. How about you? Do you think this is making for less people engaging in ocean sailing?
I can't speak for others with any accuracy, but my feeling is that way too many people rely on weather forecasts and routers instead of taking the information available and forecasting for themselves.
A prime example is Brett, last year. It was headed south of Grenada and with a double, very strong Atlantic High rather far south in the Atlantic, there was no likelihood that the storm could slide north.
When we arrived in Tyrrel Bay on Carriacou all but a handful of the 100+ boats moored there had fled to the safety of the lagoon. After setting our anchor, a local came over and asked us if we wanted help moving into the lagoon. I said no thank you, confident that since the storm was passing to our south, there was no possibility that we would get westerlies, the only wind which would make that anchorage dangerous.
Brett did exactly as expected, remaining south of Grenada and dashed itself to death on the mountains of Venezuela, giving us no more than 40 knots of wind from the east.
It just wasn't all that difficult to see what Brett would/could do if one had a very basic understanding of hurricanes and weather in general.
But weather services have a responsibility to issue warnings when the situation meets certain criteria, not even on what the forecasters themselves believe will happen, so those who rely on those warnings alone can end up either unprepared for an unforeseen weather change or prepared for something that is so unlikely as to be impossible, not necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of hard, unnecessary and possibly expensive effort.
I think Mark's (Sealife) tale of his voyage to Europe last year is a good example of using the real-time weather information available, rather than forecasts, to make a safe crossing.