View topic - Wind speed forecasts

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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 24th, 2019, 7:00 am 
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Joined: March 13th, 2004, 8:11 am
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Location: Northern Edge of Vermont
Mike McCrea wrote:
The closest I have come to losing or sinking a boat have been with a loaded canoe in tailwind waves.
I hope that "sinking" is a figure of speech. :) Canoes - even loaded ones - should still float when swamped It's darn near impossible to pack a barrel or pack so densely that it is heavier than water. But yes, waves with tailwinds can be dangerous. I remember once finishing a portage and reloading my canoe at one end of a lake with near dead calm conditions (in the lea of the forest and hills) and encountering ever increasing tail winds and waves as I headed down the lake. Just 2-3 km later, at the far end, the "surf" was so large that it was extremely difficult to land.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 24th, 2019, 10:04 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
SteveBoal wrote:
I hope that "sinking" is a figure of speech. :) Canoes - even loaded ones - should still float when swamped It's darn near impossible to pack a barrel or pack so densely that it is heavier than water. But yes, waves with tailwinds can be dangerous. I remember once finishing a portage and reloading my canoe at one end of a lake with near dead calm conditions (in the lea of the forest and hills) and encountering ever increasing tail winds and waves as I headed down the lake. Just 2-3 km later, at the far end, the "surf" was so large that it was extremely difficult to land.


Steve, landing in waves and “surf” can be as challenging as being out in the maelstrom. I have beaten the hell out of some canoes landing with a gear load on wave swept rocks.

“Swamped” or “submerged” would have been a more accurate word choice for that episode.

Mike McCrea wrote:
beware factors an overloaded canoe and stupid decision making.

I was coming off a trip on Grand Lake Matagamon with my brother in law 30 years ago. We were paddling a small tandem. A small overloaded tandem. The further out we got from any protection the steeper the tailwind waves became, until they were coming within inches of the gunwales as they swept past the canoe. I needed to time my strokes in the stern to essentially lift the canoe on the face of each successive wave.

Just as things became really dicey my novice BIL, who had no idea of the trouble we were in, decided to stop paddling and take his gloves off. With that sudden lack of propulsion the next several waves poured over the gunwales as they passed. I think my exact words were “F#$% the gloves, paddle dammit!”

We managed to make the backside of a mid-lake rock, emptied the water, sat there until my heart rate went down and wisely decided to paddle towards the far shore upwind into the waves, away from our intended destination until we could sneak along the shoreline where rescue and recovery would be easier.


Paddling upwind, into those same height waves, did not threaten to pour water over the gunwales with each passing wave and we managed to sneak our way along the far shore to the take out.


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 26th, 2019, 7:05 pm 
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Joined: March 30th, 2010, 4:10 pm
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Location: Ringwood, NJ
I wonder if anyone ever used handheld anemometer on a trip and if so - how good are they? I realize that such contraption has no practical use in canoeing and it's fine with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 26th, 2019, 7:35 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Eddy Turn wrote:
I wonder if anyone ever used handheld anemometer on a trip and if so - how good are they? I realize that such contraption has no practical use in canoeing and it's fine with me.


I carry one but rarely use it, it's also a dirt cheap model so it's accuracy is suspect.

That said, I used it a couple of times this summer to confirm (to myself) that it was too windy to paddle. I carry an InReach and obtain fresh forecasts almost daily so my need for info is satisfied for the most part by that when combined with the specific topography of the local area.

When I do get caught out in a high wind situation that's when I'd really like to pull out the anemometer but it's also the time when I'm trying to stay alive so I've never managed to get it out and take a measurement.

The one I have is very similar to this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Handheld-LCD-D ... 3615420208?

Wind speed on it's own is not such a useful number, this summer most of the lakes I was on in Labrador were fairly shallow with large shoals creating very shallow areas. Combine this with a very lengthy fetch (10 - 40km in places) and you have a recipe for large breaking waves even at wind speeds which in many situations would be annoying but not dangerous. Still I find the predicted wind speed and direction as very useful information in planning my day for both route and potential distance.

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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 26th, 2019, 8:49 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 1896
Location: Manitoba
I love anemometers but it’s another thing to buy, pack, carry, and use when often it’s easy enough to figure out when to paddle or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Wind speed forecasts
PostPosted: August 26th, 2019, 10:06 pm 
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Joined: March 30th, 2010, 4:10 pm
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Location: Ringwood, NJ
I usually know when not to paddle - what I never know is what's the wind. Using InReach forecast has it's limitations: one can trust it when it shows high winds or very low winds (under 5mph), but in-between the extremes the forecast could mean anything. Same goes for rain. (my experience is limited to south-central Ontario).


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