Sunday, 21 January 2018

not so bad on the inside

Recent weather made me think about how sheltered this area is.  Here are a couple of eagles drying out after a rain storm. These are a couple of town eagles , the photo is taken from our back door. 

I had a couple of inquiries about fishing that asked about seasickness.  I explain that we are located in the Inside Passage, about in the middle of the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. This is the ocean , but not the kind of big ocean you might be thinking of.   Big ocean swells are far more than a hundred miles away, either direction.  Think of Georgia Strait as an inland sea , like a big lake , with narrow passages linking to it, and fjords leading into the mountains.  From Campbell River we can choose to head into the sheltered areas when we want extra nice conditions. 

Last night was the strongest storm of the winter so far. Coming out of the Pacific storm track with lots of rain it, peaked this morning about 6 am with winds at the Sentry Shoal buoy, in the middle of Georgia Strait, measured at 35 knots and gusting to 43.  (  40 mph and 50 mph ) . That is about as bad is it gets in a usual winter. Seas were a bit over 3 meters or 10 feet.
For comparison, there have been wave warnings in recent days for the west coast of Vancouver Island for waves of 30 to 40 feet , and warnings of 50 feet for Washington State.  Parks Canada put out an Extreme Wave Warning  and the town of Tofino closed beach access .   Waves were measured January 18 offshore at 14 meters , about 5 stories high. 

I took this photo of the ferry leaving it's Campbell River berth , also on January 18.  It is blowing with gusts nearly 30 knots , as recorded at the Sentry Shoal buoy .  Tidal current direction makes a big difference to localized waves , and here it is pretty okay way out to Quadra Island.  However there are 6 footers out in the open, by the horizon .   There will be some times in the winter when the ferry misses a few sailings.  I took this with my smartphone, standing behind my open car door and having trouble holding the phone steady as the wind buffeted the flat surface in the gusts. The water is pretty flat. At least it wasn't raining at the time.  

The storm that was peaking at 6 am ran through, the winds died, and the sky broke into a lot of blue and sun by mid morning. This photo is 11 am , looking over town and pointing at April Point. 

 In the news is a notice that Mt Washington, the great ski mountain behind Courtenay and Campbell River is closed today.  They had too much snow to cope safely.  Over 80 cm overnight and 105 in the last 24 hours. ( 41 inches ) .  A good snowpack in the mountains is important for young salmon in the streams in summer. 

For contrast , here is what can happen in very calm fall and winter conditions.  That is fog laying over the cool water of Discovery Passsage ( January 3 ) , like a wall as soon as a boat leaves the harbour. 

We're looking forward to nice spring, summer, fall conditions.  I love winter too, but you have to be more flexible about choosing fishing days.  Check out the flat water in all the fishing and touring photos. 

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