Boaters’ Weather April 1, 2011

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Our pleasant weather will continue through the weekend, but if you graphed this week’s daytime air temperatures, it would look like a bell curve after spiking yesterday as the high.  Today, we will see highs in the low 70s, and the highs will drop about 10 degrees by Sunday.

Some clouds will move in our area this morning, however the sun will warming the harbor by the afternoons this weekend.  The nighttime lows will remain in the low 50s and patchy fog will blanket the coastline in the mornings.  Warmer temperatures will return next week and the clouds will disappear with sunny blue skies.

The seas will continue as a mixed set outside the Harbor’s line of demarcation between inland and international rules of the road.  The COLREGS demarcation line 80.112 for Newport Harbor is located at the tips of the entrance jetties specifically between channel markers #3 and #4.  You can see this easily on your chart number 18754 or your chart plotter since paper charts seem to be disappearing from boats.

What I now use for distance voyages is a chart kit where the charts for a region are in a large book format with a spiral binder.  Not only is it useful for navigation keeping all the charts in order, but great to for others to view like a coffee table book.  However, the commercial vessels still carry a full set of regular sized charts with noted chart updates.

I digress back to the sea conditions with a west swell up to 3 feet and a small 1 foot swell from the south today.  This weekend the mixed sea conditions will continue as the west swell will increase to 4 feet as the south remains small.  Light winds will blow from a southerly direction under 8 knots creating only 1 foot wind waves on top of the swells, and the winds will try to clock around from the west by the end of the weekend.

So, as always, with an eye to the north, we look to the waters off Point Conception where the seas will build to 10 feet by tonight with winds under 10 knots.  The seas will continue to build to 12 feet by Sunday when most likely a small craft advisory will be issued as the winds will be gusting in the mid to high 20s.  The gusting winds will cause 3-4 foot wind waves on top of the large swells.  Boaters should opt to avoid the Point Conception area this weekend.

Boaters should use caution and remember your boating skill level if you plan to cruise in the ocean, and remember, to always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock.  Always give a safely briefing to your guests onboard before you leave your dock, and leave a float plan shoreside with someone who you can trust.

Safe Voyages,

Mike Whitehead, Capt.

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