Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Watch out for the cut!

From club member Raz:

Hi Sailors, 

Summer is very nearly upon us.

For everyone who has joined the club since this past autumn, you all are in for a treat. Warm water, long days, sunshine. It is amazing. 

One thing to be aware of:

For most of the year the predominant breeze in these parts come from the south and tend to blow across the lake and union bay as sou'westerlies (trivia: "sou'westerly" is a wind. "sou'wester" is a hat). This is a generalization of course, but is largely true (the winds, not the hat).. 

But during the summer, especially in the afternoons, the wind pattern switches and we get lovely northerlies. They tend to build in the afternoon and peak an hour or so before sunset, dropping off quite rapidly after the sun goes down and becoming dead calm by the end of dusk. Again, also a generalization. 

You might be thinking, "Raz, this is a great piece of trivial, but why does this matter?"

It matters because with the switching of the breeze, the lee shore of Union Bay switches from very expensive real estate and swamp ("wetlands"), to the extremely busy montlake cut shipping channel. I don't recommend drifting into the real estate (expensive!) or the swamp (smelly!), but I REALLY advise against the shipping channel (hazardous!). It is a good idea to avoid it altogether. If conditions are testing your limits, try to stay in a part of the bay where you have adequate sea-room to right your boat before you drift into the cut. This is especially important if you are sailing the cats or bravos.  If you find yourself becalmed in the cut (how did you get there!?) then scull or paddle or bow-steer your way out of it. Don't bob around. 

Have fun. Get wet. Enjoy yourself. Practice your form so you can test in the higher winds that come in Autumn. But avoid the area between the red and green markers. 

Fair winds, 


No comments:

Post a Comment