Boaters Beware – Winter Outflow

An Important Message for all Boaters

I’ve been hearing about the winter outflow for years and how deadly it can be. I thought the stories and warnings were mostly legend until last weekend.

My friends Jennifer and Amanda and I left town in the fog headed into the sound for some Crabs and Rock fish. By the time we got to China Creek the fog had burned off and the sky was clear and blue, (made me think of Alberta for just a moment) the wind started to build as we traveled down the Alberni Inlet, blowing outward towards open ocean. By the time we got to the Devil’s Kitchen we were traveling at the same speed as the wind, 25mph and it was starting to get quite lumpy. We headed for calm water out of the wind to set our Crab traps and spend the day fishing.

Before long the wind found us again, the warm Pacific Ocean was creating tremendous thermals off shore…way off shore, and sucking the cold mountain air out to sea creating tremendous downward flows and wind shears. When the wind gusts on the mountain tops started sounding like 747’s taking off we decided to get while the getting was good. Ha! We got to Trevor Channel and it was solid white as far as we could see it both directions. I figured the wind was blowing about 60mph. Flattening out the wave crests sending the water air born horizontally across the top, it looked flat and that’s the trap. There was so much water in the air it wasn’t possible to tell the wave size until we were in it. There was no way we could turn around, the waves were huge. We’re in a 20ft open boat with a windshield taking big waves over the bow. If I went to fast I took on more water than my bilge pump could keep up with. If I slowed down the wind threatened to turn us sideways and capsize the boat. All we could do is hold on and plow into the mile wide fire hose. I feared the worst was yet to come as we still had to pass through Nahmint, we were lucky it wasn’t as bad. We made it home after dark, cold, wet and hungry. I’m glad I bought a huge capacity oversized bilge pump, it probably saved our lives. I remember my buddies teasing me about the size of the bilge pump I scored for $20.00 at Princess Automotive, it was meant for a much larger boat. When you’re on the ocean in an open boat, sea over bow is not an option.

I sure gained a whole lot of respect for the ocean and my boat that day.

Stay safe out there
Rick Crozier

We at Baitrix participate in other Outdoor activities in addition to Fishing.

These activities include Hunting (Big Game & Waterfowl), Flying and Off-Roading. Every now and then we discover a unique high quality Outdoor Product that we have found to be very effective and useful.

Here are links to a some of these neat products.