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Old 10-02-2012, 23:05   #1
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Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

Check out the NOAA report for Point Piedras Blancas to Point Arguello for Sunday. We have a Vagabond 39 in decent shape that's gone through a refit recently, new rig, engine freshened up, new prop & shaft, everything works and the only leaks are small deck leaks. We've sailed her about 300 miles down the coast this winter, mostly in snotty conditions with confused seas. My wife was a Coastie, she rescued Navy Seals in 35' breaking waves with a 30' motor lifeboat. Scotty just sailed down from Washington in the winter and saw 50 kt winds and 30' seas. Gabe sails in the Puget Sound every day no matter how bad it is. I'll be driving the kid and the dog south in a rental car, they don't have enough experience yet for this trip. Maybe I don't either.
The last time we set out to go around Point Conception from Morro Bay, NOAA was calling for 10-15 kt winds and a 5-6 ft swell. It was 10-12 feet with a 5-6 second period and blowing 20-25 by 8:00am, I wimped out and we ran back to port. Scotty continued on in his boat and said it was blowing 35 or 40 down by point conception. Big difference between the 10-15 that NOAA forecast and 40!
I'm really worried that they'll be OK. I just want you all to tell me that everything will be OK.
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Old 10-02-2012, 23:25   #2
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Re: Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

They'll be fine. Three experienced crew in a well maintained boat, going downwind, with a very mellow 10-20 knot forecast...

I don't have a lot of experience with Pt Conception, but I felt like it's effects were pretty local. It's quite a bit calmer when you turn around the coerner. If they have any problems, and they really shouldn't, they can duck around the corner or behind one of the Channel Islands and get things sorted out. But it won't come to that.

Also, the weather forecast in that neighborhood nearly always says "Small Craft Advisory". If it doesn't say Small Craft Advisory that usually means the water is glassy and they'd have to motor the whole way.
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Old 10-02-2012, 23:35   #3
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Re: Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

Sounds fine to me. The NOAA forecasts (and all forecasts, really) are for large areas and can't possibly account for all the microclimates and localized conditions at various points. 40 knots is still pretty comfortable if it's downwind.

Leave deep reefed. You certainly won't need a full main in conditions like that. Downwind in heavy wind I douse the main entirely. Just not worth the risk of a gybe, even with a preventer rigged. If it's deep reefed and you need to hoist it, it will be no big thing.
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Old 11-02-2012, 19:39   #4
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Re: Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

I've rounded this cape many times, Stay off at least 20 miles, you should be fine. Deep reefs before getting to Point Aquello, he winds generally start about a mile N. of the point. I rounded last summer South bound, No wind till this point in a 26' Haida. It's a wild ride w/ confused sea's, Head south to just short of the north bound ship lanes, turn left for Goletta. By the time you get that far, you will have the sails back up. Sea's will calm down to about 2-3 foot swells, maybe 4'. Think & be safe, you have alot more boat than me...Michael..
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Old 11-02-2012, 22:34   #5
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Re: Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

What Rubyjean said just stay 20/30 miles off shore there and no problems in northerlys,keep sails up even if you need to reef cus makes for a better ride in the type of seas you get up Northern Cali Coast, done it in 50s but its a real Fast Roller Coaster LOL It should be fine right Now !! just my 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 12-02-2012, 00:19   #6
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Re: Am I Stupid to Be Afraid? 15-20 & 25 kt gusts Around Point Conception

Thanks everyone!
I worry too much.
After 3 years of my boy having had a tracheostomy, then developing neurological problems from transient hydrocephalus and a neurosurgery, then my wife getting electrocuted at work, ending up in a wheelchair due to the spinal cord injury part of the electrical inury, and then 3 heinous leg surgeries on my boy last year, I'm hypervigilant to the point of hurting myself sometimes.
Cruising will eventually be a calming influence on my life I hope but we haven't reached the calm part yet. SoCal should be calmer and then the sea of cortez calmer still I hope.
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