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VI Victoria 2018 - Understanding Tides and Currents
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VI Victoria 2018 - Understanding Tides and Currents

A good understanding of West Coast tides and currents can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a rough ride. The Inside Passage has a water circulation system where the tides power strong currents around the islands and in many of the key passes. This seminar introduces general material on tides and currents that is applicable anywhere in the world; but also goes into detail about specific locations here in BC, including managing tidal rapids.

When: Saturday, May 12, 2018
Where: Discovery Room, Royal Victoria Yacht Club
3475 Ripon Rd
Victoria, British Columbia  V8R 6H1
Contact: Lionel Dobson

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Purpose and Benefits:
A good understanding of West Coast tides and currents can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a rough ride. For many, navigating Johnstone Strait and the rapids of the Inside Passage is a new challenge. Capricious currents that always seem to be working against one, mountainous seas and ominous calms add a new dimension to navigating this beautiful area of BC. The result is that most folks are happy to cruise to Desolation Sound or the southern Gulf Islands, but are reluctant to travel north of Seymour Narrows. You may be surprised to learn that planning a trip north of Campbell River is not as difficult as you thought—Johnstone Strait and the nearby tidal rapids form an incredibly complex hydraulic system, but in a number of very important ways, it is predictable.

In this session, attendees will begin by learning how the lunar and solar cycles create the various stages of the tidal and current cycles. The seminar will focus on understanding the dynamics of west coast tides and currents, from the slow but inexorable circulation of currents in Johnstone Strait to the behavior of currents in tidal rapids and how the geography of the west coast changes those currents, for better and worse.

The seminar also examines wind, wave and current interactions and the effects of shallow water. Wind against current interactions can lead to ugly and uncomfortable seas. But when they work together, big seas can become manageable, and small waves almost completely disappear. Using the knowledge, the resources and the techniques in this seminar, participants will learn how to take advantage of back-eddies, and when wait for a few hours to obtain a safer and more comfortable ride.

By the end of the course, participants will:

- have general strategies for managing tidal currents
- know how to plan for tidal currents to assist (rather than resist) a vessel's progress
- know how to read the tide and current tables
- have specific strategies for managing Johnstone Strait and Cordero Channels as well as other tidal rapids

The seminar also includes practice calculation of proper timing and will lead to an understanding of tide and current interactions world-wide.

Kevin Monahan is an experienced captain, retired Canadian Coast Guard officer, and author of:
Local Knowledge: A Skipper's Reference -- Tacoma to Ketchikan and The Radar Book: Effective Navigation and Collision Avoidance.  Kevin will have copies of his books for sale.

Please consider bringing a bag lunch.

BCA Members - $80
Non-members - $110

Maximum Class Size:
18 participants

A $15 processing fee will be charged in the event of participant cancellation.

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