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Thread: Interpret this weather in Homer

  1. #1

    Default Interpret this weather in Homer

    I'm not an expert in kachemak bay conditions. What will the conditions be like around the spit area (2 to 5 miles southwest ) if the forecast holds true for the weekend.

    My guess is I wouldn't take my 16 ft open river skiff. But maybe a 24ft sea runner might be ok? Just wondering since I take my kayak out in seas I wouldn't take an open skiff but I need to be reasonable.

    PKZ140-300300-
    COOK INLET NORTH OF KAMISHAK BAY AND ENGLISH BAY
    400 AM AKDT THU SEP 29 2011

    ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FRIDAY...

    .TODAY...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.
    .TONIGHT...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.
    .FRI...NE WIND 15 KT INCREASING TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.
    SEAS 3 FT BUILDING TO 7 FT IN THE AFTERNOON.
    .FRI NIGHT...NE WIND 25 KT. SEAS 8 FT.
    .SAT...N WIND 25 KT. SEAS 8 FT.
    .SUN...NE WIND 20 KT. SEAS 5 FT.
    .MON...N WIND 20 KT. SEAS 5 FT.

    $$

    PKZ141-300300-
    KACHEMAK BAY
    400 AM AKDT THU SEP 29 2011

    .TODAY...VARIABLE WIND LESS THAN 10 KT BECOMING W 10 KT
    IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 FT.
    .TONIGHT...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.
    .FRI...E WIND 10 KT BECOMING NE 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.
    SEAS 3 FT. RAIN.
    .FRI NIGHT AND SAT...NE WIND 20 KT. SEAS 4 FT.
    .SUN...E WIND 20 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
    .MON...N WIND 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT.

    $$

  2. #2
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default

    Doable, but not fun in the 24.

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Means find a good hunting or fishing book, fire up the woodstove, pour a glass of Jack and sit back.

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  4. #4

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    Doable, yes, but Daveinthebush has the right idea here. Just depends on how bad you wanna go I guess.

  5. #5

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    Ok. It's just it seems the cook inlet forecast seems off when fishing anchor point when the points shield you from the wind.

    I see big water for cook inlet and not so big for kachemak and lately I have noticed much higher wind speeds it seems on the west side of cook inlet. I'd consider at 20kts and 4 ft. But not 5 to 7 ft for sure.

    It's so hard to predict and usually my reply is ya gotta go see for yourself but given the drive time I thought I'd pick a few veterans minds.

    Thanks!!!

  6. #6
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Was out there today (Thursday) and it just kept picking up as the day progressed so that fishing at the green can was not doable after about noon (altho we pick up a small king in the first 15 minutes), so we went to the islands, which were fine for the rest of the afternoon, but produced no fish. On our way back weather had built to 25 mph gusts, 4-footers, whitecaps and heavy rain.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Ok. It's just it seems the cook inlet forecast seems off when fishing anchor point when the points shield you from the wind.

    I see big water for cook inlet and not so big for kachemak and lately I have noticed much higher wind speeds it seems on the west side of cook inlet. I'd consider at 20kts and 4 ft. But not 5 to 7 ft for sure.



    It's so hard to predict and usually my reply is ya gotta go see for yourself but given the drive time I thought I'd pick a few veterans minds.

    Thanks!!!
    It`s enough weather to push us all (3 boats) over to Seward for the weekend...looks good there on paper but if it isn`t we at least save 6 hours of driving.


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  8. #8

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    Well looks like this weekend might be tough targeting kings in Cook Inlet. Sitting in Seattle now. Could go to the coast, I hear the king run is in full swing in Westport and the Quinault River. Hmmm....

    So now I need to figure out somewhere to try. Maybe I'll try the Kenai River. Not sure where..upper, mid, or lower. Lake Louise maybe? Gotta love Alaska and all the opportunities!

    Thanks all!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    Was out there today (Thursday) and it just kept picking up as the day progressed so that fishing at the green can was not doable after about noon (altho we pick up a small king in the first 15 minutes), so we went to the islands, which were fine for the rest of the afternoon, but produced no fish. On our way back weather had built to 25 mph gusts, 4-footers, whitecaps and heavy rain.
    Important lesson to learn here. Look at what the marine forecast for this afternoon was supposed to be:

    .TODAY...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.
    .TONIGHT...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.

    ...and what Cliffhanger said it actually was: " 25 mph gusts, 4-footers, whitecaps and heavy rain."

    This is pretty typical for K-bay and points out how reliable the marine forecast really is. And it goes both ways. I've NOT planned to go out because the marine forecast was for lousy weather and when I drive down to the Spit to do some work on my boat I look out and see nothing but a slight wind ripple on the water behind a 5 kt wind. That's pretty much part of the reason I moved to Homer. I got really tired of reading a good marine forecast for the area, driving down from Anchorage and getting blown off. To say the least, the weather is fickle around here.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  10. #10

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    Muttley crew is right on, you really have to look at the conditions at the spit when you are ready to go. As it gets later in the year the wind comes up faster and the primary direction switches to NE instead of SW. At this point I don't go out if it calls for 20. 20 is OK and most of the time its actually less. But if it is more than 20 your in for it. I made a trip from Halibut Cove to the spit in NE 25 and it was ugly. It can really stack up around the end of the spit with some tide running. One nice thing about later in the year is the SW daybreeze goes away. Adding that daybreeze on top of a real SW wind can stack it up too.

    I keep these links on my smartphone, they are great for checking conditions in real-time. They all show condtions for the previous 24 hrs which is helpful to see the trend in weather.

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=hmra2 Wind speed at the end of the spit.

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=fila2 Flat Island wind speed

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=46108 Anchor point wave bouy. I don't like to fish that far if it's greater than 3 feet at 5-6 second intervals. May be ok closer in though.

  11. #11

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    Good stuff. Thanks to Mutley, Beluga, and all the other folks.

    Nothing beats experience and eyeballing the water yourself. Had I only used the forecast for my spring Deep Creek King fishing, I would have only gone out a time or two.

    I was going to ask about the prevalent direction of the afternoon winds. I would have thought the afternoon winds were based on land vs water temperature gradient so I thought it might come from a consistent directions like Beluga eluded to. I have experienced them on MANY occasions a few decades back when we used to run to go get steamer clams. Always made it back safely and my only recollection is that it picks up in the afternoon but couldn't remember the details,

    I haven't come anywhere near my limits of ability of being on the water in my kayak so far. All systems A-Ok in even choppy short period 4 footers though going out in the same weather in my open 16ft skiff would seem like a death wish.

    Thanks again for sharing the valuable information all!

  12. #12
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    this is what i check: http://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/port

    real-time conditions at the harbor, i believe the readings are taken at the ferry dock.
    the E and NE winds can really make getting out of the harbor (and back in later) fairly exciting.
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  13. #13
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Woodstove and Jack

    I have done two marginal weather hunting trips in the boat out in PWS. Once I spent 3 days awake in the boat as the winds were pulling me off anchor. After three days I called the Coasties and let them know I was headed back. 6 hours latter I covered the 45 min. drive between Story and Glacier Island. Two hours latter the Coasties sent the cutter out as I bounced my radio cable out of the radio and they met me at Saw Mill Bay.

    One other time I spent 5 days sleeping in the bottom of the boat in December in 10-20 degree weather. I finally had to call and get a tow back to port by a bgger boat. I don't do marginal anymore.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I have done two marginal weather hunting trips in the boat out in PWS. Once I spent 3 days awake in the boat as the winds were pulling me off anchor. After three days I called the Coasties and let them know I was headed back. 6 hours latter I covered the 45 min. drive between Story and Glacier Island. Two hours latter the Coasties sent the cutter out as I bounced my radio cable out of the radio and they met me at Saw Mill Bay.

    One other time I spent 5 days sleeping in the bottom of the boat in December in 10-20 degree weather. I finally had to call and get a tow back to port by a bgger boat. I don't do marginal anymore.
    Point taken. Not going out especially since it is getting worse. Marginal in Alaska can get you killed in a hurry. As exciting as it is to be fishing out of Kayak, don't need the extra excitement about fighting for my life. But learning a lot about other's people methodology and information sources for weather in the area has been enlightening. It may take a few years, but I plan on learning and executing this feeder king fishery from my yak consistently...and SAFELY!

    Woodstove and Jack might not cut it for excitement though....thankfully Alaska is a HUGE state!

  15. #15

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    HomerDave brings up a good point here about the harbor. On Labor Day, coming back in some nasty water (8 footers with an occasional ten thrown in) we thought as we rounded the spit that the hard part was over. The reality was that the spit had been slowing some of the winds and moderating the waves. When we rounded the spit the waves were solid 10 footers and we had to run virtually parallel to them to get in. Having only a single engine, it occurred to me as we passed by the pylons for the Coast Guard docking area that if I lost my engine at that point, we would be crushed against the pylons and dead for sure. I don't do marginal anymore either.

  16. #16
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    it occurred to me as we passed by the pylons for the Coast Guard docking area that if I lost my engine at that point, we would be crushed against the pylons and dead for sure.
    I know that thought!!!
    I often run well past the end of the spit before i make my turn to the harbor, far enough to get the waves on my stern quarter instead of my beam. hate that big stuff at the harbor mouth!!!
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