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Howe Sound paddling question

Joeli

Paddler
Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Messages
16
Location
Vancouver, BC
Hi there
Question to paddlers familiar with Howe Sound area:
I am planning an overnight in Howe Sound and would like to camp at Zorro point. (NW of Anvil island). Possible launching spots are Porteau Cove Or Sunset Marina (just north of Horseshoe bay).

I am concerned about the funneling winds just E of Anvil island. Would it be advantageous to launch at Sunset Marina (which is at the wider part of the sound) rather than Porteau Cove ?

Even though the crossing (to Gambier) will be longer I thought that the winds may be much lighter compared to further up the sound. (The Pam Rocks weather station often shows fierce gusts..).

Thank you for any useful advice you could provide!

Joel
 
That`s one location [E and NE of Anvil] where it can get quite rough. If you are caught out in it ferry against the wind rather than cross. Or call it off, or take a cart and CarFerry back from Langdale.
But the smartest is to check the forecast and call it off if adverse conditions coming. An alternative to Porteau would be Squamish and then hug the W shore down to Zorro and don't forget that Tantalus is very close and on the way.

check the forecast. It's not great out there in conditions: and it's not a place to not have backups, but there's lots of occasions when conditions are just fine.
 
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This morning’s readings show how the wind plume on a northerly outflow can extend the entire length of Howe Sound and well past Point Grey, even when conditions are relatively mild elsewhere.

Cheers,
Andrew
6C9A5AE6-3792-4F2A-9AF5-67556B515830.jpeg
 
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My wife often ask me to tow her when the wind picks up in Howe Sound. It nice to have an option if you are going with someone.

The wind forecasted in Windy app and Marine forecast sometimes dose not materialize and sometime it dose..
 
Windy is very inaccurate for Howe Sound as it does not take into account local effects. The government of Canada marine forecast for Howe Sound is your best bet.

Again, do NOT trust Windy for Howe Sound.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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Here’s the proof. Windy says that Howe Sound right now is SW 2:

IMG_2444.png


Environment Canada has a totally different forecast:

IMG_2446.jpeg


And what is the current reading? Here:

IMG_2445.jpeg


Windy is an order of magnitude off. That is quite common for their modelling, as it doesn’t take into account the weather patterns in our coastal inlets.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
From blind channel to Zorro is about 14 km along the beautiful west shore with several camps to bail. Start very early to avoid to the winds. Unfortunately, as Zorro has an easy gravel landing, motor boats will land there. They don't all share the same camping ethic as paddlers.
 
Here’s the proof. Windy says that Howe Sound right now is SW 2:

View attachment 13660

Environment Canada has a totally different forecast:

View attachment 13661

And what is the current reading? Here:

View attachment 13662

Windy is an order of magnitude off. That is quite common for their modelling, as it doesn’t take into account the weather patterns in our coastal inlets.

Cheers,
Andrew

Where are you getting these maps showing current conditions? Looks handy.

I do use the Windfinder app (haven’t tried Windy), but have found it is not always representative of what I am experiencing (in the SGIs).
 
Hi Joeli,

I've lived in Lions Bay since 2011, so I've a bit of experience paddling on Howe Sound. The questions you raise are excellent ones. Above advice is good, too. The conditions on the "sound" part of Howe Sound are MUCH different than the fjord end, the sound part being the southern end where it's wide and has a number of islands, quite sizeable, too, like Gambier. The fjord end is sort of Anvil Island/Porteau to Squamish, the northern end. That's where the winds typically become especially stronger on sunny, summer days as the southerly inflows get channelized as the waterway narrows. It will often be 10 knots or less on the sound end, while the kiteboarders are loving life w/25-30+ knot winds in Squamish. Your point about launching from Sunset Marina is thus a good one as conditions are more likely to be relatively benign compared to Porteau Cove. You would be able to make adjustments as you head north based on conditions. With the longer days, even if a southerly inflow develops over the course of the morning, it will be subsiding late in the day while you still have lots of daylight. A *typical* summer and fair weather day sees a decently strong northerly outflow developing overnight (but that outflow is dissipated south of Anvil Island - I paddle in the winter in Lions Bay when northerly outflows are 30-40 knots at Pam Rocks and have very little wind, just a bit of swell) - with the wind switching to a southerly inflow mid-morning'ish. The inflow usually builds to strong winds on hot, sunny days. Again, these are just typical patterns, not set in stone. I fully agree the recordings from Pam Rocks are what you need to go by, but these would be the actual recordings, what's been happening over the past 24 hours. Look at what the weather forecast is calling for and try to anticipate what might happen on the water. I say this because the weather.gc.ca . . . website often has an endless gale force advisory for Howe Sound, but the gale force winds don't materialize, especially on the southern/sound end of Howe Sound in the summer. Feel free to contact me w/any clarifications, etc. Happy paddling!
 
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