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PostPosted: May 16th, 2009, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 575
Location: Surrey, BC
Every time I open up Google Earth there's a new layer or feature or something that makes this already awesome application even better than it was before.

Current, real-time MAREP buoy data from the extensive network of both Canadian and NOAA ocean buoys is now just a mouse-click away from within Google Earth.

Let's say you're paddling to Burnett Bay, just south of Cape Caution, on the the only part of the mainland BC coastline subject to the full fury of the Pacific (between Cape Scott and the southern tip of the Charlottes), and you're concerned about surf.

You simply click on the icon for the 'West Sea Otter' MAREP buoy and up pops a graph of significant wave height data for the past 24 hours, along with sea-level barometric pressure, sea temp, wind speed/gust, water/air temp and all that good stuff, and you'll know with certainty what conditions are.

By the way, even though there's a good rocky hook at the south end of Burnett Bay which casts a deep surf-shadow and at the north end there are islets that also cast a surf-shadow, I personally, being the avowed surf-chicken that I am, would wait for significant wave heights of a meter and a half or less at the 'West Sea Otter' MAREP buoy before paddling to Burnett Bay.

In any case, it's a good idea to have some experience with surf before tackling Burnett Bay, even though every time I've gone there I've never had a problem landing/launching in the surf-shadows despite there being a lively, meter high (plus) surf all along the center of the beach, between the sheltered ends.

MAREP buoy data is also broadcast on the marine weather channels.


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Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
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