Gone cold and wind forecasts

It feels like late November even though it is late October. Overnight temps at or below freezing, clear skies, no rain and daytime temps 40/50 degrees.

It is much easier to stay comfortable when it isn’t raining. It isn’t damp and humid so things are not to bad in SWALLOW.

Momma Kitty not coming out from under the covers until the woodstove warms the cabin.

Stopping in Olympia for a few days to collect boat stores and do the laundry. Found that the hardware store in old-downtown, near the water, no longer carries the ‘sawdust wood-product’ I like. A second choice is Presto-Log and they only had two packs … I wanted four! They recommend I go to the larger store … 1.6 miles away. The Thriftway right next to the Percival Landing docks doesn’t have Presto-Logs – first grocery store I’ve visited that doesn’t carry them! Frustrating!!

The prior owners/builders of SWALLOW stopped by to say “hi” and drop off a few things: old boat logs (great history!), a few spare parts and firewood (yeah for wood heat)!

Sunrise at Hope Island State Park (north of Budd Inlet).

On one of the Facebook groups I frequent a person new to the Salish Sea asked about obtaining reliable wind forecasts. The NOAA forecasts cover a large area, the Puget Sound zone goes from Olympia to Admiralty Inlet – an area 100 miles long (North to South).

For example the NOAA forecast Tuesday 10/28/19 is east 20-30kts shifting NE 15-25. Here in the far south of South Puget Sound it is calm with two private forecasting apps, Sailflow and WindFinder, are showing a forecast of NE 5-10kts. This shows a couple of things:

  • In general the NOAA zone forecast focuses on the Puget Sound north or Tacoma Narrows.
  • NOAA will report the highest wind for the zone – I’ve experienced where South Puget Sound will have high winds where the northern and central parts will not and NOAA reports the high wind forecast to be experienced south.

I remember back in the pre-smartphone era having no idea what wind to expect when sailing Puget Sound. When cellphone data is available it is nice to to access a forecast more localized. I use WindFinder and Sailflow.

Even so I think NOAA should have at least two or maybe three zones for Puget Sound forecasts: south of Tacoma Narrows, Tacoma Narrows to just south of Seattle and north from Seattle to Admiralty Inlet.

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