Currents are changing

For tide and current predictions I use the reference guide Ports and Passes published yearly by Chyna Sea Ventures.

As I planned SWALLOW’S late December move from Poulsbo to Port Townsend I noticed the prediction tables for secondary current locations, such as Agate Pass, had changed. Looking more closely there were many changes for the northern sections of Puget Sound. One shocking change was the reference station for Port Townsend Canal was listed as Admiralty Inlet not Deception Pass!

I contacted the Ports and Passes publisher who quickly respond that NOAA had resurveyed the tides for northern Puget Sound and even moved some reference and secondary stations.

Example: Admiralty Inlet current predictions are now set off of Point Wilson v. the old location off Bush Point on Whidbey Island. This means the stated currents for Admiralty Inlet seems to be faster! This isn’t true; it is just that the current off of Point Wilson is faster v. Bush Point (about 1 knot faster).

I’ve tried to find official information about this change but have found none on NOAA’s website. With the US government shutdown there is no one to call, answer emails nor update the website.

According to Ports and Passes future years will see more changes are coming for southern Sound and the San Juan Islands. It is imperative mariners check the location of the current prediction stations as the locations may have changed though the name stayed the same.

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