"If you find yourself in the unfavourable situation of being in Campbell River and a southeasterly is already in progress, do not attempt to leave the harbour. A flood current (south) runs directly into the teeth of a southeasterly at Cape Mudge and must be avoided, no exceptions! this is a very dangerous area in these conditions." (Quoted from cruising notes, Desolation Sound)
Winds will rise to southeast 70 km/h over parts of the Inner South Coast early this evening. Northern sections of the Sunshine Coast and East Vancouver Island regions could see occasional gusts to 100 km/h this evening and Thursday morning. (Wind warning, today, Environment Canada)
Driving down a hill on the highway this afternoon, I saw what these warnings are talking about. The water in the channel was ruffled slightly, but at one point in the centre, a diagonal line of tall waves, white-capped and spraying, showed where the wind and tide were in conflict. And toward the south end of Quadra Island, and far down into Georgia Strait, whitecaps formed a low wall between the east and western shores.
|Photo taken from the highway, in pouring rain. Smooth water beyond the wall of waves, smooth water again on this side of the channel.|
|The lighthouse at Cape Mudge, and the wall of waves. Taken from the shore, so the water beyond the wall doesn't show.|
|The wall goes on south past Mitlenatch Island and disappears behind Willow Point.|
When I drove home, a couple of hours later, the wall was no longer there; the wind was still strong, but the tide had moved on.