Specific Weather Question

Mar 25, 2021
73
Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 Marina del Rey
Hello,

I’ve been hearing about Santa Ana’s for the next few days in SMB and Catalina Island. We are, of course, moored in the Ithsmus. There is a Marine Weather Statement and Small Craft Advisory. We have friends coming this morning via ferry for a few days, but I am wondering if the Flicka can go out in in or stay in the mooring? Probably a stupid idea, thought I’d ask.

link to statements -https://weather.com/weather/alerts/localalerts/l/Los+Angeles+CA?canonicalCityId=84c64154109916077c8d3c2352410aaae5f6eeff682000e3a7470e38976128c2
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,927
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Reg flag warning Sunday 9 AM - Monday 3 PM...............winds Northeast to east 20 to 30 mph with gusts 40 to 50 mph in the coastal areas from Ventura to Malibu on Sunday. Depends on how much excitment you want. My boat will be safely secured in the berth with spring lines until the reg flag warning passes.
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,103
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Weather forecast indicates to me, hunker down with the boat safely secured until conditions ease. Although the Flika can handle it, the crew might prefer to pass on such an experience.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
2,584
Catalina 320 Dana Point
Santa Anas are really spotty and dire predictions are for the most wind prone areas above Palos Verdes, many times some of the best sailing is under a red flag or two. If I can post a spot prediction for the same place you'll note it little resembles the zone prediction. Last Sunday under a light Santa Ana the wind was everything from zero to 25 kts. up and down all day, the >20 kts. was only a sudden gust area lasted about an hour from 2:30 to 3:30, then died again.
National Weather Service
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
2,094
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Weather forecast indicates to me, hunker down with the boat safely secured until conditions ease. Although the Flika can handle it, the crew might prefer to pass on such an experience.
:plus:I'm sure the Flicka can handle it, but it might not be a fun trip for any humans on board. I have gone out in marginal conditions when feeling pressured to do so. but in my old age, I opt to stay tied up or anchored in near wicked conditions [New England, get it?].
 
Nov 22, 2011
984
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Hello,

I’ve been hearing about Santa Ana’s for the next few days in SMB and Catalina Island. We are, of course, moored in the Ithsmus. There is a Marine Weather Statement and Small Craft Advisory. We have friends coming this morning via ferry for a few days, but I am wondering if the Flicka can go out in in or stay in the mooring? Probably a stupid idea, thought I’d ask.

link to statements -https://weather.com/weather/alerts/localalerts/l/Los+Angeles+CA?canonicalCityId=84c64154109916077c8d3c2352410aaae5f6eeff682000e3a7470e38976128c2
Isthmus Cove is a dangerous lee shore in Santa Ana (NE) conditions. It is not the place to be.

If you are there and a Santa Ana is forecast but not yet arrived, your best bet is to head around the West End to Catalina Harbor on the back side of the Island. It is wonderfully sheltered in a Santa Ana. You will get lots of wind that funnels through the pass, but the seas will be relatively flat.

If you are already at the Isthmus when the Santa Ana has begun, or you do not have enough time before it does, than you have no option but to ride it out on the mooring. It would be suicide to take your boat out in the middle of it because you could easily get blown on to a lee shore. Your boat in particular, with a 1GM10, I believe, is marginally powered for its displacement. Don't even think about leaving the mooring.

If you are stuck at the Isthmus in a NE blow, the best you can do is make sure you are on a row of moorings well off the beach and moored bow out. The Harbor Patrol will assist you with this. In your favor is the fact that you have a really small boat with minimal windage. You will likely ride it out just fine, though uncomfortably.

I just looked at the Two Harbors live webcam and I think I see your boat. It appears that you are moored bow out and quite a few rows off the beach. That may be as good as it gets for you. The conditions outside the cove actually look pretty flat right at this moment. But that can change and change quickly. (Right now it is blowing pretty hard at my house, but I'm somewhat inland. It may be that you'll see this wind in a bit, but it's hard to say.) On your boat you are looking at a few hours to get around West End into Cat, so unless you had a high degree of confidence that you have a clear lull in which to do it, I'd stay put and ride it out.
 
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Jun 11, 2004
1,235
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Hello,

I’ve been hearing about Santa Ana’s for the next few days in SMB and Catalina Island. We are, of course, moored in the Ithsmus. There is a Marine Weather Statement and Small Craft Advisory. We have friends coming this morning via ferry for a few days, but I am wondering if the Flicka can go out in in or stay in the mooring? Probably a stupid idea, thought I’d ask.
Not completely sure of your question but it sounds like you are asking if it is advisable to go out for some day sailing rather than staying in harbor on the mooring.

From this morning's weather statement you linked:

.MARINE...21/529 AM.

For the inner waters south of Pt. Conception, moderate to high
confidence in the forecast. Thru this afternoon, and again late
tonight/Mon morning, SCA level NE winds are likely from the
eastern Santa Barbara Channel south to Santa Monica. There is a
50% chance of SCA level winds south of Palos Verdes today, and a
20-30% chance of SCA level NE winds affecting Avalon Harbor. There
is a 40% chance of SCA level W-NW winds across western SBA
Channel late Tue afternoon/evening. Otherwise, winds and seas
will remain below SCA levels Mon afternoon thru Wed.

The forecast zone we are in is very large so in the statement they try to break down what they think is going to happen in various portions of the zone (in fact they are going to revise the zone boundaries in early 2022 to help clarify their forecasts). So as you can see they are really talking about three different portions of the zone. One area has SCA likely (60-70% chance), one area at 50% and one area (around Avalon) at 20-30%. So you are in the area they say has a 20-30% chance of an SCA.

From looking at the point forecast that Calif Ted posted, and other sources like Windy, Sailflow and Predict Wind, it doesn't look like things will be all that hectic. In fact you might not even get enough wind to really get the Flicka going well.

If I'm right about my understanding of your question I'd probably say go ahead and take your friends out for a sail but keep an eye on the conditions and don't go too far. If things start to pipe up don't hesitate to head back to the mooring.

Have you asked one of the harbor boat operators what they think the local conditions are going to be? They usually have a pretty good sense of what's up. If they think things are going to get sporty then I would follow Alan Gomes' advice and head to the back side.

The caveat, as you know, is that it is the weather and as such is not totally predictable. You obviously have to decide for yourself based on your own experience and comfort level, as welll as the experience and comfort level of your friends.

Have fun over there. It looks like a great couple of days. Are you having Thanksgiving at the harbor reef?
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,409
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Elliot.....
Not a stupid question. It is a question you should always ask. I know I do when ever I am getting ready to go sailing. What is the weather now, and what is the forecast....

Santa Ana's or Normal winds... all can be fun or difficult. You are learning your boat and so you should be taking her out in various wind and water conditions. Only way you can build your skills.

If looking at the water makes you queasy, then only put up a reefed sail and a small foresail (think your 90% jib).

With Santa Ana winds you know they will be coming off from the coast. That means near the coast the waves will be less. As a surfer we loved the Santa Ana's as the wind was warm and the wind held up the wave-crest as you surfed in towards the beach.

The further you get from the coast the more opportunity you have for the winds to build wind waves. These at some point may create a disturbed surface as the wind waves flow against the Pacific Swell.

Being in the Islands you should be able to see this effect. That would be my goto observation. Too rough, stay moored.