Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Three Cheers for Southbound Herb

Let’s have three very loud cheers for southbound Herb Hilgenberg. Herb is a prime example of true blue sailing culture and therefore a good point of reference for what Zephyr is all about. If you don’t know who Herb is then I’m willing to bet you’ve never made a bluewater passage from the eastern coast of the U.S. bound for the southern latitudes. If you have made a passage south and still don’t know who Herb is then you were 1) not concerned about the weather 2) too seasick to care about the weather 3) not in charge of anything that had to do with the weather 4) on one of those (rare) offshore voyages where no one cared about the weather. Why three cheers for this man? For 15 years Herb has spent 10 hours a day, seven days a week, providing personalized marine weather forecasts (for free) on marine HF/SSB frequency 12359.0, starting at 2000 UTC until 2200 UTC (or until completion of traffic). If you’ve ever been in a blow – and I mean that in the real sense of the word, then you can probably guess the inestimable value of having a calm, controlled, knowledgeable voice on the horn tracking your vessel and feeding your navigator information critical to your survival. Read Herb’s interview with Peter Jennings here. While you’re at it check out this Coast Guard story here. And if you point your bow south mate, be damn certain you’re on Herb’s radar.

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