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» Online Classroom   » Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Public Discussion of Inland and Coastal Navigation   » tidal current info, West Vancouver I, North BC?

Author Topic: tidal current info, West Vancouver I, North BC?

 - posted February 09, 2013 05:29 PM      Profile for AlecBeem           Edit/Delete Post 
What are some good ways to learn how currents behave throughout waterways carved into West Vancouver Island, and North BC from Knight Inlet, to Douglas Channel, more comprehensive than "Sailing Directions" and the readings from certain stations? I want to how difficult it would be to travel in these waterways in an engineless, ~30 foot, ~9000 lb cruising sloop, with sweeping oars, and a dinghy on board.

I guess it would be ideal to have something like the CHS tidal current atlas of the Strait of Georgia, or "Tidal Currents of Puget Sound", or those 2 pages from Kevin Monahan's book. But if there's any observations, theories, (with freshwater flows, topography, etc), or people, that don't consider what they know just a trade secret, that could help make a guess of what pages of these areas, like those from the above books, would look like, great!

There's a list of of 31 specific destinations, if that helps.


From: by Shilshole Bay
David Burch

 - posted February 09, 2013 06:27 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
For more southern waters there is the Canadian Current Atlas, which i think you mention. For farther north i do not know of resources beyond the Canadian Sailing Directions, which has many notes on currents in specific areas.

We have made a gpx file of all US and Canadian stations along around Vancouver Is. which you can download and install on any gps or echart program... or google earth. it is in our Navigation Blog, at the end of the article.

Our textbook Inland and Coastal Navigation has an extensive section on estimating currents based on several factors once you move away from the actual reporting position.

Once you know where the specific stations are you can generally do pretty well with these guidelines... at least along most of the East side of the island.

We have also had pretty good luck on some cases on the west side (going around Union is and Vargas is), but frankly, if i had a particular place and time and an important need, i would track down some fishing guide or fisherman from the region and talk to them.

Might also check with folks that do kayaking tours in the area. First step, however, is always the Canadian Sailing Directions.

Also, with the basic data from nearest stations, as well as basic knowledge of how currents flow through waterways, then you can use your own GPS to measure what you are actually experiencing at the moment, and from that make good judgements about further navigation.

Sadly enough, there are in fact model computations for that entire region just like the ones from the Canadian Current Atlas, but we have not been able to convince the scientists that can run these to publish them. I am sure the data are just as good, but since they know of some inaccuracies in some conditions they are reluctant to publish it, not to mention that they have other projects more important to them.

PS. If you are signed up for one of our courses, you could propose a specific place and time in the Student Discussion Forum and we will work out an example of making these predictions.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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