Boaters’ Weather

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What will the weather be like on Christmas Day is the email du joir in my inbox, and I can relate with the curious emailers as we have received unseasonable rain for days on end.  Well the good is look outside this Friday morning, with no rain today, or tomorrow on the big day.

However, there is a chance of rain from late Saturday night into Monday with next week looking dry after Monday.  We will continue with the mild air temperatures of 60s in the daytime and high 40s to low 50s in the wee hours of the mornings.  Unfortunately, these warm weather systems are not bringing a lot of snow to the local mountains for a white Christmas.

Boaters will experience 3- to 4-foot swells this weekend with the intervals in the low double digits that will probably create a lumpy ride.  The winds will calm to under 10 knots and I am expecting to realistically see 5 knot breezes most of the weekend.  The light winds will push only a 1-foot wind wave on top of the swells.

Remember, that the rains have brought urban run-off into the harbor and coastal waters, creating hazards – I have seen a refrigerator floating in the ocean.  Boaters need to carefully watch for any objects in the water and skippers need to check their vessel’s sea strainers regularly during the rainy season.  Sea strainers are the collection baskets connected inline after the through-hull saltwater pickups, commonly referred to as raw water strainers.

The sea strainer collects debris sucked up into the hose from the water, protecting systems like engines, generators, heating and air conditioning, heads, bait tanks and water makers. The rainwater, especially after the first rains, will flush a lot of debris downstream that will clog up the strainers, thus preventing the normal water flow, and overheating engines.

So, as always, with an eye to the north, we look to the waters off Point Conception that will drop from 8-foot seas to west-northwest 5-foot swells by today and then increasing this weekend to almost 10 feet.  There should not be any small craft warnings issued with the winds blowing under 20 knots creating 2- to 3-foot wind waves.  Well, at least we are not boating in the Gulf of Alaska with snowy conditions with the winds reaching over 30 knots, and over 10 foot seas.

Remember, to always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock, and give a safely briefing to your guests onboard before you leave your dock.

Safe Voyages,

Mike Whitehead, Capt.

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