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mnwild
member (25)member
 
08/29/2017 12:26PM
What wind speed when coming the length of the lake is usually too much to cross a lake like Snowbank? Would it be 20 mph? Obviously everyone's idea of safe is different but any ideas on a general rule of thumb?
 
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shock
distinguished member(3075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/29/2017 12:40PM
on bigger lakes like snowbank (depending on wind direction) 15 mph can feel like a 20mph , depending on a person experience anything over 15mph should be approached with caution,
Grandma L
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08/29/2017 01:36PM
quote shock: "on bigger lakes like snowbank (depending on wind direction) 15 mph can feel like a 20mph , depending on a person experience anything over 15mph should be approached with caution,"
+1
jwartman59
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08/29/2017 03:56PM
much depends on the canoe and direction of wind. when paddling a MN2 i tend to be very cautious as this canoe has proven itself to be a pig in heavy waves. i've been in 17' and 18' prospectors where big waves can be a blast to paddle in. i tend to prefer canoes with an inch or two of rocker, so much easier to handle in difficult conditions.
Savage Voyageur
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08/29/2017 06:59PM
I have never measured or found out how much the wind was blowing in the wilderness. To me this is irrelevant information. Wind does create a more dangerous thing, waves. What's most important is the height of the waves. When it gets to be the whitecaps breaking everywhere around you, not just a few then get off the water. Also in the decision is are you fully loaded and have not much freeboard, or are you day tripping empty? Also take into the equation the experience of the paddlers. When you weigh all of these you will have your answer. Snowbank is a big round lake with little shelter from the wind. You could be out in the middle of the lake and the weather could change on a dime. Be careful and always wear your PFD when on the water.
overthehill
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08/29/2017 07:33PM
I second all replies. When in doubt; be on land.
We were halfway to bottle from LLC/Boulder boathouse and suddenly found ourselves quartering into big waves. On our knees. Thankful for the Wenonah Champlain Then.....

Another surprise was Bailey Bay . Kneeling again and praying in a Bell North wind.

Never been on Snowbank but have heard and read many times that it can get really rough quick .
Hopefully both paddlers have a feel for THAT canoe in waves by then. Be Safe.
08/29/2017 08:29PM
I'm not sure how you measure wind speed out in the be but As a solo paddler it's less than in a tandem canoe. I can handle pretty hard winds. A strong consistent wind is predictable but gusting winds are less predictable and can turn your canoe in the wrong direction. If your getting water breaking over your canoe you're going to be in trouble. Stay close to shore even if it takes you longer to get to where you're going. But if you're in doubt staying put means staying dry and safe.
LindenTree3
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08/29/2017 09:36PM
As a wildland firefighter I measure wind speed all the time as part of my job.
Interesting point is I've never done it on the water, I will do so next time with my anemometer.

Most people have no idea how strong a 15 mph eye level wind (4.5 feet above he ground) feels.

My guess/experience is that if you have a couple miles of open water for the wind to catch, a 15 mph eye level wind could whip up 1.5 foot waves, and larger waves as the fetch increases.

Keep in mind that wind speed used by the National Weather Service is reported/measured at 33 feet/ten meters.
We use a reduction factor to calibrate that down to eye level winds/4.5 feet.

sedges
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08/29/2017 09:46PM
Wind speed is irrelevant if you have no way to measure it. There are some handheld windspeed tools out there, but I don't see the point. Wave height is affected by length of the reach of water it is blowing across and water depth. Small waves being pushed into decreasing depth get bigger.

The thing I consider the most when judging risk in wind and waves is water temperature and distance from shore. If I dump am I going to get hyperthermic before I get to shore. Most of my trips are in June with pretty cold water. I stay close enough to shore to get out fast if something happens in rough water. That means I am sometimes in shallower water with taller waves, but I won't expire in the middle of the lake.

Be honest with yourself about your skills and your command of the boat your are paddling. If you are uncomfortable with a situation take the long route close to shore. It will give you a chance to get some experience in rough water without much risk.
LindenTree3
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08/29/2017 10:11PM
Good points by all in the above posts.
I've paddled water tandem with my wife who is a strong paddler, that I never would consider paddling solo.
I live and paddle in Alaska, a (Solo) spill up here very far from shore would be life threatening.

Here is the Beaufort wind scale, again keep in mind that this is ocean related and measured at 33 feet, not eye level where we use a reduction factor.



Beaufort Sea Wind Scale

Same scale, maybe easier to interpret to smaller inland lakes.
mnwild
member (25)member
 
08/30/2017 07:13AM
Thanks for the information. The main point behind the wind speed is more in the trip planning. Obviously it is questionable on the accuracy of the predictions a few days out but it helps to understand if they are predicting a 20 mph wind on the day you are planning to cross a big lake, should you try adjusting your plans. Especially when that might be on your last day coming out and could get stranded an extra night.

Or during the trip sometimes I check the weather radio for the wind predictions.
billconner
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08/30/2017 07:33AM
Not too different but it seems much more involved than wid speed. Direction and the topography are much more important to me. I can do fine along the lee shore in high winds, but crossing Bayley Bay can be a challenge in moderate wind from usual north west, especially heading south to south west towards Inlet Bay.
pswith5
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08/30/2017 09:52AM
Does anyone know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
sedges
distinguished member (151)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/30/2017 10:04AM
Wind speed forecasts several days out are not that accurate. Forecasts are also not very good at telling when during the day those wind speeds will occur. One aspect of wilderness travel is dealing with conditions as they unfold. If you are concerned about or expecting wind and rough water plan your day to be traveling early. Winds usually don't start to pick up until late morning and you can get a lot of miles in if you are on the water at dawn. That means planning a breakfast that is quick and easy, no bacon and pancakes.

I have often packed up in the dark, eating trail mix and raisins, to get across Saganaga or Knife or Basswood in the calm of first light. After getting past the big waters I would stop at an empty campsite and fix a second, hot breakfast.

It is also good to remember that winds are "usually" calm in the morning. There are those few times when they are roaring at 5 AM. If that is the case there will usually be a time later in the day when winds ease up, making evening travel possible.

I also tell my folks at home to give me at least a whole day after my intended exit before hitting the panic button. I tell them I am not going to risk my life to get out on time. They seem to understand that.
andym
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08/30/2017 10:42AM
quote pswith5: "Does anyone know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

Is that while sitting on a SR Q17 or a MN II?
jwartman59
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08/30/2017 12:02PM
anytime winds/waves or current become a concern i insist everyone wear a pfd. also we kneel as it lowers the center of gravity and you have much better feel for your canoe and can actually use your balance and paddle strokes to counter the forces of moving water.
Savage Voyageur
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08/30/2017 02:47PM
quote pswith5: "Does anyone know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

An African or European swallow?
billconner
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08/30/2017 06:42PM
quote Savage Voyageur: "quote pswith5: "Does anyone know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"


An African or European swallow?"


Great questions.
quark2222
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08/30/2017 07:50PM
quote mnwild: "What wind speed when coming the length of the lake is usually too much to cross a lake like Snowbank? Would it be 20 mph? Obviously everyone's idea of safe is different but any ideas on a general rule of thumb?"

I use the sphincter pucker test. If the sphincter is puckering due to fear, it is time to head for shore. I've done that about two times. Once on Alton, and the other on Brule. Lesson was learned. As my good friend Forrest Gump says, "Stupid is as Stupid does".

Tomster
jhb8426
distinguished member (497)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/31/2017 12:25AM
quote quark2222: "I use the sphincter pucker test. If the sphincter is puckering due to fear, it is time to head for shore. I've done that about two times. Once on Alton, and the other on Brule.
Tomster"


Yes, both lakes can get "a bit rough", as they say. And they don't take a lot of wind to do that.
shock
distinguished member(3075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/31/2017 12:49AM
i have ventured out in some nasty stuff , instead of staying put . some were with experienced paddlers (1 wasnt ! ) having a big mug at hand has been needed more than once, keep 1 handy ;) if your tips or sides dont go under the water level your not going to sink , stay calm and think......but also know the wisdom to stay put , unlike me LOL ;)
WhiteWolf
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08/31/2017 03:16AM
Lots of good stuff here IMO. Wind speed forecasts ARE NOT accurate past 2-3 days. Issues on larger bodies of water due to wind are usually due to "fetch" (as mentioned by Linden) and not always due to apparent wind speed. The building of waves and bottom depth is huge. It's what sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. Linden is also correct that the official wind speed is measured at 10 meters and usually is less at 2 meters. However - as the day goes on and proper "mixing" happens those winds (higher up) can work their way to the ground and actually increase. (usually with warm fronts). This is a rather deep (lots of stuff going on) atmospheric weather issue-- but why the winds usually decrease as the sun loses elevation. If you have strong winds overnight it's a sign that they will likely continue or increase during daylight. about 70% of the time. The direction of the winds and atmospheric pressure trends are huge in determining this.
TomT
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08/31/2017 05:34AM
quote Savage Voyageur: "quote pswith5: "Does anyone know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
An African or European swallow?"


What is your quest?
nofish
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08/31/2017 09:20AM
Another thing I do while making my decision to paddle or hold up on shore is try to determine a plan of attack for the stretch of water I need to paddle.

I'll look at wind direction, the direction I need to travel, what shelter points are between points A and B and how I might be able to hop from one sheltered area to another while keeping the canoe heading in a safe direction relative to the waves.

Doing this may allow you to pick apart a large windblown body of water into small manageable chunks. I've been able to do this on Brule on some pretty nasty days, they weren't fun paddling days but we were able to stay safe and bounce for one sheltered area to another which allowed us to rest and prepare for the next leg of the paddle. The route taken in these situations is rarely the shortest or most direct route but its the safest route.

Of course the other factors still come into play (loaded or unloaded, skill level, capability of your canoe, etc).
carmike
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08/31/2017 09:06PM
I do alter trip plans if there's a reasonable chance I'll be on a big body of water when there's a big wind. Obviously, I have no forecasts eight days into a trip, so it usually only affects me one or two days in. Other typical weather patterns (like the big northwest wind that often follows a major storm event) will also factor into my paddling decisions.

I also frequently trip with people who carry weather radios (I don't have one myself), so if there's a big wind in the forecast, we either get out of camp very early, avoid the big lake altogether by finding an alternate route, or plan a layover day replete with scotch, cards, good books, and not-so-fancy cigars.

Plus, having once tipped due to a mix of my own stupidity and an unexpected wind while on a solo trip the first week of May, and finding out first hand how quickly cold water gets dangerous, I'm very cautious of wind and don't take many chances.

shock
distinguished member(3075)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/03/2017 05:45PM
quote carmike: "I do alter trip plans if there's a reasonable chance I'll be on a big body of water when there's a big wind. Obviously, I have no forecasts eight days into a trip, so it usually only affects me one or two days in. Other typical weather patterns (like the big northwest wind that often follows a major storm event) will also factor into my paddling decisions.


I also frequently trip with people who carry weather radios (I don't have one myself), so if there's a big wind in the forecast, we either get out of camp very early, avoid the big lake altogether by finding an alternate route, or plan a layover day replete with scotch, cards, good books, and not-so-fancy cigars.


Plus, having once tipped due to a mix of my own stupidity and an unexpected wind while on a solo trip the first week of May, and finding out first hand how quickly cold water gets dangerous, I'm very cautious of wind and don't take many chances.


"
me and my son went down , in true ice out conditions , i'm glad there was another canoe in our group to retrieve the canoe and our items , but we were in the water maybe 120 seconds and my whole chest was already blue , (my son commented on it) all our gear floated except an old cargo bag , that just happen to have loop handles that hung onto the thumbscrew on the yoke pad , crazy that we got all our gear back. but YES once you've gone down in cold water your senses heightens a bit when you see whitecaps ;)(shit my senses heighten the rest of that trip) always have a big mug handy , use one many times , and my point of the mug is dont panic if you get some water in the canoe , been ankle+ deep many times , bail water keep calm you'll make it to the next shoreline/portage/landing , i try to paddle into the waves in a direct line ,when you see some rollers coming , quit paddle roll/glide through those then start stroking again. but with that said i still wouldn't want to be in the middle of snowbank with even a 15mph wind.

mutz
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09/03/2017 07:21PM
Haven't read every part of every response here but bottom line is "common sense" if it doesn't look safe don't go.
mgraber
distinguished member(588)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/06/2017 01:35AM
We took a weather radio for the first time this year and I will never be without one again. The forecasts were invaluable in planning our travel for the day and made it much safer and more comfortable.
LindenTree3
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09/07/2017 01:46PM
Check this wind web-site out. We use it in firefighting.

Winds TDY
 
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