Day 26 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Effingham Bay to Port Renfrew

We were up early this morning to start the two-day trek into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The weather, for once, was cooperating. Windy showed gusts in the single digits, Environment Canada predicted light wind building to westerly 5-15 later in the day. The morning light station reports were encouraging, with calm winds and 1 foot chop. Even the current looked like it would cooperate: starting at about 10:15 … Read more

Day 23 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Nettle Island to Robbers Passage

Sam left the Nettle Island anchorage early this morning and headed for Robbers Passage on Fleming Island. Port Alberni Yacht Club has an outstation there where they welcome non-members (for a fee, no reciprocals), but because it’s a weekend we were worried it might be full, so having an early scout was helpful. The days have been getting shorter for quite a while, but recently it’s seemed particularly noticeable. Today … Read more

Day 22 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Joe’s Bay to Nettle Island

We woke to fog this morning, but it was peaceful and quiet and still beautiful out here in the Broken Group. Today’s cruise was another short day, just 3nm over to Nettle Island. One of the biggest surprises most people have on the trip to Alaska is how much we move. We go somewhere almost every day, and more often than not we motor for at least three or four … Read more

Days 19-20 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Hot Springs Cove to Ucluelet

Today’s 45nm cruise from Hot Springs Cove to Ucluelet takes us back out into the ocean. The Environment Canada forecast was for a southeast wind 5-15kts, and Windy showed light winds in the morning, building to southeast 10-15 knots along our route, accompanied by a lazy 5-6 foot swell. Why are we skipping Clayoquot Sound? The short answer is timing. We waited for weather in Port McNeill, at Brooks Peninsula, … Read more

Day 18 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove

Overnight the wind dropped and the swell (Friendly Cove gets some swell) died off. The 4:40 a.m. light station reports sounded promising (single digit winds, one foot chop or rippled), so at about 7:00 a.m. we got underway for the four hour trip from Nootka Sound to Clayoquot Sound. The morning light was particularly pretty: Sea conditions were perfect: a gentle swell, no wind waves, little current. As we neared … Read more

Days 16-17 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bligh Island to Friendly Cove

This morning before leaving Bligh Cove, we took a few aerial photos since the light was so pretty. After breakfast we cruised the 6-7nm over to Friendly Cove, some of us snaking our way through the smaller passages between islands to kill time and add scenery. We anchored in Friendly Cove, rejoining the two boats that skipped Bligh Island yesterday for more time at Friendly Cove. After hiking and lighthouse … Read more

Day 15 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Hisnit Inlet to Bligh Island

Environment Canada predicted southeast 15-25 knot winds today and Windy looked worse. Not our day to round Estevan Point. We decided to move about 15nm to Bligh Cove, in the middle of Bligh Island at the head of Ewin Inlet. Along the way, we stopped at Resolution Cove. Here, in 1778, Captain Cook became the first Briton to land in what is now British Columbia. Once anchored, the crew cut … Read more

Day 14 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Tahsis to Hisnit Inlet

Our pace over the next several days is dictated by weather at Estevan Point, one of the major headlands on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The only must-see Nootka Sound destination for our group is Friendly Cove, about 20nm from Tahsis. If the weather was perfect today, we could even leave Tahsis, stop for a few hours at Friendly Cove, and continue around Estevan Point in the afternoon. Alas, … Read more

Day 13 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Nuchatlitz to Tahsis

With just 2.5 hours to travel today we didn’t rush out of Nuchatlitz this morning, which turned out to be extremely beneficial. Last night at about 1:30 a.m. (and again at 4:30 a.m.), we heard wolves howling over on shore in what sounded like a new meal celebration, but it was too dark to see anything. Laura went out into the cockpit of Airship and recorded what we were hearing … Read more

Day 12 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Walters Cove to Nuchatlitz

We left Walters Cove about 6:30 a.m. for the 24nm run from Kyuquot Sound to Esperanza Inlet. This route leads around Tatchu Point, and while it’s not as significant a headland as Brooks Peninsula, Cape Scott, or Estevan Point, it still deserves respect. Environment Canada called for 15-25 knots of northwesterly wind and 1-2 meter seas. Windy showed the wind would come, but not until later in the day, hence … Read more