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Thread: Water conditions...some people are clueless

  1. #1

    Default Water conditions...some people are clueless

    Put in at Whittier Thursday and took out mid-day today. As always, kept up to date on the marine weather forecast and planned my trip accordingly. Forecast at 4 am this morning (Sunday) called for 4-ft. seas in Passage Canal Monday, although the current conditions looked/sounded good. Previously, forecast had called for better conditions, but as we all know the weather and weather forecasts are anything but predictable.

    So we headed in from Knight Island to pull the boat out. As neared Whittier around 11 am, I was surprised to see all kinds of size boats heading out from Whittier. Wondered if they were just out for the day or if they'd planned on being out overnight. Also wondered if they knew of the impending weather.

    Pulled up to the dock and was BS'ing with a guy and I mentioned the 4-ft seas forecast for Passage Canal for Monday. He was surprised and said that he'd heard it was supposed to be 2 foot seas. He went out anyway. Forecast now is:

    PASSAGE CANAL
    400 PM ADT SUN MAY 25 2008

    ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...
    .TONIGHT...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT BECOMING W 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.
    SEAS 3 FT.
    .MON...W WIND 25 KT. SEAS 4 FT.
    .MON NIGHT...W WIND 30 KT. SEAS 5 FT.
    .TUE...W WIND 30 KT. SEAS 5 FT.
    .TUE NIGHT...W WIND 25 KT. SEAS 4 FT.
    .WED...W WIND 20 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
    .THU AND FRI...VARIABLE WIND 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT.

    I hope nobody gets into trouble trying to get back Monday. Especially those with small boats packed full of kids. I'm afraid they're going to be in for a surprise.

  2. #2
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    Default Ya but it's sunny in Anchorage

    I check the weather morning and afternoon when they update, also listen to see what
    wind is doing at the bouys throughout the day. I hope they get the Port wells bouy back up soon. I never trust it for wave height but wind speed and direction can tell you alot.
    Saw a couple of guys heading out Sat. morning in a Bass Tracker, not sure I would want
    to be taking on 4 footers in that.

  3. #3

    Default the bouys

    As one who is trying not to be clueless, how do you get the bouy info?

  4. #4
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bljames View Post
    As one who is trying not to be clueless, how do you get the bouy info?
    Just so that there's no misunderstanding in my meaning, I wouldn't expect someone to check the buoy reports and all sources for weather information before they went out (I don't). Just something as basic as the latest marine forecast provided either on the internet or VHF radio. Just clueless in the sense that someone relies on old (or no) information.

  6. #6
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    Default Bouy Reports

    While on the water they give bouy reports with the weather, The bouy reports are usualy
    updated hourly. I have sat in Culross waiting for it to calm down, listening every hour
    and hearing wind speeds dropping. After 4-5 hours winds died enough that I
    could get out safely. Personaly I start watching weather patterns 2-3 days before I
    head out, then listen to weather while Im out there. I'm sure there are a few out there
    now that wished they had checked the forecast.

  7. #7
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default seen the coast guard

    near bouy 46081 with a crane on board. i figured they were tuning it up but from what i see online its still not working. i always at least double the wave height when seeing there reports online.

  8. #8

    Default

    Speaking of surprises:

    The Eldorado Narrows near Seward had 10 plus foot seas going out on Sunday. I couldn't even see the 27 foot Sea Sport out in front of my at times. As always, the CD-22 made it like it was nothing.....Happy sailing

  9. #9

    Default hey bullbuster and skydiver

    Thanks. As a newbie the weather is sort of intimidating. Thanks for the Noaa site I got it on favorites. I am sure we will moniter it several times a day till we get our sea legs about us! Port Wells sounds like it could really mess up your good times. So what is the highest seas you folks feel comfortable enough to tackle? We have a 25ft Grayling to learn about.

  10. #10
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default 21 foot northriver commander

    i feel comfortable in 4 footers as in im not going to sink but its unpleasent. anything above that in prince william sound im holing up and i dont make long crossings in 4 footers. pws has tight waves that are close together which makes it alot more interesting. crossing port wells in nasty weather you can experiance many types of water as it will come at different directions.
    Last edited by akriverrat; 05-26-2008 at 19:16. Reason: added info

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bljames View Post
    Thanks. As a newbie the weather is sort of intimidating. Thanks for the Noaa site I got it on favorites. I am sure we will moniter it several times a day till we get our sea legs about us! Port Wells sounds like it could really mess up your good times. So what is the highest seas you folks feel comfortable enough to tackle? We have a 25ft Grayling to learn about.
    I don't have a specific height that I use as a cutoff. 2 ft = no problem, 3 = no problem but wish it was 2 ft, 4 = do I really want to be rocking and rolling all day?, 5 = no thanks. Sometimes it's more of a question of will the boat handle it vs. do I want to deal with it. Plus there's chop vs. rollers vs. confused seas (vs. what my wife says is too uncomfortable or too scary for her ). I have a 24-ft. cabin cruiser.

  12. #12

    Default sea forcast 472-0391

    updated at 4 am & pm

  13. #13

    Default Seward today

    Was out at Hive island last night (Sunday), got back to the harbor around 10:30ish. We were the only boat around except for the cruiseship leaving earlier, it was like a mirror pond! We even boated with the porpoise coming back. Today we went out in the wind and came back at 2:00. Thumb cove was nice and flat, but in the bay it was a complete mess until we got close to the harbor, as the wind was blowing in the opposite direction it normally does at 2:00.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    that sure is some pretty scenery there and nice water as well. we had some nice water in PWS also. little wet on saturday, sunday was nice and both days were some smooth sailing days.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I heard the same report sunday night and headed out fishing from our camp at the end of colross passage this morning hoping things would change and man was it blowing this afternoon but got back to camp at about 5pm heard the 4 o'clock report and they were calling for 5' and small craft in passage so we pack up and headed to the entrance of colross peeked around the corner down to decision and it looked not to bad so we headed back to whittier. the ride was not bad at all 2's mostly the worst part was in between cockrane and blackstone mostly 3's with an occasional 4 mix in, we were in a 21' bayliner cuddy take in mind they were calling for 5' in passage this evening. but if we saw white caps when we peeked around the corner we would have never tried it.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    I don't have a specific height that I use as a cutoff. 2 ft = no problem, 3 = no problem but wish it was 2 ft, 4 = do I really want to be rocking and rolling all day?, 5 = no thanks. Sometimes it's more of a question of will the boat handle it vs. do I want to deal with it. Plus there's chop vs. rollers vs. confused seas (vs. what my wife says is too uncomfortable or too scary for her ). I have a 24-ft. cabin cruiser.
    Confused seas: When it feels like the inside of your washing machine.

    We have crossed Port Wells in 4-5 foot confused seas, and that was no fun. Outside Seward, we have ridden smoothly across 8-9 foot swells with no problem. The spacing, period, and wind contribute to the unpleasantness.

    Pay attention to the forecast and be careful.

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    I went out of Valdez Fri morning and had pretty smooth seas all the way to Port Fidalgo and then back in Mon morning. Did get a little bouncy Sun afternoon but as soon as the wind calmed down the water did as well. Rained Fri and Sat and was nice and sunny Sun and Mon. All in all a great trip!

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