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post #91 of 141 Old 03-12-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

I sure understand the relative impact of waves and wind (wave period too), but I'm curious to start with the premise that wind has increased and by how much. That's been hard enough to objectively quantify. Again, I'm not trying to disprove, I'm trying to quantify and see if there are new patterns one would need to or could account for.

I've found a number of French weather stations in the windwards, but they're all offline. I'll keep looking, but not right now.

As far as RI sound, the Bays, Islands, etc, I still see dominantly light winds in late summer. I would say that I see more occasional good wind days than in the past. Again, this is based upon the narrow weather windows I'm actually sailing within. I still find myself ghosting on the Bay in late summer, as I don't feel like motoring offshore.

I've developed a sensitivity to not wanting to land my slip in north winds at 20 kts or more. It used to be a challenge, but I'm more risk adverse as I age. I generally won't go now, or will stay out long, if I need to come back in those conditions. I've actually noticed fewer of them each summer. Again, I think this is anecdotal. On the other hand, it seems to be that the weather patterns have not been as routinely repetitive as they were a decade ago. A cold front passing from west to east periodically was the norm, unless blocked offshore. They seem to be mixed, stationary and occluded more often now. I'm interested in the data. I think these patterns are more to the point than actual wind speed, but I really don't know how to quantify them.

I think it was last Spring that I was on a run from Block Island back to the Bay, downwind at 30 kts. Following seas too, est 7ish feet, comfortable enough period. Nothing but a heavily reefed jib. The sail was glorious. The third week of July, I crossed the Gulf of Maine in 25kts, with very tight 7ft seas more up on the beam and it was miserable.


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post #92 of 141 Old 03-12-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

FWIW and IMHO its way to early to feel significant effects of climate change in our likely sailing grounds. Now as you go further and further North then you may find some. My summertime grounds are around 50N, but things are so variable year to year it’s impossible for me to say. Decade to decade the changes are more visible. But you really need to look over a couple of decades to be clear.

2 years ago I had to delay launching because I had an iceberg grounded on my mooring spot. Last summer we often could not sit on the porch in the afternoon, too hot. Thermometer said 104 but I don’t believe it. Variability is change.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

The one thing we need to be very scientifically careful of is confirmation bias. Doesn't matter what one's belief or suspicion or hypothesis may be, the appearance of anything that confirms it will carry more weight in the mind than normal. It's human. Need data.

The other bias I have is that we all get more risk adverse as we age. Some would say that's how we got away with aging. There is a silly saying in the pilot community. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old and bold pilots.

I recall the first time I flew an aircraft that was certified to fly in ice. I intentionally chose an altitude (11,000 ft - I recall this flight to this day, even though it was a long, long time ago), in the clouds and in the dark. I had plenty of outs, as it was ice free above and below. I wanted to see these magic systems work. I wouldn't make that choice today if you paid me. Ice is to be avoided and quickly transited, not tempted.


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post #94 of 141 Old 03-12-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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The Colregs did work in my instance because I was the stand on vessel and the cruise ship did turn. Not only did he turned for me but also for the freighter. However, other parts of the regs worked against me like mass tonnage and ability to turn. But again the cruise ship did have the sea room to maneuver out of the way. Still, I am not a fan of looking at the bow wave of a BAB (Big Ass Boat) heading my way. I could turn 90 to port and lay up. That was plan B. He would have missed me by 1000 feet according to AIS. I was only 5 miles off the coast of St Lucia when all this happen near the port of Castries. Since Moondance is a magnet for cruise ships I have more encounters than I care for. I am getting actually good at talking them. In all cases they have turned to pass off my stern. They have been most kind. The two things I don't like is I/we the cruising community are fair game to entertain their passengers with. They seem to like to get real close than turn to avoid. Not for the faint heart. The second thing I hate is they get so close, I always ask for a meal to to be dropped over the side. This time I asked for a hot fudge sundae. They have never replied with any of my request.
On Page 8 of my post is a screenshot of the conflict (Thanks Donna). The cruise ship has already turned 10 degrees to starboard. I am about 4 miles off the coast of St Lucia near the port of Castries (where all the cruise ships and freighters dock). You can see a pink "V" on the chartplotter where the entrance lies. If one looks at my track I turned to port to avoid the freighter. Also one can see the X-track error of my rhumb line due to current pushing me out to sea. (The rhumb line is the black line next to the freighter near the coast). I am 7.5 NM from Rodney Bay my destination.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

The issue of confirmation bias is quite relevant as is sampling bias. As is error from the mean and scatter. A series of anecdotal reports isnít proof and I accept that. However, the anecdotes are in line with the major reports on climate change.
Another anecdote. My freezer used to shut off periodically when set at 12f while in the tropics. Now needs to be at 18f to shut off. Makes me think the water is warmer. I used to snorkel all day in comfort. Now need a water shirt. Meaningless reports scientifically. Meaningful as a quality of life measure.
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post #96 of 141 Old 03-12-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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....However, the anecdotes are in line with the major reports on climate change.....
If you could point me to one that claims the Caribbean will get windier in the winter, I would be truly interested. I have plans to be there most winters for the next 15 or so years.

Most I've read have made generic predictions of changing global weather patterns, but have not suggested these would be notable everywhere, in the present time period. Last I recall, there has been very little sea temp change in the tropics and little anticipated. Even globally, one could not perceive the 1 degree average change, just by running their freezer. You know there is more to that one.

I also note pattern changes, but I also read these reports, therefore, expect to see them. Kinda my point.


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The trades in the leewards are modulated by what comes off US coast but this effect does next to nothing to the trades in the windwards. The trades are part of the North Atlantic gyre system being driven by temperature ( therefore pressure) differences on this quadrant of the earth. Local water temperature is not the major significant driver to my limited understanding. With more energy in the entire system more wind and more weather events throughout the system

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post #98 of 141 Old 03-12-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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If you could point me to one that claims the Caribbean will get windier in the winter, I would be truly interested. I have plans to be there most winters for the next 15 or so years.

Most I've read have made generic predictions of changing global weather patterns, but have not suggested these would be notable everywhere, in the present time period. Last I recall, there has been very little sea temp change in the tropics and little anticipated. Even globally, one could not perceive the 1 degree average change, just by running their freezer. You know there is more to that one.

I also note pattern changes, but I also read these reports, therefore, expect to see them. Kinda my point.
All one has to do is google, sea temp raise to see that sea temperatures are raising hence more violent Hurricanes in the past 10 years down here. Unless you don't believe in science which there are plenty that do not.
https://eos.org/research-spotlights/...-the-caribbean Just one such article. With sea temperature raise comes climate change. It is what I believe, your mileage may vary.

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post #99 of 141 Old 03-12-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

https://eos.org/research-spotlights/...-the-caribbean

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Curious about main sail handling systems. In Rodney for a few days. Cat next to me has been spending several days sorting out his in boom system. Itís the Australian version of leisure furl. Boat three down in the other direction spending the same amount of time sorting out his in mast. Think itís a Selden.
One of the shocks in my sparcraft boom vang failed so chatted up the rigging shop. He likes in boom and in mast but that may be to the work generated. Still, a lot of 50í and up boats in here being sailed by mom and pop. Those systems must surely help handling those large main sails.
Wonder if in other windy places (SF, bay of Biscay etc.) furling systems take more of a beating or it has to do with mandrills or getting the tensions right on two different lines simultaneously.
Only experience iíve had has been negative but they continue to be quite appealing as reefing and unstriking reefs quickly by yourself would be great. At present go to a reach and pull string but it takes me a few minutes. although I have powered winches have learned to do it by hand due to less risk of screwing up.
Reason I ask about this is to determine if cruisers in the Caribbean should avoid these conveniences.

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