Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/25/12 Report - 7 Foot Swells Now Predicted for Friday

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

From for Fort Pierce area.
I need to take some time to correct and clarify.  I've used some terms inconsistently and incorrectly.  Sometimes I've used the term "seas" when I should have used the term "swells."

To clarify, here is an explanation from an article on how to measure waves.

Seas refer to short-period waves that are still being created by winds or are very close to the area in which they were generated. Swells refer to waves that have moved out of the generating area, far from the influence of the winds that made them.

In general, seas are short-crested and irregular, and their surface appears much more disturbed than for swells. Swells, on the other hand, have smooth, well-defined crests and relatively long periods. Swell is more uniform and regular than seas because wave energy becomes more organized as it travel longs distances.

Here is the link to the article that explains all of that and more.

As I said, I've used the term "seas" at times when I should have said "swells."   The boating reports are reporting 18 to 20 foot seas while the surf web sites are reporting swells of around eight feet on the Treasure Coast.  That is certainly a huge difference and could cause a lot of confusion.

I pay more attention to the surf web sites than the boating reports.  I'm much more interested in the water next to the beach than what is going on out in the Gulf Stream.  It is the water in the few yards next to the beach and the water that hits the beach that determines erosion and detecting conditions on the beach.

I'll try to be more precise in the future.   I generally go by the surf web sites rather than the boating reports.  You'll find a link to the web sites on my blog to the left of the posts.

Cuts that I showed a couple of days ago almost disappeared here.
Photo taken this morning.
I'll be more careful and precise about the use of those terms in the future, but when it comes down to it, it isn't an exact science.  I use the predictions but go out to check the beach frequently to get a first person view.  The predictions give you some idea of what you might expect to see, but there is nothing like first hand observation.

I took a look at the beach this morning and it hasn't improved yet.  The beach wasn't any better than it was two days ago.   At least that is what I saw on South Hutchinson Island.  The waves were hitting the beach directly instead of from an angle that would wash sand away.

You can see the photo of one wreck beach here.  Not much erosion at all.  Maybe the slope was a little steeper, but the slope was still very mushy.  

There was some erosion at Fort Pierce South Jetty where they piled up all of that new sand not too ong ago.  The jetty interrupts the normal flow of sand.

There very well could be some better spots that I didn't see today.

Fort Pierce South Jetty Park This Morning.
There are a few lightly eroded spots, but generally Treasure Coast beach detecting conditions have not improved significantly yet. 

Sandy, now a hurricane, is expected to pass a little closer to the shore than was once predicted.  The surf web sites are predicting around seven foot swells, peaking Friday.  You can see that in the graphic at the top of this post.

Friday and Saturday will be the key times for determining if Sandy will improve beach detecting conditions.   There is a good chance for improvement, but if it doesn't happen then it will be a bust. 

As I've explained before, high seas don't automatically mean erosion.

I saw some other guys out scouting the beaches this morning, but not detecting.

I have a lot more to talk about, but right now Sandy and beach conditions take priority.  I'll get to those other topics in the future.

The remains of a civil war era building and civil war artifacts were discovered in Fredericksburg where a new courthouse was planned.

Here is the link to that story.

Happy hunting,