port. Lat. Long. Course made good, distance made good, average speed, general average speed, total distance steamed, Total Steaming time, total distance steamed, distance to go, General average speed, Estimated adverse or favourable current, Propellor slip, Daily fuel consumption average daily fuel consumption, fuel remaining, then all the weather during the past 24 hours. This was part of a daily Noon report. As second mate were responsible for these reports and always finished up arguing with the chief Engineer about the slip, as he always arrived at least 12 hours ahead of everyone else. Don't know what they wanted to know the depth of water was for unless to advise them they stood every possibility of drowning if decided to jump in. Cheers John S

Laurie Ridyard
26th April 2015, 08:44 PM
For all you folks reading this thread.....

Do you know your Weather Log Books were used by the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit ? They went through them all and used them to create their Graphs of GLOBAL Temperatures from 1850, and come to the conclusion that Humans were causing catastrophic global warming, or Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. ( CAGW)

See Temperature data (HadCRUT4) (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/)

I am not kidding you! Read it and have a think about what they have done. It is the biggest load of Cowpatology you have ever read!

Laurie Ridyard.

27th April 2015, 08:19 AM
Hope they didn't put too much faith in the height of the base of the lowest cloud. At 0400 hrs in the morning and in the dark cannot have been too accurate. Everyone knows the world doesn't stand still as regards most things, just look at the poor old dinosaurs. Everything is changing all the time. As you say what they come out with is a load of codswallop. Suppose they have to do something in life maybe a well paying job putting the general public in panic mode. Someone somewhere along the food chain is making money from it. Cheers J>

Captain Kong
27th April 2015, 10:19 AM
When we were in the Red sea and Locusts flew on board I would place two in a king size cigarette packet, just the right length, and they would be posted to Bracknell Herts, at the next port. With the wind speed and direction at the time and from where they were coming from and where heading to. So they could monitor the swarms of Locusts.

happy daze john in oz
28th April 2015, 06:20 AM
When we were in the Red sea and Locusts flew on board I would place two in a king size cigarette packet, just the right length, and they would be posted to Bracknell Herts, at the next port. With the wind speed and direction at the time and from where they were coming from and where heading to. So they could monitor the swarms of Locusts.

Are you sure they did not become food for the people of Boltonstan??

Colin Wood
18th June 2015, 07:04 AM
All the ships I sailed on as a cadet or officer were reporting ships.

We were in the phosphate trade in the late 50's and reports to Essindon at a time when there was only limited reports in the Pacific.. The old man was very keen on the reporting and we had people from that met office regularly on board for lunch. One trip running close to the Chesterfields with a cyclone to the west of us on the run from Melbourne to Ocean Island Essindon asked us to check our wind direction and speed and barometer readings and tendancy. This had the old man spluttering in his gin and straight to the bridge to personally check every reading and sparks sending the new message. About an hour later, they released anew report indicating that there were now 2 cyclones in the area with us in the middle. Another gin and hang on.

Colin Wood
18th June 2015, 07:09 AM
When I was up for masters, it was not unusual to have to plot a weather chart from the coded reports.

At this time, my brother was at Plymouth tec studying to be a RO so on Sunday mrning we would tune my radio into Portishead and he would take down the N Atlantic weather and I would then decode and plot the weather mao which I took to college next day. Needless to say I did not get that question inMasters exam

John Arton
18th June 2015, 10:34 AM
I can recall drawing up the 24hr cyclonic forecast from Bracknell, received from Portishead by the sparky who used to curse having to take down all the info. in morse. It was not until the late 70's that I can recall having a weather facsimile receiver been fitted on board.

Captain Kong
18th June 2015, 11:09 AM
Do you know your Weather Log Books were used by the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit ? They went through them all and used them to create their Graphs of GLOBAL Temperatures from 1850, and come to the conclusion that Humans were causing catastrophic global warming, or Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. ( CAGW) Laurie.

We are having Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Freezing here in Bolton istan. It is like the Khyber Pass in winter.
Severe gales, pouring rain, and freezing cold. Weather man on BBC News says more to come all over the weekend,
I was having a big garden party on Sunday with over 40 guests for my 80 Birthday.
I worked hard all week. painted fences, scrubbed the paving, barbarised and holy stoned the decking, got my Gazeebos out , bought another three new Tables and chairs, spent a few hundred pounds and it looks as tho` 44 people will be squashed up inside the house.
I even have a young lady friend who is a club singer to entertain us. Speakers rigged up in the trees, Going to be difficult inside a house shoulder to shoulder.
And These Stupid Greens tell me we have Global Warming, so they increase my Tax on My Car.
Sunday, 21 June is the longest day, Mid summer and its like January.


18th June 2015, 11:35 AM
Happy Birthday in advance Brian. Hope you haven't invited the ginger squirrel as you know they go for the nuts. I'm 18 months behind you, whats it like getting old. Got Gwen going in to hospital for the first of two operations on hip renewals next month, told her all this dancing when younger was not good for her. Will be eating in the either McDonalds or Hungry Jacks whilst in, maybe a pub lunch now and then. With all your neighbours with the mystique of the mysterious east you should only be a secondary target in the case of any big bangs. Anyhow if you invite Heyou should be safe enough. All the best with your celebrations you don't look a day over 50. Cheers John S

Jim Brady
18th June 2015, 11:39 AM
Could you hire the local mosque for the day if it rains Brian,maybe your mate next door could recommend you.Have a nice day.

Captain Kong
18th June 2015, 12:16 PM
What a wonderful Idea Jim, I never thought of that.
I must go and see Hey Yoo, and see if he can arrange it.
Plenty room in those buildings, our local one holds 3,000, But I cannot afford poppadums' and rice for 3,000.
Unless I get the local kebab shop to do the Catering.
. If anyone is passing you are all welcome to join in.

I bet the Red Squirrel will come disguised as a Nun.
All the best to Gwen for her Hip Op. Hope it is successful.
get on the train and go to Freo to Thingyrillose , Fish and chips with a few beers, good view of the boats.

Captain Kong
18th June 2015, 06:18 PM
I asked `Hey yoo`, and he said no chance of using the mo, sk, for the party, as Ram, a dam, started today, Thursday, 18 June 2015.

If it wasn't for the Bad Luck I would have No Luck at all.
So I guess my party will have to have seaboots and oilskins as the dress of the day.

vic mcclymont
18th June 2015, 08:26 PM
Brian, happy birthday in advance, hope you have some nice belly dancing music for heyoo.

Colin Wood
26th June 2016, 08:05 AM
Don't remember sending radio messages to Bracknell, our reports all went through Coast radio stations reporting to different centres. When in south latitudes all went to Essendon in Aussie. Remember one incident when we on voyage from Aussie to Nauru & Ocean and in the area of the Chesterfield banks and encountering foul weather. We knew a TRS was in the area and had been requested by Essendon to send in 2 hourly reports. A report was sent in at 0800 and by 0830 a request to please confirm all data was received from Essendon. The old man, one John Graham de Coverly Veal, was not amused and told us what he thought of the weather people. We re checked all reading and sent in another report, basically identical to the original. Shortly after Essendon sent out a new report saying there were now 2 Trs's in the area, and we were right in the middle. Reports were few and far between in the S Pacific in those days.
At 1150 the old man said 'when the glass reads 940mb we will have a gin. The 3rd mate tapped the barometer which dropped to 938mb. The 3rd. mate got a clip over the ear and then the mate, Master, Ch. Eng. Radio Off. & 3rd. mate retired for gin , leaving me, the 2nd. mate to battle the elements.

Colin Wood
26th June 2016, 08:11 AM
Don't remember any annotation to the current as being anything but a 'Strong Adverse Current' but then that was because a copy went to charterers and we had been Chartered at 11 knots and we were pushing to do 10 knots.

9th December 2016, 09:36 PM
WX reporting, as sparks on MV British Advocate 1960/61 they were sent every 6hrs to a coast station nearest to the location of observations they were sent as 5 figure groups. I received world atlas from the met office for my efforts some 2 years later.

Colin Wood
4th February 2017, 07:42 AM
Sailed with a few marine locusts but would not want to mention their names.

John Arton
4th February 2017, 02:02 PM
Anyone still held onto the Marine Observers Journal?. It was published quarterly and was full of interesting articles and at the back of it listed all the vessels reporting and the number of reports they had sent in.
I still have the one with my fathers obituary in it.
What used to annoy me was that all though it listed individual reporting officers it was only the Captain who ever received any awards even though he had never personally made up any reports. I suppose the award was meant to go to the ship but most Masters just snaffled the award (a barometer) for themselves.