Boaters’ Weather

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April showers bring May flowers, but we need May showers. Nevertheless, flowers are blooming and hillsides are green, creating a picturesque coastal view while cruising offshore.

This weekend we can expect mild daytime temperatures with the highs only in the mid-60s and nighttime lows in the high 50s along the coast. We will have a small temperature change between the lows and highs, and we will hit dew point in the mid- to upper 50s in the evenings.

The big question is whether the clouds will linger all day or burn off before noon. We will see increasing cloud coverage and some patchy fog along the coast, but I am hoping for increased clearing in the afternoon. I have to work on my suntan so I can wear my mankini when summer arrives next month.

The ocean swells will remain at a 4-foot westerly with a 2-foot south on Friday that will make washing-machine conditions for small craft, with single-digit swell intervals. However, the westerly swell will start to drop a foot by Saturday, and it is predicted to be 2 feet by Sunday with a still-2-foot south for a mixed set. Let’s hope that the south continues to push up warmer waters for those who want to go fishing.

The afternoon winds will be decent for sailing, blowing up to 10 knots from the west, but light and variable in the mornings. We will have 1- to 2-foot wind waves on the open ocean and slightly shifting winds blowing across the harbor. Sailing in the harbor will be good this weekend, but please stay clear of the dredging equipment, a barge being towed, and any related hazards.

So, as always, with an eye to the north, we look to the waters off Point Conception to see what is coming down the coast. The Point is under small-craft advisories and a gale warning until probably Sunday. The northwesterly winds are gusting up to 35 knots on Friday dropping to 30 knots on Saturday with gusts in the low 20s by Sunday. The wind waves will be 3 to 6 feet on top of a mixed set of 8-foot swells from the northwest and a 2-foot south. The northwesterly swell will hopefully drop to 5 feet by Sunday.

You can expect morning fog, partly sunny afternoon skies and cloudy nights, so Sunday might be a weather window to round the point, especially anyone traveling downhill (in a southerly direction).

Remember to boat safely, and that all boat operators need to be alert, look around when underway, and be courteous to other boaters. Non-swimmers and poor swimmers should wear lifejackets. Boat safely, and be courteous when cruising in the harbor or on the high seas.

Safe Voyages,

Mike Whitehead, Capt.

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