High Santa Ana winds brought warm air temperatures to Newport Harbor this week, but now we have a good chance of rain today, Friday, and into late Saturday afternoon. The daytime air temperatures will be in the 60s along the coast, and nighttime temperatures in the upper 50s, which are normal this time of year.
For all boaters, the rains have arrived, so now is the time to check the cleanliness of your bilges and ensure your bilge pumps are working. A common mistake is that boat owners do not regularly check not only their bilge pumps but also the scuppers or drain lines that let water drain off the decks and out of the cockpits.
First, make certain that your bilges are clean so that any rainwater entering will not pick up contaminants such as engine oil that the bilge pump will then put into the harbor.
Second, make sure your bilge pumps are operational and that there is adequate electrical power to maintain operation during that raining week. Most vessels at a dock are connected to shore power, but vessels on moorings have only the battery power on board. I have seen vessels sink because the batteries went dead.
But I digress.
We will have a cloudy weekend and, hopefully, Sunday the clouds should start to disappear to allow the a little sunshine. Sailors can expect mild southern storm winds until Sunday when the winds will clock around from the west. The Pacific swells will be from the west at 2 feet coastal and 3 feet mid-San Pedro Channel.
The hurricane season is winding down, but there is one very minor active tropical cyclone lying southwest off the tip of Baja California. As always, with an eye to the north, boaters off Point Conception will encounter northwest swells under 8 feet with winds calming down to 15 knot gusts on Saturday and decreasing on Sunday.
Remember to check your boat, bilges and mooring lines after a rainstorm, and always check the sea and weather conditions before you leave the dock.
Mike Whitehead, Capt.