As the temperatures continue to drop, we need to focus now on skippering in heavy weather – because it is coming. This column is about that.
Why is heavy weather more dangerous in the winter? Well, putting hurricanes – which are in their own class – aside, heavy weather in the colder months has its own set of challenges. First, hypothermia is but a small slip away. Second, as water chills, it gets denser per cubic foot. Denser means more “oomph” behind those chops. Third, it gets darker sooner. What used to be an all daylight trip out to a favorite fishing spot is now a return under the cover of night. Believe me, once one thing goes wrong, the chances of something else going wrong before you can focus on and fix the first problem just went up. Now you have a spiraling and accelerating danger curve on your hands. So, what to do if caught in heavy weather…?