Clearly the locals are now happy since “normal” weather has returned to the Pacific Northwest and the forecast is looking like not much will change through Turkey Day. As you can see from the Surface Forecast Charts we are right in the sites for a series of fronts coming right in off the Pacific and into the Pacific Northwest. The center of the Pacific high pressure system has settled in off the Mexican-US Border at about 135°-140° West longitude. This next series of fronts will drag across the top of the high and into the Pacific Coast from roughly the north end of Vancouver Island south to the Bay area. This will bring much needed rain into northern California and some snow into the Cascades and Olympics. Note the radar image for today.
The 48 hour chart is once again the most interesting because it takes in the entire North Pacific and just like last week there are an impressive number of low pressure systems (nine) lurking out there and they’re all roughly headed our direction with their attendant fronts.
These fronts will bring some breeze into the coast, the eastern end of the Straits, and the San Juan Islands. Not so much into the central Puget Sound. Note that for both Saturday and Sunday at 1300 hours a weak convergent zone with no wind will set up in the mid-Sound with breeze to the north and to the south. This however doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a little more pro-active about securing the boat. Mind you, we want you to go cruising during the winter (Especially to the Poulsbo Winter Rendezvous Feb 6,7,&8 of 2015, make your reservations with the Port of Poulsbo NOW!) however you should also add the extra mooring lines, maybe go up in the diameter of your lines, add extra fenders if you don’t use Nomar Bumpers which are really the way to go. The reason you need extra fenders if you don’t use the Nomar Bumbers is that combined with higher than normal tides there will be extra surge in the marina because of the breeze and that can cause the fenders to ride up and out of place allowing the boat to ride against the dock. The Nomar Bumpers totally solve that issue; it’s amazing that some marinas won’t allow their use.
You should also get to know your slip mate so you can run spring lines between the two vessels to keep them off the dock and from loading the fenders. As always, chafe can be your big enemy so make sure where the lines bear on chocks or cleats you’ve got chafe protection.
Click on any image to enlarge:
If you’ve got roller furling headsails, it’s time to get the sails down, dried and folded. All it takes is one little bit of breeze getting under one small portion of the leech and you can shred the headsail and do damage to not only your vessel but your neighbor as well. It’s the perfect time to get your headsail into the sailmaker for its annual inspection. Besides, they’ll do a much better job of getting it dried out and folded. When you want to go winter cruising, just use the small jib.
As always, before you leave the dock, be sure to check the local conditions and if it’s going to get nasty, there’s nothing wrong with staying at the dock and brushing up on that owner’s manual that you never quite got around to reading and maybe trying that recipe for hot buttered rum.
We also mentioned the tides last week and this coming week Wednesday-Saturday will be the highest tides for the month of November. For Seattle mean higher high water is 11.35’, next week the tide will crest at 12.6’ and it could go even higher with the right combination of low pressure and storm surge. If your mooring is in one of those exposed areas, prepare accordingly. I know on Thanksgiving I may use that as an excuse to slip out of the house, avoid the madness, go to the boat, check the lines, check the heater and dehumidifier, check the neighbors mooring lines, and then get back in time to enjoy turkey.
Have a great holiday week!