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 knot south winds. Although conditions on the outside didn’t sound terrible (nor did they sound great), adding three miles to … Read more

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 we asked about the store hours was the store owner, and she opened it for us so we could do … Read more

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, and beautiful views out to the Pacific and back towards Vancouver Island. The short cruise from Columbia Cove was delightful. … Read more

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 worst of all. It juts out from Vancouver Island into the Pacific Ocean like an enormous, flat, rectangular slab. Dramatic … Read more

Quatsino Sound | West Side of Vancouver Island

Quatsino Sound is the northernmost of the five sounds along the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s also among the most developed, with many active logging operations and several communities scattered throughout (and good cell phone service!). The run from Sea Otter Cove to Quatsino Sound was easy: no wind, lazy swell. For boaters used to cruising the Inside Passage (including us), being out in the ocean is different. Even … Read more

Crossing Queen Charlotte Sound to Cape Scott

For the last several days, we’ve been closely monitoring the weather forecasts, looking for a window to cross Queen Charlotte Sound and round Cape Scott to the west side of Vancouver Island. Environment Canada had been calling for 20-30 knot southerly winds today, diminishing to 5-15 knots tomorrow, then increasing to 15-25 the next day. But yesterday afternoon they revised the forecast. Suddenly today looked decent, with 15-25 knot winds … Read more