Herb is a Professional Engineer P.Eng (BASc 1962, University of Toronto in Mech/Aero. Engineering), and an MBA 1965, also from U of T.
His main recreational hobby began in Newfoundland in 1953 with sailing. Years later, after completing his education and settling into his first professional position he became a member of BHYC, Bronte in 1967. As an active sailing member and holding positions as Rear Commodore and Commodore, he raced competitively in U.S and Canadian waters, winning many top awards up to 1981. In 1974 he had also completed a certificate course in Meteorology, which he found useful in achieving top division finishes, both in long and short distance races and as a crew member in Mackinaws races.
In 1980 Herb and his wife Brigitte, a regular crew member, and their two 2 daughters got the cruising fever after spending their vacations in Tahiti and Hawaii (via air). They purchased a bare hull and deck of a 39 ft Corbin design cotter and spent the next two years completing construction and outfitting of what became the “South Bound II”.
They left Toronto in August of 1982 via Oswego, the Hudson River to Sandy Hook N.Y then off to Beaufort N.C. via the Delaware River and the Chesapeake.
On leaving Beaufort N.C mid November for the U.S. Virgin Islands, on a good weather forecast from the NWS, they hit an unpredicted late season sub-tropical storm, with winds to hurricane force over a five day period. They did arrive safely 10 days later and then cruised the Eastern Caribbean Islands for 6 months down to St Lucia. By June of 1983 the girls felt more comfortable to be back on land so they returned via the Bahamas and Florida back home to Burlington, Lake Ontario.
In January of 1984, Herb accepted a senior management position in Bermuda and sailed South Bound II to Bermuda in July, at which time his family also joined him, There he quickly learned that yacht disasters, due to unexpected and unknown heavy weather were a common occurrence amongst yachts transiting between the Eastern Seaboard, Europe and the Caribbean, often diverting to Bermuda or being rescued by the U.S. Navy, stationed in Bermuda or the U.S Coast Guard within the Atlantic. Weather Forecasting became Herb's primary voluntary preoccupation after office hours.
By 1987, after getting his advanced Amateur Radio License and after updating his meteorological and forecasting knowledge, he started the SOUTH BOUND II NET, first on Amateur Radio, then on Marine frequencies. He became Net Controller of the Bermuda Amateur Radio Monday night NET for many years and served as Vice President and President of the Bermuda Radio Society, while holding a senior management position at a local company.
By 1990 both the U.S. National Weather Service in Virginia and the U.S. Naval Air Station in Bermuda formed an information sharing relationship with Herb. There were simply not enough weather truths collected from ships or otherwise available for the North Atlantic, so they requested Herb to upload his daily ship data reports each evening for input to the NWS High Seas computerized forecast centers in Washington and to U.S. NAS Bermuda. In return Herb received access to weather charts, such as the NOGAPS and predecessor of the GFS models, which Herb modified using the data he collected to provide routing advice. Over a 18 months Herb provided over 14 000 vessel position weather data reports. In addition Herb represented Bermuda at meetings and briefings at the National Hurricane Centre, attended Hurricane Centre Conferences and represented the Bermuda Radio Society at the Bermuda EMO (Emergency Measures Organisation) in case of communication disruptions during natural disasters.
During these years Herb also became the primary weather forecaster for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Races, the Newport Bermuda Yacht Races , ARC Atlantic Cruising Race Events and the Caribbean 1500.
During the Presentation Ceremony of the Marion Bermuda Race in 1993, Herb was presented with Government of Bermuda Community Service Award for his Weather Routing Service, saving many life’s.
Herb and Brigitte returned to Canada in July of 1994, where he retired and continued the popular and voluntary HF marine weather forecasting and Ship Routing Service, commencing November 1994. He contacted an increasing number daily contacts, as many as 75 vessels per day crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans until 2010. Thereafter, as better forecasting techniques, better Atlantic weather data collection and communication thereof became available, as well as many “professional pay for services” centres, Herb began to scale down and closed his Net in June 2013. He was licensed by Industry Canada to operate his marine HF radio from his home. For Rewards and recognitions see “HIGHLIGHTS of NET OPERATIONS” and “More Information about Herb”.