Monday, October 12, 2020

Block Island, This Weather Is Normal?

 Guess what?

The wind is blowing hard again and we're stuck sitting at anchor again.

This is getting a bit tiresome. Two days of crappy weather, two days of decent weather seems to be the pattern. I was wondering if this is normal or unusual. Based on my research, it's normal. According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's climate webpage:

Rhode Island lies in the “prevailing westerlies”, the belt of generally eastward air movement which encircles the globe in middle latitudes. Embedded in this circulation are extensive masses of air originating in higher and lower latitudes and interacting to produce storm systems. A large number of these systems and air mass fronts pass near or over Rhode Island in a year.

The procession of contrasting air masses and the relatively frequent passage of “Lows” bring about a roughly twice-weekly alternation from fair to cloudy or stormy weather, usually attended by abrupt changes in temperature, moisture, sunshine, wind direction and speed.

Now I know what to expect and am motivated to hasten my departure from this cold, windy place. Threading the needle between it getting cold here and blowing hurricanes south is tricky.

Intermezzo is lying at anchor in the Great Salt Pond on Block Island, right close to where we anchored when we visited here in late July We sailed here from Newport yesterday with my sister Alison and nephew Griffin joining us.

It was a nice downwind sail in 15-20 knots wind, partly cloudy skies on a blue sea with following wind waves and a gentle ocean swell from the south. Alison, Griffin and Lisa talked while I sailed the boat. We (I) sailed the whole way here, not turning on the engines except to depart and enter anchorages.

When we were anchored here, we enjoyed a late lunch, then headed to shore. The wind had piped up quite a bit, so it was a somewhat wet ride to the dinghy dock. From there we walked the 1-1/2 miles to Old Harbor where Alison and Griffin caught a ferry back to Port Judith. It was a great day, great to have family on board Intermezzo. Walking felt good. I hadn't been off the boat, save for a short stroll on tiny Bassets Island, for five days.

It's blowing 25-30 knots in this well-protected anchorage, the boat is riding comfortably but it's a bit chilly. (Lisa would say it's freezing.) It looks like we're going to have to hole up here until at least Wednesday, maybe Thursday. Time to get some boat projects and housekeeping done, read, shiver and lament the weather.

I've been running weather routing on PredictWind for our ocean passage to Norfolk. It looks like a weather window my open up on Monday, a bit earlier than what the models were predicting a few days ago. We're heading to Old Saybrook to borrow Alison's car and do our provisioning for that trip on the weekend.

I enjoyed cruising these waters when it was warm, but I'm not sorry to be leaving them as it has grown cold.