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In the beginning there was this keen windsurfer who would often spend an afternoon driving between the Estuary, Lake Ellesmere and Charteris Bay on the off-chance the wind would be just right when he got there. After many waisted afternoons the thought came – “It would be nice to know what the wind was doing before you left home”? My first thoughts for a wind information site started around 1993 but it took until 2004 for technology, time and my skills to come together for this project to take off.

This site brings together on one page essential sailing information from around the region. This is particularly useful for windsurfers, kite-boarders, yachties or anyone participating in a wind or water sport. It is also nice-to-know information for the family picnic.

The principle objectives for this site are:
* Simple to access.
* Provide essential sailing information.
* Plain and simple presentation.
* No animation or flashing messages.
* Download quickly.

With no sponsors or advertising as yet, the setup and running costs for this site are partially met by user subscriptions. A future possibility is an online shop.

In keeping with the slim lines of the site, only the minimum personal information is asked for to make the site work. Have a look at the registration page. Registration requires a username and email address to secure your access plus a first and last name to make the site a little more friendly.

This is the brief history of the site:
July 2004 - The website was running and users started logging in.
1st November 2004 - The first windstation went live at the Estuary on the Eastcoast Boardriding shop.
November 2004 - By the end of that month the Waimak and Ellesmere windstations were also running.
January 2005 - Brighton and the demonstration site at Lincoln were now online.
October 2005 - The Harbour site was running and the Estuary had a webcam.
March 2007 - A new Estuary webcam was installed.
May 2007 - The Lake Ellesmere webcam was now up and running.
March 2008 - The Ellesmere windstation processor and webcam was stolen.
March 2008 - A replacement windstation installed at Lake Ellesmere.
November 2008 - Waikuku Beach windstation installed.
November 2008 - Lake Waihola windstation up and running. This is a solar powered station.
June 2009 - Major changes to the subscriptions and access levels.
December 2009 - The property owners hosting the Harbour station sold up and so the station was removed.
May 2010 - Heavy rain in Otago caused Lake Waihola to flood. The rising water leaked into the station electronics and knocked it out.
12th August 2010. The first automated tweet from beWindWise for Green A conditions. beWindWise can now be followed on Twitter.
4th September 2010 - The 7.1 earthquake at 04:35hrs. The Waimakariri Yacht Club, where the Waimak windstation is, suffered damage and the power had to be turned off. The Waikuku station was also out for a while.
22nd February 2011 - The 6.3 earthquake at 12:53hrs. This earthquake put the Brighton and Estuary stations out of action. There was also a power outage at Lincoln later in the evening for four hours. Three days later the Estuary station came back on followed by the Brighton station five weeks later. The Estuary webcam showed the mudflats had changed level slightly.
29th September 2011 - The Waikuku station is the first converted to the Telecom XT network and now runs 6:00am to 8:00pm.
25th October 2011 - Waihola station is the first to be updated with the new version of anemometer. There is now a light sensor to give a sunshine reading.
3rd November 2011 - Estuary anemometer is shifted along to the end of the building on the East Coast Boardriding shop.
18th November 2011 - SouthBrighton station goes live.
8th December 2011 - All stations now converted to Telecom XT network.
February 2012 - The Taumutu station goes live. This station is solar powered.
October 2012 - Waihola station is de-commissioned. The station was on Club Rooms that might be sold and moved.
February 2013 - Ellesmere station has a new anemometer, computer and cabling installed.
February 2013 - A new smartphone data page goes live.
March 2014 - A new webcam goes up at the Waimak. Site now has two webcams.
November 2014 - The Estuary station moved to the Eastern end of the building. Anemometer mast set up a metre higher. Computer installed in middle office.
December 2014 - The Ellesmere station has a new anemometer, wind vane and webcam installed. Site now has three webcams.
Mid 2015 - The Estuary station had several outages that were traced in each case to the wire to the anemometer and camera being cut.
December 2015 - Waikuku brought back on air after corroded connection fixed.
December 2015 - The cafe Estuary & Co opened.
January 2016 - Ribbon and ten picture loop added to site.
February 2016 - A wind information display monitor goes up on the wall in Estuary & Co cafe.
February 2017 - Southbrighton has an anemometer failure and is off-air for a few weeks.
March 2017 - The Estuary & Co Cafe goes out of business and after a few weeks the power is turned of and the wind station goes off-air.
May 2017 - Estuary back running. Mast same location on the end of the building and with computer in the office beside.
May 2017 - Ellesmere anemometer, wind vane and temperature gauge replaced. Three spiders and their housing complex evicted.

Have a look at the demonstration Web Page to see how the wind data and other information is displayed.

Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.
Kerry at Howisit dot co dot nz