The radio

In the age of smartphones and satellite phones, it looks like an anachronism - FM radio. Most sailing boats have a spark on board, as do we, of course. VHF radio is suitable for short distances because the radio waves propagate in a similar way to light. What you can see can also spark, what you can't see is out of reach.

This is of course not a problem near the coast. The radio is useful for speaking to the harbor master before entering. Many British ports require radio registration, otherwise you cannot enter.

Radio and battery monitor

We have a radio from ICom (IC-M423G) that is equipped with an integrated GPS receiver. This does not improve the transmission power, of course, but increases the number of GPS receivers on board by 1. The old radio that I had bought had to be disposed of. It was no longer eligible and had none DSC. In the meantime, you no longer get approval for a radio without a DSC. I am satisfied with the device.

On the way, we occasionally use the device to spark other ships. Most of the time we don't use it actively, but passively. In almost all coastal waters, a sea weather report with radio forecasts is issued on a regular basis. This is more or less understandable, but the content is of high quality. So I could often experience it on charter trips in Croatia. If a Securite message is given there and warned of Bora, you should react as a sailor and look for a borasafe hole (port or anchor bay) so that the Bora does not catch you.

This service is also available from the Coast Guard in Scotland. On the rocking crossing from Whitehills to Inverness, I made a small recording by phone so that you can listen to how the weather forecast comes to us and Sissi.

You should know where you are. In our case we were on the Moray Firth. The prediction contains several prediction areas. On the east coast of Scotland there is the northern area, which goes from the Orkneys to Rattray Head and includes the Moray Firth, and a southern area, from Rattray Head to Sowieso-upon-Tweed. The latter didn't interest me so I don't know the name anymore.

I always take notes during the forecast. Of course we also use the Internet when we can receive it, but this is not always the case at sea. Smartphones can be dead a few miles from the coast, but VHF radio is still working.,

Enough the preface, now for the weather forecast. Have a look and test if you can understand that. First there is an overview of the weather situation, then the northern and then the southern forecast area is treated.

Weather forecast

To make matters worse, the reception at that point was sub-optimal and the diesel roared in the background. I was still able to understand everything and write it down. This is only possible because such a weather forecast is always structured the same way, the same words are always used, and that internationally. It is always broadcast in English and the national language. The Scots, however, refrain from predicting Gaelic.