Experienced mariners know that over-land and over-ocean are two very different forecasts. Photo by Barbara Thomson

BOATING WITH BARB: Weather on the water

BOATING WITH BARB: Weather on the water

Barbara Thomson

Special to The Record

Imagine this scenario: you are face-down at the ocean edge, saltwater in your mouth and eyes.

Slowly, things come into focus: the boat, a floundered wreck on a tropical three-hour tour.

Then, you survey your fellow passengers: a professor, an actress, the posh married couple, a country girl in gingham, the skipper and his first mate. At first, you are just glad not to be alone. Then, as the countless episodes for rescue off the island are foiled, as the very mercies of sea saints are outwitted by the dimwitted first mate, you come to know two immutable facts. First: you should have checked the weather before leaving the dock. Second: Gilligan must go.

Nothing on the water is more important than the weather. Weather is to water like tires are to trucks: it all relates to the ride. While safe boating does not require a degree in meteorology, neither does a glance up at the sky and yesterday’s land forecast tell you what you need to know. Experienced mariners know that over-land and over-ocean are two very different forecasts, yet still knowing, the unpredictable can happen. And weather has the greatest impact on the smallest crafts: cartopper boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. If the weather looks uncertain, the motto is “when in doubt … don’t.”

We live in a new media age: marine weather Apps like Windy, or Predict Wind are free and easy to install, and the Environment Canada website (www.weather.gc.ca) explains the scales and terms used to define the intensity of weather systems. VHF radio has dedicated weather channels, broadcasting 24 hours a day, and the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron (capelazoeducation@gmail.com) offers periodic West Coast Weather seminars. Two books, The Wind Came All Ways and Living With Weather Along the British Columbia Coast by Owen S. Lange offer a more in-depth home study. Speaking at the 2020 Vancouver Boat Show, Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist at the Pacific Storm Prediction Centre, provided a toll-free number (1-844-505-2525) for more specific, rather than generalized area forecasts. Finally, in whatever format you chose, a marine weather check can make your stay on an uncharted island less likely.

Guide to Marine Weather Forecasts: https://bit.ly/2Q06vDS

Weather Radio Canada, British Columbia: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/weatheradio/findyournetwork/british-columbia.html


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotarians clean up the beach at Goose Spit in Comox

Newest Rotary club in area hopes to make it an annual event

Cumberland signs on for region’s compost program

The Village has been involved with a pilot compost program since 2012

Cumberland council supports cannabis delivery changes

Letters to Village point to need for online order, direct delivery during pandemic

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles in six days in May

All drivers were found to be going at least 47 km/h over the speed limit

Cumberland water plant costs come in higher than planned

Extra costs result of delays, Hydro requirements and right of way access

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read