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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently here in Bonaire and just had the first two days of our six day sailing charter canceled because of the near gale wind conditions which kind of sucks. Captain said these are unusual winds. Since we are chartering the boat for snorkeling the reefs I agree the conditions are not optimal. Anyone know if these winds are normal this time of year? The weather is otherwise very nice.
 

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If you were a bit east I'd call them Christmas Winds, which have been blowing quite strongly for some time now. I've not spent any time in the A,B,C's but I'd think the Christmas Winds weren't all that unusual there when they're blowin' in the Antilles.
 

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There is a deep low around Bermuda, big highs above and below that, and no strong cold fronts to clear things out. Windy everywhere between New England and Panama. Supposed to be a couple of weeks for the next strong deep reaching cold front that might move things along - the last cold front stalled above North Carolina!

Regardless, this is the time of year for stronger than usual winds, and Bonaire is windy most of the time. Just be thankful they are not West winds!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like a rough week, not staying in the 20s until end of next week..or that weekend
That's what I am concerned about. It's blowing pretty good even on the lee side where we are. We booked a cheap studio apartment for the week thinking we would be on the sailboat during the day and just needed a place to shower and sleep. Now we are spending more time there than we planned with each day the winds cancel the charters. We move to a higher end resort after the charter ends for a little more comfort. Still it beats being in the cold north so I can't really complain. The shore snorkels are great but, getting in and out over the coral rocks in the surge is not fun. Be much easier off the boat.
 

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Have commented on this site multiple times that the effects of climate change are being felt. Thought this would be quite evident to sailors. Have learned to expect Xmas winds and kite season (around Easter time) throughout the eastern Caribbean. However for the last few years wind speeds have been consistently higher from November on. There’s been more north swell and bigger seas. I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. Windows for travel , when they exist, are shorter.
The behavior is entirely consistent with models of man made climate change. I’ve been in the US northeast for the last few weeks. Returning to the boat 2am Monday. Models predict that New England will be wetter and warmer. Currently here there’s a fresh breeze, light rain and temperatures in the sixties. Yesterday there were gusts into the high 30s locally. Again following the models predictions. Although weather is not climate the consistent agreement to modeling (Oceania drying out, New England and Northern Europe getting wetter etc.) leads any thoughtful person to accept this reality. In terms of sailing think boats should be outfitted to function in these stronger winds and new boats designed to reflect the new normal.
 

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I have seen a "break down" of what were reliable prevailing conditions in the NE/LIS area. Sure you get storms and anomalies... but the base conditions returned. I've observed that those base conditions no long apply. Lots of days with very light to no wind or strong breezes from the NE, NE and East. SW pattern is hardly a pattern any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Currently here there’s a fresh breeze, light rain and temperatures in the sixties. Yesterday there were gusts into the high 30s locally. Again following the models predictions.
Damn. The plan was to spend three weeks here in Bonaire to get away from winter not 60 degree F temperatures! I could be working on winter boat projects if I had stayed home. :) Though I seem to recall from my youth people would often talk about the January thaw. Which apparently was expected at some point to occur. But, like the harbor freezing over in the winter some years it remains ice free some years it is frozen over. Sometimes the thaw happens sometimes not.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There is a deep low around Bermuda, big highs above and below that, and no strong cold fronts to clear things out. Windy everywhere between New England and Panama. Supposed to be a couple of weeks for the next strong deep reaching cold front that might move things along - the last cold front stalled above North Carolina!

Regardless, this is the time of year for stronger than usual winds, and Bonaire is windy most of the time. Just be thankful they are not West winds!

Mark
Those east winds still have a way to hit back. While on a mooring pretty close on the lee shore of on the west side of Bonaire I'd observe an occasional larger wave crash into the shore. I was wondering where these waves were coming from. Then I realized the west winds were sending waves crashing in Klein Bonaire the smaller island one half mile west of Bonaire. Some of the wave energy was reflected back towards Bonaire.
 

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Was in the 60s here this past weekend. Short lived though. I guarantee you'll all be better of at your latitude.
 
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