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Do you guys watch buoy reports?

JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
I usually check the buoy status in the boating season to see the lake conditions, and the winds the last couple days have have some pretty big numbers. This is our little puddle Lake St Clair:



5-day plot - Wind Direction 5-day plot - Wind Speed 5-day plot - Wind Gust 5-day plot - Wave Height 5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period 5-day plot - Average Period 5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction 5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure 5-day plot - Pressure Tendency 5-day plot - Air Temperature 5-day plot - Water Temperature 5-day plot - Dew Point 5-day plot - Salinity 5-day plot - Visibility 5-day plot - Tide (above MLLW)
MM DD TIME
(EST)
   WDIR WSPD
kts
GST
kts
WVHT
ft
DPD
sec
APD
sec
MWD PRES
in
PTDY
in
ATMP
°F
WTMP
°F
DEWP
°F
SAL
psu
VIS
nmi
TIDE
ft
1118 8:00 pm  WNW 19.4 23.3 2.6 4--29.97+0.10- 44.4----
1118 7:00 pm  WNW 25.3 33.0 3.0 4--29.94+0.13- 44.6----
1118 6:00 pm  WNW 23.3 31.1 3.3 4--29.91+0.14- 44.6----
1118 5:00 pm  WNW 23.3 29.1 3.3 4--29.87+0.12- 44.8----
1118 4:00 pm  WNW 25.3 31.1 3.0 4--29.82+0.09- 44.8----
1118 3:00 pm   W 25.3 31.1 3.9 4--29.78+0.08- 45.0----
1118 2:00 pm   W 27.2 33.0 3.3 4--29.75+0.07- 45.0----
1118 1:00 pm   W 23.3 33.0 3.3 4--29.72-- 45.0----
111812:00 pm   W 25.3 33.0 3.0 4--29.69+0.05- 45.0----

2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3

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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Lake Huron is just a BIT more churned up: @-)

    MM DD TIME
    (EST)
       WDIR WSPD
    kts
    GST
    kts
    WVHT
    ft
    DPD
    sec
    APD
    sec
    MWD PRES
    in
    PTDY
    in
    ATMP
    °F
    WTMP
    °F
    DEWP
    °F
    SAL
    psu
    VIS
    nmi
    TIDE
    ft
    1118 8:50 pm   NW 31.1 36.9 11.8 86.3 NW29.88+0.12 35.6 43.5----
    1118 7:50 pm  WNW 31.1 35.0 12.8 86.5 NW29.85+0.14 34.7 43.5----
    1118 6:50 pm   NW 31.1 38.9 13.1 86.7 NW29.82+0.15 35.8 43.5----
    1118 5:50 pm   NW 33.0 42.7 12.1 86.6 NW29.77+0.15 35.8 43.5----
    1118 4:50 pm   NW 36.9 44.7 14.1 96.8 NW29.71+0.13 36.0 43.7----
    1118 3:50 pm  WNW 33.0 42.7 13.5 96.7 NW29.67+0.13 36.3 43.7----
    1118 2:50 pm   W 33.0 40.8 12.1 86.5 NW29.61+0.10 36.3 43.7----
    1118 1:50 pm   W 33.0 38.9 11.8 86.3 NW29.58+0.09 36.5 43.7----
    111812:50 pm   W 35.0 42.7 11.5 86.3 NW29.54+0.09 37.8 43.7----
    111811:50 am   W 33.0 42.7 12.1 86.4 NW29.51+0.09 38.5 43.7----
    111810:50 am   W 33.0 42.7 10.8 86.1 NW29.49+0.09 39.2 43.7----
    1118 9:50 am   W 31.1 40.8 10.8 86.1 NW29.44+0.07 39.7 43.9----
    1118 8:50 am   W 33.0 42.7 11.5 86.4 NW29.42+0.08 39.9 44.1----
    1118 7:50 am   W 29.1 36.9 10.8 86.3WNW29.40+0.11 40.1 44.4----
    1118 6:50 am   W 29.1 35.0 10.5 86.1WNW29.37+0.12 40.6 44.4----
    1118 5:50 am   W 31.1 35.0 10.2 86.0WNW29.34+0.14 41.9 44.6----

    Now, this is "significant wave height", so most waves a bit smaller, but some can be 50% higher. Pretty crazy to a greenhorn like me. :)
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Our near shore bouy is already out for the season and would read higher waves than the mid-lake bouy. Here is the summary for the last few days attached.

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, there's a reason the eastern shore of Lake Michigan is all sand, the wind & waves did all of that!

    I cant even imagine 4-6 footers, let alone double that! Craziness.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Depending on the wave steepness, 4'rs are doable, I've been in 8s: not fun and not by choice. We do have almost 300 miles of sandy beaches though! I think most people would be shocked how fast they can build.

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Over my side of the murder mitten, 3-4's are decently tough, due to the frequency of the waves. Since St Clair is so shallow (20' average depth, if that), the waves get really close together and just beat you up. And believe it or not on a busy summer weekend most of the waves are man-made, so they can come from all directions.

    I've been out on Michigan in 3's and they almost never were whitecaps, so you could slow down a bit and just go up & down with the swells. Three footers over here are guaranteed whitecaps and you pretty much just have to hope you can stay on plane and dont slam too much. Just my (limited) experience.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, there are the 3' swells and then 3' breakers. The latter can get you some hard hits even on plane. I've been on Lk St. Clair and know what you mean with the weekend boat chop.

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Admiral and I entered Lake St. Clair from the Thames River this summer on a Rinker EC 360. We were on it for a demonstration cruise with Maple City Marine in Chatham-Kent and I couldn't believe how shallow the lake was. At the area we entered it was about 4-5 feet deep. I asked the  salesman if it was this shallow everywhere and he replied no but it is a very shallow lake. I remember saying to the Admiral that I would not want to get caught out on it in a high wind as the waves could be whipped-up quickly! I was caught about 5 miles off the shore of Lake Ontario once. The weather turned so fast and so ugly that none of us thought we would make it back. The captain knew how to throttle up and down waves and was a cool customer. We were in a 26 footer with twin 502s and it took all of the captain's skill and the boat's horsepower to keep the waves out of the stern and not stuff the bow. It took over three of the longest hours of my life to get to shore. MT
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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, its very shallow overall. Average depth on our area of the lake (Anchor Bay) is 4'-9', and yeah its a little intimidating being on plane with the depth gauge reading 5' & seeing the sand on the bottom. b-(

    I've yet to get caught in a bad storm that I couldnt just anchor & wait out, but I've heard numerous stories from very experienced boaters of storms rolling up & closely spaced 4-6' waves coming out of nowhere. The best I've heard is from a guy with a 20ish foot Whaler that was about 2 miles from his marina when a storm cell popped up right offshore, and by the time he was halfway back was climbing vertical waves with his prop digging into the bottom at each wave trough. This was in 5-6' of water.

    On the plus side I have never had to let out more than 50' of anchor line, and we're always just 5 minutes from a nice shallow swimming spot. :)
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jtkz13 because it was a beautiful sunny day when we were on St.Clair I did mention to the admiral that anchoring would be a pleasure, unlike the St.Lawrence where 130 feet of rode is nothing in most places and we have to hunt for an anchorage that isn't already overloaded with boats. The salesman chipped-in to say that there were a lot of neat places to anchor and cities to visit. I also thought it would be a great place to bring the grand daughter to swim. I wonder if you guys chew-up a lot of impellers? MT
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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Last year was only my first season, but yeah its rare to find a boat with a non-sanded skeg. I'd say props & cooling passages get it the worst, but yeah I'm sure impellers & housing get their fair share of abuse.

    I actually sucked up some sand/pebbles last year in a low spot in my marina that ended up getting stuck in my t-stat (causing a cold running problem).  So, even there I am not safe. The lake is VERY dependant on the snow amounts in Canada, and thus Lake Huron to keep it high. This last summer was prety average water depths, the previous year was VERY VERY low. Like people pulling out in August because they were already at winter levels.

    There are some really shallow spots where you think there wouldnt be, and its definitely a lake that you NEED to know where they are. At least a couple people a year run over "Sand Island" by the Middle Channel, where it goes from 35' in the channel to less than a foot. When the waters low you can actually see the bottom. This entire summer the "island" was under 1-2' of water, so I'm sure more than a few people found it.
    image

    It is a great lake for swimming though, as the water temp usually comes up pretty fast, especially in the shallows not right next to the channels. And like you said its easy to find a spot by yourself in relatively shallow area, so you dont have to worry about current or 200' of anchor line.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That does look beautiful! Few things nicer than anchoring near a sand bar or sandy beach! We got hammered two years ago on the St.Lawrence by low water levels too. It was a great summer for the prop/skeg repair shops and for a few really unlucky boaters the fiberglass guys. MT
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