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Thread: Wind Reversal and west coast waves!

  1. #1
    Kate B's Avatar
    Kate B is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Default Wind Reversal and west coast waves!

    Hi everyone,

    We had some excitement on the waterfront yesterday. We had an unusual type of wind reversal that caused large swells and waves on the western coast of Bonaire. I was eating lunch down on the waterfront near Karel's beach bar and was amazed to see the white caps on the water, moored boats rocking dramatically, some sailboats almost bumping into each other's masts because of the large swaying action. Many boat owners took their boats out into the open water.

    While the waves were not higher than you'd see in some parts of the east coast of the US, it was still a novel event here. The downtown shore road got wet in some places and the police temporarily closed down the road.

    Once it was open, late yesterday afternoon, my husband Ian and I walked down there and Ian took this video:
    https://youtu.be/sdkBhXHO958

    The waves had decreased in height by then, but you can still see some floating debris, a rowboat half submerged, and lots of wave action in an area that is usually dead calm. You'll see the best panorama towards the end of the video, so watch the whole thing.

    No damage and nobody got hurt, just a Bonaire oddity.

    All the best,
    Kate Butler
    "Ask Kate" real estate columnist for the Bonaire Reporter
    Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Paradise Homes, Bonaire

  2. #2
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    Hi Kate. Thanks for posting that. Wow, looks like the clarity might be less than ideal for a bit. Wish we were there to see it in person!

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    Sadly, it’s been reported that a number of sailboats also put out anchors damaging some reef areas, (another) ladder rung at Oil Slick is gone, and Buddy had some pier damage (hopefully fixed by now). It was a crazy day with the partial reversal and parts of both coasts looking similar for a while.

    Visibility at two southern sites today was actually very good (better than its be in awhile).

  4. #4
    randl's Avatar
    randl is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Vis at Oil Slick yesterday late afternoon wasn't too bad either. Surprising, but enjoyable.

    We were watching the reversal from Karpata and north of it. Really busy seas and swells. An especially high breeze from the southwest that made the day enjoyable. We skipped diving, though.

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    We are not on Bonaire, but we do have a sea side home in Sabadeco Court, with one of the security cameras pointing to outside towards the SW. It main purpose is to keep an eye on the yard and the pool. It records the last 5 days, so I went and had a look at the footage from yesterday. It does capture a bit of the sea in the background. The stone ‘cliff’ in front of out place is about 3m high, and the decks about another meter above that. Our water access is by a foldable ladder that is locked in the up position when we are not using it. All our video showed was the palm trees bending away from the shoreline, so we could see the winds were indeed ‘reversed’. Our 4 deck chairs and sun-bed frame are still sitting nicely on the exposed decks.

    Hopefully the number of boater who actually set an anchor was very limited. The smart one are those that went out, the conditions did not look that bad. I am not sure what the design limits on the various moorings are. That information is usually provided by the installer, but I have never had the need to inquire. But I also suspect the attach methods used by some on Bonaire do not account for any significant onshore wave action. The wave action on mooring lines can cause very high short term loads. That can be mitigated by using proper equipment. We are sailors, indeed we will be bringing a new Moody 45DS sailboat down in early 2020, it is currently in production in Germany. It will be kept in the Harbour Village Marina, so wind reversals should be of little concern.

    Thanks to Kate for the video.
    S&E Tanton

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    We just returned home and so I am catching up on some computer items -- I intentionally "unplug" while on vacation. The winds were blowing nearly straight out of the south on Tuesday, which was not really noticeable in town (at Sand Dollar where we stay). Mrs. K. and I went south that morning and it was quite rough by 9 AM so we passed on Margate Bay but did enter at Pink Beach. Had a wonderful dive but the waves were 3-4 feet when we came up and breaking shoulder high for our exit. It was quite exciting. We survived intact with all our gear but heard stories of many missing fins, masks, etc. It was very strange driving back north to see no trucks at the Salt Pier or the Hooker. But there were a ton at Windsock where we elected to dive again. Yes, there were several sailboats moored on the north side of Klein, so I hope that nobody was in the coral. There is still one missing rung at Oil Slick and we also heard that Buddy had some dock damage. Wind and seas subsided overnight, so the diving the rest of the week was back to normal.

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    I wonder if anyone tried an Eastside dive during the reversal??

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    As a matter of fact Nic, we talked to one couple who did exactly that -- they did not like the waves at the Oil Slick Leap ladder and so dove Boca Spelonk. They had apparently made that dive with Bas Tol on a previous trip so were experienced in the entry. Just goes to show what a crazy day that was.

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    It wasn’t a true wind reversal that day. The winds has swung and were coming directly out of the south, so both east and west coasts were getting battered. We drove along both shores and only Donkey/Te Amo and Windsock areas were “fairly” calm. I supposed maybe Candyland and NuKove could have been buffered from those crazy winds but didn’t feel like treaking way up there.

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    randl's Avatar
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    Candyland looked pretty rough to me.

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