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Secrets of the St. Lawrence

The wind in your sails - The wind's paths

La Malbaie

- "Be careful around Tadoussac. You think the Northwesterly wind is strong here? It's three times as strong at the mouth of the Saguenay. It's a regular cannon there."


The wind finds its own paths. They may sometimes be as wide as immense valleys, and other times merely a passage between two islands or two shores.

When the wind is blowing over a chain of mountains, it may come shooting out of a valley with great force. Mariners on the Saguenay actually call it THE CANNON.

These natural channels may make it seem that the wind is coming out of nowhere, but that isn't really so. It is merely subject to local deviation.

Before navigating in an unfamiliar area, be sure to take a look at the topography.

Wind flow finds a path around an island to the left and right.


This effect corresponds to the size of the funnel created by the topography. The steeper and closer the banks or shores, the more the wind will be forced into a narrow passage and the more it will accelerate. It may even double in speed.

Gusts of wind, strong funnelling effects, steep shores and mountains all add up to very hazardous conditions.

Wind flow encounters narrowing topography which causes wind speeds to increase.

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