Crossing Georgia Strait

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Alex_c, May 11, 2017.

  1. high tide

    high tide Well-Known Member

    As said, check weather reports all the time, try to forecast for safe crossings, personally in a craft that size no greater then 15. We do it all the time, have done it for over fifty years, I'm running a 21 Trophy and quite often end up crossing in a 20 forecasted wind, but try to avoid it. That said we will do any thing for fish. We constantly would cross from Twsassen t Active in higher winds, right behind the ferry, off to one side if it's rear wake, off the main white froth .... The closer the smoother ...... Buddy's couldn't handle the stress and would stay back five or six lumps, not near as smooth. Concentration on the wake, you could cut back about a third power and draft. It was awesome, have done it literally dozens and dozens of times. ....... Now when I was real young and stupid, I crossed a few times with an 11 footer with a 7.5 hp outboard...... I'd do any thing fir them big springs, and it paid off, with fish to 55lbs. Moved up to a 12 footer with a 25 merc on her, the Mini Moocher. That one would blow by any ferry in the fleet, on too many pics and videos to remember as mist thought we were nuts ....... Thinking back, I guess we were. Lol.

    Be safe and try to travel with another boat.

    Derby, Alex_c and Cabezon1 like this.
  2. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Well-Known Member

    A 16' Lifetimer is a pretty sea worthy boat. Pick your days and respect the power of the ocean and you'll be fine. I had some great memories as a kid with my first boat a 12' tinner and a 20hp merc. I busted my ass working my first summer job in grade 8 to buy a brand new 20hp. We slapped that thing on the back of dads leaky old 12' boat threw a sand bag in the front for weight and I went everywhere. It ripped...pulled skiers, tubes, caught fish etc. I ran all over the gulf islands and played in all the passes chasing rips and whirlpools. I definitely pushed that thing but my rule of thumb is unless you have the full on crazy gene most of us don't have the guts to ever really test the full limits of our boats. Most of us turn around when we get that nervous and uncomfortable feeling. Learn to recognize that feeling and you'll do fine. I didn't make it across the straight because I had no reason to but I wouldn't have hesitated on the right day.

    Free camping is almost non existent now in the Gulf Islands. You might pull it off at Tent Island but I hear the natives are clamping down on that. My buddies and I use to camp Coon Bay (Dionisio Bay), Pirates Cove, and Tent Island. Tent was by far the favorite because in the good old days the Thetis Island pub would serve anyone. I miss being a kid. Life was so much easier.
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
    tincan, Reeltime, Dogbreath and 2 others like this.
  3. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Used to cross to Gabriola with a 14' KC fiberglass with a 50 hp from Vancouver when I was young. Also used to cross from Point Roberts to Active Pass with same boat. Like othere say you have to know how to read weather conditions and check the reports very often of weather and turning weather. And have safety supplies with you. If you are unsure of anything error on the side of caution.
  4. Seafever

    Seafever Well-Known Member

    I run a sixteen aluminum. There are days you couldn't pay me to go out there. No fish is worth your life.

    I've been caught in some of those sudden blowups. And getting caught in one in the middle of the Strait is the last place I'd want to be.

    If I die out there by myself...well, that's one thing. But I'm not taking any innocent others like children or women that can't swim with me.

    As the guy in the movie said ....something like: "The best way to avoid a horrible situation is not to be there in the first place".

    Check the weather reports with a hawk eye before you do something like that. And have a plan B and emergency/contact equipment in place before you go.

    The boating obituaries are full of people that had more balls than brains.
    Pursuit and pescador like this.
  5. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Agree with Seafever----- Having been caught by an unannounced NW that came out of nowhere when crossing from the Fraser to NorthWest Bay in a 21 ft Hourston , I have never felt so beat up like that in a boat before. 4 1/2 hrs later crabbing across the Straits ( past the point of no return) we got our sorry asses into Nanaimo... Stayed in Nanaimo that night and ran to NWB the next day. It would have been nice if we could have sheltered behind a ferry--- BUT WE COULD NOT CATCH ONE!!! Dont take the crossing lightly----- It can be a bitch that suddenly wants to kill you! Use a buddy boat system.
    Alex_c likes this.
  6. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    As a guy who crosses all the time, I think this is pretty smart advice. There are days I wouldn't go (although not very many) in a larger boat, and even going only on days when I feel like it'll be rocky without being dangerous, I've had enough green water over the DE20 to rip the little tender I had strapped to the roof right off the hardtop and dump it in the cockpit. Pulled the bow eye right out of the dinghy...probably a solid foot of water swept the hardtop, front to back. Somewhat unsettling. I was lucky to have the tender there - the water was mostly diverted to the sides and hardly any ended up in the cockpit.

    Anyway, my philosophy is that you need to prepare for realistic rescue times for any situation you put yourself in. For really gnarly looking weather, I'll wear a shorty wetsuit under my clothes, I have a boat with enough foam that I know it's not sinkable, and I carry a HX870 on me. If the boat gets rolled, chances are good I'll stay with it because it's fairly enclosed; the radio should get rescue on the way unless I'm unconscious, but I'm hard to knock out. That should be enough to survive an hour or two's wait in a swamped boat, which is probably all the Coast Guard would need to get to me. If I had an open boat I'd probably be looking a little differently at the

    I'll say this: the first time I did it in real wind, the wind wasn't in the forecast and I left the gas dock at Steveston in maybe 10 knots of westerly - nothing you'd notice at all. Just enough to raise a chop and I thought it'd be a cake walk. By the time I got to Sand Heads it was blowing 30 knots and streaks of foam were blowing fifty feet off every whitecap and the only reason I didn't turn around was that I didn't know if I could. My wife was on board and the only thing I could think about was the jeopardy I'd put her in and although I'd always considered myself an atheist, I was looking at the water and trying to make bargains with it to spare her and take me.

    The first two miles out of the river were chaotic and very hard to control - lots of wheel and throttle work, and my right elbow ached for days afterwards; I guess I'd been gripping the throttle to death and it actually gave me a bit of tennis elbow symptoms just from that one hour. After the rivermouth it improved a lot and, like most of my experience with the strait, it became more predictable and we just ground through it.

    So I say this not to scare you off at all, but just take precautions and don't forget that even a wave which is only four feet high has a staggering amount of kinetic energy stored inside it. Treat the sea with respect and the gods will let you stay on top of it. Plow the bow on an open boat and you'll regret it.
  7. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    I have to apologize to a lot of people in this thread...

    I have misled you all.

    It's Friday, the day before a long weekend, AND I booked the day off of work. Literally every possible reason for a windstorm.

    And yet:

    1marko, Alex_c, Gong Show and 3 others like this.
  8. Floater

    Floater Well-Known Member

    Nice one, couldn't get out today. How was fishing?
  9. Alex_c

    Alex_c Active Member

    Hooked 4 yesterday at QA, one undersize.
    1marko likes this.
  10. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    To be honest I'm just commuting today...up at my island place for the next while and will be doing short fishing trips from here.
  11. wet_coast_kid

    wet_coast_kid Member

    How's crossing from Sandheads? I recently put my boat out at Bridgeview and just feeling out where I can get to from here. Looks like could cross the straight from Sandheads but I've had some challenges getting out of the river there. Are there any good fishing destinations around here?
  12. Daveroo

    Daveroo Active Member

    What kind of boat do you have? Sandheads, in my opinion, is the toughest place to leave the lower mainland when the winds are tough and the tides are against it. A strong northwesterly combined with a falling tide at the Fraser makes for some very steep waves at Sandheads. In those conditions it is frequently better out in the Straight itself as far as breaking waves are concerned. On those days launching and motoring out of Vanier or the North Vancouver Shore is much easier. The disadvantage is that because these areas are a bit more sheltered, you may not get an accurate reading of wind and wave conditions until you get out into the Straight a bit more.

    With regards to fishing areas, as long as there is an opening, the area from Sandheads north to Bowen Island just a few miles offshore from Vancouver has some of the best fishing in the area. Check your regs carefully. You can do a search on this forum for discussions about the "banana area".
  13. wet_coast_kid

    wet_coast_kid Member

    I have a Trophy 2052 boat. I haven't crossed in it yet but would like to try out the other side and maybe for some lings.
  14. Tightlines22

    Tightlines22 Well-Known Member

    And if fishing Thrasher or other reefs for the first time watch your charts as there are some treacherous areas.
  15. aheny

    aheny Well-Known Member

    Tomorrow morning (7-10am) is a great example of what Daveroo is describing.
    If you want to see some amazing waves, put in at McDonald Beach and head down to cowards cove at wreck beach. There's a good chance of standing waves in the 7-8' range, in a terrible crosshatch pattern.
    Just don't be foolish and head out into it, it definitely gets worse once your past the lighthouse, but I do recommend seeing it for yourself so you know what a 20kt nw can do against a strong ebb
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  16. wet_coast_kid

    wet_coast_kid Member

    treacherous as in waves and currents, or in rocky areas and dead heads?
  17. wet_coast_kid

    wet_coast_kid Member

    yeah, I wouldn't want to be out in that kind of conditions... thx
  18. Tightlines22

    Tightlines22 Well-Known Member

    Treacherous as in reefs with pinnacles that show at low tide and are just lurking below the surface at higher tides.
  19. fishizzle

    fishizzle Member

    I've got 20ft trophy as well and I've done the crossing many times coming out of the Sandheads without any concerns...I do try and avoid the NW winds over 15 knots can be quite lumpy...on a calm day it's @30 minute run from the lightship to Thrasher and maybe 20minutes to Polier
    bones likes this.
  20. wet_coast_kid

    wet_coast_kid Member

    Wow, only 20 mins? I would have thought be much longer than that. What speed you do it at? I'm thinking about Polier because its closer..

Share This Page