Weather for Sailors and Boaters
What you'll learn
- In this course, you will learn about weather fundamentals, weather tools, and weather decisions for sailors and boaters.
- No prerequisites.
We've all experienced a bad day on the water thanks to our planet's atmosphere. Whether that is being rained out on a holiday, or getting ourselves in a dangerous situation in a thunderstorm, the weather is a sailor or boaters main concern on the water.
In this course, taught by a professional mariner, you will learn about the principles of marine weather and the resources available to you as you make sailing and boating decisions on the water.
First you will learn about weather fundamentals such as fronts, air masses, and hazards such as thunderstorms and tropical storms. Next you will learn about resources available both on the internet and at sea for weather data such as weather faxes and forecast models. Finally, you will practice weather routing with a few common sailing situations such as a daysail or a hypothetical trip from North Carolina to St. Thomas to help you make more informed choices regarding the weather.
This course is helpful for beginners or experienced sailors and boaters alike. It is all about being informed and being safe on the water. Happy navigating!
Your instructor is Captain Chris Nolan, an experienced military and civilian ship captain who has sailed in the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean, and Polar regions.
Who this course is for:
- Recreational or professional sailors and boaters.
I have had the pleasure of sailing professionally as a Coast Guard cutter commanding officer and deck watch officer, as well as a civilian tall ship captain. I love teaching and learning about maritime topics! My formal CV is below:
Practical Navigator Training 2013-Present
Owner and Educator, Nautical Science
Primary curriculum designer and instructor for professional maritime courses from basic captain's licenses to advanced celestial navigation.
Sea Education Association 2015-Present
Assistant Professor, Nautical Science & Leadership
Ship captain and lecturer in nautical science and leadership for post secondary sail training programs. Programs are a semester in length and combine formal classroom instruction with oceanographic research cruises aboard one of two 150+ ton sail training vessels. In addition to teaching, the captain is responsible for vessel operations, compliance with regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping, general maintenance, crew training, and voyage planning.
Domestic – Master of self propelled vessels (incl. Aux Sail) upon Ocean Routes, under 1600 GRT.
International (STCW) – Master less than 3000 GT. Advanced firefighting, vessel security officer, radar observer (unlimited), able seaman (unlimited) etc.
Professional Science Master’s Degree: Fisheries & Wildlife Administration 2016
Oregon State University
Joint Professional Military Education, Phase One
United States Naval War College
Bachelor of Science (Honors) – Marine & Environmental Science 2002
United States Coast Guard Academy
Chemical & Physical Oceanography Concentrations
The Cutterman’s Guide to Navigation Problems. 287-page celestial navigation manual. 2013
EAGLE SEAMANSHIP: A Manual for Square Rigger Sailing, 4ed. Naval Institute Press. 2011
Huzzey, Linda M. and Nolan, Christopher D. 2005. Residence Time of Smith Cove, Thames River Estuary, USA. USCG Center for Advanced Studies.
The Practical Navigator: a site dedicated to navigation and seamanship.
U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Sustainability Award for Operational Units, 2010. Awarded for making significant contributions to reductions in fuel, water and consumable materials waste while serving as commanding officer (master) of CGC JEFFERSON ISLAND.
U.S. Coast Guard Educational Service Provider of the Year, Afloat Units, 2003. Awarded for dramatically improving off-duty education processes for enlisted personnel while serving as first lieutenant (third mate) of CGC ALEX HALEY.
Various personal and unit awards from U.S. Coast Guard, including four USCG Commendation medals.
RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE (United States Coast Guard Officer):
Cleared to view Top Secret (TS) Information by Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). Clearance (S) or (TS) maintained 2001-2015.
Chief, International and Combatant Commander Planning Section 2014-2015
Alameda, CA – Responsible for converting higher policy and strategic direction into operational planning guidance for all international Coast Guard missions in the Pacific theater. Coordinated Department of Defense and International response operations plans for USCG Pacific Area.
Commanding Officer (Master), USCGC JEFFERSON ISLAND 2010-2012
Portland, ME – Complete responsibility for training, budget, well being, and discipline for 110’, $8m ship and 18-member crew. Conducted fisheries law enforcement and search & rescue from Canadian border to New Jersey.
Navigator/Operations Officer (Second Mate), USCGC EAGLE 2008-2010
New London, CT – Coordinated all training, cutter navigation, and public relations for 295’ barque-rigged tall ship. Managed up to 60 crew and 135 trainees and coordinated all port logistics for numerous domestic and foreign port visits.
Joint Rescue Coordination Center Command Duty Officer 2006-2008
Honolulu, HI – Managed all Coast Guard tactical operations and search & rescue response in 12.2 million square mile area of responsibility in central Pacific Ocean.
Commanding Officer (Master), USCGC DORADO 2004-2006
Crescent City, CA – Complete responsibility for training, budget, well being, and discipline for 87’ $5m ship and 12-member crew. Conducted fisheries law enforcement and search & rescue from Puget Sound to San Diego.
First Lieutenant (Third Mate), USCGC ALEX HALEY 2002-2004
Kodiak, AK – Conducted fisheries law enforcement and search & rescue in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. Supervised 35 personnel and $120k annual operating budget for deck and weapons maintenance & training. Leading fisheries law enforcement boarding officer for ensuring at-sea compliance with commercial fishing and safety regulations.