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SF Bay area fall winter sailing?
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1298
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree with thonmc. The only time I sailed a storm that came in from Alaska, it blew dead out of the north and I have never ever been that cold in my entire life. It felt like I had taken a sledge hammer to my fingers. We launched at the playpen at Sherman Island and sailed straight out into the bay.

The storms you want to look for come from Hawaii. They're wetter than arctic storms, but pack some incredibly consistent winds. I've sailed a storm from 9 AM to 3 PM at Alameda. Typically, those winds require 4.0 to 5.0 sails.

Steve
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otgmail



Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
These are excellent replies. Maybe the reason there is not much sailing done in the winter is that everybody has invested on small gear, 80lt boards, 4.0-5.5 range of sails. Thus nothing less then 12knots draws people out to water, maybe? . I think I am going to try the HBM harbour definetely, I like having a steady spot that I know and just keep going to. I am hoping that my 123lt board and 7.0 sail is going to do a lot of work this winter, all I really need is around 12knots then I will be happy.

I am definetely sticking to the windsurfing. I checked out Alemeda and that is also a good spot for the winter so if I could get 8 days with +12knots at least then that's fine for me..
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2009

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The coldest day I ever spent in my life was a summer day in S.F." Wasn't that near a quote from Mark Twain?

I lived in the bay area for 12 years. With all that fog in the summer the only difference between winter and summer was rain, not temps. What is the big deal with winter sailing down there? Don't tell me you guys can tell the difference between air and water temps at Berkeley, Coyote or Crissy. Any time it gets warm in S.F. there is no wind! I wear the same wetsuit for the bay, year round because it is always freaking cold there.

Just the perspective of a person with warm water genes.

Coachg
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2487
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jse wrote:
The only time I sailed a storm that came in from Alaska, it blew dead out of the north and I have never ever been that cold in my entire life.
The storms you want to look for come from Hawaii. They're wetter than arctic storms, but pack some incredibly consistent winds. I've sailed a storm from 9 AM to 3 PM at Alameda. Typically, those winds require 4.0 to 5.0 sails.

Steve


I can see you guys need a primer on storm sailing.
As Steve said the warm front from Hawaii is best and will often have days
of sailing. Usual wind direction is SE and is best in the morning.

A strong cold front from the north can also yield about 2-6 hours of SE wind BEFORE the front. Usually it's in the morning and usually it warms up to about 55-58 degrees. Typically you'll rig when it's dry and unrig in the rain. Once the cold front passes the wind shifts to SW and it's too late.
The next day or 2 the wind will shift to West then NW -> N and NE.
So Steve, if you're getting north wind, it's way behind the front where the cold air is.

The best predictor of these events is the NWS coastal forcast. If they are saying SE 20-30, that is good. The front is usually a comma shape and the tail will usually swing over the bay. The western inside edge of the comma is the front and if that has past, it's too late. The heavy rain is right before the front. If you see a blob of rain off the coast on the radar photos, head quickly to HMB, it's better to be early and wait for the wind.
If it's a strong one, it will make it to Alameda, Berkeley and Oyster Pt.
Usually HMB will blow first, then the Bay sites.

I agree with Kevin, it's fun to watch the changing weather and we've had some great sailing days. Not sure why Boggs and others are so bent about convincing us not to sail. It's only a few degrees colder than summer. The Hawaii fronts actually seem warmer, and the snow level is about 8000ft then so skiing would be in the rain, yuck.
Besides, the ski areas and roads getting to Tahoe are too crowded as it is.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3613
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey carl, Im not trying to convince anyone to stop doing what they like doing. When you and Steve blast the Tahoe experience, which Im also addicted to, I just laugh, its a dream to me. Im just saying that the Spring and Summer are so jacked up around here, blasting Tomales to Crissy to Waddel to Sherman, that when the Fall and Winter come along, it gives me time to switch gears and not become a meteorologist to get a couple of days on the water.

Have a nice off season gents , it looks the hearty 10-12 kt winds are here! go get'm boys! Dont forget your Bic Techno 190!
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sergem



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carl wrote:
It's only a few degrees colder than summer.


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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2487
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sergey,

Do you have a chart of the ocean or GG bridge temps? I don't think that chart would be as dramatic. Alameda has a huge shallow water area and not much summer sea breeze cooling.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2487
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boggsman1 wrote:
Hey carl, Im not trying to convince anyone to stop doing what they like doing. When you and Steve blast the Tahoe experience, which Im also addicted to, I just laugh, its a dream to me. Im just saying that the Spring and Summer are so jacked up around here, blasting Tomales to Crissy to Waddel to Sherman, that when the Fall and Winter come along, it gives me time to switch gears and not become a meteorologist to get a couple of days on the water.

Have a nice off season gents , it looks the hearty 10-12 kt winds are here! go get'm boys! Dont forget your Bic Techno 190!


FYI, I get to use my 4.0 and 78L more in the winter than the summer.

I'm not blasting the Tahoe exp, it's a great sport. I used to be a ski addict too in the 80s and early 90s when skiing was big fashon.
I'm just stating why I don't go any more, BECAUSE, you keep saying
we're nutz and should be going to the snow in winter instead of sailing.


Last edited by carl on Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sergem



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carl wrote:
Do you have a chart of the ocean or GG bridge temps? I don't think that chart would be as dramatic. Alameda has a huge shallow water area and not much summer sea breeze cooling.


Surprise!

SF Marina:


Pt. Reyes:


So November is the time when one's old wetsuit definitely is no going to cut it Smile
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 525
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Wind Chill seem to be a bigger factor than water temp Reply with quote

My hands just go numb to fast and using gloves just causes all feeling to be lost and hand fatigue . Also the water has been on the warm side for the past year. There can be spotty Northwests as late as October and starting in March. I hear Treasure Island can go the longest but I don't sail there in any case the SF Area has a season that's seems to be longer than any place but Maui. The thickest wetsuit I wear around hear is a 4/3 and seems adequate I don't want to feel wrapped up like the Pillsbury doe-boy in a dive suit. I try to ski or travel for windsurfing a little bit during those months (November to March).
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