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Old 31-03-2018, 09:34   #1
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Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

Well we've solidified our spring cruise and we are heading north of the Salish Sea to the Broughtons again.

We've taken the Yucultas/Gillard/Dent route all in one go "easy" if you watch your timing. We have also done Surge Narrows --> Octopus Islands --> Upper Rapids before. But I was wondering of it is possible to time it so that you can do Surge Narrows/Upper Rapids/Lower Rapids all in one go? Everything I come across almost implies it is possible but no one states it outright and I can't make the timing work.

Anyone done it and know for sure?
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Old 31-03-2018, 10:43   #2
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

Interesting question ... I can't answer from experience ... so my thinking may not be helpful to you.

From the info I've got to hand here ...
slack-water at Okisollo Channel is 10 minutes before Surge Narrows.
it's nearly 8 miles between them.
my boat travels at ~4kts that's 2 hours

On a day like today when both are running at about 10kts ...
One hour before slack at Surge Narrows is 4.5 kts
One hour after slack at Okisollo is 4.9 kts

Which means at my speed I wouldn't even get through Surge narrows until later, and arrive at Okisollo at closer to peak flow ... so I wouldn't even try.

However ... next week, when there are times with maximum current flow of 2-3 kts it's a different game altogether ... so on a neap tide I'd probably be happy to try.

Your boat is probably faster and so your window of opportunity will be a bit longer.
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Old 31-03-2018, 11:25   #3
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

Northbound I always stop at Octopus and either stern tie with the crowds or anchor in solitude in Waiatt Bay. Then do Upper and Lower Rapids together.

Southbound I have done Lower-> Upper-> Hole in the Wall together.

As mentioned above just check you timing and current strengths and directions.
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Old 31-03-2018, 12:04   #4
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

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Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
Interesting question ... I can't answer from experience ... so my thinking may not be helpful to you.

From the info I've got to hand here ...
slack-water at Okisollo Channel is 10 minutes before Surge Narrows.
it's nearly 8 miles between them.
my boat travels at ~4kts that's 2 hours

On a day like today when both are running at about 10kts ...
One hour before slack at Surge Narrows is 4.5 kts
One hour after slack at Okisollo is 4.9 kts

Which means at my speed I wouldn't even get through Surge narrows until later, and arrive at Okisollo at closer to peak flow ... so I wouldn't even try.

However ... next week, when there are times with maximum current flow of 2-3 kts it's a different game altogether ... so on a neap tide I'd probably be happy to try.

Your boat is probably faster and so your window of opportunity will be a bit longer.
That's kind of what I get when I looked at it. I just found it interesting that all the guide books tell you exactly how to run Yucalta/Dent in one go and warn you when not to try but no one was explicit about Surge/ Upper Rapids.

Still, it be interesting to see if anyone else has more experience.

I like Octopus anyway and it will be early June so likely not too busy and I can always go up Seymour if we are in a rush.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:34   #5
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

One other consideration in taking this route is the time that you will enter the southern portion of Johnstone Strait. In my experience you do not want to be anywhere near Chatham Point in the afternoon. The wind tends to pick up during the day and get really snotty. And they will be on your nose.

I would get through Upper and Lower Rapids in the morning.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:03   #6
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

My experience says that you cannot do it safely in one go. If you want to do that, you need to use Hole in the Wall rather than Surge Narrows. Hole and the Upper Oksillos are both outside the entrance to Octopus Islands and can be easily transited in one go, especially at lower tidal exchanges with a flood turning to ebb. It's a bit further to travel but allows you to make best use of one cycle. I usually go north of the Okis Islands rather than through the Lower Rapids
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:06   #7
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

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My experience says that you cannot do it safely in one go. If you want to do that, you need to use Hole in the Wall rather than Surge Narrows. Hole and the Upper Oksillos are both outside the entrance to Octopus Islands and can be easily transited in one go, especially at lower tidal exchanges with a flood turning to ebb. It's a bit further to travel but allows you to make best use of one cycle. I usually go north of the Okis Islands rather than through the Lower Rapids
That makes sense. But I will have to see if it adds more miles that just continuing up to the Yucultas.

I've often wondered if anyone does the Lower Rapids other than speedboats...I certainly never have. Why not take the extra 5 minutes and avoid the stress.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:59   #8
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

Depends where you're measuring re the distance I think. If you're headed up Johnstone Strait its about 3 or 4 miles shorter to Chatham Point by taking the Hole in the Wall route. A quick google mapping of the distances says it is almost the same taking the back route to the junction of Sunderland and Johnstone as going through the Hole in the Wall/Oksillo route. Two timing issues one way with Hole/Oksillo and Kelsey Bay ( absent wind issues already mentioned) and three using the Dents.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:14   #9
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

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Originally Posted by desodave View Post
Depends where you're measuring re the distance I think. If you're headed up Johnstone Strait its about 3 or 4 miles shorter to Chatham Point by taking the Hole in the Wall route. A quick google mapping of the distances says it is almost the same taking the back route to the junction of Sunderland and Johnstone as going through the Hole in the Wall/Oksillo route. Two timing issues one way with Hole/Oksillo and Kelsey Bay ( absent wind issues already mentioned) and three using the Dents.
Just for interest sake, how are you using Google maps to check distances? Is there a water route option? :-)

I've got Navionics on my phone and the auto-route feature is the best toy for doing rough estimates of time and distance. According to it, Rebecca Spit to Port Harvey is almost exactly the same whether through Hole in the Wall or through Dent. So it will be down to currents It looks like high slack will be midday-ish in the first part of June.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:24   #10
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

FYI - I was measuring from the eastern entrance to Hole in the Wall. Its about 10 miles from the entrance to Von Donnop to that eastern entrance or about 2 hours motoring against the flood. Resident humpback whale in the area too - we regularly see it in the area from Heriot Bay to Von Donnop
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:31   #11
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

I'm sat at my desktop - also have Navionics on phone - so used google as quicker option. Just go to google map of area, left click to set a point then right click on the point and the dialogue box gives you a "measure distance" option. Left click on it, then just left click your way along the planned route. Divide distance in km by 1.85 to get nm. Navionics app is great for route planning and use it all the time on the boat
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:38   #12
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

I'm sat at my desktop - also have Navionics on phone - so used google as quicker option. Just go to google map of area, left click to set a point then right click on the point and the dialogue box gives you a "measure distance" option. Left click on it, then just left click your way along the planned route. Divide distance in km by 1.85 to get nm. Navionics app is great for route planning and use it all the time on the boat.
PS hope this isn't posted several times as there appears to be a server issue at posting time
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:58   #13
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

I'm sat at my desktop - also have Navionics on phone - so used google as quicker option. Just go to google map of area, left click to set a point then right click on the point and the dialogue box gives you a "measure distance" option. Left click on it, then just left click your way along the planned route. Divide distance in km by 1.85 to get nm. Navionics app is great for route planning and use it all the time on the boat.
PS hope this isn't posted several times as there appears to be a server issue at my attempted posting time
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:17   #14
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

Cruising sailboat, "in a rush"?? Never heard of such a thing!
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:18   #15
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Re: Surge Narrows/ Upper Rapids PNW question

As others mention; get the Navionics app, for $15 per year. Great value.
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