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Old 09-07-2017, 09:12   #1
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Gentle chop versus rough ocean

Most all of my experience is on lakes, rivers, or very protected ocean.

Next week, we head from Portland Oregon to the San Juan islands.
We have a very experienced guy on the boat so I am pretty comfortable we won't do stupid things. I am very aware of when to cross the bar( slack tide/current)

So, let's get to my real question. Are 6' waves with 8sec intervals relatively gentle ocean or are we in for a rough ride?

Motion comfort ratio is is 22.78 on a Beneteau 343.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:24   #2
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

Rough ride. But are the winds on the nose right now? In any case I wouldn't be planning to cook any big meals.

edit: I just took a quick look at the forecast. Looks like it's better to wait till the middle of the week.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:31   #3
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Rough ride. But are the winds on the nose right now? In any case I wouldn't be planning to cook any big meals.


Ha! I just had sent email to the crew suggesting we plan on simple sandwiches and finger food at sea.

Yep. The wind is NNW to N at the moment.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:40   #4
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

Got a good dodger? PB and J is always good. Sleep in the quarter berth.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:41   #5
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

Yes. We do have a good dodger.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:02   #6
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

It's getting there, but shouldn't be real bad unless it gets to where the period in seconds gets short enough to equal the height . (That's a 3 ft wave right? Crest +3, trough -3)
However, progress may be slow and uncomfortable going to weather!
Have you considered Barkeley Sound BC in lieu of San Juans? Far nicer than the developed San Juans and a lot closer.
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Old 09-07-2017, 13:20   #7
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

AHA! The Debate! How do we measure wave height?? Well NOAA says this:
"Is the average height (trough to crest) of the one-third highest waves valid for the indicated period. " So what NOAA says is twice the height from level sea.
On my boat it goes from "yawn" to "hey, I'm getting wet" to "wow" to "WHOA!" to "OH my God, look at the size of that thing!" (Haven't seen one of those yet.. well, a couple came close...)
I'd say 6 foot corresponds to between "hey, I'm getting wet" to "wow" because the boat is down in the trough when you start to become curious about wave height and measure it.
Oh don't forget that is the average wave height. Keep an eye out during the day for those rolling outliers (10 footers) and steer around them! And at night, well, hopefully there is some bioluminescence to give you fair warning!
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Old 09-07-2017, 16:08   #8
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

It's a funny thing, Don, I like the wet to Wow to OMG scale. The weather reports are all based on averages. The Ozzie wx forecasts all now say, "wind gusts may be 40% greater than the averages given here." And, mostly, It seems to me that it is the peaks that most concern us, both for wave height and wind. They are what we have to trim for. Sometimes you want to be a little overpowered to get through the chop, although, it is far more common for us to reduce sail and slow the boat a bit, for comfort, or crack off a bit.

To the OP,
Enjoy your sail, and learn from it.

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Old 09-07-2017, 16:35   #9
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

I found this resource extremely valuable when coming up the coast last summer.

Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather

You can animate and/or move forward to see what's coming up.

There are others, too, usually based on the same input with different visuals. Your boat, your choice.

Agreed, 6 feet at 6 seconds vs 6 feet at 16 seconds is like night and day. If height and period are =, avoid it.

4@10 you won't even notice.

Safe journey. We did Ilwaco to Greys Harbor to LaPush to Neah to Victoria. Just two of us, no night sailing, planned the trip as a motoring one. Got stuck in Lapush for 4 days, otherwise wonderful, it was August 2016.
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Old 09-07-2017, 16:53   #10
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I found this resource extremely valuable when coming up the coast last summer.

Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather

You can animate and/or move forward to see what's coming up.

There are others, too, usually based on the same input with different visuals. Your boat, your choice.
I like http://www.windy.com. Excellent visuals.

Around here, I can view GFS 22km, ECMWF 9km and NEMS 4-12km models for up to 9 days ahead. (including all 3 at the same time so that I can compare them)
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:08   #11
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

Dave:

Where do you get the 6'/8 sec stuff :-)?? Ain't gonna happen in the San Juan Islands next week. Sometimes you can get a whiff of that sorta stuff in the STRAITS of JF, but that's an entirely different place. You get it in the winter but very, very rarely in the summer.

My guess for next week, at JdeF East Entrance, and therefore for both SJ Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands, is 10 - 15 knots in the ayem. a bobble on the water but no more. Wind rising to 15-20 knots by 1400 hrs direction depending on the local topography. By 1400 there will be, in the middle of Georgia Straits, a few white horses and a WAVE height of 12 - 15 inches. Swell will be trivial due to the short fetches. In American waters rather less than that. Don't get freaked out by the forecast for Race Rocks. That forecast may be true enuff for RR, but will be for sterner stuff that you will meet in the SJIs.

What you want to watch, because of the topography, is what we call "inflow winds". Where differential heating of land and water sucks air up a valley, which is what happens when the sun is at its strongest at 1400 hours, the local winds can be significantly stronger than winds generally, and occasionally as you round a headland you can go from zero knots to 20 in no time flat. No sweat - if you get hit by such a williwaw, just round up, ease sheets and collect yourself. Then carry on.


You also need to watch the currents. Deception Pass is luvverly. Runs faster, even on moderate tides, than you can go in a forty foot sailboat. The pass is short. mile or so, so on the slack you'll be through in a coupla minutes. On the maximum flow it can dangerous for novices whether you are on a fair or a foul tide. So wait for the slack! There are lots of other such passes around here, and once you know them, they are no sweat. But till then – use caution and consult the tide and current tables!


There are more hidey-holes in these waters than you could visit in a lifetime of full time cruising here. If the wind comes up beyond what you are comfortable with, just head into a sheltered cove and drop the hook. Have good charts with you so you can tell where the good anchorages are. Pick up your coordinates (GPS) a coupla times an hour and plot them on a paper chart so you will know where you are in relation to the hidey-holes.


The whole thing is really quite common-sensical and lots of fun. I'll be Victoria-bound out of Ladysmith next week. It'll be totally boring. No wind to speak of. I'll no doubt have to motor the whole way.


Happy crusing :-)!


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Old 10-07-2017, 10:10   #12
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Dave:

Where do you get the 6'/8 sec stuff :-)?? Ain't gonna happen in the San Juan Islands next week. Sometimes you can get a whiff of that sorta stuff in the STRAITS of JF, but that's an entirely different place. You get it in the winter but very, very rarely in the summer.

................
The whole thing is really quite common-sensical and lots of fun. I'll be Victoria-bound out of Ladysmith next week. It'll be totally boring. No wind to speak of. I'll no doubt have to motor the whole way.


Happy crusing :-)!


TrentePieds
He's talking about the trip up the coast from Portland, not the SJ's themselves.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:25   #13
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

As my mother would say from the galley" were having underway" which was a standard tomato swiss mayo sandwich, still my standby... 😋 alternative onion and mustard sandwich.
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Old 10-07-2017, 16:23   #14
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

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As my mother would say from the galley" were having underway" which was a standard tomato swiss mayo sandwich, still my standby... 😋 alternative onion and mustard sandwich.
That sounds good too! Is there a thread for "festive foul weather finger foods?"
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Old 10-07-2017, 16:27   #15
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Re: Gentle chop versus rough ocean

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I like http://www.windy.com. Excellent visuals.
Yes that and "Marine Weather" app both have been remarkably accurate for me locally.
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