We are currently south bound along the coast of California in s/v Julia, trying to make our way to San Francisco. This leg started out quite well with good conditions to cross the Coos Bay bar. Although when we left, we did so knowing that the forecasts were calling for about 14 hours of southerly wind from Wednesday night to Thursday morning.
The plan was to start out fairly far offshore where the winds were good and then as the winds started shifting south, shift with them to come back in closer to shore. Closer in, the southerly winds were forecasted to be 6-8 knots rather than the 12-15 offshore. The plan got off to a good start as we were able to sail at a pretty good clip and then when the winds started shifting, we made our way to the forecasted light spot.
Only the forecasted light winds weren’t there. Instead we’ve found winds in the 22-26knot TWS range with apparent winds up over 30 at times. This has kicked up some pretty decent wind waves with a very short period and is making things quite uncomfortable. I’ve seen GRIB files be wrong by 5 – 10 knots before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a 20 knot difference between a forecast and actual conditions.
It just goes to show that you have to be ready for anything and that yes, the Pacific can definitely be a harsh mistress.