Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 15 | Tahsis to Hisnit Inlet

In the morning after a bit more of an internet fix and a few more fishing items purchased, the boats left the marina. The staff puts what’s left after fish-cleaning operations out on the breakwater for the birds, and these young eagles were having breakfast as we motored past. It was foggy in the early morning, but by the time we left the marina it had started to clear, and … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 14 | Nuchatlitz to Tahsis

We left Nuchatlitz first thing in the morning and headed up Esperanza Inlet toward Tahsis. On our way up Tahsis Inlet, we ran into a pod of orcas (perhaps even the ones we saw out near Nuchatlitz the other day!) We arrived  at the Westview Marina in Tahsis to find it much less busy than when we were here last month. Last month we were just in time for the … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 13 | Nuchatlitz

Today we stayed put at Nuchatlitz! This morning’s change in wind direction brought smoke from the nearby wildfires our way, and our anchorage smelled a bit like last night’s campfire. It did make for a few moody sunrise photos, however. Ralph and Jeanette, Vince, and Kevin and Laura took Airship out for a little salmon fishing, while others explored the anchorage and nearby islands by dinghy. A few too-small chinooks … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 12 | Columbia Cove to Rugged Point to Nuchatlitz

Today looked like the last day of calm. We’ve quickly grown spoiled by the windless days in the ocean and we decided to use this last day of calm to jump down the coast to Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound. This meant skipping the Bunsby Islands and Walters Cove. We didn’t wantto skip them, but several factors weighed on our minds. We’re running a bit behind schedule after the weather … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 10 | Sea Otter Cove to North Harbour

Dawn brought more fog but light winds and a lazy swell. With the tide low, we snuck out of Sea Otter Cove with a few feet (or inches for Epoch, which draws six feet) under the keels. The trip down the coast to Quatsino Sound was easy and uneventful. In July and early August, we saw a lot more traffic out here—mostly small sport fishing boats. This trip, the radar … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 9 | Bull Harbour to Sea Otter Cove

With an extended forecast for good weather, we weren’t in a rush to get to Quatsino Sound. In fact, the forecast looked like the best day for rounding Brooks Peninsula—our next major hurdle after Cape Scott—is still a few days away. It’s enough time to spend a day at Sea Otter Cove, but not enough time to explore the inner part of Quatsino Sound. Our plan was to leave Bull … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 8 | Port Alexander to Bull Harbour

After two nights at Port Alexander, we were ready to move on. The weather at Cape Scott still was a bit bumpier than we’d prefer, so we made the short trip to Bull Harbour. The next day looked better. In fact, the next day looked like the beginning of four days of light winds on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Perfect! Bull Harbour is the last good, all-weather anchorage … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Days 6-7 | Port McNeill to Port Alexander

Before leaving Port McNeill, we studied the weather obsessively. We had a plan A, plan B, plan C, maybe even a plan D. Basically, it looked like we might have an opportunity to get around Cape Scott on Saturday (day 6). We’d anchor in Sea Otter Cove, then continue to North Harbour in Quatsino Sound the following day. When we went to sleep in Port McNeill, this seemed to be the best … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 5 | Forward Harbour to Port McNeill

Johnstone Strait has a reputation as a difficult body of water. Current can run to four or five knots. Surrounding terrain funnels wind through. The challenges for a boater are to avoid beating into the current (which can greatly prolong your time in Johnstone Strait), avoid wind-against-current situations, and avoid traveling in the dark (too much debris in the water). On a northbound trip, we want to ride the ebb … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 4 | Cameleon Harbour to Forward Harbour

We’d hoped to make it into the Broughtons today, but the weather had other ideas. The typical summer weather pattern for Johnstone Strait is relatively calm mornings followed by building northwesterly winds in the afternoon and evening. Once the sun goes down, the northwesterly usually diminishes. Today, though, the northwesterly was blowing in the morning. The Chatham Point lightstation reported 25 knots of wind and four foot moderate. Fanny Island … Read more