Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp
Another tide produced anomally you probably haven't faced are whirlpools/riptides. These can produce a sudden change in direction in your boat. They're unlikely to appear on your charts but they're in predictable locations and often talked/known about by those who frequent the area. They're not dangerous but unpredictable. Again, an ebb tide solves the problem.
Whirlpools and tidal rips (not riptides, whole different thing) are shown on charts. This is Dent Rapids. The flood current direction changes in the Campbell River area. It floods from the north from there to the north end of the Island. Be aware of that.
I mentioned wind. In some places it's always blowing year around (say 20-25 mph). Generally speaking, if you can see the Pacific, you've got wind as it comes in off the Pacific. If you can't, you might not. Expect to be becalmed at least once a week and perhaps for several days. If you have access to weather reports, be in a bay on those days. Also, try and be where you're going by sunset. The wind dies fast at sunset.
Johnstone Strait tends to have a NW wind. Although I have seen 50 knot SE. You will not see the Pacific until you are past Hope Island.
The VHF weather channels can be found In Radio Aids to Marine Navigation. The Environment Canada Marine web site (Marine Weather - Environment Canada
) is great. If ypu go outside use NOAA weatherfax (Northeast Pacific WX Briefing Package
) and grib files
As for customs, that's a political thing. If the Canadians are disputing the US over the river runs or, if the US is slowing Canadians from crossing into the US, they could retaliate with hasseling you. Otherwise, it's the same as entering Canada with a car. It goes fast. What will slow you down is tying up and even figuring out where to tie up. It would be wise to have an idea where the Custom House is as you come in your first time (with no engine) and where you're supposed to tie up in case they want to come aboard. You'll also have to clear American Customs on your way back.
If you want to clear customs under sail go to Bedwell Harbour. There are few hassles. No apples, potatoes, guns, etc.. Check CBSA website (Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) - Home
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Last edited by jackdale; 03-20-2013 at 01:22 AM.