Weather Reporting at Boat Bluff c. 2004

The Lightkeeper – many years ago he had no contact with anyone – now the whole world can communicate with him and through him! 

Around 2004 the Canadian government decided to limit the weather report information put out by the lighthouse keepers to a very restricted set of criteria. 

Wind detecting devices (anemometers) were removed, pressure detecting devices (barometers) were removed and devices for measuring cloud height (ceilometers) were also removed. Basic weather training was kept to a minimum. The lightkeeper was left to his own devices to observe and report the weather every three hours to his designated Coast Guard radio station. 

No one was interested or affected . . . except those that used the weather reports! – the aircraft pilots, cruise ships, fishing boats, recreational boaters, and others that travelled the wind-swept and storm-lashed west coast of British Columbia. This coast is over 7,000 kilometres long from Vancouver, BC to Alaska, USA if you follow all its indentations, and sometimes these indentations are a life-saver when a storm blows up. (see the article Why We Need MORE Lighthouses . . .) Continue reading

The Wind Speed Indicator Episode c.1935

– Roy Carver (son of C. E. Carver on Kains Island 1933 – 1944) 

One of the daily duties of a light house keeper was to estimate the wind speed during each day and record it, along with other meteorological observations and measurements, which also included sea water temperature, and a sample of sea water which was taken at a depth bellow the surface, weather permitting of course.1

Average Seawater Temperature Kains Island 1935 - 2011 - Fisheries & Oceans

The small glass bottles with cork stoppers of sea water were stored in wooden boxes with many little squares, one for each bottle. These boxes would be shipped out when the supply ship re-supplied the station once a year, usually in July. As far as I know Father never did find out what happened to the bottles of sea water after they left the station.2

For an individual to estimate wind speed is a pretty tall order, especially on the edge of an island. If the wind is blowing in your face one would judge the wind speed higher than if it was blowing from behind you (behind the island), so wind speed estimating was not very accurate, even with the crude wind speed indicating instruments supplied at the station. Continue reading