SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hear that Christmas Winds have set in with a passion in the VI and yet we sit here in the Windwards with summertime weather. Not more than an 18 knot gust over the last 24 hours, and right now we've about 8 knots from the NE, a warm 84 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.
Christmas Winds are dependable in their velocity, if not their duration, I've found. 25 to 35 knots is the norm, starting sometime in the few weeks just before Christmas but they can terminate anywhere from a couple of weeks to one year, when they lasted through March and into April.
But this year we have had two days of Christmas Winds and otherwise this has been the most pleasant December I can ever remember. What a grand charter season this would have made! Neptune can be downright contrary when he pleases, it seems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarkofSeaLife

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,938 Posts
I hear that Christmas Winds have set in with a passion in the VI and yet we sit here in the Windwards with summertime weather. Not more than an 18 knot gust over the last 24 hours, and right now we've about 8 knots from the NE, a warm 84 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.
Christmas Winds are dependable in their velocity, if not their duration, I've found. 25 to 35 knots is the norm, starting sometime in the few weeks just before Christmas but they can terminate anywhere from a couple of weeks to one year, when they lasted through March and into April.
But this year we have had two days of Christmas Winds and otherwise this has been the most pleasant December I can ever remember. What a grand charter season this would have made! Neptune can be downright contrary when he pleases, it seems.
What is the cause of Christmas Winds? When I lived in the eastern Caribe in the early 90s I don't recall them.... or maybe my memory is shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,938 Posts
So I did a little readin on the www and got some answers.... in the Virgins the Xmas winds are northerly cause but weather to the north disturbing the the NE tradewinds. Other say a strong high in the Atlantic reinforces the 15-20 NE trades. So obviously the trade wind pattern is subject... well duh... to weather to the north.

"...surface air that flows from these subtropical high-pressure belts toward the Equator is deflected toward the west in both hemispheres by the Coriolis effect.[12] These winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere.[13] Because winds are named for the direction from which the wind is blowing,[14] these winds are called the northeasterly trade winds in the Northern Hemisphere and the southeasterly trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds of both hemispheres meet at the Doldrums.[7 "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
I thought they kicked in the other day. Flocks of sheep to the north. Everywhere. Good groundswell, too, with 30 surfers down in Hull Bay. But there's just a ripple today, all the way to the North Drop. When the Christmas Winds kick in in earnest, we don't generally go to the North Drop. Rollers as big as houses with a 2' chop on top. That's why racing season in the Caribbean generally doesn't kick in until mid-late February. It's just too damn windy. But not so thus far, other than the sporadic day of snot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Ah. Here's the thread. Wind is WNW at 12 to 15 for the last 2 days. Bizarre. Could pop a chute and sleep all the way to SXM. "Wind from the West, limin' is best." After nonstop easterlies, the West wind has an uneasing effect. I can usually tell when it does this without knowing for sure until I step out on the porch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Now it's blowing 20kn out of the WNW and quite rough out North. I just watched a Beneteau running almost dead down easily doing eight knots from W to E. I guess it's supposed to clock around N then NE by tomorrow.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Now it's blowing 20kn out of the WNW and quite rough out North. I just watched a Beneteau running almost dead down easily doing eight knots from W to E. I guess it's supposed to clock around N then NE by tomorrow.
You live in a house on which island? How high up are you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
STT 300'. Small craft advisory for tomorrow. Never seen that much steady, blue sky wind out of the West and Northwest. It's now blowing over 25kn. Can't keep the grill going for dinner. So Cruzan and coke it is.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
STT 300'. Small craft advisory for tomorrow. Never seen that much steady, blue sky wind out of the West and Northwest. It's now blowing over 25kn. Can't keep the grill going for dinner. So Cruzan and coke it is.
They're putting out all kinds of warnings down here for ("It's not a tropical storm, but...") winds. We'll see.
I believe it's a front coming down from NA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Without looking, I'd guess high pressure north of us was pushing things, but there's a low to the SE of the Lesser Antilles as well. Winds have definitely flipped, as forecast, to ENE and are very "Christmas" like. No going North fishing in the forecast. She rough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Ooooo! Right on her ear! There's a guy out north about 2 miles in a monohull trying to negotiate a NW groundswell against 25kn ENEasteriles behind him (headed toward Puerto Rico) putting up a 3-4' chop. Single reef, boom in the water to port, then I could see the bottom of the boat on the portside. "Gentlemen don't sail to wind." I think I would, and go wait it out somewhere else. Headsail all over the place, boat rolling bad. Inching downwind. These look like Christmas Winds to me (?). Very confused seas beating them up pretty good.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ooooo! Right on her ear! There's a guy out north about 2 miles in a monohull trying to negotiate a NW groundswell against 25kn ENEasteriles behind him (headed toward Puerto Rico) putting up a 3-4' chop. Single reef, boom in the water to port, then I could see the bottom of the boat on the portside. "Gentlemen don't sail to wind." I think I would, and go wait it out somewhere else. Headsail all over the place, boat rolling bad. Inching downwind. These look like Christmas Winds to me (?). Very confused seas beating them up pretty good.
Broad reaching is always much faster and more comfortable than DDW. It takes some people a lot of time to learn that.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
What is this yaw and roll you all talk about? Not all sailboats do that. DDW is very comfortable in some boats.

Mark
In the ocean on long down wind runs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
This guy was yawing all over the place because of a substantial beam sea while running downwind. Trying to control the roll.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,908 Posts
Forward of the beam, it carves
Beam on, just a gentle pick up and let down
Aft quarter turns the boat...fatiguing
Astern, gentle

Makes sense for multis to be nice and stable downwind
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
You make it sound so sweet and easy. This guy was getting the sh!t kicked out of him. Forward, beam and aft. With 25+kn winds and wind waves on top of the ground sea at 90 degrees to each other. Our deck furniture started walking for the first time in 3 months. I'd have gone the south side, myself.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top