If you have ever wondered if there is more detailed information than is available in the various tide and current guides, you are not alone. As you may have noticed, the current tables specify the times of the turns and the times and speeds of maximum currents in specific locations, such as First Narrows, Active Pass, Porlier Pass and other critical locations. The current guides even provide corrections that can be applied to find times and speeds for other locations that are not published in daily tables, but they do not provide detailed information about locations throughout the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca or in the Gulf Islands.
However, the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) has done this analysis and published it in the Current Atlas—Juan de Fuca Strait to/à Strait of Georgia. This atlas is one of three volumes published by CHS—the other two are Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine and St. Lawrence Estuary from Cap de Bon-Désir to Trois Rivières.
Each tidal current atlas contains a series of charts which use arrows of various thicknesses to show the rate and direction of tidal currents throughout the region at any particular hour of a series of typical tidal cycles. This isn't as simple as it sounds. In order to find the correct chart for any particular time, the user must first consult the tide tables for Point Atkinson (in West Vancouver) and then perform a series of calculations.
Many boaters shy away from the Current Atlas as a result, but Ports and Passes and the Waggoner Cruising Guide have teamed up to provide a solution—the combined Waggoner/Ports and Passes Current Atlas Tables. To use these tables, simply look up any particular hour of the year to find the correct chart depicting the currents for that particular stage of the tidal current cycle—no calculations and no guesswork are needed.
The Waggoner/Ports and Passes Current Atlas Tables is available at marinas, chandleries and nautical booksellers throughout the region, as well as online in Canada from the Chyna Sea Ventures bookstore and in the US from the Waggoner Guide bookstore. It is also available as on Amazon Kindle e-book, which can be read using the free Kindle eBook reader for iPads, Android tablets and computers.
Until this year (2022), the previous current atlases were available in printed format anywhere charts were sold. But this year, the Canadian Hydrographic Service decided to stop printing all its publications and place them online as downloadable PDFs instead. This also included other publications such as sailing directions and chart catalogues. The Current Atlas has been given a new cover and a new name as well. But, rest assured, the new Canadian Atlas of Tidal Currents is otherwise identical to its printed predecessor.
The print edition is now out of print.
Visit www.charts.gc.ca/publications/atlas-eng.html to receive a digital copy of this book.