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Old 18-03-2008, 18:44   #1
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Caribbean sailors--Swell Alert

For Caribbean-based sailors on the Forum, beware of huge northerly swells forecasted to arrive in the NE Caribbean on Wednesday, March 19th.

Chris Parker, Carib WX - Caribbean Weather Information says that the northerly swells moving into the Caribbean area tomorrow are the largest (at 17') that he's seen since he's been involved in forecasting weather down here.

The Swell forecast from his website, as of Tuesday morning:

NE Caribbean: wind-chop/swell combination 4-7' throughout. N swell develops during today, peaks 17'/14-sec tomorrow night into Thu20 morning, 12' Fri21, 8' Sat22, nearly dissipated Sun23

SE Caribbean: wind-chop/swell combination 4-6' throughout. N swell develops during tomorow, peaks 11'/14-sec Thu20, 10' Fri21, 7' Sat22, nearly dissipated Sun23.

I double checked my mooring lines yesterday!
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Old 18-03-2008, 19:04   #2
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I've seen a lot of his forecasts not come to pass but I suppose you can't be too careful.
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Old 18-03-2008, 19:19   #3
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Goodie!!!!!!!!!!!
NE 15-20 kts in St Martin. And we are coming down the east coast on the survey/sail test! Give us some waves and lets see if this sucker surfs!!!!!!! And then a quick slash to windward to check for slam and what slams off!


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Old 18-03-2008, 19:34   #4
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Goodie!!!!!!!!!!!
NE 15-20 kts in St Martin. And we are coming down the east coast on the survey/sail test! Give us some waves and lets see if this sucker surfs!!!!!!! And then a quick slash to windward to check for slam and what slams off!


Mark
That's great news, Mark!!!!!!

Good luck and I hope the boat works out well.
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Old 18-03-2008, 21:59   #5
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maybe you should move over to major's bay, hud.
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Old 18-03-2008, 23:17   #6
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you are kidding me. We get 5 to 10 metre swells regularly. Thats metres, not feet!
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Old 19-03-2008, 00:48   #7
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Yeah but as I understand it, much of the Caribbean is very shallow, like less than 6'. Am I correct?? So that shallow, I imagine 17' is going to be plain nasty, steep and short. Would that also be a correct assumption??
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Old 19-03-2008, 04:39   #8
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No Alan, that's not correct. The Bahamas has a lot of shallow draft areas but the north east (windwards) and the area from St Maarten east and south has few shoals.
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Old 19-03-2008, 05:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
I've seen a lot of his forecasts not come to pass but I suppose you can't be too careful.
Chuck,

I know what you're saying! But, in this case, two other sources tend to agree.
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Old 19-03-2008, 05:52   #10
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Stay in protected waters.

The Caribean has varied depths. This situation seems to be very serious. Being a surfer/sailor here in the caribbean I have followed marine forecasts for at least the last 25 years. I would stay away from the St. Thomas-Culebra, Anegada and Fajardo-Culebra passages. It's going to be very very very rough.
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Old 19-03-2008, 05:53   #11
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Sea Fox, I'm not concerned about swells offshore, only what they can do in certain anchorages.

The Caribbean is deep offshore, but the problem with the wintertime northerly swells, is that they break when they encounter the shallow waters near the islands. Normally that's not a problem, but there are a few small bays or coves on various islands that seem to go "crazy". Anchorages open to the north are fine in normal conditions when the Tradewind driven swells come in from the east, but some can be untenable in strong northerly swells.

An example that those who've sailed in the BVI can relate to: Cane Garden Bay on Tortola is a great little anchorage when settled. I wouldn't want to be there for the next three days! You would probably end up on the beach.

St Vincent and the Grenadines have issued warnings to boaters and shoreside interests. Coastal flooding (from heavy surf) is anticipated in exposed areas on the east side of St Vincent and in the Grenadines.

This morning, I can see swells breaking on the two reefs east of The Narrows, between St Kitts and Nevis. That's something I've seen only twice in the last couple of years. And the swells are supposed to triple in size from now into tomorrow.

Little Boat--too late to move to Majors Bay, the boat's riding it out in Tamarind Bay on Nevis. Should be OK. Now, if the swells were from the W or SW, I'd move out in a second.
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Old 19-03-2008, 06:11   #12
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CP WX

Not to beat a dead horse here but...who does a better forecast than Chris? Of course, ideally we'd all have the necessary data to self-wx but... NOAA can't predict the sun rising accurately, Herb is getting crustier by the week (although still fantastic), and Chris, imho, has the best accuracy for a dial-up forecast.
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Old 19-03-2008, 06:11   #13
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Cane Garden is going to be HUGE!!!!

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
An example that those who've sailed in the BVI can relate to: Cane Garden Bay on Tortola is a great little anchorage when settled. I wouldn't want to be there for the next three days! You would probably end up on the beach.

.

Cane Garden is going to be incredible. If I were in Tortola I would definitely go there to watch the waves.....
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Old 19-03-2008, 08:38   #14
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I used Chris in 06 for the entire season while in the Bahamas. I was more than pleased with his information. Most important was I could easily understand his every word.
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Old 19-03-2008, 08:42   #15
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Perhaps someone in the area could give us a report as to the actual conditions during this big swell event.
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