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Category: Blog – Airship

The Strait of Juan de Fuca | West Side of Vancouver Island

We’ve written about many of the weather trouble spots on the west side of Vancouver Island already: Cape Scott, Brooks Peninsula, and Estevan Point. For southbound travelers, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is the final hurdle. The challenges are many: ocean swells at the west entrance, strong currents throughout,…

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Barkley Sound | West Side of Vancouver Island

The most challenging part of cruising on the west side of Vancouver Island is weather. The typical summer weather pattern is calm, cool mornings followed by clearing and warming in the afternoon. Fog is frequent. As temperatures climb, a northwesterly breeze fills in and conditions can get rough. By September,…

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Tofino | West Side of Vancouver Island

Approaching Tofino is a bit overwhelming after weeks in the wilderness. Boats—tour boats, fishing boats, skiffs, seaplanes—zoom this way and that. Shoals dot the waterfront. Current runs to four or five knots. We tried hailing the harbormaster at the public docks to no avail. When we looked at the largest…

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Bottleneck Bay and Bacchante Bay | West Side of Vancouver Island

From Hot Springs Cove we went into Clayoquot Sound. Clayoquot Sound is best known for Tofino, the town at its center, but the inlets, channels, and anchorages are wonderful cruising areas. Our first anchorage was Bottleneck Bay in Sydney Inlet. The bay gets its name from the narrow entrance channel,…

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Estevan Point and Hot Springs Cove | West Side of Vancouver Island

Continuing south from Friendly Cove requires rounding Estevan Point, one of the significant headlands on the west side of Vancouver Island. The forecast for today sounded acceptable—wind light, building to west 15-25 knots in the afternoon and northwest 25-35 knots in the evening. We planned to head for Hot Springs…

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Friendly Cove (Yuquot) | West Side of Vancouver Island

From Nuchatliz we took the inside route through Esperanza Inlet, Hecate Channel, Tahsis Narrows, and Cook Channel to Friendly Cove (“Yuquot” in the native language, which reportedly translates to “wind comes from all directions,” which we’ll get to later.) Overnight, Environment Canada changed the forecast from light winds to 15…

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Walters Cove, Rugged Point, Nuchatlitz | West Side of Vancouver Island

The small settlement of Walters Cove  is in Kyoquot Sound, just eight miles south of the Bunsby Islands. We popped in and tied up at the public dock for a quick look around and to see if the small general store happened to be open. It wasn’t, but the woman…

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Bunsby Islands | West Side of Vancouver Island

The Bunsby Islands are a group of islets and islands in Checleset Bay, just seven miles south of Columbia Cove. They’re popular among cruisers and kayakers, and for good reason. Within the group there are several well-protected anchorages, lots of shoreline to explore, white shell beaches, black silty beaches, lagoons,…

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Brooks Peninsula and Columbia Cove | West Side of Vancouver Island

Cruising the west side of Vancouver Island requires frequent hops in the ocean. The hops are typically short—15 to 30 nautical miles—but even a few hours in rough conditions can be awful. Three headlands can create particularly rough conditions: Cape Scott, Brooks Peninsula, and Estevan Point. Brooks is perhaps the…

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