Is there blue sky around the San Juan and/or Vancouver Island?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by designer, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. designer

    designer Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Bend OR USA
    Going bonkers here in central Oregon. Haven't seen the blue sky for two weeks. Weather reports say Sunny, mid-80's, no precipitation. Star gazing reports say, clear nights. But all we have is smoke from numerous forest fires.

    I thought about escaping to paddle in the San Juans or various "groups" around Vancouver Island but a short while back I heard they had a bunch of forest fires on Vancouver Island.

    Another consideration is, we might actually be somewhat trapped as the more common/shortest routes out of here to Portland (and points north), or Eugene are blocked because of fire. That is, you can always go around some route - but it makes it a much longer drive.

    Maybe there is some interesting paddling around northern California?

    Arrrrrgh - this was supposed to be a great time to paddle in the high lakes, work on camping/packing skills, etc. Instead, everyone is indoors or ventures out wearing those white masks you see people use around fiberglass.
     
  2. LAM

    LAM Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    156
    The coast is clear!! We had smoke issues a few weeks back in Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island but it's long gone. Nothing but blue skies and warm dry weather for a bit still.

    Lila
     
  3. designer

    designer Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Bend OR USA
    Maybe another fire started or it is blowing over from Washington but this link:

    http://wx.drivebc.ca/EnvCanada/YYJ-YZTfull.htm

    Talks about "wide spread smoke" in Victoria, Campbell River, Tofino, Port Hardy, West Vancouver Island, etc. - all dated today. Sept 6th.

    Their special Air Quality Alert says:
    "Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.

    A Smoky Skies Bulletin has been issued for East Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, Inland Vancouver Island, North Vancouver Island, Southern Gulf Islands, and West Vancouver Island. This bulletin has been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with Island Health because of forest fire smoke that is covering the area. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change."

    The Live Cams show a bit of gray - nothing like we are dealing with in Central Oregon - with 15 plus fires around the area.

    Maybe the recent Vancouver smoke occurred after Lila's post on Aug 30th. It is sure making a mess out of the NW summer. Venue after Venue has been cancelled.

    What with all these fires, record temperatures, lack of rain in the NW, huge hurricanes off Florida, etc. you'd think the climate is changing. But I probably shouldn't paddling into those waters. :)

    I thought about just putting the boat on the jeep and driving until I see water and blue sky. But for now, it looks like the only direction would be west. And I am no Ed Gillette. I wonder how Freya is doing?
     
  4. nootka

    nootka Paddler

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,411
    Location:
    Campbell River
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Designer,

    Freya ended her North America circuit for the Fall at Pacific City, OR, and will resume in the Spring. Not sure whether she will take up there or in Alaska. She had someone who collected prime weather info each day and gave her pinpoint forecasts specific to her area, focusing on swell and wind data.
     
  6. pryaker

    pryaker Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Powell River BC
    Yup Designer, with a big high pressure band over the coast the smoke was sucked westward quite suddenly overnight on Sunday I think it was. Weird thing is that it clouded up above the smoke and has been raining a tiny bit today but the smoke is still here. It's blowing NW this evening so maybe it'll be gone tomorrow?

    What about N California coast? Menocino County has some killer caves and rock gardening. Don't know if theres smoke there though
     
  7. designer

    designer Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Bend OR USA
    Pryaker - Thanks for the tip; I'll look around there (North CA coast). Most my early lessons were in CA - surf launch/landing. A day of Kayak surfing at laguna Beach. A trip to Channel Islands. Looks like Ukiah, CA is about the same distance - time wise - as the Anacortes Ferry terminal. Haven't smelled Eucalyptus in a while (but maybe that's further south).
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Designer, smoke all gone here. Lovely light rain.
     
  9. designer

    designer Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Bend OR USA
    Dave, I understand you have something up there called the Columbia River Bar. I suppose crossing that could be on someone's bucket list. Or on a list of ways to kick the bucket. :)

    The weather cams are showing clearing sky, both locally and up north. A call to Ross Lake in WA indicated 1) smoke and 2) they had started, slowing, draining the water for the winter. But the rate would pick up in a couple weeks.

    The mention of Mendocino County in CA was intriguing because the distance is about the same as a Vancouver Island trip. It would be a bit simpler because it looks like a CA event would be day kayaking with (car) campground camping. That is, not loading the kayak up for an overnight/s expedition.

    Little things keep coming up, taking a day out if a week here and there (flu shots on the 18th, etc.) so I need to get more control of that to get a worthy interval. I hear there's a section on the Northern WA coast that people do - but usually with a shuttle at the destination end.

    Like a dog circling before he/she sits down - I'll eventually land on something.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Crossing the bar is no big deal if you do so on the flood. On the ebb, a different story. Lots of paddlers have done this. In fact, traversing the inner bar from the tip of jetty A to Waikiki Beach inside Cape Disappointment State Park, on low surf days, is an easy trip. On the ebb, the tip of jetty A is a favored play area for skilled paddlers ... standing waves, some overalls, eddy fences, etc. Not at all like Skookumchuck Narrows, but a good training ground. Columbia River Kayaking out of Skamokawa, WA runs training sessions off jetty A. Most paddlers launch at the Ilwaco Marina or at the Cape D ramp. Good skills on rough water for reentry mandatory.

    I think Alder Creek Kayak in Portland may run sessions there, also.