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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 01-23-2011
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Navigating up Canoe passage?

Hi Guy's

Looking for any recommendations about navigating up canoe passage, to rivers reach marina.

We will be leaving early 3-4 saturday morning from nanaimo, heading for rivers reach marina.

I am expecting the trip to hit the sandheads early afternoon.

how is the trip up canoe pass, as opposed to going up the jetty and along the NE side of westham island.

Any recommendations as far as route or recommended tidal conditions.

we will be in a viking 27

Cheers
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Old 01-23-2011
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Assuming you're talking about the 29th?

I can see the desire to take the 'short cut' and also avoid the bridge.. but you'll be fighting an ebb after 1240hrs or so. With the cool temps up high I imagine the runoff will be relatively benign...but still.

I think Canoe pass from the strait is definitely 'local knowledge'/calm weather territory and unless you or someone on board is recently familiar I'd give the pass a 'pass'. In a big westerly and an ebb even conditions at Sandheads can get dicey.

Coming from Nanaimo there's probably not much in it distance-wise anyway.

Choosing an essentially unmarked channel with shifting boundaries in this area over a buoyed channel doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Here's a look.

btw safe passage from Sandheads is 2 miles further than up the jetty. Main channel to the North, Canoe Pass the small pass at bottom of pic with shoals all around. Maybe you'll get lucky and can follow a fishboat in..... otherwise.... It will be ebbing all afternoon, so if you get stuck you'll be there a while.

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Last edited by Faster; 01-23-2011 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011
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Will, looking at my chart, I would say it's called canoe pass for a reason as it is not really very navigable. I would not try my boat up there simply due to the depth and even if it was deeper I wouldn't because there are no nav aids through there. IMO I see no reason to go there except maybe in a canoe.

I do know that all or most traffic in that area transits past Steveston which is well marked and should be relatively easy with some local knowledge about tides/currents and winds. I'm sure the Vancouver people will chime in. Edit: There you go, Faster has all the answers.
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Old 01-23-2011
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Thanks guy's I'm not terrible familiar with the river, I have only been up on tugs and it was some time ago.

So the main channel is definitely the way to go. I think I may have over estimated our time to make it across, hopefully we'll make it before 11 or so.

if not can someone local give me an estimate of how much current we'd be bucking?..

attached course as per advice does it look ok?
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Navigating up Canoe passage?-course.jpg  
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Old 01-23-2011
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forget I asked about bucking tide thats a pretty big differential.. forgot what time of the month it was.. Might have to time the run across a little earlier and catch the morning flood.
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Last edited by willdadd; 01-23-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011
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Under 30 NM to Sandheads light.. will you make 5 knots? If so 6 hours or so. The early/mid day tides are small so there won't be much in that either way, but it would mean having to get around Westham by 1300 to avoid the start of that big ebb. And don't forget any "helpful' flood will slow you down Nanaimo to Sandheads. Tricky trip this time of year - esp in a smallish, slowish boat.

I can't find any actual current predictions for the river itself (the runoff is hard to forecast) A current atlas may help some.

Can you get to Silva bay Friday? Shorter hop.

btw your course looks fine, just pay attention when you're nearing the jetty - those shoals are an amazing distance off the beach and local currents can fool you.
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Last edited by Faster; 01-23-2011 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011
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Try to arrive a half hour before Slack water. Need to check your current tables for this. but that will ease your transit of that river.
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