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Old 12-03-2015, 13:02   #1
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Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Hello forum. Been awhile since I have used the forum mainly because was having trouble with the new format.

I decided that given some real life circumstances presently that I would pose a question in hopes that those that find it enjoyable or those that have time could respond with intelligent replies. Here's the question.

Boat is a brand new modern fin keel of 46 feet in length.
Captains experience and abilities are unknown.
Two crew members (my very good friends) are totally green but very eager.
One crew members qualification is unknown but suspected to be novice.
Route would be offshore from Beaufort NC around the cape to the Chesapeake bay.

Given the weather information available at present for this area (pretend your deciding if you should attempt it) what would be your thoughts on doing said passage anytime between now and the nex 3 days.

Your thoughts and suggestions may mean more than you might realize.
Thanks. SS
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:25   #2
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Is this a hypothetical voyage or one you are actually planning?

I think you should post some weather forecast research you have done, along with the original question, so that others are working from the same data.
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:45   #3
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Weather data is current passageweather.com. Or your choice of what you would normally go to.
This may not be totally hypothetical and perhaps may be a near future choice. I already have my opinion on it. Was hoping to secure some others for added justification. Just look at the next 3!days of wind direction / sea direction/ gulfstream data/ and barometric Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:02   #4
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormsailor View Post
Weather data is current passageweather.com. Or your choice of what you would normally go to.
This may not be totally hypothetical and perhaps may be a near future choice. I already have my opinion on it. Was hoping to secure some others for added justification. Just look at the next 3!days of wind direction / sea direction/ gulfstream data/ and barometric Thanks in advance.
Hi.
What follows is written in a truly friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you, and to further the discussion of the topic

My Suggestions for "What If?" Topic Posts like this:

1. Post your opinion if you have already formed one with your reasoning.

2. Post specific links to specific data rather than a home page to a site.

3. Clearly state what your concerns are regarding the issue.

_______________

Also,

You posted that the "Captains experience and abilities are unknown." Why?

To me, this is an immediate RED FLAG and I would go no further.

And, which of the crew would you be? The Captain? The Owner? Etc.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:19   #5
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

There is no weather window in the next 3 days. Its either strong northerlies or southerlies before switching again.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:21   #6
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Steady hand thank you so far for your attempts to answer. This is a legitimate question to a board that I have much respect for as far as those that choose to share their experience and knowledge.

The original question was to anyone who might enjoy or otherwise be interested in giving their opinion.

I would think that anyone who actually sails would have there finger on the weathers pulse. I just use passage weather so that was my choice. I'm sure others use many different methods to acquire same.

My opinion would be to avoid the cape for at least 3 more days if the route would be on the outside but in the skinny between the GS and cape as it most certainly would be for the passage I refered to.

I am neither captain nor crew. Only caring friends with 2 aboard.

I'm in hopes that the captain is more than competent and likely may be. However if that is not the case and bravado is the initiative in decision I would be better suited giving my opinion with the intellectual replies of those that choose to give them.

Thank you again for any valid and intelligent replies.
SS
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:21   #7
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormsailor View Post
Captains experience and abilities are unknown.
If the captain's experience and abilities are unknown, and the other three on board can be assumed to be novices, then there's no way I'd put a child of mine on the boat for that passage -- regardless of the weather.

On the other hand, if it were I who were captain, I would have confidence in my abilities born of experience, but yet tempered by the humility imposed by the sea. I would look at the forecast for the next several days, and decide that life is too short to be that miserable, and that the passage can wait at least a week until a better window appears.

I was caught in a gale in the gulf stream almost exactly a year ago, and although I felt in no danger, it is not an experience I am eager to repeat. You, the boat and the crew can do this passage now if you want, but if you do, I'd wager you'd come to wish you had waited.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:24   #8
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
There is no weather window in the next 3 days. Its either strong northerlies or southerlies before switching again.
Mark j thank you that was exactly my thoughts. Your response is quite sufficient for me to feel justified in sending message to my friends to possibly reconsider this route if it is indeed chosen. Thank you Mark J.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:40   #9
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

I do not know the captain and my friends are just so eager to get sea time. The last thing I want to do is go bashing some one I have never met. However they are already onboard and that says to me they have some degree of trust in said captain. But I also know they have not known him long and there is also of the fact of a night time arrival in the fog on a not so nice inlet that makes me question his competence. But there again he may be an old salt that can do that type thing with his eyes closed ( which by all purpose they were). Just dropped this on the forum to see if there was justification for my concerns as I personally am not qualified to suggest what others may or may not do. Thanks for all the good info. I can safely pass along my original concern without worry for false concerns.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:44   #10
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Recent losses of sailboats off the Atlantic coast, due to weather, would lead me to be cautious about sailing off Hatteras at any time, but especially when the weather is poor or may be predicted to have "heavy weather" (storm systems).

The recent losses of boats that had "very experienced" captains (and some professionals as crew) and on even a "unsinkable" boat (Gunboat Rainmaker) should serve as examples that bad weather can beat even a "professional" or "experienced" captain and crew.

Given your scenario, I would wait until there is "fine" weather, and I would want to know about the skipper's experience and credentials prior to any voyage off that cape.

I hope that helps (in a more general way) beyond the next three days.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:48   #11
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Suggestion: If you wish to "question" your friends about the boat, simply ask them to confirm there is a working EPIRB on board the boat. IF not, ask why.

Reason: Having an EPIRB on boats has saved several sailors in recent sinkings and abandonments (Rainmaker).

Simply asking that question, given the other lack of information may cause them to think twice, and share the "lack of weather window" info with them too.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:53   #12
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
If the captain's experience and abilities are unknown, and the other three on board can be assumed to be novices, then there's no way I'd put a child of mine on the boat for that passage -- regardless of the weather.

On the other hand, if it were I who were captain, I would have confidence in my abilities born of experience, but yet tempered by the humility imposed by the sea. I would look at the forecast for the next several days, and decide that life is too short to be that miserable, and that the passage can wait at least a week until a better window appears.

I was caught in a gale in the gulf stream almost exactly a year ago, and although I felt in no danger, it is not an experience I am eager to repeat. You, the boat and the crew can do this passage now if you want, but if you do, I'd wager you'd come to wish you had waited.
Thanks so much for your reply. I am in hopes that the rest of the trip will be on the inside as I agree there is no window for at least three more days. That is a nasty place to be when the north winds blow and the stream is running close in as it shows to be currently.
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Old 12-03-2015, 14:59   #13
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Suggestion: If you wish to "question" your friends about the boat, simply ask them to confirm there is a working EPIRB on board the boat. IF not, ask why.

Reason: Having an EPIRB on boats has saved several sailors in recent sinkings and abandonments (Rainmaker).

Simply asking that question, given the other lack of information may cause them to think twice, and share the "lack of weather window" info with them too.
Sent him a friendly text similar to that. I think a lot of these guys and am so glad they are making progress in their sailing path. But I know also there are many so called salty captains out there that love to impress green sailors using bravado and big tales of weather adventures. I would hate to see thier dreams ( not to mention their lives) dashed by some egotistical skipper just trying to impress. Which btw may not even be the case and hope it's not. Thanks again,,,SS
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Old 12-03-2015, 15:58   #14
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

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Thanks so much for your reply. I am in hopes that the rest of the trip will be on the inside as I agree there is no window for at least three more days. That is a nasty place to be when the north winds blow and the stream is running close in as it shows to be currently.
Is the boat capable of running up the Ditch? If so, once it's in Beaufort, why on earth would they go back out around Cape Lookout and Hatteras to get to the Chesapeake? Don't they realize how much LONGER that route would be?

There actually does appear to be a VERY tight window, if one timed it to be around Cape Lookout Shoals when the breeze was moving from SE to SW, one might have some decent sailing across to Diamond Shoals, then a nice ride up the beach in a SW breeze... One had better be close to the Chesapeake Entrance before that next front arrives, however, or you're in for a bit of a slog if it comes in any stronger than the 10-15 currently forecast... In any event, with the breeze from the NE-E prior to departing Beaufort, conditions are gonna be very sloppy for the first day, not much fun, particularly for novices... And, of course, such a tight window leaves no room for error, or delay due to any issues with the boat, and nowhere good to bail out...

But most of all, this time of the year, a window this tight cannot be trusted, I think March is probably the most volatile month of the year in the vicinity of Hatteras... I haven't looked at the bigger picture weather-wise, but if I were sitting in Beaufort on a boat that could go up inside, it would be an absolute no-brainer to do so... What's the boat's draft? If she's capable of running up to the E of Roanoke Island, they could still have a decent amount of nice sailing up Pamlico Sound in the brisk SE-SW breeze forecast for Saturday...

Again, if the boat is ICW-capable, I don't even know why they'd consider going out around with the current forecast, assuming they're already in Beaufort. And frankly, I'd have reservations about the judgement of a captain who would choose to do so, given the NOAA forecast at the moment...
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Old 12-03-2015, 16:24   #15
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Re: Weather window for rounding cape hatteras next 3 days.

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Is the boat capable of running up the Ditch? If so, once it's in Beaufort, why on earth would they go back out around Cape Lookout and Hatteras to get to the Chesapeake? Don't they realize how much LONGER that route would be?

There actually does appear to be a VERY tight window, if one timed it to be around Cape Lookout Shoals when the breeze was moving from SE to SW, one might have some decent sailing across to Diamond Shoals, then a nice ride up the beach in a SW breeze... One had better be close to the Chesapeake Entrance before that next front arrives, however, or you're in for a bit of a slog if it comes in any stronger than the 10-15 currently forecast... In any event, with the breeze from the NE-E prior to departing Beaufort, conditions are gonna be very sloppy for the first day, not much fun, particularly for novices... And, of course, such a tight window leaves no room for error, or delay due to any issues with the boat, and nowhere good to bail out...

But most of all, this time of the year, a window this tight cannot be trusted, I think March is probably the most volatile month of the year in the vicinity of Hatteras... I haven't looked at the bigger picture weather-wise, but if I were sitting in Beaufort on a boat that could go up inside, it would be an absolute no-brainer to do so... What's the boat's draft? If she's capable of running up to the E of Roanoke Island, they could still have a decent amount of nice sailing up Pamlico Sound in the brisk SE-SW breeze forecast for Saturday...

Again, if the boat is ICW-capable, I don't even know why they'd consider going out around with the current forecast, assuming they're already in Beaufort. And frankly, I'd have reservations about the judgement of a captain who would choose to do so, given the NOAA forecast at the moment...
Thanks for all the great observations and suggestions. I agree with them except not sure I would even do the stretch on the inside until the weather became more friendly and predictable.

My post was to confirm my concerns for any around the cape passage in the near future. I am in hopes that the better choices will be made. I have already expressed my judgement of the matter to my friend in hopes that the proper decision will be made by all. Thanks for your reply.
SS
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