Why seemingly mythical WEATHER PROVERBS should be followed… (courtesy of

Red sky in the morning

We have been attempting to forecast the weather since the beginning of recorded history. Long before the invention of radar and other meteorological tools, people relied upon “natural” clues to approaching weather. Many of these have a scientific basis and it can be explained why they “work,” others have no such basis but often prove to be true.

Perhaps the most often quoted weather proverb among mariners is:

Red sky in morning, Sailors take warning.
Red sky at night, Sailors’ delight.

A red sky at night (when the sun is to the west) is caused by light passing through dust particles in the air to the west. Dust indicates dry weather and since most weather changes come from the west, a red sky at night usually indicates dry weather approaching. A red sky in the morning, however, indicates that the dry air has moved away. A gray sky at night means that the western air is filled with moisture and it will likely rain soon.

The first recorded use of this system of weather forecasting can be found in the Bible. In Matthew 16.2-3, Jesus says to the fishermen, “when it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ and in the morning ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Since it has lasted so long, we think there must be something to it.

Other variations on this theme include:
Evening red and morning gray, help the traveler on his way.
Evening gray and morning red bring down a rain upon his head.

Rainbow in the morning
gives you fair warning
The sun is in the east in the morning, the shower and associated rainbow are in the west. Since weather generally moves from west to east, rain is approaching.

Beware the bolts from north or west;
In south or east the bolts be best.
Same reasoning as the above.

Rainbow to windward, foul fall the day;
Rainbow to leeward, rain runs away.
If the wind is coming from the direction of the rainbow, the rain is heading toward you. Conversely, if the rainbow is in the opposite direction, it has passed you.

Mackerel skies and mares’ tails
Make tall ships take in their sails.
Cirrus clouds (mackerel skies or clouds that looked as if they’d been scratched by a hen, according to the old-timers) often precede a warm front which brings winds and rain.

When halo rings the moon or sun
Rain’s approaching on the run.
The halo is caused by high cirrostratus (ice crystal) clouds that are indicative of an approaching warm front and predict rain within 20-24 hours. The local Weather Service confirms that rain follows about 75 percent of sun halos and about 65 percent of moon halos.

The higher the clouds
the better the weather
These clouds generally indicate both dry air and high atmospheric pressure – usually associated with fair weather. Lowering ceilings indicate rain.

A wind from the south
has rain in its mouth
A south wind blows in advance of a cold front and also blows over the east quadrant of an approaching low pressure cell.

Seagull, seagull, sit on the sand,
It’s a sign of rain when you are at hand
In general, birds roost more during a period of low pressure. Before a hurricane, flocks of birds will be seen roosting. Take off may be harder when the pressure is low or the air is thinner because the natural updrafts are lessened.

Some weather proverbs published in 1883 by the War Department (no explanation given):
Buzzards flying high indicate fair weather.
One crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather; but if crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather.
When porpoises and whales spout about ships at sea, storm may be expected.
Two full moons in a calendar month bring on a flood.
Comets bring cold weather.
If shooting stars fall in the south in winter, there will be a thaw.
Lightning under the North Star will bring rain in three days.

And one that warrants further investigation:
When the bubbles of coffee collect in the centre of the cup, expect fair weather. When they adhere to the cup, forming a ring, expect rain. If the bubbles separate without assuming any fixed position, expect changing weather.

Thanks to a Mr Norman Westrick for addressing a possible answer to this often quoted, but perhaps less understood, weather proverb. Norman’s theory : “As I’m sure you know, liquids have surface tension. They also tend to adhere to objects. That is why you can fill a glass to just a little over the top without it spilling.

“When coffee is hot, it creates a small amount of pressure on the underside of the surface. If the barometric pressure is low, the pressure in the cup (created by the heat) will overcome the atmospheric pressure and cause the surface of the coffee to be convex and the bubbles will settle to the edge of the cup. Low barometric pressure indicates weather deteriorating.”

“If the barometric pressure is high, the pressure in the cup will be depressed by the atmospheric pressure and the surface of the coffee will be concave and the bubbles will settle to the center of the cup. High barometric pressure indicates clear weather.”

“The last part of the proverb (bubbles separate without assuming any fixed position) would be when the barometer is on its way up or down and has found that happy middle ground where the pressure above and below the surface of the coffee is about the same.”


Honda BF175/BF200/BF225 and flagship BF250 outboards offer world-class performance, reliability and durability

Honda BF250HP outboard engine in action

Honda’s BF175, BF200, BF225 (3.5L) and flagship BF250 (3.6L) all have powerful large-displacement V6 engines, providing boaters with some of the most technologically advanced outboard power available. Based on the proven technologly found in Honda’s automotive engines and incorporating exclusive marine technologies, these revolutionary, high performance outboards deliver superior torque, top-end speed and overall world-class reliability and durability in a narrow, balanced 60° ‘V’ profile powerplant.

Packed with power, the BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 incorporate Honda’s revolutionary Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST™) air/ fuel ratio and ignition-timing technology, and lean burn control to deliver powerful acceleration together with outstanding fuel economy during cruising. A high- performance gear case further contributes to the V6 engine series’ impressive acceleration and top-end speed.

The BF225 and BF250 are also equipped with Variable Valve Timing and
 Lift Electronic Control (VTEC™) – the same system Honda uses in its racing technology, sports cars and other motor vehicles. VTEC™ ensures smooth, stable idling, while the increased valve lift at high rpm broadens the torque curve and provides incredible top- end power.

In addition the BF250 is equipped with an all-new gear case, incorporating the world’s first marine direct air induction system of its type on a production outboard (providing for cooler, denser air for better combustion than conventional under-cowl induction systems), and has a full-throttle RPM range of 5300-6300.

All four engines are NMEA2000 compliant which allows the motors to be interfaced with on board CANbus networks. This allows engine management data to be displayed on existing NMEA2000 compatible multi function electronic equipment such as Chart-plotters and Fish-finders

Honda’s exclusive Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and lean burn control systems, optimise the air/fuel mixture to ensure maximum performance out of every drop.

Honda’s Variable Air Intake system controls the volume and velocity of air in the combustion chamber, making cruising as smooth as it is enjoyable. The use of linear rubber mounts, combined with innovative design features that
see the flywheel positioned below the powerhead, ensures vibration levels are extremely low.


The 60° V6 engines are powerful, compact, and have a 24-valve SOHC design. Lacking the bulk and weight of long intake runners and multi-camshafts, the narrow V6 design ensures superior performance and durability based on Honda’s automotive engineering excellence.

VTEC™ delivers more power,
torque and efficiency at every speed.

At 4500rpm, a special high-lift cam engages to provide more air (increased valve opening) into the combustion chamber to produce more power.

VTEC™ and Dual Stage Induction work to produce a longer, flatter torque profile: the ultimate in fine-tuned performance. [VTEC™: BF225 and BF250 only]

Hole shot and acceleration is significantly improved by MBT trace control (ignition timing). MBT – Minimum advance for Best Torque.

Advanced ignition timing develops more horsepower at low rpm to get the hull up on the plane quicker. Super-strong acceleration with rapid advancement of the throttle.

This patented technology pioneers a new age in 4-stroke outboard engines and will be the benchmark for future Honda engine designs.

Inclusion of lean burn control
 offers further improved consumption in cruising mode versus comparable 4-strokes and reduced running costs for boat users.

NMEA2000 compliancy allows
 the engine to communicate with
onboard marine electronics to deliver a wide-range of information to head-unit displays. When networked with a Garmin or Lowrance NMEA2000 device, for example, engine data such as speed, rpm, temperature, fuel usage and other data can be displayed on the unit’s screen.


Plettenberg Bay offering an abundance of boating and other activities

The Robberg Peninsula from Robberg Beach

In season Plettenberg Bay or Plett as it is more commonly known, swells from a population of 40 000 to nearer 160 000 and is best avoided. However out of peak season it is a veritable treasure chest of things to do, offering both offshore, lagoon and river boating options, as well as a myriad of land–based activities which will offer something for everybody.

It is well served by restaurants and boutique shops, plus a few nightclubs and bars. Local potters sell their wares along the main roads leading to the town. A few art galleries can be found in the town centre. The bird sanctuary Birds of Eden, Monkeyland primate sanctuary, a safari lodge and elephant park are located in the area.

The bay has four beaches: Keurboomstrand, Lookout, Central and Robberg. Lookout has a point break which is popular with surfers who can be observed from the rocks or the deck above the beach. The beach was washed away by the river flood of 2007, but nature has restored it back into use (2014), certainly bringing a smile back to the owners of the must visit Look Out Beach Bar & Restaurant. Central Beach has a couple of marine tourist operations who operate dolphin, seal and whale spotting tours, as well as the ever popular Moby Dick Beach Restaurant, and not forgetting the chilled ambience a little further down of the Plett Ski Boat Club which is open to all and sundry and definitely worth a visit.

The Robberg Peninsula nature reserve has many well tended nature walks. It is notable for the presence of Strandloper Caves and shell middens. Under certain weather conditions the waves crashing onto the rocks below the point of Robberg reach impressive size. The total walk is about 9kms and will take you approximately 3 and a ½ hours, and is absolutely breathtaking.

The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve hires canoes for paddling up the river which winds through indigenous forest. From the river sightings of Kynsna Lourie, African Fish Eagles, Kingfishers and Baboons are common, particularly in the early morning.

Local vegetation varies from Cape Fynbos to Knysna-Amatole montane forests further inland. Plettenberg Bay hosts one of the largest seagull breeding colonies along the South African coast at the mouth of the Keurboom’s River, named after the indigenous keurboom tree. There are many pelagic birds in the area as well as the endangered African Oystercatcher which live along the shores.

The Robberg Peninsula is home to a large Cape fur seal colony, seals can often be seen in the surf off Robberg Beach. Great White Sharks, attracted by the seal colony, can also be spotted from the high ground of Robberg Peninsula. Southern Right whales are a common sight in the bay during their breeding season from July to December. Bryde’s whales frequent the bay throughout the year being the most sighted during the summer months. Humpback whales migrate past during July and December. Killer whales (Orca) and Sei whales are occasionally sighted. Whales can be viewed from various viewpoints in the town as well as from Robberg Peninsula.

Plettenberg Bay also boasts 3 species of dolphins which visit the bay throughout the year, these being the Bottlenosed dolphin, the Common dolphin and the endangered Humpback dolphin.

A distinctive flower-shaped sea shell called a pansy shell is endemic to this part of the coast, and is used as the symbol representing the town. Looking for these shells on the beach at low tide is a popular activity amongst visitors and locals alike. Robberg Peninsula is maintained as a nature reserve, allowing visitors to see many of the area’s local plants and animals.

For more information contact:

Plett Tourism:

Self-catering holidays in Plettenberg Bay:

Plettenberg Bay Vacations:

Plettenberg Bay Accommodation:


Exclusive to Honda Marine Somerset West, the Point Runner 660 is turning heads both in and out of the water

Honda Marine Somerset West's Point Runner 660 (Photo courtesy of Leisure Boating magazine)

At 6.7m/ 22 feet in length, the Point Runner 660 powered by top performance, reliable, durable and fuel efficient twin Honda 4-stroke outboards (BF60/80 or 100hp options) is the ideal offshore fishing vessel. Already getting a lot of attention from interested parties, Honda Marine Somerset West is confident that their exclusive Point Runner 660 which is equipped with an abundance of standard equipment is an absolute winner.

The Point Runner 660 featured here is a Wheel House model, however it’s also available as a Centre Console with a Forward Console version to become available towards the end of the year.

For more information on the Point Runner 660, CLICK on the link:

OR contact Jeremy at Honda Marine Somerset West:
Tel.: 021 851 7710