TRYING TO HEAD SOUTH INTO WEST COAST SW 20 KNOTS!
Mirador got underway about 10 AM on Monday, August 30. We (brother Jim and I) left our home at Delin Docks in Tacoma and headed NW to Kingston, WA where we'll take on 100 gallons of diesel and have a last dinner with our longtime friends - Lee and Lucy. Jim, Lee, and I lived together while attending college during the late '60s. Lee, Lucy, and I lived together thru much of our grad school era in Bellingham, Washington during the early '70s and Lee, Arlene, and I were bicycle fanatics all thru the '80s and '90s.
Our annoyance is that many of the various weather forecasts are now predicting 15 - 25 knot west winds to blow in thru the Straits of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday afternoon and night. Those winds will pile up 3 - 5 foot short period wind waves for about 18 hours. That is exactly when we would be west bound in the Straits. It is about 70 nautical miles (NM) from the east entrance to the Straits at Port Townsend to the west end at Cape Flattery. Pounding into 20 knots and four foot seas will slow Mirador to less than five knots so we would be looking at 13 - 15 hours of misery.
I think we'll leave Kingston Tuesday morning about 8 AM to catch the NW ebb tide thru Admiralty Inlet and out past Port Townsend. About 2 PM we'll be near Sequim Bay and can get a more accurate short term forecast for the next 75 NM out to Cape Flattery. If is still sounds uncomfortable we'll spend the night in Sequim Bay and see what Wednesday morning brings.
The next issue is the NW coast of Washington. Once we round Cape Flattery our course is almost due South (magnetic) for 560 NM. All the weather forecasts and models (GFS, COAMPS) are foreasting SW to SSE winds for Tuesday night and most of Wednesday. The swells are forecast to be out of the West at seven to eight feet. That would be a very uncomfortable ride with head winds and a biggish beam swell.
If we leave Kingston and head out thru the Straits non-stop we'd round Cape Flattery about 4 - 6 AM Wednesday - RIGHT INTO the SW wind and W swell! SO - I guess I'll try to delay the rounding of Cape Flattery until Thursday morning when the forecast is for light winds becoming NW after noon.
We had the same problem heading south down the coast during our September 2000 trip on Mirador. We ended up spending a cold four days in Westport, Washington in order to avoid the SW wind and swell. You can read about that decision and the stay in Westport at: Winter in Westport