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Old 17-12-2013, 12:31   #1
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"North Swell" in BVI

Hi all,

Have a charter planned in BVI first week of march 2014. Was trying to find out when the north swell is most common as I know this can make some anchorages and passages rough. Any help appreciated as we might want to push trip.


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Old 17-12-2013, 15:26   #2
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My experience is the Christmas winds make the biggest swells , I would have thought your clear of it by march


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Old 17-12-2013, 15:55   #3
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North swells most common Nov thru Feb and then wind and waved start to clock East and end up SE until about Aug
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:04   #4
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Re: "North Swell" in BVI

Check a surfing site. They know.
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:26   #5
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Re: "North Swell" in BVI

Depends on the cold fronts coming of the east coast of the US and how they interact with the Bermuda HI. December and January are normally the worst months but we have an unusual weather pattern in the US this year so all bet are off.

Whatever the swells are doing in the BVIís there are places to go where the effects are minimized. Some if the swell is running are The Bight @ Norman, Great & Little Harbor @ Peter, tucked way back by Briars in the North Sound @ Virgin Gorda & Diamond Cay @ JVD. By all means avoid anchorages like Cane Garden @ Tortolla.
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:34   #6
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Re: "North Swell" in BVI

knot's right.

But any decent cruising guide of the area would already have told you that.
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:56   #7
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Re: "North Swell" in BVI

The northern swells that sometimes appear in the islands are created by big storms off the US East Coast. The cold fronts coming off the coast in the winter intensify and can reach hurricane strength. The swells churned up by these big storms take three or four days to reach the eastern Caribbean islands. Bays and anchorages open to the north can become untenable.

The Christmas winds in the Caribbean are a result of enhanced Tradewinds driven by a strong mid-Atlantic High, and arrive from the east. They can be daunting, but are puny compared to a big northerly swell event.

During a north swell event in 2008, the north shore of Puerto experienced 40 foot breakers. Surfers in normally placid Cane Garden Bay on Tortola had a field day.

Here's a photo of a north swell event on Nevis in March, 2008. The swells were 12-14 feet and lasted a couple of days. My boat made it through with no problems.

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Old 18-12-2013, 06:28   #8
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Re: "North Swell" in BVI

Thanks all. I'm familiar with the main concern was whether or not to push past March 2 to get a better chance of nice days for Anegada, Jost, etc....but I think we should be OK

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