Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I am greedy. I will probably jinx it. Maybe not.

The low is coming. Ohio does not want it anymore. We like it here because it will bring wind. The computers disagreed when and where exactly it would come, but the models are getting closer to agreeing. Looks like we'll get some rare NE winds in June.

I love NE winds. They make for the best speed sessions. We have three speed strips to choose from. I am getting greedy. I started thinking about two sessions the same day at different spots. All three spots are tide dependent, but differently.

First, the forecast. It changes a lot from run to run, so it will be different in about 6 hours.
  • The GFS model now predicts 30 NNE at 8 am, going down to 25 at 11 am. 
  • The NAM model predicts wind all day in the low 30s, NE turning N.
  • The Sailing Weather Service has the latest start, but winds are predicted to be 25 mph or more from 9 am to 5 pm.
Here's a graph with the NAM model predictions for 11 am:
As usual, the NAM probably overestimates how far away from land the wind drops. Chances are Duxbury and Barnstable Harbor will see stronger winds that the map shows.

The best time to sail might be before 8 am (if the GFS model is right), or noon to early afternoon (according to the SWS model). Here's when the speed spots can be sailed (there also should be plenty of options for excellent wave sailing, for example Chapin):
  • Duxbury: low tide 0.5 ft @ 10:15 am. I like to have at least 1.5 ft of water, which means sailing before 9 am or after 11:30 am. However, there will probably be a storm warning, and the harbor master may close Duxbury bay to sailing.
  • Barnstable Harbor: Parts of Barnstable Harbor can be sailed at any tide, but he speed strips next to the marsh islands are best with tide levels of about 4 ft to 8 ft. That's 5:45 am - 8 am (low tide at 10:20 am), and again from 1 pm to 3 pm. Parking lots require resident stickers, though.
  • Stony Island Slicks: Low tide is about 3 hours later than at the other spots. Best between tide from 7 am to 10 am and after 3:30 pm. The channels should remain sailable even at low tide, but jibing and sailing back upwind when the tide is low might be a bit iffy (although walking upwind may be possible if the muck is not too bad).
If the wind would indeed come exactly as predicted, an all-day session in Duxbury sounds very tempting. But we already have pretty decent long distance numbers for the month on the GPS Team Challenge. This rare NE setup might allow for new top speeds. If Dani can come, he'll certainly break the 30 knot barrier. I need to sail my new (to me) KA Koncept 5.0 - it should be perfect for winds in the mid to upper 30s. Dean does 33-35 knots in chop and 30 mph winds - what will he do on perfectly flat water and 45 mph gusts?

I should go to sleep early. Won't get too much sleep tomorrow night - too much excitement, too much reason to get up before the sun. 

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