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From buoybay.org:

Rectangle Slope Plot Font Line
 

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That's very cool and thanks for the graph. I've done a bunch of sailing over the years. On one trip from BVI to Annapolis, we had some big seas. But we never felt in danger until we got hammered in the Mouth of the Potomac.

Gnarly waters for sure.
 

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Those are big waves for the Bay. It was really blowing off Kent Island too. My wind guage showed a couple of gusts over 45 MPH with 35 sustained. On the upside, the air is clearer than I've ever seen it this morning. Driving over the Bay Bridge I could see as far south as Cove Point including the CCNPP, and north past the Bush River and Abbey Point. I've never even come close to that kind of visibility.
 

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I was in 10 footers at the target ship in 1990. The sky got black, rain, wind, no visability and water spouts formed. Three 20 footers and a 40 footer sank that day. The pastor of my church was fishing with me and we both kissed the pier at point Lookout when we got in. I had a 19 foot Bayliner at that time:eek2: but we made it. The bay is 22 miles wide down there and can be brutal. I have heard others say that 10 footers are impossible but I know better!...........Gary
 

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That area has the most fetch on any in the whole bay. Shawn, that was a really cool account of your wind readings and the visibility.
 

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That area can get nasty.

My dad knew a guy who delivered yachts for a living. He was running a Hatteras along with a friend running a Bertram. There is always a friendly teasing between both brands. Both boats were mid forty footers.

They got to Smith Point and hit some real nasty weather - neither willing to turn back. Both captains said it was the worst seas they had seen and these guys went everywhere.
 

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Those are big waves for the Bay. It was really blowing off Kent Island too. My wind guage showed a couple of gusts over 45 MPH with 35 sustained. On the upside, the air is clearer than I've ever seen it this morning. Driving over the Bay Bridge I could see as far south as Cove Point including the CCNPP, and north past the Bush River and Abbey Point. I've never even come close to that kind of visibility.
now that is awesome visibility, wow!!

I have been across the mouth of the potomac in 5-6 footers maybe bigger, on a 50' yacht years ago with my father and ill never forget it, it was tossing like a dingy. my uncles son was sleeping like a baby all the way across!!
 

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Shawn wrote:
"On the upside, the air is clearer than I've ever seen it this morning. Driving over the Bay Bridge I could see as far south as Cove Point including the CCNPP, and north past the Bush River and Abbey Point. I've never even come close to that kind of visibility. "

Wow...someone noticing and commenting on visibility! I am impressed...visibility is the obscure little corner of the world that I work in. It is rare (especially in the eastern US) that anyone even notices the visibility conditions.

That IS good visibility for around here. Google maps says the middle of the Bay Bridge to the Gas Docks is 41 miles (Abbey Point is 33 miles). So the visual range (VR) that day was greater than 41 miles...but we don't know how much greater. That's the problem with VR...it only measures if you can see a specific object you know about. Visibility that day could have been the theoretical maximum possible for this area (about 74 miles), but you wouldn't know it's that good by being able to see an object 41 miles away. There are now better ways to measure visibility that avoid this problem and aren't effected by sun angle, but aren't nearly as easy to understand as visual range.

Based on the air quality monitor readings around the metro area on Tuesday, as well as the temperature and humidity levels (both low), I am pretty sure that the true VR on Tuesday was about 50 miles. That would make it one the best 10 days of the year...and on some of those 10 days visibility measurements wouldn't matter because of rain, snow or fog.

The good news is that visibility, and air quality in general, has gotten a LOT better almost everywhere in the US, and especially along the eastern seaboard (we're downwind of LOTS of stuff). The visibility data from the DC area shows that before 1994 there were basically no days you could see 50 miles, and by 1998 we rarely got 1 day a year with 50 mile VR. What happened? Air quality (hence VR) is dominated by 2 sources: mobile (cars & trucks) and electricity generation. Cars & trucks have gotten steadily cleaner since the mid '70s (newer cars got cleaner, and old belchers got steadily retired). As the Acid Rain Bill (passed in 1990) started to kick in during the late '90's, power plants in the eastern US started to seriously clean up their emissions (sulfur emissions were cut in half between 1995 and 2000), and it made a big difference.
Average VR in DC now = 24.5 miles
Average VR in 1993 = 16.5 miles (worst average since modern data started in '88)

There is documented evidence that visibility was once a whole lot better around here. Numerous reports exist that mention that while Skyline Drive was under construction in the '30s, on clear winter days people could see the Washington Monument from Skyline Drive. That's 65 miles (just south of Front Royal) or more away...getting close to the natural background condition.
 

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I remember The El Toro 2 I was fishing right beside her with my best friend Brad Hardy when that blow came up ,there was thunder lightening and snow ,we were catching fish ,nice big fish and needed one more for a limit so we were determined to catch it ,when it started to blow we were fishing with about six boats in the blink of an eye everyone but us and the El Toro were left we caught the fish and reeled up the El Toro was reeling up as we left to come back into Smith Point and the El Toro headed across the Potomac ,we heard from Smith Point Rescue that the jetties were completely covered about 15 minutes after we got through we also heard about the El Toro they said the bottom of the boat looked like a venetian blind . Brad died of liver cancer in 2006 I lost the best fishing partner I ever had ,we were in a 21 ft chapparal with a 115 mariner ,it was a helluva ride in but we made it.
 
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