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Old 27 August 2009, 09:00   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilda View Post
I tend to look at the Met Office site, but wonder what others do.
The Met Office posts High Seas warnings and Strong Wind warnings; http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/..._forecast.html

(Generally more applicable to the Shipping Forecast areas, but useful information)

You could also visit one of the forecast sites that gives swell height, such as Magic SeaWeed; http://magicseaweed.com/UK-Ireland-Surf-Forecast/1/

If you're not familiar with the terms used, this is the key for wave height:

Calm <0.1m
Smooth 0.1 - 0.5m
Slight 0.5 - 1.25
Moderate 1.25 - 2.5
Rough 2.5 - 4
Very Rough 4 - 6
High 6 - 9
Very High 9 - 14
Phenomenal over 14m

I've been out once in a "phenomenal" sea (not in a RIB!!) and I didn't like it much. Advice to stop at "moderate" in a RIB is not a bad guide, but even moderate seas are likely to be uncomfortable (it's not just wave height that matters, it's the distance between the waves too) for boats of medium size. Remember also that when the wind and tide are in the same direction the sea surface will tend to be calmer than when the tide turns, so you need to plan for that.

As a very very simple rule-of-thumb for people who have passed Level 2 and are looking for guidance we suggest that if there are white horses on the water they check the tides again; if wind is against tide, consider waiting until the tide turns and the sea eases. If wind and tide are together, don't bother going out - it's only going to get worse.
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Old 27 August 2009, 09:27   #152
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Originally Posted by rupert View Post
you have a lot of experience, if you want to go to the marina and always be able to go out (perhaps yo have mader an appointment with frtiends to do so, etc.), you need to buy something like Codprawn spoke of, or at the very least a semi-displacement or displacement boat. Of course, you will also have to change your thinking; speed reduction for one, and no wave hopping, for another.

"Is there a way to predict sea conditions to prevent people heading out in awful seas?"

dotted around the UK are weather data buoys - there are numerous ways of accesing the info but the easiest is

http://www.xcweather.co.uk/

Just hover the mouse over a buoy - it will tell you current wave height. In the Bristol channel area you can look at the ones further west and get a rough idea of what is coming but it doesn't take account of local conditions.

There was a good episode of Coast on the Bristol Channel area - they mentioned the funelling effect which I have often mentioned but never heard mentioned before.

It is even worse in the Burry Estuary - 3,000 miles of Atlantic rollers being forced into very shallow waters.

About 2 years ago there was a massive swell that came in - hardly any wind but a few boats broke free in our harbour and about 400 yds of the new costal cycle path were completely washed away - looked like the aftermath of an earthquake. Of course the Victorian sea defences were fine.........
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Old 27 August 2009, 09:27   #153
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Ah Tony you old sea dog you!!

Billy
Steady.

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Old 27 August 2009, 10:10   #154
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Seaskills

A very useful post, thanks.

One point, following your rule of thumb (which I find very wise), and namely:
"Advice to stop at "moderate" in a RIB is not a bad guide"

it makes you wonder which ribs you could use in a savage sea (presuming that ribs are excellent rescue vessels) - e.g. see the link that Codprawn posted in the fire rescue situation. Or is it just a case of any rib, so long as the driver is up to it?
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Old 27 August 2009, 11:10   #155
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I think he is talking more in terms of comfort. A rescue boat is not out there for fun.

As it has already been pointed out local conditions are very important. On some of the "offshore" (> 12NM) sites I go to we often get a 2m swell. The swell can have upto a 15m wave length. The wavelength is so long that you hardly notice a swell at all. On the windguru website when it gives wave height as 1.5m I know that is not a problem on some sites but I wouldn't go to others.
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Old 27 August 2009, 11:15   #156
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pablo

Sorry, I thught that he was talking about safety, capsizing, and survival. That was what I referred to.
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Old 27 August 2009, 19:08   #157
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A couple of very useful links in XC weather and magic seaweed.

Thanks...
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Old 28 August 2009, 02:30   #158
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Codprawn

I can't see the buoys on the Xcwether site. I am using France as the country (for C.I.'s).
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Old 28 August 2009, 07:41   #159
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Looks fantastic,

Codprawn. Just right for a rusticate like me.

Two of my favourite photos of Rhosilli - the spay is reaching the top of Worms head - about 200' high.
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Old 28 August 2009, 08:46   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rupert View Post
I can't see the buoys on the Xcwether site. I am using France as the country (for C.I.'s).
There is only one near you - it is the Channel islands light vessel - not much good for your local conditions but ideal if you are planning a trip across to the mainland - you can see exactly what it's like in the middle before you go!!!
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