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First String
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know I have started the over night training with my C&C30MK1 .
Well I am trying to under stand how I can tell what the waves will be doing as I leave the Port Royal sound into the ocean? Tide in and tide out at the sound, I understand but what about the wave action near-shore and current direction? How do I learn what they do? South Carolina between the Port Royal sound and the Saint Helena Sound inlet is where I will be training.
32°10.174N / 080°35.549W From
32°21.791N/ 080°19997.W To
There is a prevailing "southern" light breeze Averages 3 to 7 knots. I want to go straight out the channel so I can have markers in place for the first few times. Like training wheels
I guess. I do have the new Standard Horizon Matrix ASI/GPS (2200). This should help me see the larger commercial traffic. The wave action just off shore does it change? When I stand on the beach the tide comes in with rolling wave action and the same thing happens when the tide goes out. The waves roll in. I would assume some point they off shore they have a choppy line where they don't line up against the land mass? Sorry I dont know how to better articulate this. I probably sound like a drunk? HAHAH sorry.
Thanks.Maybe you understand the question?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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The waves you will encounter are the result of winds in the last few days. Often the waves may have been generated far offshore (as in hundreds of miles). Sometimes you will get wav trains from more than one direction because of different weather conditions in different areas.

In general, the further you are from shore and the deeper the water the more regular the wave patterns will be. If you check NOAA weather you will see that they give three sets of forecasts: coastal, offshore (to 150 nm as i remember), and high seas. If you compare the coastal and offshore forecast you can see any significant differences.
 
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Sailboat Reboot
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Without taking away from what everyone has said so far:

Wave patterns are different depending upon what ocean you find yourself. You mentioned the Atlantic. Notwithstanding the pointers to the data in the previous posts you will find that waves in the Atlantic are always confused. This effect is minimized when there is a strong storm at an appropriate distance. But in general you will get waves from one direction with lots of roguish waves from about 50 degrees on either side.

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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First String
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The biggest question I had in my mind came up one day while I was trying to come back in after a 25 mile trip off shore. I had a very hard time making way over ground. I was there on the flood of the tide late in the day. I was under a full main and a 135% Gen. I was doing o.k for a while until the sound narrowed. I had 7 knots true off the port beam. The boat seamed to be sailing strong but was not making but 1.5 knots or under. I finally fired up the Yanmay 2gh20F and powered back to the river. Once I got into the river it eased up and I was able to begin sailing again without the iron sail. In the entrance it seamed all confused waves were not consistent. So to the question. Is every inlet / harbor going to be different to the point local knowledge is required? I was able to make way in the situation but what if it was just a little stronger against me? In my case it was late in the day. I would have had to stand down my entrance until the tide turned. I was not pepaired to be out after dark. I could play this out in my mind to be very dangerous in some cases.
Is This the same all over? or Will I have to know the entrance's before I attempt to inter? Will this come natural to me as has been the case in most of the other things so far?
I do not mean to sound so green. I don't want to come across well as being unable to handle this off shore thing. Its just a bit intimidating for me. The more I go off shore the more confident I feel with the boat and my skills. I have not yet found a light front or storm to head into. In the hopes to challenge my skills as suggested. I fact I have only ventured off shore 3 times so far with this boat. part of the problem is it takes 10 miles of travel just to get to the mouth of the sound. so that's like 4 hours. I really need to find my courage and do an over night or two out there.
Thanks again.

sincerely,
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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OK, you are not really talking about waves but about currents. You can get currents from tidal change, oceanic currents (like the Gulf Stream), and from river flows. You need to know what these are at least for convenience and sometimes for safety. We went up the St Lawrence once and used the tidal current at one stage. We were clocking slightly more than 10 knots over the ground upstream (the river current was 1 to 2 knots against us. You can imagine how fast someone going downstream would have gone. For some passes into lagoons in French Polynesia you absolutely have to know the tides or it can be extremely
dangerous.

I did not understand one thing you said. You said you were trying to go into your bay with the flood of the tide. In general this should be a favourable current everything else being equal. Perhaps everything else is not equal. Talk to local sailors and see what they say. In general if you went out with favourable currents and came back 12 hours later they will be unfavourable (6 or 18 hours should be favourable both ways). Often you do need local knowledge or at least a cruising guide for the area. if the currents are a big issue cruising guides and coastal pilots should include the information you want.
 

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Most inlets will have a confused sea state, worse as you get closer to peak flood or peak ebb.

The sea state will be influenced by bottom condition, shore line or jetty condition, inlet drainage area and offshore conditions. None of these influences are static, so yes local knowledge is extremely important.

Safest time to enter inlets will be in full light at slack current, but even then local knowledge will help, best yet follow someone who knows the inlet, until you become that someone.
 

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The title is misleading. lt is really asking about near shore currents and waves and how to deal with them trying to get in and out of an inlet.
 

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The biggest question I had in my mind came up one day while I was trying to come back in after a 25 mile trip off shore. I had a very hard time making way over ground. I was there on the flood of the tide late in the day. I was under a full main and a 135% Gen. I was doing o.k for a while until the sound narrowed. I had 7 knots true off the port beam. The boat seamed to be sailing strong but was not making but 1.5 knots or under. I finally fired up the Yanmay 2gh20F and powered back to the river. Once I got into the river it eased up and I was able to begin sailing again without the iron sail. In the entrance it seamed all confused waves were not consistent. So to the question. Is every inlet / harbor going to be different to the point local knowledge is required? I was able to make way in the situation but what if it was just a little stronger against me? In my case it was late in the day. I would have had to stand down my entrance until the tide turned. I was not pepaired to be out after dark. I could play this out in my mind to be very dangerous in some cases.
Is This the same all over? or Will I have to know the entrance's before I attempt to inter? Will this come natural to me as has been the case in most of the other things so far?
I do not mean to sound so green. I don't want to come across well as being unable to handle this off shore thing. Its just a bit intimidating for me. The more I go off shore the more confident I feel with the boat and my skills. I have not yet found a light front or storm to head into. In the hopes to challenge my skills as suggested. I fact I have only ventured off shore 3 times so far with this boat. part of the problem is it takes 10 miles of travel just to get to the mouth of the sound. so that's like 4 hours. I really need to find my courage and do an over night or two out there.
Thanks again.

sincerely,
Sorry to say this, but it's pretty much of a fool's errand to attempt to accurately predict, or discern, any particular "pattern" to the sea conditions in the area you're talking about... I consider the inshore waters between Charleston and the Georgia/Florida line to generally be about as messy and confused as anywhere along the entire East coast of the US. You have the largest tidal range of anywhere south of northern New England, a maze of inland waterways that see a massive volume of water pouring in and out with every change of the tide, very shoal water that extends further offshore than just about anywhere else between Maine and Florida, and a large bight created the the curvature of the coast between SC and Florida... It all makes for the perfect recipe for typically confused sea states in your area... Other than being in the immediate vicinity of Hatteras or Frying Pan Shoals, the last place I want to be in a strong NE blow along the Eastern seaboard, is within 15 or 20 miles of the Georgia coastline, that can be a VERY nasty bit of real estate when things start to kick up...

Like killarney, I don't understand your comment that you had trouble making headway coming back into Port Royal Sound on a flood tide... The current alone thru there will often exceed the 1.5 knots over the ground that you reported, something's definitely wrong, there...

Anytime you venture out of one of the SC rivers or GA sounds, just go with the assumption that the sea state is likely to be "crappy", and the wave pattern "confused", and you'll be fine...

:))
 

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First String
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys I got it backwards. I was against the tide coming back in the inlet. That would be the "EBB" tide not the flood. There are some 10 miles of breakers shown on the chart to the east, north east."11516" I just want to understand what is happening so as to stay clear of the breakers. I do go out with the out going tide and return on the calm or at the turn. But this one day spooked me because I was against the tide and not making much distance over the ground. It took a long time to make it back to the dock.
thanks and sorry for the confusion.

Curt.
 

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First String
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I also wanted to know if between the inlets there is as much wave / tide to deal with? The reason I wanted to make a loop around Beaufort SC.
That would be about 16 hours. Out with the tide early in the AM to the sea and bell 15 miles. That's 15 miles ÷ 5=3 hours then I will turn North east, . I would follow that up the coast to the next inlet at St Helena sound 17 miles ÷5=3.4 then i will make my westerly turn into the Saint Helena sound. I will follow that back some 30 miles back to Beaufort or 30 ÷5=6.
That's the plan. I want to leave at the high lull tide and ride the out going tide going out for my exit of Port Royal. Travel up the coast the 17 miles. Then catch the incoming tide into Saint Helena sound, All tho the tide will be in the middle of the incoming at St. Helena. I have a anchorage in mind if the trip runs long and I have to stop for the night.
O.K so My Question is how much effect between the two sounds will I have to contend with if I pick a great weather window? The Sea state between. Little or no slowing me down or speeding me up? in the ocean not the inlets?
Thanks again for the pointers.

 
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