Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charleston Maritime Center - 36 kt winds today!!

No matter how you take the photo, it never looks as bad as it actually is! 
The storms were not so bad but what we were not prepared for was the back side of the front with gusts reaching 36 kts! The winds blew steady today at 30 kts without interruption. Now, the difference between 15 kts and 30 kits is huge! The pressure generated on the boat is proportional to the square of the wind speed. So 30 kts is four times more pressure on a boat than 15 kits. In fact, whenever the wind lulled to 20 kts for a brief time, it felt like there was no wind at all. It's currently blowing 20 kts and it feels like the wind has died.. 30 kts is a whole nother range. This was race weekend and some of the boats had to return to port so their captains could go to work on Monday (work? what's that?) I took a video of a trail of boats being pulled out of the harbor, they couldn't leave under their own power. Winds were still in the 30 kt range with plenty of whitecaps.

So we mostly sat in the boat all day, bouncing around as the 35 kt generated waves rolled into the marina, not very comfortable. This marina is exposed to the east winds. What we should have done is move to a marina on the other side of the bay where the wind has to come across land first before reaching us and where there's no wave action generated by the wind. Live and learn.

We are safely tied up here and the marina personnel helped us tie an additional line across the slip to the opposite side  to help keep us off the dock where we were being pushed into by the wind. The two 18 inch ball fenders are a big help in situations like this, some added security.

The forecast for Monday is not so good. Winds are still predicted to be in the 20's although not as bad as today (30 to 35!). We have to pass through the Ben Sawyer bridge which will not open if winds are above 25 kts. So we'll take Monday carefully and it looks like we'll be staying an extra day for the winds to die off some and leave on Tuesday instead of our planned Monday departure. That would put us in  Barefoot Landing on Thursday afternoon instead of Wednesday. Oh well, the weather is never a certainty.