Looking for help with current information – God's Pocket and beyond

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  • #17522
    George Prevost

    I spent a couple of frustrating hours yesterday morning trying to get some current information about the area north of Port Hardy.  The Canadian Tide and Current Tables that we usually use have nothing useful for this area.  I already knew that but in the past it’s been possible to get information for several of the spots where we’re going from NOAA, the U.S. government site – go figure!  However, it appears that they are no longer publishing the data we need.  I saw a couple of suggestions that this may be because their information wasn’t particularly accurate, which we have noticed in the past.  I tried calling and e-mailing the Coast Guard in Port Hardy and a couple of the dive resorts in the area – current is even more important for divers than for us so they must be figuring it out somehow – but haven’t gotten any useful information back yet.  Have any of you used any kind of on-line calculator or an app that gives current information?  It would be great to get some kind of data for at least one of the following: Goletas Channel, Browning Passage, Nahwitti Bar, Bates Passage, Lemon Point, Heath Point, Duval Point and/or Boxer Point.  Thanks!

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  • #17523
    Randy Chatterjee

    The best I can find is a few current points provided in the Navionics Boating App.

    The five relevant points given are Goletas Channel at Heath Point, Lemon Point, Boxer Point, and halfway between Duval and the Gordon Islands.  There is also a point in the Gordon Channel just NE of Nigei Island that might help you estimate the inter-island currents.

    Unfortunately the web-based Navionics Chart Viewer contains no tides or currents information.    So, you have 3 choices: 1) Anyone with the app can just relay or take screen shots of the current output for any given dates you’d like to check out.  2) Take advantage of Navionics’ free 2-week trial of their “Boating Marine and Lakes ” app for Android or iOS.  3) And finally, buy the app for around $50, and that includes all the chart downloads globally you could even need.  Of course, the charts do take up space on your phone, but you can just keep the ones near where you are going. The entirety of Vancouver Island’s coastline is under 300 megaBytes.

    I personally went for option 3 almost 10 years ago, and have loved it.  No additional fees are ever required.  I can tell you that when you end up taking a very different route home than you planned (and don’t have the chart or a clue how to go), the backup of having high resolution charts, tides, and currents on your phone very easily accessible–assuming your phone doesn’t get wet–is a great peace of mind.  And no web connection is necessary.  When I once got literally blown off the Pacific just north of Nootka Island and had to navigate to Gold River for a pickup, a place I’d never been and had no chart to navigate the complex 50 miles to get there, Navionics on my phone saved the day.

    That said, the information on Navionics is not quite as good as the paper or web data on Transport Canada’s website.  However, it’s there and still useful.  I’m happy to help in any way I can.


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