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Strait of Georgia - Unusual tide line / current pattern

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    Strait of Georgia - Unusual tide line / current pattern

    Saw something weird on the weekend. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone nearby to take a photo and it was rough enough that I didn’t want to leave the helm for even a few seconds, but hopefully by my description someone can offer some insight into what I observed.

    I was returning to Point Roberts last Saturday afternoon, around 3pm, more or less a straight course from the southern end of Saturna Island (where I had just observed a rather large looking Humpback whale, but that’s another story). Anyway, around 1/2 way across the Strait I encountered a series of stripes in the water, basically an area of choppy water similar to what you see where 2 currents are meeting, each approximately 100m across & in between each choppy stripe was a relatively calm stripe, also about 100m across. These ran in parallel, originating from the mainland approximately from the south-east. As I maintained my course, each stripe flowed by me towards the gulf islands. I’m of course familiar with tide lines... but these were not like that... no debris or foamy lines. Just chop then calm, repeated in parallel lines as far as I could see in either direction.

    The only thing I could possibly compare it too are the photos I’ve seen of the ripple pattern created by underwater seismic activity and tsunamis as they come ashore... but these were bigger and more spread out.

    Anyway, if anyone knows what this might have been I’m really curious. It might be something obvious, but I didn’t grow up on the ocean so I don’t know much!



    Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
    Tsawwassen, BC
    1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
    Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
    "Island Passport"
    Home marina: Point Roberts, WA

    #2
    Well out in that general area you do see some weird water where the fresh water from the Fraser River meets the ocean. Just flew over that area on Sunday around 430pm and you could very clearly see the delineation between the muddy fresh water (chocolate milk colour) and the salt water (blueish colour). Might have been an area where the waters were mixing.
    Terry
    1999 Bayliner 3388
    Twin Cummins 4BTA
    Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
    Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

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      #3
      Submarine?
      BLOG ABOUT MY BOAT... www.seattleboater.com
      5788 Man 610's- Love Her !
      Sold:Bayliner 3587 | Extended Hull

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        #4
        Have seen that in Johnstone Straight before. 2 weak currents coming together.
        Started boating 1965
        Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996

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          #5
          Originally posted by simbad View Post
          Submarine?
          Ya know, this may very well have been the contributor.
          97 2859

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            #6
            Was it the test yellow sub?
            Started boating 1965
            Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996

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              #7
              I boated that area several years back and there were always unusual currents running through that area. When you consider that the tidal flow in that area can come from about 4 different directions, it's not surprising.
              Bob Hawes.
              Kelowna, B.C.
              1998 Trophy 2052 WA
              4.3 Vortec, A1 G2

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