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Old 30-06-2009, 19:56   #61
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Originally Posted by Amgine View Post
I hate to do this to you, but you averaged 2.5 kts VMG on the upwind side of things
Yep, I did some calcs on my angles and VMG, and that's what I figured too. I was planning on being able to make 100 miles a day, and it was a struggle to make good 60 miles. Once I started motorsailing (the final northbound segment in the track before turning back) we were doing a bit over 4 kts SOG (and in the right direction), but regardless, it would have been a very long and uncomfortable trip.

I've been spending a lot of time proving to myself that I made the right call -- I'm not used to crying uncle! Actually, I'm reasonably comfortable with my decision to turn back, and looking carefully last night at the weather and buoy reports for the past several days has only reinforced this.
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Old 30-06-2009, 20:02   #62
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If you wait till late Oct.\ November,you can catch the countercurrent up the coast,probably find a good soueaster as well.
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Old 30-06-2009, 20:29   #63
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NEED ADVICE AND CONFIRMATION OF THE FOLLOWING:
Last night, we visited a Portland, OR based freind of the owner's who was a professional fisherman. He told us of something I have never seen on the weather charts and surface wind analysis:

Apparently, somewhere around the 135 fathom line, where the continental shelf drops off and there is a cold water upwelling, there is a narrow band of southerly wind, 1 to 2 NM wide, that one can follow up the coast to Cape Flattery (and beyond). This exists during the summertime prevailing conditions (which are the current long-range forecast).

Can folks confirm or deny that?
I don't know about a band of S-wind, but the upwelling does occur - it's an important factor in the California current ecosystem. It's reasonably possible that such a wind system would exist - possibly generated by the sea breeze cycle.
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Old 01-07-2009, 18:12   #64
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Got a great Email from a friend experienced on this coast:

Allen: Yes, I have heard the info on the band of wind at the drop-off.
It is fairly hard to find the gulf stream waters on the east coast and it is 10 degrees warmer than surrounding waters and you can actually see it. And can monitor it with temp sensors, etc.... As far as this west coast band goes, I wouldn't search too hard to find a small difference in wind speed.
It's alot easier to motor a tuna boat upwind in a 1-2 mile band width than
is is to tack a sailboat every acouple miles, 24/7 to stay in it. I also
have heard that there is ususally a 1 kt current flowing southerly along the
entire coast. However: It's been my experience that all this
planning/plotting/etc is just like what we may do before a local puget sound race. Then comes the actual race and we may do the exact opposite and win.
On a ocean trip there is so much to manage..... crew sleep, wave action, wind direction, boat/shipping traffic, vessel conditions, ships systems management, sea sickness, radio/radar/weather imput, water/fuel burn rates,
etc. A crew has to be ready to adjust to the conditions that will make
the trip as safe and fun and enjoyable as possible. With this vessel it
would appear that perhaps the slowest route with the minimal seas would be the best. I'm betting that you find yourselfs following the coast line quite close, maybe even only 3-5 miles offshore especially in Calif. waters.
I wouldn't worry about sea room/ leeshore too much if the vessel sails
nicely. Most boats can be headed offshore with even a make shift rig if
the worse happens and there isn't alot of traffic that close, or if there is it's usually the same size. Make sure that you leave S.F. before the Delta heats up for the day and causes the big afternoon westerly to flow in the
gate. It's more pronounced than the Straits westerly up here. We have
left at nite before to avoid just these conditions. After acouple hours,
it's easier to get the off-watch to go to sleep, get in the routine, and the newbe's don't turn around all day to watch the shore line disapear! It takes most of a 24-hr day (depending on your starting point) to get out the
gate and out the sea lanes before turning north. You can keep just outside
the lanes going out on the right side and reduce the likely hood of having a close encounter. Like I said before, keep sharp eyes out for traffic, as it
comes from all 360 degrees of the compass.

Judy and I know a local pnw
sailor who got run over by a container ship upon his approach to SF.....
they lost the boat in a matter of 2 minutes of impact. And it might not
have been a happy ending if the cook hadn't been standing of the aft deck of the cargo ship, throwing dead cabbage off the stern, and saw the holed Buchan 37 go by the stern, going down, and used the phone to tell the wheelhouse that they had run someone down. The sailboat only had one person on watch, while 4 slept below, entering one of the largest ports on the
coast!!!...... they got lucky.

...(snip)

On another note, we
cut the corner going down to SF one time and got within sight of the potatoe patch and suddenly found that while the patch was fairly flat, right where we were the waves suddenly started breaking and we found ourselves surfing
at 16kts down the waves with only a small jib on our SC50. Not the fun
thing it sound like, when your just trying to start/finish a delivery...
We leave tomarrow for more work on our cabin in the San Juans, and no
e/m....... HAVE A GOOD TIME! Gordy--
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:18   #65
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Yea, it looks like you right along the shelf most the way.
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Old 02-07-2009, 17:54   #66
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Weather prediction

Now in SF and the Skipper has just arrived from Alaska. We went over the to-do list and have a week or so work before our shakedown cruise.

I'm doing daily weather forecasting and checking the long range forecasts taken days ago against the current conditions so I can get a good idea of the quality of the forecasts. So far we have not have an offshore low come in and there are none in the forseeable future so I realize the test of quality is limited.

My prediction process goes like this: First I use LINKS to NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE FORECAST OFFICES
to get the current conditions.

Next I study the U.W. MM5 Mesoscale 36km surface analysis loops: NAM-Initialized Pacific Northwest MM5 Weather Forecasts
This gives me a good idea of model driving the weather on the coast for the next 96 hours. I also look at the 12km loop but under these conditions (no lows coming in) they are not any more informative than the 36km model (they should be more informative under low pressure conditions)

I compare the MM5 loop against the Radiofax surface analysis charts for the current and 24, 48 and 96 hour forecasts: Radiofax Charts - Pt. Reyes, CA

Next, I look at the wind/wave analysis and prediction loops from: NWW3 Product Viewer
Unfortunalty this does not give me period and I know that period is very important. As a rule of thumb, I would not want to get into a squared or better period where the period in seconds is equal or less than the wave height in feet (Thanks Gordy Cole for that advice). If anyone has a good wave analysis site, let me know.
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Old 02-07-2009, 18:05   #67
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Southerly winds at the 135 fathom line

Got a call from a good friend who once owned 5 commercial fishing boats (120 to 270 feet) and now owns a research vessel now placing tsunami warning buoys under contract to the government. He also owns a major shipyard in Seattle.

I had told him what I had heard about the southerly winds at the 135fathom line during prevailing conditions and he said he would check with his "boys" (meaning the captains of his old ships).

My friend told me that none of the "boys" have heard or know of a southerly wind lane, 1-2 miles wide during prevailing northerly conditions. his advice to me is similar to so many others - stay out of the shipping lanes and have a good trip!
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:44   #68
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bump

We are working on the boat and getting ready for sea trials (Thursday) and the shakedown cruise (Saturday?). I'm keeping a journal of my (almost) daily weather forcasting. If anyone is interested in seeing that, let me know.
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Old 07-07-2009, 20:25   #69
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I'd love to have access to that. I think Paul on Valis has a list distributing NOAA's daily weather maps, which I've been receiving for a couple years. The archives are an excellent resource to see real day-to-day weather changes over years, as well as to compare predicted weather to actual weather.
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Old 07-07-2009, 21:15   #70
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Send a message via MSN to John A
Here's Latitude38's url to a host of weather and sea state sights with a lot of good information.

Latitude 38 Links to Non-Commercial Sites
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Old 07-07-2009, 22:05   #71
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I would recommend Ugrib. I use it to help me decide if I can get around Vancouver Island.

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Old 07-07-2009, 22:17   #72
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Probably another thread topic...

I use MacENC's built-in GRIB requestor to get and display GRIBs. It's great for trip planning, but of course less useful for that when underway (unless you have satellite internet or sailmail/winmail or similar - something to send/receive the e-mails.)
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Old 08-07-2009, 21:57   #73
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Well, it looks like at least one person wanted a look at my weather prediction log. Here it is since last Wednesday - giving a week of forecasts for the PNW coast and local conditions for the Northern California coast:

Time of Forecast: 17:22 Wed 1 July.

12 UTC (05 PDT) Wed 01 July MM5 36KM Domain shows A 1008 low south of the Aleutians (50N) squeezing the 1031 Pacific high towards the BC coast. 10M Winds nearshore of the California coast 10 to 20 and variable direction. At 42 hour, the low should be moving slightly north west and dissipating, the winds off N Cal will begin to strengthen from the West, clocking N at 69 hours and possibly building and becoming more like the prevailing conditions at 72 hours and beyond.

The above is confirmed by the radiofax analysis and forecast with the addition of a 1005 stationary low just over SF bay. This explains some of the light southerly winds shown on the MM5. 24 hr show the low increasing pressure to 1010 and 1012 at 92 hour.

Time of forecast:: 14:30 Thursday 2 July

Current Conditions:
SF: Wind SW 4 Gusts to 6 – As predicted yesterday by the small stationary low over the area. Waves 3.3ft 14 seconds SW. 1013mb. (3 mb higher than forecast) Too bad we are not underway now…

Pt Arena: Wind SW 7 Gusts to 8

MM5 36km domain: 14PDT Thu 02 Jul: 1017 low below the Aleutions (60N 163W) continues to squeeze the pacific high to the NW. Weak and variable winds persist off the SF coast. MM5 does not show the stationary low but the isobars are very far apart. 24 hour forcast show the weak low dissipating and spreading isobars of the coast with winds continuing weak and variable inshore. By Saturday, the prevailing summer conditions should return with wind structures off the California coast beginning to realign to the N and NW and strengthen slightly.

Radiofax confirms MM5 again showing the inland low but no longer showing the stationary low off of SF bay.

NWW3 Significant wave height/direction shows current waves NNW 2-3M decreasing after 42 hours and shifting to the SW. Wind is also forecast to shift to the W (this does NOT concur with the 500mb forecasts). At 120 – 140 hours, wave height increases 1-3 meters more and at 150 hours shifts W to WNW.

Time of forecast: 0800 Saturday 4 July (missed yesterday)

SF: 0600, Wiind SW 2, SSE 7 becoming SW, NW swell 3 ft at 8 sec.

Eurika: 0716: Wind N at 5 – 10 becoming variable, NNW swell 4 ft at 8 sec.

Crescent City: Wind W 4 G6 , waves NW 4 ft at 9 sec.

MM5 36 m domain Pacific high at 1029 stretched from 47N 175W to 57N 155W, Weak low not shown but effects present along the coast now centered off SF bay. This low was predicted to dissipate but now is predicted to slowly move up the coast bringing light and variable S winds up past cape Mendicino by Sunday evening. !2km and 4 km runs show a stable S wind system moving up the coast bringing 5-15 kt southerlies off the Oregon coast Monday and Tuesday.

NWW3 current conditions NNW 1-2 m winds N 5-15 kts. 6 hr forcast shows wave direction off SF shifting SW. SW trend continues and moves up the coast and by 33 hr waves up to central Oregon are SW and decreasing slightly. This continues through 108 hours when waves shift W becoming WNW at 132 hrs. with some confusion of S waves at 180hrs.

Time of Forecast: 1100 Sunday 5 July
Current Conditions
SF: W 4 G6, 1017mb, 3 ft 15 sec. forecast wind increasing W9 tomorrow to WNW 16 with 22 kt gusts Thursday WNW swell to 6-9 ft.

Point Arena: NW 3 G4, 1018 swell n/a. Forecast wind increasing NW 7-14 tomorrow to NW 18 to 20 on Thursday, Swell increasing NNW 3 tomorrow to WNW 6 on Thursday.

Eurika: SE 4 G8 1016mb, 3ft 15 sec. Forecast: Wind increasing wak and variable tomorrow, coming N and NW 12-15kt Thursday, swell NW 5 ft on Thursday.

NOTE: Where are those south swells predicted by the NWW3?

MM5 36km mesoscale: 05 pdt shows the weak low off central Oregon as predicted. Local SF to Oregon winds still weak and variable. 24 hour shows this system moving north and inland over BC and becoming part of a new low pressure system at 50N 120 W beginning to form. Local N CA/OR winds strengthening and becoming N to NW influenced by the pacific high (uniting at 1029mb centered at 49N 160W). At this time, a 1003 low will have formed over Queen Charlotte Island. B y 66 hr, N California winds still N but Central OR will be seeing W winds shifting SW due to 1006 low moving south now at N end ov Vancouver island. By 96 hours this low shows no sign of dissipating and may continue south, bringing W and SW winds to the coast.

MM5 12km domain: Weak low influencing N CA/ So Oregon is continuing to move N Weak southerly winds beginning to strengthen and clock to the west as the Pacific high regains influence here by 39 hours. At 60 hours, the 1007 trough will be at the top of Vancouver Island and headed south. Winds in Wa and Central Oregon will shift west to SW and weaken. Watch for the formation of clouds and frontal systems as this develops. 72 hr forcast shows an interesting divergence of winds at the CA/Or border … more to follow.

NNW3: inshore swell mainly SW along the coast and N to NNW offshore. Offshore swells becoming mainly SW/SSW over the next 24 hours. 1-3 meters. This condition persists until 72 hours when the swell increases and begins to shift W offshore. By 90 hrs we see W swell at 2-3M entering the inshore region. Past 120 hrs, swell has shifted WNW and may decrease out at 160 hr swell has decresed and may be shifting back to the south along the Oregon coast. This may be the influence of the new trough coming down from B.C.

Time of forecast: 0900 Tuesday 7 July 2009
Current Conditions; local forecasts:
SF: SW 7 G 11, 1015mb, 3.3ftSW 15sec.
Point Arena: N16 G 17, 1014mb 5.2ft? 5 sec (SQUARED) forecast NNW 20-25 G 31, 5.75ftNNW 8 sec. Same forcast for next few days, possible reduction of wind to NNW 15-20.
Eurika: NNW 10-20 G25 4-7ft 6 sec. No change through Thursday.

MM5 36km: 0800: Pacific high at 1030 has moved south to 44N 165W (off Central Oregon). Sunday’s new low at 1012(?) over Queen Charlotte Island moving S. Current conditions are prevailing from Mexico to central Oregon. The low moves South bringing W winds, turning southerly, to Eurika and southe Oregon in 24 hours. At 48 hours the low has only moved to central Vancouver and weakend to 1018, still bringing some SW winds to Oregon. By 57 hours this low seems to be dissipating but it is hard to tell at this point. California cost continues to be driven by prevailing conditions.

MM5 12km: 05 PDT conditions for N Cal and Oregon coast are prevailing with 15-25 N NNW winds gusting to 25-30. 1013 low over Vancouver headed South bringing W to SW to S 5-10 kt winds to Central OR by tomorrow. Low begins to dissipate, 1018 at 48 hours with weak and variable winds off OR and will be gone at 64 hours with conditions returning to prevailing.

Time of Forecast: 2000 Wednesday 8 July 2009

SF: N23 G27 1013mb 10.8ft NW 8 sec. Forecast thru Sunday show prevailing conditions persist: 13 – 22 kt winds greater in the afternoons and evenings.

Pt Arena: N12 G14 1016mb, 7.2ft(NA), 6 sec. Prevailing conditions will persist thru Sunday.

Eurika: N6 G6, 1018mb 2.6ftNW 10sec. Forecast shows these conditions persis through Sunday. It looks like once around the cape, things settle down a bit. This may be the trough coming down from the N.

MM5 36km domain: The trough off Vancouver Island, now at 1916mb is dissipating as forecast and will be all but gone tomorrow morning. The 1028 mb pacific high is off the N cal coast at about 39N 160W. In 24 hrs, a new ridge begins to form in the gulf of Alaska at 53N 150W. the ridge should intensify and move slowly east bringing slightly higher winds offshore of British Columbia but not having a significant effect on the prevailing conditions off Northern California and Oregon (with the possibility of reinforcing prevailing conditions). This ridge and the trough to the east would make fo an interesting sail to the North up the center of the Gulf of Alaska, but we do not plan to go out that far.

MM5 12km Domain: the dissipating trough off Vacouver Island is giving the Central Oregon and Washington Coast some nice southerlies (with maybe a few nasty westerlies on the central OR coast making bar conditions bad. But of course we are still here in SF so they will not affect us. By tomorrow evening this will all be gone. From then on out to the 96 hour mark (and beyond) prevailing Northerly winds down the coast are reinforced by the ridge forecast in the 36km domain.

NNW3: 1-2 meter NW swell increasing to 2-3m over the next 96 hours.
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Old 08-07-2009, 22:34   #74
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I would recommend Ugrib. I use it to help me decide if I can get around Vancouver Island.

Jack
Excellent recommendation!

Thanks.

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Old 11-07-2009, 15:32   #75
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WEATHER GUYS LOOK HERE AND COMMENT please!

WEATHER GUYS LOOK HERE AND COMMENT!

Hi Guys: The boat is almost ready to sea trials and shakedown cruise - it looks like we can get underway early to mid next week.

THERE SEEMS TO BE AN INTERESTING WEATHER SYSTEM DEVELOPING MID TO LATE NEXT WEEK. You weather guys please look at this and comment!

Here is an excerpt from my forecast from today:

Time of forecast: 1400 Saturday 11 July 2009:

MM5 36km Domain: Pacific High 1026 centered at 38N 160W and stretching north. A 1018mb stationary low at 47N 157W (a little further east than usual) now looks to be setting up the possibility of a summer storm forming north of the pacific high. This could be good for us. At 48 hours, the low has dissipated but at 69 hours, a new low appears to be forming at 50N 145W. The MM5 ends at 72 hours but the Grib foles go further… At 72 hours, The pacific high seems to be a bit confused, squeezed inshore and creating gale force winds along the coast and especially at Cape Mendicino. V ery bad for us except for what may be following…

Normally I discuss the 12km here, but instead I’d like to discuss the UGRIB which I started looking at since Jackdale’s great suggestion:

By Tuesday, 14 July at 1800, a 1018 mb low has formed at 51N 139W and a 1013mb low will be at 47N 152W. By Thursday at 1200UTC, these are forcast to have combined and formed a 1011 low at 49N 140W. This is the end of the UGRIB run but it looks like this system may be headed East for the coast. It appears to me that this has the potential to break the prevailing conditions and bring some southerly winds that may reach down as far as Point Arena. Note that this is distant speculation and I have no experience weather these usually head North or east, but it is certainly interesting and has the potential to help us out next Friday or Saturday if we are headed up the coast. Comments are welcome!
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