Those to know how to read marine charts - question


Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca.
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 25, 1999
San Jose, CA, USA
My family and I are thinking about going whale watching down in Monterey Bay tomorrow. We've had some pretty nasty storms of late, but they seem to have passed for the most part
We are not used to being on boats in general and I worry about sea sickness etc. Not really worried about safety, the whale watching boats are big and go out all of the time.
I know there are very detailed charts on ocean conditions, but I have no idea how to interpret them.

Can anyone more knowledable about sailing tell me if Sunday would be a good day to be on the water in Monterey, CA?

Here's the info I've found - but again I don't really know what I'm looking for



Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jan 19, 2010
Cypress, TX
Looking at that NWS site, it is saying 6' seas with winds from the SSW at around 22kts with a small craft advisory in place, with rain likely for Sunday. It might be a more than a bit uncomfortable for someone who isn't used to being out on the water.


Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jun 11, 2002
Northern VA
I'm not great at reading those, but if I'm seeing it correctly- 6-8 ft seas, at least? You are definitely going to feel that.
If you are going anyway, consider taking some Dramamine or similar, it may help some. The biggest help, in my experience, is to spend lots of time looking at something that isn't moving- either the land or the horizon. Giving your mind a fixed reference like that while the boat is rocking and rolling below you is a huge benefit to warding off seasickness. Staying below decks where the boat is rolling with you is the worst- you have no visual point of reference to help the movement "make sense" to your inner ear/brain.

When I was on the sub, I was the bridge phone talker for the CO when we transited in and out of port, or through tight spots. I was up there for some VIOLENT seas (e.g. Hell hath no fury like the North Sea in a December storm), never once felt sick. As soon as we'd go below decks, I'd turn green and count the minutes until we submerged. Oh, and I kept my pockets full of Saltines lol.

I think you'll be alright as long as you are looking out most of the time.

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