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Old 04-01-2016, 16:25   #1
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Pensacola Cut

anyone out there familiar with the Pensacola Cut? We tried leaving the other day and it was very bumpy. I know the boat can make it, and it shouldn't be for too long till we can turn East and skip down to Destin. The wife however, had a bit of a moment and I am hoping to find a time that is a bit less stressful on her (and thus the rest of us).
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Old 04-01-2016, 16:41   #2
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Re: Pensacola Cut

It can get a little rough depending on wind and tide. Just time it with an outgoing tide and you should be okay. Turn east as soon as you can.
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Old 04-01-2016, 16:53   #3
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Re: Pensacola Cut

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Originally Posted by xeon_tsd View Post
anyone out there familiar with the Pensacola Cut? We tried leaving the other day and it was very bumpy. I know the boat can make it, and it shouldn't be for too long till we can turn East and skip down to Destin. The wife however, had a bit of a moment and I am hoping to find a time that is a bit less stressful on her (and thus the rest of us).
Are you talking about Pensacola Pass?

I've done it many times on a Hobie 16, Nacra 6.0, and Nacra F-17. These are all 300-400 lb boats.

Once I had to turn around and the wave I turned on was about as tall as the boat was wide 8' but I made it pretty easily.

The kids love it when the waves are that high and jump them with their jet skiis.

My son when he was 15 or 16 years old and his 200lb friend used to get into the larger waves on the Ft Pickens side just for fun....

On a monohull, I'd probably go out with the tide.

The current is usually running east to west also plus the tide..........

You can always go inside ...............If you do stop at Juana's in Navarre just before the bridge. They have really good pastries and food plus the bar scene

The wife would probably enjoy the trip (flat calm all the way) and the food.........

Check the bridge heights though. There are three of them on the way to Destin............

http://www.juanaspagodas.com/

http://www.juanaspagodas.com/restaurant.htm
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Old 04-01-2016, 17:27   #4
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Re: Pensacola Cut

Wind opposing current makes all these passes along the northern Gulf Coast (actually most passes) a little rough. Kind of like the GS in a north wind.

Watch the Destin pass. There is a bar (typically about 6 ft) about 1/4 mile outside the Destin Cut. Not a fun experience in even moderate weather. Pensacola and Panama City are deep well maintained passes. You may get bounced around a bit but they are safe in any reasonable weather.

Don't know your mast height but you are facing a couple of 50 ft bridges at Navarre, and Ft Walton so inside might not be an option.

As you have probably observed this North Wind will blow a lot of the water out of these bays.
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Old 04-01-2016, 17:34   #5
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Re: Pensacola Cut

We raced out Destin Pass once two days after a hurricane on beach cats. (maybe early 2000's)

My son and I were on a Nacra 6.0.

There were maybe 60 boats in the race which was a 100 miler that we usually can do in 12 hours or so. (but we finished this one at 0300 and after taking the sails down and a shower we were at the Waffle House on HWY 98)

Start off Leeside Park, Ft Walton Beach. Gun goes off at 0700.

You go out Destin Pass, in Pensacola Pass and back thru the narrows.

On this day, there was a 4'- 5' wall of water in the middle of Destin Pass from the Hurricane Runoff. I said to my 15 year old son....WTF? as we neared it then went over.

There was no wind on the way out just current and I was watching that jetty...........
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Old 04-01-2016, 17:36   #6
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Re: Pensacola Cut

Mast too tall for these bridges. Waiting for a north and sail close to Shore should help keep it calmer for the wife.

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Old 05-01-2016, 08:16   #7
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Re: Pensacola Cut

I recommend you get Sailflow, a weather forecasting tool. You can get a good idea of wave and wind conditions forecasts and then plan accordingly. When the wind opposes current like tide in a pass, you are going to get steep wave conditions, either on an incoming or outgoing tide. In those kind of conditions, wait and leave or enter around slack tide. It will help.

My wife's first offshore experience was from Pensacola Pass to Destin and I didn't have a good handle on the forecast and thought it would be an easy wave day. We had some 4 footers and she got sea sick. Not pleasant. All could have been avoided by a better understanding of the effects of wind, waves and current. Do yourself and your wife a big favor and get Sailflow. If you look at the forecast map for the next few days, you will stay put in Pensacola. My experience has been that conditions are always a little worse than forecast as the forecast is an average. Pick times to go when wind conditions are less than 10 knots and waves less than 2 feet and your wife will be happy. I never get sea sick, but I am a rare person.


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Old 05-01-2016, 09:57   #8
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Re: Pensacola Cut

I am using PredictWind. Sounds similar to sailflow. The issue was just the cut/pass. The waves outside of it where not bad.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:27   #9
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Re: Pensacola Cut

That cut has been rough for us the three times we've been through. Actually, the Pensacola to Destin hop has never been a good one for us.

If the breeze is up from the southeast, it's going to be very rough with an outgoing tide. I've buried the bow in steep waves there trying to get out. Be careful out there.

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Old 06-01-2016, 10:46   #10
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Re: Pensacola Cut

Trying for a north wind.

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Old 06-01-2016, 10:49   #11
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Re: Pensacola Cut

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That cut has been rough for us the three times we've been through. Actually, the Pensacola to Destin hop has never been a good one for us.

If the breeze is up from the southeast, it's going to be very rough with an outgoing tide. I've buried the bow in steep waves there trying to get out. Be careful out there.

Ralph
You are probably sailing it at the wrong time of the year then.

Any wind with an Eastern Component isn't good when sailing out of Pensacola.

The prevailing wind in Spring, Summer, and Fall follows the Sun which is why Beach Cat Racers sailing the yearly Round The Island 100 mile race out of Ft Walton in September can sometimes have their spinnakers flying after clearing the Destin Seabuoy for the entire race which begins off Leeside Park in Ft Walton Beach at 0700 goes out Destin Pass, in Pensacola Pass and back to Ft Walton.

I've seen it completed in 9 hrs. Best I have done is 12 hours on a Nacra 6.0 without a spinaker

Most days though that time of year the SW Winds starts sometime around 11am- 1pm
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:56   #12
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Re: Pensacola Cut

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Trying for a north wind.

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Wind has been out of the North for the last day or so?
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Old 07-01-2016, 18:55   #13
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Re: Pensacola Cut

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Wind has been out of the North for the last day or so?
In Gulfport, MS the wind was north Tuesday, southeast Wednesday, and heavy southeast today! It's a hairy time of year in the Gulf.
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