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Old 22-03-2009, 08:39   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cowichan Bay
Boat: CL16 (looking for a cruiser)
Posts: 13
Anyone Hunkered Along W Coast Van Island?

Iím in Edmonton safely ensconced in a cosy bungalow. I just noticed that Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning for the entire SE quadrant of Alberta. They are calling for 10 to 20 cm of blowing snow driven by N winds gusting to 50 km/h. Temperatures will be hovering around freezing so thereíll probably be rain mixed in with the snow. Ho hum, another springtime prairie blizzard. I guess Iíll be late for work tomorrow morning but will be snug and comfy in the meantime.

So then, I see that there is a gale warning for the West Coast Vancouver Island South zone. We are talking winds 25 to 35 knots and 3 to 4 metre waves building overnight. Right now out off Tofino, La Perouse Bank weather buoy is reporting 4įC, wind NW 18 gusting to 21 knots with 2.5 metre waves. Which gets me to thinking... are there any Mariners out there right now, preparing to ride out the gale in some protected anchorage? Anyone bobbing at anchor near Tofino, surfing the web? Is this even possible? I wonder what kinds of boats you sail and how have they been made suitable for these types of PNW cruising conditions. I try to imagine what it might be like to be out there myself.
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Old 22-03-2009, 10:37   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Juan Islands, WA
Boat: 1988 Brewer Three Seas 40' Pilothouse
Posts: 251
Not many cruisers out there this time of year, but someone is probably hiding in Hootla Kootla or another little hole. When they call for a gale even the big fishing boats head for harbor, it can get really nasty in a hurry. I've been in 45 knot winds with 20-25' breaking seas just off of Tofino, I ducked in there asap. That gale blew for three days, and this was during the summer. You learn to monitor the weather constantly and have backup anchorages figured out in case you need them. Beautiful area to cruise though and well worth the risk, delays, etc.
John Davidson
S/V Laurie Anne
1988 40' Brewer Pilothouse
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