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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-06-2010 09:43 AM
dabnis Good choice, reminds me of the saying "there are bold pilots and old pilots, but no old bold pilots", or something like that. There is always another day. It will probably start to lay down in a month or so. Be patient and stay alive.

04-06-2010 02:12 AM
KeelHaulin Looking at the forecasts brings me back towards canceling the trip. The wind/wave for Tuesday is back to 9-12' with SCA for the SF Bar; and Friday is 15-25 kt winds swell 9'-11'NW with 3' SW and 3-5' wind waves. That's a mess of heavy, confused seas with heavy wind in addition. I don't think it will be long period swell and returning in through SF Bar (and exiting HMB) could be treacherous. Today's highest -average- wave height in the SF channel was 19.5' (likely breaking waves) during max ebb with a predicted wave height of 15'.

Withot a huge change in the forecast by AM I think we are going to stay inside SF Bay this week...
04-05-2010 05:34 PM
Jeff_H My most vivid experiences in those kind of conditions were over the continental shelf in the Atlantic off Georgia. Here the waves can pile up very steeply (15- 20 feet tall) and be very closely spaced as well.

The one thing that surprised me besides how hard it was to avoid seasickness was the difference in windspeed in the troughs vs at the crests. Even though it was gusting well into the 30 knot range and sometimes well over that, in the troughs it felt like there was almost no wind.

As a result, the boat would slow nearly to a stop as it was climbing each wave, seemingly get thrown back against its rudder, would then take a knock down at the crest, pitch bow down and either slide on its topsides or roar down the back of the wave.

Most of this was in a boat of a similar shape and vintage to your boat, if you hit the wave right it was not too bad, the Vee'd bow sections hitting comparatively more gently than you would expect. The problem came if you lost too much speed and landed on your topsides, or if you had too much speed, launched the boat clean out of the back of the wave, missing the back of the wave and landing squarely in the trough. That was just plain scary and painful.

04-05-2010 02:34 PM
cormeum 16-20's. Boat didn't point that high ( roller main since discarded). Got a good case of the queasies and it was a very wet ride. Aside from that, what's to tell.
04-05-2010 11:04 AM
dabnis Keelhaulin,

Thanks for the invitation. Besides living in Truckee now, "been there, done that" and as mentioned earlier, "non-stop train wreck".

Good luck, Dabnis
04-05-2010 12:35 AM
KeelHaulin Yes; this is what I was concerned with... I figured that if the swell was up above 10' it could be pretty hairy sailing into it. Usually when we get out to Mile Rock and if the swell is up we turn and run back in; spend the rest of the day in SF Bay. We had one day when we got out the gate and near the channel and the swell was stacking up really tall like 18' with capping waves in view further out. Needless to say we turned down and motor sailed back in with light wind on our quarter.

Today's forecast has the swell prediction for Tuesday down to 8-10'; and Friday at 9-11'. I hope it either stays as predicted or subsides a bit more; but if it looks worse or the buoy data shows worse (or it looks bad at the bar) on Tuesday we will bag the trip.

Thanks for the helpful posts guys & gal... Anyone want to crew for the trip back to SF?
04-04-2010 07:48 PM
sarafinadh man.... I have done this and it is NOT pretty if the interval is close...

We did 12' to 15' swells with almost NO interval all the way from Half Moon bay to the gate and I chummed the WHOLE way. And I don't *usually get seasick... honestly it was really really awful. and when we got to the new marina the insult to injury was that I had to clean the port side off...

If the swells will be that big and close you will prolly be under motor most of the way and hating life.

I hate to sound so negative, but honestly the only time I felt this bad was in 25' to 30' seas off the Atlantic coast of Panama... when I had the flu...

There is a reason the north route up the coast is called 'The Bash'...
04-04-2010 07:39 PM
paulk Like people have said, the period is often more important than the height. We spent a day beating to Bermuda, falling off the top of every other wave: not fun. (Though we won our division...) Also, if you're dealing with big rollers, that's one thing. If they're cresting, that's something else. It might be a good idea to err on the side of caution, reefing well down at the outset, especially since you're short-handed. It's always easier to shake out a reef if you need more power to punch through than it is to put one in once you've started to really bounce around. Your boat sounds big & heavy enough to manage OK, but YOU may get tired. If thngs start to get too crazy, shift to a little more comfortable heading. Even if it takes you longer, you'll be able to enjoy the trip instead of beating yourselves to two tired pulps.
04-04-2010 05:46 PM
klem You might try heading out and sailing into it for a few miles first before turning and running with it just to make sure that you are comfortable doing it.

Depending on the boat and the wave period, beating into seas of that size can be anything from hard driving to survival sailing where you are not making any progress. If the period is long and you have a boat well suited to the conditions, just power her up and you will get there. It will definitely put some extra stress on the people and gear so you need to be prepared. However, if the period of the waves is short, your boat can start "falling off" the waves which makes it extremely hard to cover any ground. This results in extreme pitching and the boat loosing most of its speed each time it comes down into the trough. The key in these conditions if you want to make any progress is to accept that you can't point very high and fall off a little to get your boatspeed up.

One of my favorite days on the water ever was a day with 10-12' waves with a very short period. We only went out for 2 hours or so and couldn't point above probably 60 degrees. When we went to tack, we discovered that the boat wouldn't do it, we could never get head to wind so we used the engine at WOT since we didn't want to gybe. There was also a race going on at the same time and some of the multihulls would launch off the top of a wave and move sideways 10-15' while in the air before hitting the next wave. While the wave height was not that great on these seas, the reason that it was so tough was the period.
04-04-2010 09:25 AM
dabnis Right, seems like we have had an extension of heavy winter weather. We have been waiting for it to lay down some before going crabing out of Fort Bragg. Don't know how the Salmon opener was out of SF this weekend for the "puker" fleet? Glad to see you are keeping a good eye on it before jumping in.

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