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Old 11-12-2008, 10:41   #16
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Lots of good advice, probably not the best idea. March-May will be better but still cold and lots of gails. I work on the ferry and travel from Port hardy-Prince Rupert- QCI daily 2 weeks/month. As said you would need a very good heater, extra warm clothes, and lots of fuel for heat and motor, and lots of extra food. You can resupply in Bella Bella or Shearwater about midway from Prince Rupert-Port Hardy. You will also need good heavy ground tackle with back-up gear and lots of rope for shorelines. Its beautifull, and you will get some nice days, but they will be only 1-3 on average before the next system rolls in. Your weather report on your VHF will be your best friend as you will want to be well secured in an anchorage before that next system hits. Traffic is minimal until you get to Van. Is. keep you VHF on 16 when you not checking the weather as commercial traffic will issue security reports when approaching tight areas. If you don't have radar, have a good gps plotter with back-up and all paper charts, know how to use them, and you MUST have a radar reflector. Tides are a big factor, you will want to plan your "hops" with the tide. The really tricky stuff is between Van. Is. & mainland, be sure to read up on these areas. Also when crossing QC sound beware of a big ebb tide on a NW wind. The advice on this thread needs to be considered any time of year, but especially Oct-June, but don't let it keep you tied to the dock. Maybe just start with smaller trips closer to home. Looks like our first cold snap with NE outflows is coming now, brutal out off the mainland inlets, with galeforce sub-zero winds, especially out of the portland canel dividing alaska-B.C..............brrrrrr....don't cross it in those conditions. Nice to see the sun though. cheers
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:05   #17
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Took my dad three weeks motoring from Hoonah to Sydney BC...he started in mid Oct. lots of fog, cold and bumping into nearly submersed logs.....really big logs.
He said it was like hitting rocks....oh yeh....there’s also rocks.
Seems like a bad idea.
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Old 11-12-2008, 13:44   #18
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The open water queen charlotte area is notoriously bad... even in a 43 footer in the summer at times. I would only attempt it if you know your boat and condition very well and are quite experienced. The inside once you get to North end Vancouver Island could be nice..... pretty cold though...
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Old 11-12-2008, 13:53   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highseas View Post
The good thing about low tides at night is you will have the rising tide to float off what you couldn't see,and coming daylight to see what you are stuck on
Like highseas, I've always tried to plan my "tricky" passages to occur near low tide, so that the imminent rising tide would be to my advantage in "getting off". I also plan those trick passages to occur in daylight, when I had the better chance of avoiding "getting on".
In other words, I don't see much advantage in low tides occurring overnight.

What am I missing?
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Old 11-12-2008, 14:30   #20
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A quick explanation of my comments re tides. I think we would all agree that anytime you have a large change in tide say from 1' to 12' you are going to have a faster tidal current to deal with. A small tide change, 9' to 11', less tidal current.

It has been my experience that on the coast of BC the large change in tides happens at night, the small changes during the day. Therefore you are less likely to have difficulty during the day when making your way through any of the many narrows.

That being said, on my original post I wrote

"the inside passage has some of the strongest currents in the world. Pay close, very, very close attention to your tide book."
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Old 11-12-2008, 15:16   #21
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Inside passage

By the time the winter tides move toward daytime, they are not as low. You won't find a very low tide in daylight here in winter , period. I live on a twin keeler and dry out on low tides for weeks at a time, walking ashore at low tide, so I can assure you what Gord is saying is absolute bullshit. He should read BC tide tables first.
The first noticeably low daylight tides start in March.
Don't even try tidal passes against the tide,with any engine.That makes engine size less relevant.Avoiding them is as simple as reading the tide tables. Distances between anchorages are short if you use the outer channels so take your time and take advantage of that.Take bad weather breaks off.You won't see any real strong tide passes until you get nearly halfway down the inside of Vancouver Island.
The Evergreen cruising atlas , Olympia to Cape Caution , has all the charts you'll need from Cape Caution down. Unfortunately there is no equivalent north of Cape Caution so you'll have to buy charts. High time someone published one. There is now one for the west coast of Vancouver Island, so maybe it is next.With so much of the fishing fleet going belly up, used charts should be in plentiful supply.
Port Hardy, Port McNiel and many of the smaller towns south of there have their own indoor public swimmin pools, so check them out, affordable and a great break for winter cruisers.
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Old 11-12-2008, 20:08   #22
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This is the worst time

to even think of being out in the North Pacific, even the inside passage.

We have a storm bearing down on us that is just starting tonight and it's going to last a while. It's going to be raining ice water and then turn to snow probably Sat. And then the temp is going to drop and stay there with maybe some sun.

Then it's going to rain ice water again and them probably snow again and then rain ice water and freeze and on and on.

The NE Pacific is one of the worse places to be in Nov.,Dec. and Jan. If your lucky we'll have a false spring in Feb. and it'll clear up for 2-3 weeks but I wouldn't count on it. Although it's been fairly mild up until today.

If you like to suffer before suicide this is your chance.
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Old 11-12-2008, 20:33   #23
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Now boys, you're both right. BC generally experiences diurnal inequalities in the winter due to the southern declination of the sun. That is there are two highs and two lows, but the daytime low is not very great - often not dropping at all between the two high-tides. This has to do with the relative angles between the sun and moon during the day and night.

Kevin
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Old 11-12-2008, 20:41   #24
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Actual tides:
Queen Charlotte, British Columbia (2)53.2500° N, 132.0667° W

2008-12-10 10:56 AM PST7.01 meters High Tide

2008-12-10 6:05 PM PST0.93 meters Low Tide

2008-12-11 12:09 AM PST5.99 meters High Tide

2008-12-11 6:01 AM PST2.61 meters Low Tide

2008-12-11 11:43 AM PST7.32 meters High Tide

2008-12-11 6:55 PM PST0.51 meters Low Tide

2008-12-12 12:58 AM PST6.26 meters High Tide

2008-12-12 6:52 AM PST2.48 meters Low Tide

2008-12-12 12:31 PM PST7.53 meters High Tide

2008-12-12 7:44 PM PST0.22 meters Low Tide
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Old 11-12-2008, 21:02   #25
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Yuck!

NOAA says:

PZZ133-120500-
NORTHERN INLAND WATERS INCLUDING THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS-
300 PM PST THU DEC 11 2008

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR WINDS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING
THROUGH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM LATE FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH
SATURDAY EVENING


TONIGHT
NW WIND 5 TO 10 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND
WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. RAIN DEVELOPING AFTER MIDNIGHT.

FRI
E WIND RISING TO 20 TO 30 KT...THEN BECOMING N LATE. WIND
WAVES BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT. RAIN...MIXED WITH SNOW LATE.

FRI NIGHT
NW WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING N AFTER MIDNIGHT.
WIND WAVES 4 TO 6 FT. RAIN OR SNOW SHOWERS.

SAT
NE WIND 30 TO 40 KT WITH GUSTS TO 50 KT. WIND WAVES 5 TO
7 FT. SNOW SHOWERS LIKELY...MAINLY IN THE MORNING.

SAT NIGHT
NE WIND 30 TO 40 KT. WIND WAVES 5 TO 7 FT. A CHANCE
OF SNOW SHOWERS.

SUN
NE WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. A CHANCE OF SNOW
SHOWERS.

Now, imagine it in a 27 footer and being new to sailing. You'd have to be a real adrenaline junky with great foulies to like that.

ID
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:39   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Now boys, you're both right. BC generally experiences diurnal inequalities in the winter due to the southern declination of the sun. That is there are two highs and two lows, but the daytime low is not very great - often not dropping at all between the two high-tides. This has to do with the relative angles between the sun and moon during the day and night.
Kevin
Thanks for pointing that out, Kevin.

The geometric relationship of moon and Sun to locations on the Earth's surface results in creation of three different types of tides: diurnal , semi-diurnal , and mixed.
When the two high waters and two low waters of each tidal day are approximately equal in height, the tide is semi-diurnal.
When there is a relatively large diurnal inequality in the high or low waters or both, the tide is mixed.
When there is only one high water and one low water in each tidal day, the tide is diurnal.
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:54   #27
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Guys!..... Have you ever wondered how all those people who work and live along the inside passage and commute only by boat, manage in the wintertime?

It’s not rocket science… You watch the weather and go when it suits you. Not unlike most other places but for that trip…you do need to be patient.

BTW it is absolutely beautiful in the winter and the oysters and clams are at their best!
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:48   #28
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Pelagic, I reckon it's all a matter of perspective. If ya grow up in it, it doesn't look near as nasty to you as it does to an outsider. Just like heavy weather sailing. For me, 30 knots just means I'm fast on all points of sail but for somebody else, they're double or triple reefed and scared to death.
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Old 23-12-2008, 22:11   #29
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Yeah I grew up on the water around the PNW and BC and 30knots of wind is primo sailing, but I would be singing a different tune were I in my 19 rhodes, or a 27 footer even... but if you've got the cahunas and you keep your time window open I don't see why this can't be a fat adventure. The only thing I'd worry about is keeping warm and dry!
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Old 23-12-2008, 23:53   #30
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With time and preparation it can be done, but this is the time of extreme weather, and this first streach of outflows has been exceptional. On the 13-14th the wind mid coast was 50knts gusting up to 70!! We were unable to dock the ferry to let passengers off in Bella Bella & Klem 2. They had to go to Prince Rupert, get off while we ran to QCI and back, then we made a special trip south to get them home.
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