Day 27 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Port Renfrew to Victoria

We left Port Renfrew at first light this morning. The weather continued to cooperate and though we had some current against us for a good portion of today’s 53nm cruise, we had little fog and very calm water — a wonderful way to spend the last day of flotilla cruising! We arrived in Victoria around 2:00 p.m. and got situated on the docks at Causeway Floats. This is one of … Read more

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 25 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bamfield to Effingham Bay (and a whale rescue!)

This morning, en route from Bamfield to Effingham Bay, Airship and Dog Star had just entered Imperial Channel near Diana Island, when Dog Star radioed to tell us (on Airship) there were whales off their port side. We kept an eye out, and eventually spotted at a couple of humpbacks a half mile or so west of our course. One of the whales looked like it was just floating on … Read more

Day 24 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Robbers Passage to Bamfield

We leisurely left the docks at the Port Alberni Yacht Club this morning. Today was another short hop (across Trevor Channel over to Bamfield), and most boats lingered a bit in Trevor Channel to watch the whales. It was gray and rainy this morning, but whales don’t mind. Yesterday we noticed a white stripe on the back of one of the humpbacks, but today with the long lens and little … 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

Day 21 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Ucluelet to Joe’s Bay

Today’s cruise was short — 11nm from Ucluelet over to the Joe’s Bay anchorage (tucked between Dodd and Turtle Island, next to Walsh Island). As we exited Ucluelet Inlet and transited into Newcombe Channel, we were met with calm water and very little wind. We anchored in this beautiful anchorage and folks spent the afternoon kayaking, fishing, exploring, and relaxing. We met later for happy hour on the raft. Folks … 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