Saturday, September 23, 2017

Maria - Keeps drifting to the west

A kiss to North Carolina - then bye, bye?

Maria is testing us. She keeps moving farther to the west with every update, just to keep us on our toes. When is this ever going to stop! In reading all the reports, it appears that the conditions are very favorable for yet another storm developing in the Caribbean in the next two weeks (warm waters, no shear). I want to get down the coast before that happens.

Even though the Maria forecasts keep pushing her to the west for a touch and go with North Carolina, she is still predicted to quickly leave the area after that kiss (both the US and Euro models at least agree on that much).
At last, we are starting to see a decrease in wave action as Maria goes out to sea

So with all that, Saturday is looking like the first possible day for us going down the New Jersey coast with swells in the 2-4 ft range. Still a little high and the winds are a little too strong at 17 kts but at least out of the north. That may be doable for us, we'll wait and see. Sunday may be better to give the seas more of a chance to calm down. However, we don't want to wait long enough for yet another storm to develop and head north!
This is a service we've used for many years. It's a good, graphical representation of wave action close to shore
It shows surf height (left scale), swell height (left scale) and period (right scale). The little arrows at the top show
swell direction. See StormSurf

 I've added another chart. When we first started our ICW adventures, we always looked at for waves hitting the coast. We figured if the waves were small, then the area close to shore was less impacted too. It has served us well for many years but we've also used SwellInfo too which you also see here. All of these models are very sophisticated. They involve measuring the distance to storms, their wind speed, and direction, timing the arrival of swells, etc. They used to boast that the surfer could swim off the beach, wait, and then the swell would arrive as predicted, right on time for a good surf. Let's all hope the surfers aren't disappointed but Maria still moves out to sea as predicted


Dawn R said...

We are also hoping to head out next weekend from Atlantic Highlands.

Bob423 said...

Dawn, Saturday is a tentative go for us down the NJ coast. There is disagreement between the Euro and US models on what happens Sunday and Monday. The US model says that Sunday is a very good day with waves around 1ft and light winds. The Euro model predicts a storm. For models, Saturday is sort of okay with 4 ft swells and winds out of the north although in the morning the winds are 15 to 20 kts but calm down later in the day to 10 kts or so about 1/2 way down the coast. The roughest part of the trip will be rounding Sandy Hook since we will be going directly into the 4 ft swell and the outgoing tide is an ebb at about 1 kt, shortening the waves. I expect some water over the bow on the way out and the "promise" of calmer sailing when we turn and head south. The wind is behind us all day or else I wouldn't even try it.

We're headed for Atlantic City to dock at the Golden Nugget. We'll leave around 6:45 am or so and pass through Cape May and take the Cape May Canal (low tide at noon, enough room for our 55 ft mast under the two bridges) and push on to Cohansey for the anchorage there behind the island. It would be a long day but if the conditions are right, we'll do it with the Delaware Bay current heading north after 1:00 pm.

From Cohansey we'll move on to the Chesapeake City anchorage.

When will you be in Atlantic Highlands?

Dawn R said...

We are in AH, now it's our home port.