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From the Boathouse: Some unexpected changes in weather

February 27, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Southern California normally has very consistent weather that bores the local meteorologists with reports of sunny and warm. However, this time of year, the weather and sea conditions can change radically from the norm, and boaters can be caught off guard.

Last week, in the wee hours of the morning, I was driving over the Grapevine on Interstate 5 heading north to San Francisco when a snowstorm hit the area. Luckily, I made it over the summit with 20 minutes to spare before CHP closed the Interstate due to slippery conditions.

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However, I digress. The weather and sea conditions for boating today and this weekend are anticipated to be excellent. We will have calm ocean swells that are mixed with a two-foot from the west and a one- to two-foot from the southerly direction. Winds are expected to blow under 10 knots and probably closer to five knots, which will create 1-foot wind waves for a dry ride.

I predicted mostly sunny skies with air temperatures in the low 70s during the day and in the low 50s late evenings and pre-sunrise mornings. These conditions are suitable to produce early-morning patchy fog along the coast, so those venturing out in the morning need to be careful.

As a reminder, there are only a few more weeks remaining to catch fresh lobster, as the season is coming to an end March 20. I love to eat Panulirus interruptus and I have heard mixed reports of catching the bugs from recreational divers and fishermen along our coast. Please keep yourself out of trouble while catching lobster and don't have a visit from an officer with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Remember, if you use hoop nets from a boat, only five baited hoop nets may be used by one person, and no more than 10 baited hoop nets off of any recreational boat. The daily bag and possession is seven lobsters per person, and here is an important part: Unlike fishing for fish, lobsters must be kept whole while onboard any boat, and to bring ashore a lobster, you must maintain the lobster in such a condition that its size can be determined.

I support these regulations, so visit DFG's well-designed website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov. The website has information about regulations, latest news, marine life management, licenses, FAQs and a section where you simply click on where you will be going to see a list of detailed information for that specific region.

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