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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…

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Airship | Victoria to Anacortes | Dragonboats and Orcas

The day we left Victoria also happened to be the day of the 2018 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria Harbour. The dragon boats began racing at 8:00 a.m. and would continue all day until about 4:30 p.m., so getting out of Causeway Floats between a race (every 11 minutes)…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 14-15 | Ucluelet to Joe’s Bay

We left Ucluelet and cruised the short distance (11nm) over to Joe’s Bay, just north of Turtle Island in the Broken Group. Unfortunately, we had one boat fewer than normal. Throughout the trip, Mana Kai (a Kadey Krogen 44), has been experiencing intermittent engine problems related to the suction control…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 12-13 | Tofino to Ucluelet

We left Tofino in the morning and headed for Ucluelet. The sky was mostly gray but not foggy. Wind was light, with a low, lazy westerly swell and light chop on top, making for a very pleasant cruise. The biggest challenge was avoiding crab traps—hundreds of them, and several crab…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 9 | Tahsis to Yuquot (Friendly Cove)

Some of our group went into town for a tour of the salmon hatchery. There were no fish there at this time, but the community is quite proud of their volunteer-run hatchery and it really showed. After the hatchery tour, we got on our way and headed for Yuquot/Friendly Cove.…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 8 | Nuchatlitz to Tahsis

Nuchatlitz was super foggy this morning as the group made their way through the narrow, winding exit. Eventually (once we were pretty far up Tahsis Inlet) the fog cleared! The entrance to the Westview Marina & Lodge is a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You make…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 7 | Walters Cove, Rugged Point, Nuchatlitz

We exited Walters Cove around 9:00 a.m. and headed through some fog toward Rugged Point.  Our plan was to temporarily anchor in the small bay at Rugged Point and dinghy to shore for a hike across to the beach on the other side. We had about 10 knots of wind…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 6 | Bunsby Islands to Walters Cove/Kyuquot

The narrow entrance to Walters Cove is a fun navigational challenge. The channel is well-charted and well-marked, but it’s narrow and winding. Looking in from the outside, the buoys look more like a random sprinkling of green and red than a defined channel. The chart clarifies the path, but it…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 5 | Columbia Cove to the Bunsby Islands

Today’s cruise was a short one — only 8nm or so from Columbia Cove to the Bunsby Islands. We anchored in the northernmost (slightly larger) anchorage, then took the drone up for some quick aerials before going exploring. By dinghy, we found a small island with a nice landing beach…

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West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 4 | Klaskish Basin to Columbia Cove

Brooks Peninsula is one of the most challenging sections of a trip around Vancouver Island. Actually, it may be the single most challenging spot on the whole west coast, from Olympia to Skagway. The problem is that it juts a dozen miles seaward from the Vancouver Island shore. Wind funnels…

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