Kayaking to Granite Falls, understanding tide chart

  • This topic has 5 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Mike McHolm.
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  • #22798
    Alexandra Kucharski

    Hi! We’re planning on kayaking to Granite Falls from Deep Cove this Saturday. I am a bit confused by how to use the tide table and hoping somebody could help and explain it to me?
    As you can see in the pictures, the chart shows high tide at 4.34am and low tide at 12.10pm. Starting from Deep Cove, it takes about 4-6 hours to get to Granite
    Falls. When is the best time to launch and why? Is it advisable to arrive at Granite Falls around noon? Or is it better to launch at noon from Deep Cove?
    I understand that a high tide pulls you out to the ocean which is helpful but does the same concept apply in the Indian Arm?

    How does the chart work for the return paddle? Are the times the same?

    From my research I know that the wind blows North which is good on the way up but bad for going back to Deep Cove. How do we know what time is best to leave Granite Falls?

    I’ve watched so many YouTube videos and read many blogs on this route but nothing mentions the tides. So thanks in advance for your help, it’s greatly appreciated!!

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #22803
    Mike McHolm

    Great points above. Just a suggestion: https://jerichobeachkayak.com/lessons/online-trip-planning


    Nick Heath

    Agree with the above comments. Wind is a bigger factor in Indian Arm, in my experience. Hugging the shore, you are unlikely to experience strong currents, except near the constriction at Deep Cv/Belcarra, but the tidal range that day is large.  Leaving at noon avoids that possibility and likely you will have a push from the wind, too, but the campsites could be full when you arrive! But if this is a day trip, leaving at noon is far too late. It is a loooong paddle.

    The classic problem is set up here – expect the inflow wind to strengthen at mid-day or early afternoon. This means on the return you must buck a headwind plus some adverse current. This could make for a gung-ho training epic. I’d suggest a closer destination and so a shorter trip.

    If you stay overnight, my advice would be to leave Granite Falls early in the morning to minimize wind effects, but also look for predicted winds on “Windy.com’ to see in some detail what is predicted there for Sunday. 10 kt (18 km/h) of inflow wind will turn a pleasant paddle into a slog.

    Jody Baker

    Hi Alexandra,

    Tides are not a huge factor; wind+tides can be challenging. If you leave in the morning, at 8 or 9 you will be paddling against peak ebb tide. It’s a substantial tide too, 4.3 meters down to 0.5 meters. That will require more work but it’s not out of the ordinary. There’s usually little wind in the morning, so you should be fine. Plus, tidal flow and wind will be more in your favor as you reach the Falls around mid-day.

    But you can expect on-shore winds coming up the arm in the afternoon. If you return Saturday afternoon you will potentially face that wind and once again be paddling against the tide as it will be flooding in until 7:00-7:30. Again a strong tide from .05m to 4.7m. Tides are strongest in the middle, between the highs and lows. Google “The rule of 12ths” to see charts on how they move.

    So all this would suggest you will have to paddle just a little bit harder and go a little bit more slowly on the way to Granite Falls. For the return, you might consider waiting as long as you can in the afternoon/evening to set off so hopefully the wind will die down and the flood tide will be nearer the slack period as you come in toward Deep Cove.

    Check the Windy app Saturday morning to see what you might be in for coming back.


    Karin Hartner

    Hi Alexandra

    A rising tide pulls you inland, an ebbing tide pulls you out to sea. It would be to your advantage to leave at noon not only to have the tide with you but you will also have the winds assisting because they will likely be towards the sea…..however, the other thing to look at is the size of the tide–if it is not a strong tide–the height between high and low–you might want to go in the morning because the wind will help you. You should consider taking the navigation or currents course if you haven’t already…..

    I’d prefer to land at Granite Falls on a higher tide rather than at low….

    Also–if you stay near the shore–the tide should’t have that much of an impact in Indian Arm as long as the wind isn’t strongly against you.

    Hope that helps



    Maureen Benzon

    Hello Alexandra,

    Good for you for trying to figure this out. What follows is a very general synopsis.

    The table shows that the tide is going out until noon, then coming back in.

    On a straight coast line high tide is obvious but in an inlet, it still pushes up towards high, and recedes towards low. It is rising / dropping about 4 m which is a big tide, so you might notice the current produced in the narrow sections, so on Saturday, you will be paddling against the tide (current) in both directions. The closer to high tide, the less of an effect, with the greatest effect being felt at about 8.00am and about 4.00pm The strength of the current is greater in the middle of the channel, and less along the coastline, which is also useful to know.

    More important is the afternoon wind which can be quite strong and will affect you more than the current.

    It is a lovely paddle, but quite a distance, about 16nm in all, so take plenty of water and snacks.

    Enjoy your day, and please let us know how the paddle went.




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