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Old 06-17-2015, 07:48 AM   #1
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Key West to Shark River

I'm trying to figure out the best way back from Key West to Fort Myers for my crew. Our trip down here was pretty rough and rolly down the Hawk Channel, so I was thinking the Keys might give us some relief from the roll on the way back?

Here is the proposed route and the forecasted winds:
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Or would it be better staying closer to the Keys and then turning North, like this? Adds about 5 miles.
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Here are the wind forecasts. Trying to avoid a beam sea.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:51 AM   #2
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Forgot the last wind forecast.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:57 AM   #3
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Anything more than 5-10 miles from land wont give much protection from wind driven waves.....


Look for info about, possibly on NWS marine broadcasts, swell patterns in that part of the gulf. The swells could add significantly to the discomfort.


Cant see the days..but swells may be around for awhile due to the storm over to the west.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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Yeah. It's the beam swell that makes it less fun.

Here is a swell forecast for Florida Bay. Not sure if this "Swell Info" is a good site to use
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:16 AM   #5
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You shouldn't have any ocean swell, just wind driven waves.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
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looks like wind driven...


here is a cut from my local NWS marine forecast...


ANZ452-453-172015-
COASTAL WATERS FROM LITTLE EGG INLET TO GREAT EGG INLET NJ OUT
20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM GREAT EGG INLET TO CAPE MAY NJ OUT 20 NM-
405 AM EDT WED JUN 17 2015


TODAY
NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO
3 FT. MAINLY IN SE SWELL WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO
4 FT. MAINLY IN E SWELL WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS LATE. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM LATE.

THU
SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS AROUND 3 FT. MAINLY IN E SWELL
WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS
. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. VSBY
1 TO 3 NM.


A swell of 3 feet but 10 seconds is almost hardly noticeable for a boat like mine or yours. 3 foot wind waves on the beam would be uncomfy.


A 3 foot swell with 5 second period is almost approaching the characteristics of a wind wave but again on the beam would be uncomfy.


You will just have to keep a written or mental note how your boat does and remember what works for you.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
You shouldn't have any ocean swell, just wind driven waves.
based on those reports? or just in general?

with a storm in the gulf....I would think there could be swells for a couple days....I see some of the Gulf reports aren't reporting swells...A gulf specialty?
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:23 AM   #8
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The Gulf stream kinda puts you on a beam sea regardless, with the wind determining height. Plan B looks good to me. Just my .02 cents

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Old 06-17-2015, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
based on those reports? or just in general?

with a storm in the gulf....I would think there could be swells for a couple days....I see some of the Gulf reports aren't reporting swells...A gulf specialty?
The ocean swells are from the E to ESE all week along the Keys. The islands along Route 1 from the Mainland to Key West pretty much knocks it down and cuts the size and period in half.

Buoyweathers report. I ordered a forecast from the west and another east of the Keys. This is the edited version for tomorrow the 18th.

Marine Forecast for 25 N / 81.25 W
Winds: E 9 to 15 knots
Seas: ESE 1 feet at 2 seconds

Marine Forecast for 24.75 N / 80.75 W
Winds: ESE 11 to 16 knots
Seas: ESE 2 feet at 4 seconds
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:54 AM   #10
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Take the ICW to Stuart and then the Okeechobee Waterway to Ft Myers. The only "open" (still protected but open) water you should encounter will be Hawks Channel to Marathon and the Southern portion of Biscayne Bay. Except those portions the rest of the trip will be very protected.

I would have thought your run to Key West from Marathon would have had the seas on the aft quarter?

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Old 06-17-2015, 09:01 AM   #11
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Why are you posting NJ weather forecast for a guy in Florida?
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
looks like wind driven...


here is a cut from my local NWS marine forecast...


ANZ452-453-172015-
COASTAL WATERS FROM LITTLE EGG INLET TO GREAT EGG INLET NJ OUT
20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM GREAT EGG INLET TO CAPE MAY NJ OUT 20 NM-
405 AM EDT WED JUN 17 2015


TODAY
NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT. SEAS 2 TO
3 FT. MAINLY IN SE SWELL WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO
4 FT. MAINLY IN E SWELL WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS LATE. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM LATE.

THU
SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS AROUND 3 FT. MAINLY IN E SWELL
WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS
. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS. VSBY
1 TO 3 NM.


A swell of 3 feet but 10 seconds is almost hardly noticeable for a boat like mine or yours. 3 foot wind waves on the beam would be uncomfy.


A 3 foot swell with 5 second period is almost approaching the characteristics of a wind wave but again on the beam would be uncomfy.


You will just have to keep a written or mental note how your boat does and remember what works for you.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:02 AM   #12
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Key West to Shark River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
The ocean swells are from the E to ESE all week along the Keys. The islands along Route 1 from the Mainland to Key West pretty much knocks it down and cuts the size and period in half.

Buoyweathers report. I ordered a forecast from the west and another east of the Keys. This is the edited version for tomorrow the 18th.

Marine Forecast for 25 N / 81.25 W
Winds: E 9 to 15 knots
Seas: ESE 1 feet at 2 seconds

Marine Forecast for 24.75 N / 80.75 W
Winds: ESE 11 to 16 knots
Seas: ESE 2 feet at 4 seconds

I like the 1 foot W side chop better.

I do need to start taking notes of the size and direction of the swell that is uncomfortable. I don't think we have had anything over 3-4 feet so far this trip, but it has been short period swell. We hobby-horsed along for about 5 hours into some steepish waves right when we entered the Gulf at Sanibel, and the wife commented that she didn't like it-- taking spray over the bow, bouncing around. And pretty much anything with any size on the beam she starts looking at me with the "what they hell are you doing?" look. We did have some things flying off the shelves at one point.

I have a video but can't figure out how to post. It was probably not that bad-- we are likely just weenies.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:09 AM   #13
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suggest you try playing with speed a bit in the rougher conditions. For us when it gets rough we found a faster speed makes a big difference. Might be worth playing with and see.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:13 AM   #14
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Here is a video of some of our rolling.

In the Hawk channel the other day I did speed up to 8 knots and that seemed to help out some.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I like the 1 foot W side chop better...
Remember that weather forecasts are average conditions.

Here is a disclaimer that the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology posts. I think it probably applies to most forecasts no matter where you are.

Please be aware wind gusts can be a further 40 per cent stronger than the average and maximum waves may be up to twice the height of forecast (average) wave heights.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:15 AM   #16
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Key West to Shark River

Can't get the video to post.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:22 AM   #17
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As you know, most of the Gulf's coastal waters are shallow so any kind of breeze makes for a "washing machine" like chop that is very uncomfortable. Sad, because it is sooo nice when conditions are right. If you have to get out in it, secure everything, stuff flying around adds to the stress, find her a low, comfortable spot. If you can wait for a good weather window think about that too.
Wishing you calm seas!
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
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As you know, most of the Gulf's coastal waters are shallow so any kind of breeze makes for a "washing machine" like chop that is very uncomfortable. Sad, because it is sooo nice when conditions are right. If you have to get out in it, secure everything, stuff flying around adds to the stress, find her a low, comfortable spot. If you can wait for a good weather window think about that too.

Wishing you calm seas!

I'm not impressing her at this point. I do need a nice calm day. She loved the ICW cruising!
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:37 AM   #19
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Also, note the interval of the seas. A 2 second chop can be brutal according to the direction. The longer the duration, the smoother the ride. Me, I like a 9 second swell.

If you have time catch the middle of a high pressure and ride smooth seas all the way back to Ft. Myers. Unfortunately, wind is a factor in the Keys and Bahamas.

Lake Okeechobee can build a very nasty chop that can be more mud than water.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Can't get the video to post.
Here's how. Is the movie less than 500MB?

New Feature: Videos
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