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Old 10-12-2014, 11:35   #1
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Winter Gales in the Channel

I have been singing the praises of winter sailing in these parts, but it's important to note that this is a high latitude (above 50N) with correspondingly strong weather, especially this time of year. It's really useful if you and your boat are just a little tougher than might be necessary in balmier sailing grounds.

This is what is blowing in tomorrow:

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I got caught out in the start of this yesterday, sailing down to Yarmouth. I am sitting on my boat working, trying to close a complicated deal before the end of the year, and I get bored on my mooring, so if I don't have to go up to London for meetings, I often slip my lines and go drop the anchor in the Solent somewhere, or head over to Cowes or down to Yarmouth, where I can plug into electrical power, refill my water tank, and do some provisioning, plus take a break from my own cooking in one of the local pubs.

It was almost dead calm when I started out, but the wind blew up just as I got out into Southampton Water, and by the time I got out into the Solent, it was blowing 25 to 30. With my destination dead upwind. No big deal -- the Solent is sheltered water and the sea state in an F7 won't prevent forward progress. Plus I had an almost spring tide under me. That means wind against tide, but with the piddly Solent waves that's not a big deal.

So I tacked down the Solent to Yarmouth, well reefed down because I was single handed, and because I had not really rigged the boat for hard sailing. Below 30 knots is a little too little wind for my staysail and correspondingly reefed main alone (main reefed down to the top of the inner forestay), but with the fair tide I didn't care too much -- I was making 7 to 7.5 knots giving 9 or 10 knots over ground. The fair tide also narrows your tacking angle, getting you to windward more efficiently.

So I've been sitting here working and listening to the wind howl outside. Really pleasant when you're in a snug berth with the heat going. Tomorrow I have to sail back in what look like similar conditions. But downwind!
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:48   #2
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Not very pretty up .in the NE of Scotland at the moment
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:53   #3
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pirate Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Surfs definitely up...
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:10   #4
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

... wave heights bigger than 20m ! ...

segelwetter europa atlantik-route wellenhöhen + 6 utc

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Old 10-12-2014, 12:35   #5
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Not nice. Stay safe Dockhead.

This is the data on U-Grib from the channel, at a point abeam Portsmith.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:52   #6
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

LOL

Definitely Orstrallian............ Portsmouth.
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Old 10-12-2014, 13:01   #7
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Not nice. Stay safe Dockhead.

This is the data on U-Grib from the channel, at a point abeam Portsmith.
Par for the course around here this season. There will be plenty of people out sailing in it.

After five years of sailing the Channel, I am ok sailing in anything through a F8 as long as the wind is not ahead of the beam, and will usually not cancel a trip because of it. And as long as I'm not single handed!
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Old 10-12-2014, 13:27   #8
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

A ha, bit of a bracing breeze coming in
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Old 10-12-2014, 13:43   #9
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pirate Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

The Sky News report about Scotland this evening cracked me up...
Reporters looking for folk to back up how bad it is can only find answers like.. 'Ach.. there'll be worse in the New Year.. this is normal..'
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Old 10-12-2014, 13:57   #10
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
The Sky News report about Scotland this evening cracked me up...
Reporters looking for folk to back up how bad it is can only find answers like.. 'Ach.. there'll be worse in the New Year.. this is normal..'
Scotland getting hammered as we speak:

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There will be winds in the '60's -- that's a Cat I hurricane for lower latitude sailors. 20 meters significant wave height.

I would not want to be out in that, to say the least
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Old 10-12-2014, 14:01   #11
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

See that the sea state "phenomenal" gets a mention in a forecast area's around the NW and N coast of Scotland for this evening.
Was meant to have started a tow from Wick a few days ago, but sense prevailed and the job is postponed until March next year.
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Old 10-12-2014, 14:07   #12
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

hmm...good day to stay at the marina????
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Old 10-12-2014, 14:33   #13
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Winds up to 130km/hr here on the west coast of Ireland normal winter weather ...
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Old 10-12-2014, 15:01   #14
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Sunny day in central, well, western Europe. I was teaching near London one year, and the wife and I took the ferry out to Cowes from Southampton this very weekend for a holiday. End of term. About 32-33F and blowing hard. There was a regatta for craft about Lightning size--well over 150 boats--at the top of the Solent between the mainland and Cowes. I watched them from inside the ferry, then later in the snug at the pub in Cowes could only say, "hardy."
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Old 10-12-2014, 15:20   #15
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Re: Winter Gales in the Channel

Quote:
then later in the snug at the pub in Cowes could only say, "hardy."
I'm sure I could have thought of a few more appropriate words. But you being a teacher and all...
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