Tips for Paddling in Windy Weather
It is forecasted to be a really windy today. This can mean a red light for paddlers, but if you still want to go, there are options. You can hide from the wind by going places that are protected from the wind, on Vancouver Island we have many places to go that are protected. Novice Paddlers need to make sure they are paddling in conditions they are comfortable with, ess than 10 knots is probably a good idea, so if you look at https://weather.gc.ca/marine/region_e.html?mapID=02 and see areas marked in red you can go to those forecasts and take a closer look on warnings for the area you are paddling.
Today it Forecasted that Haro Strait will be up the 40 Knots of wind from the South West.
If you are looking to get to a green light you may want to take a look at some local areas that are more protected. If it is windy in the ocean you may opt to head out to Thetis Lake, Elk or Matheson Lake. There are also some places in the local area where you can hide from the westerlies still have a great paddle. Places like Finlayson arm and Brentwood Bay often give you enough protection from the westerlies to give you a spot to get into the salt water.
Keep in mind on these sunny days the anabatic winds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabatic_wind) in local areas will be present and local knowledge will really help you understand what is happening in a particular area. For example, in Port Renfrew at Gordon Beach as soon as the bright sun starts heating up the land the winds begin blowing on the beach. However, if you paddle out Port San Juan a little ways the winds begin to subside as you get out closer to the open ocean the anabatic winds have less and less effect.
Here are some great resources that can help you get a clear picture of what maybe happening locally. https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/vancouver_island_columbia_beach https://www.windy.com/48.429/-123.365?48.012,-123.365,8,m:eZRacJy http://www.windalert.com/map#49.643,-125.786,7,1
Surf Reports often have prediction for the local winds as well. http://magicseaweed.com/Vancouver-Island-South-Jordan-River-Surf-Report/323/ http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Jordan-River