High surf is expected to build throughout the day on Saturday, January 16, and remain through Monday, January 18, 2021. Seas are forecast to range in size from 13 to 17 feet, with the highest swells expected to arrive on Saturday afternoon and Monday morning. Large and dangerous swell is likely to continue along the coast through Monday evening.
Our area has experienced numerous large swell events in the last month and a half. Each swell event can deposit upwards of 23,000 cubic yards of sediment into the entrance, which is equivalent to filling an entire football field 10 feet high with sand. Despite the recent swell events, the dredge crew has been working diligently to address the influx of sand and maintain depth in the entrance. To stay ahead of the forecasted swell, the crew planned to extend their work schedule and dredge through the weekend, but plans have been interrupted by an unforeseen equipment failure, which will require extensive repairs.
Shoaling in the entrance is expected to worsen over the next week while repairs are being performed. Please be advised that the entrance may become impassable and commercial operators may wish to plan accordingly. Mariners are discouraged from attempting to transit the entrance for their safety and the safety of their vessel. Please call the Santa Cruz Harbor office for the latest conditions at (831) 475-6161.
In preparation for the upcoming swell, please ensure that your vessel is secure, and that dock lines and fenders are in good condition. Lines should be replaced and/or added as needed.
January 15, 2021