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Old 13-11-2015, 06:07   #16
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Yep. That looks just like the one that dumped a foot and a half of water in our cockpit.

x2, but why does it always happen around 4 AM when you are about to doze off. Mother Nature saying wake up and pay attention?
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:33   #17
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

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Be prepared for a rough ride.
Lol, yes. Always. This one is my fourth crossing of with 2 benign and one interesting. I am angling for a 'benign' again

Mark
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:29   #18
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

I thought the common wisdom is No "N" in the wind direction when crossing the stream. However, I've only crossed from Florida so maybe it varies further North. I'll take calm and boring anyday
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:30   #19
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

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A bit spikey in the next few days but better than next week...

I am thinking of crossing the Gulf Stream out side Beaufort North Carolina in a 20 knot NW. At the place I am crossing the Stream is heading NE so the wind will be at 90 degrees.

My course is SE, wind up the bum, shortest course to cross it.

What conditions can I expect?

Thanks,


Mark
adapted from a post we did on crossing the gulfstream - hope it's helpful. To see the full post, go to our blog and enter "How Best to Cross the Gulf Stream" in the search box

At last year's Boat Show in Annapolis Frank Bohlen, Professor Emeritus of Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, advised us to sail south inside the stream to around 30N and then head east because the stream there was narrow and weak. Don Street, who also taught a class at the Boat Show, also recommends this route. It makes sense to cross at the narrowest point within a reasonable distance of your course line, and to make good speed while doing so to lessen the current set and to get across before inclement weather can develop.
Resources:
Jennifer Clark, an oceanographer, was NOAA’s gulf stream expert. Now, Jennifer uses infrared imagery, satellite altimetry data, and surface isotherm data, oceanographic analyses to produce guidance for private customers on how and when to traverse the stream.
APL Ocean Remote Sensing
NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center
Rutgers Satellite Imagery of the Gulf Stream
John’s Hopkins
National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center
Current velocities of the Gulf Stream
US Navy’s images of the gulfstream
Here’s an experimental NOAA mapping of the gulfstream that you can overlay on a google map
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:52   #20
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

Well, you will die and the boat sink in those conditions. Seriously, depends on what kind of boat your talking about. 35knot plus winds contrary to the current will be hard on the hull if your going to weather. If your off the wind, you could sail right off a steep 18 footer. If your close to the banks, your dead. If far out to sea, then just do not eat too much. The Marion-Bermuda races keep good records about the stream and weather conditions over the past 40 plus years.
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:08   #21
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

While the Gulf Stream is important, in these waters, I also check that I will be south of the 564' contour line in the North Atlantic 500mb chart. On this measure, leaving from Beaufort and heading south appears OK. Of course, the Gulf Stream can get pretty miserable without extra help of low pressure.

Here's the current one http://www.weathercharts.org/noaa-charts.htm

Frankly, even south of the 564' looks pretty awful on these charts. Sure the wind's on the stern but .....

I started doing this several years ago after reading the following post - I believe here. I apologize to the author that I didn't copy his name. Perhaps he would jump in:

I have been watching the North Atlantic 500mb and surface weather charts for a few years now and pay particular attention each season during the fall and spring months since that is when things are usually most interesting. Year to year the little things seem to change but not the big picture. The Spring and Fall are tough in the Atlantic. The upper level charts do a great job of showing us this if your willing to watch what they are trying to show you. I apologize for not being able to write in depth as it’s hard to do on an iPhone, but what I will say is that we need to watch the 564' contour line on the 500 mb charts very closely. It’s a wonderful tool and almost every time it has an uncanny way of,predicting what a surface low will do. It’s also useful for knowing the southern most extent a low might travel. What we see each spring is that the 564 line starts is trek north and with it the fierce lows that normally ride along it. The problem is that the 564 line can dig south in a hurry during the equinoctial gale seasons and up until early June it can travel past 35 N and with it bring a low right into the middle of the Atlantic where your least expected it. A low that just a few days prior may have been troubling Canada. However, If you wait just a few more weeks until the end of June you see a marked change in the behavior of this line. It goes all the way up to about 45-50 N and hangs with undulations down to maybe 40 N. And then once the Bermuda high builds things really get calm until we see sea surface temps start to rise. Bottom line, most of the storms that have caused carnage over the past few years in the North Atlantic may have been avioded if folks looked at the upper level charts and paid respect to the 564 line. If we plot the planned course a lot of these vessels took prior to getting hit we would see most of them planned a route north of the forecasted southern extent of the 564 line when there was a lot of upper level energy……
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:17   #22
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

Quote from Chris Parker's email :
"Late Fri13 afternoon-Sat14 builds dramatically from the NE-ENE, with building seas and uncomfortable conditions for most tastes".

I've seen the stream with a northerly component, crazy. Are you on a time crunch? Well, either way, I hope you have a safe crossing
Erika

PS we just crossed from Bimini to Ft Lauderdale last week. Was L&V, then east 10-15 .
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:50   #23
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

I don't know if it's just me, but when I make the trip from New England to Florida I set up a couple of Hundred miles offshore and avoid most of the Streams influence. I also tend to see more interesting marine life as a bonus.
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Old 13-11-2015, 14:38   #24
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

How seaworthy is your boat?
We did exactly what you propose in 2010 on the strong NW winds created by hurricane Thomas in a PDQ 44 cat. But we left from Southport.
Take your Meclizine and zofran before you leave. The stream flows NE so a NW wind is not exactly wind-against -the-stream with short square waves. Instead, expect a washing machine with big waves meeting from all directions. 3 of our 4 crew were extremely seasick until we were out of the stream. Try to exit in a south-flowing eddy. If the NW wind holds for you as it did for us, you won't have to worry about making your easting before reaching the trades.. We sailed the rhumb line all the way to Tortola.
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Old 14-11-2015, 06:08   #25
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

It only takes about 8-9 hours in the Stream where Mark is planning to cross, so as long as he's looking at reasonable conditions during that period, he'll be OK.

Once across, it doesn't much matter if you see up to Force 8 or 9 conditions. The wind will be clocking around from the starboard to the port quarter as the front moves across his position. He'll probably be surfing down 20' + waves with just a scrap of jib out. It's a pretty nice ride. After my last crossing, we were surfing down 24-footers at 11 knots with 1/3 of the 110% yankee out in 45 knots. That with a boat that had a hull speed of 7.5 kts. Yeehaw!
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Old 14-11-2015, 06:53   #26
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pirate Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

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How seaworthy is your boat?

...
Hahaha. That's a good one. Mark is a little sensitive about that. But careful readers will know that both Mark and boat have sailed around the world. Together. This ain't his first rodeo nor encounter with rough conditions.
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Old 14-11-2015, 07:13   #27
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

Just to add a different perspective.
Choose wisely crossing the stream in a northerly. That will be up to you and the "experts" here on the forum. I don't do it after personal experiences but not as experienced as some.
However I just left Cape Fear 7 days ago and headed SE knowing there was a meander fairly far east to almost 75.5 W. We crossed around 32 N. Our plan was to get past the meander and head straight for Georgetown Exumas via the southern tip of Eleuthera.
Well we were faced with fairly strong current on our nose all the way down to almost to the Albacos. Also the seas were very choppy even out of the stream and in light winds. As we were heading for TS Kate it became quite obvious why the lumpy seas.
The stream seemed to have a significant Easterly component that was seen on some GS charts and not on others. We did not use a "weather router" but have not been impressed with their abilities in the past but maybe I have used the wrong ones.
So all I am saying is you might see the stream for a lot longer than you expect when going east at this time around that latitude.
Wishing you a safe passage.
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Old 15-11-2015, 04:56   #28
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

So what is the scoop Mark J? Did you leave on Friday as you hoped?
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Old 26-11-2015, 04:18   #29
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

Just finished the 10 day passage.
The Gulf Stream was good. It was blowing 18 from due north and still the sea was dead flat.

The GS was exactly 50nms across with no eddies before or after.

I 'lost' exactly 20nms from my course line. (but see how exact my loss prediction was!)

(I have to change computer to upload the charts)
Note: I didn't touch the auto pilot, so the deviation is just current. The inner and putter edge were my estimates which were pretty spot on.

So I am very happy with the crossing and recommend the area for those conning out of Beaufort.

Other interesting things: after the GS it did not cool down much, so it wasn't cold like the land side. I did have warm gear on a few days but nothing extreme.

I went out to 24n 63.5w before turni g S to St Martin.
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Old 26-11-2015, 07:20   #30
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Re: Gulf Stream when wind is at 90 degrees?

Congratulations Mark; and thanks for the "as done" update.
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