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Old 11-01-2017, 11:53   #1
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Gulf Stream Where is it?

Is has been a long while since I sailed up and down the east coats, and when I did it was as a grinder on a racing boat. I paid little attention to navigation at that time , so here is my question. How do you determine the location of the stream? I know that it changes from day to day and that there is a change in water temperature, that's it. Do the current instruments available let you know where it is?

I'm current living is south FL ( Delray Beach ) and would like to crew for races, or just a nice sail. I have recently retired so I'm almost always available.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:12   #2
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

The easy way is to go to NOAA and take a look at their Gulf Stream maps.

http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ima...CurrWatlGS.png
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Old 11-01-2017, 17:59   #3
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

Also water temp. Most commercial fishermen have sea water temperature gauges. Either as a thru hull or in the incoming salt water cooling line.
Many fish species are targeted by the water temp they like.
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Old 11-01-2017, 19:07   #4
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

My favorite site for this kind of information is Earth.nullschool.net. It has currents, waves, winds at various altitudes, temperatures. Another site is windyty.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:52   #5
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

There are forecasts available. Ocean charts show an average position.
If your chartplotter shows you are moving at a different speed than your knotmeter, and your gps heading is at odds with your compass, you might be in an ocean stream.

Simple answer, it's on some charts.

In reality, you may want to use it, or cross it as quickly as possible to avoid fighting it.
Get a good navigator. NEVER volunteer to be navigator, it's a thankless job. And you only get respect AFTER the rest of the crew wonders why you said something so early.
Or you went straight to a dark mark, off a strange port..
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:24   #6
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

Raymarine speed logs have a built in sea temperature sensor.

Another way is to flush the head and take the temperature of the incoming water....
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:36   #7
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

or use a infrared thermometer- the same one useful for engine analysis. Just "shoot" the water.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:00   #8
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redpcx View Post
In reality, you may want to use it, or cross it as quickly as possible to avoid fighting it.
Get a good navigator. NEVER volunteer to be navigator, it's a thankless job. And you only get respect AFTER the rest of the crew wonders why you said something so early.
I've served as navigator/communications on a number of ocean races. It really is the worst job, largely because you spend so much time below deck that you start to feel like a mole. In addition you don't really get to follow the watch schedule so you're a really tired mole.

That said, when you win, you're hailed as a genius.

And yes NOAA's maps show the stream pretty clearly. You may need to look at a bunch of them over a few grabs since cloud cover can obscure parts of it. It does not really move all that much...the meanders certain move more than the main stream, and the eddies even more. The eddies are important as they can either give you a boost or slow you down and it's worth trying to chart your course accordingly if you're in an area where they are prevalent. Heading south along the west side you can play the eddies pretty beneficially.

If possible try and time your crossing in a sou'westerly breeze. If you hit it during a norther you'll get your teeth knocked out.
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Old 12-01-2017, 13:57   #9
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Re: Gulf Stream Where is it?

NOAA weather radio broadcast!
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