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Sea Otter Cove, BC

Sea Otter Cove is the best anchorage between Cape Scott and Quatsino Sound. Enter north of the Helen Islands or west of the Helen Islands. Ocean swells can crash dramatically on either side of the entrance channels and a big swell can make the western entrance dicey. Kelp sometimes chokes both entrances.

Inside, depths are shallow and deep draft boats should use caution. Just north of the Helen Islands we’ve recorded depths as shallow as 3 feet at 0 tide.

In 2019, four large mooring buoys were available, but they’re larger and rustier than most cruisers are used to. We prefer anchoring. Holding is good in 10-25 feet. Be sure you won’t swing onto a rock or shoal. Swell can run into the anchorage, although it is much diminished compared to outside.

Despite the challenges, this is one of our favorite anchorages on the coast. It’s strategically located, beautiful, and a wonderful welcome to the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Lat/Lon: {50.67884316034836,-128.35031290693985}


Anchorage/Holding: Good
Mooring Ball: Yes
Dock: No
Protection: Good
Public/Private: Public
Fee: No
Fuel Available: No
Potable Water: No
Electric: None
Garbage: No
Pumpout: No
Maintenance: No
Groceries: No
Laundry: No
Liquor: No
Transportation: No
Cell Service: None
WiFI: No

Slowboat Tips and Activities

Walk the beaches explore by dinghy or kayak.

Entry/Exit Hazards

Kelp can choke both entrances, but the southern entrance is particularly susceptible. Don’t let the swell force you onto the rocks. Swell can make entering from the west nerve-racking. Charted depths might be slightly deeper than reality.

Photo Gallery



Last update of this page: Sep 8, 2019

Last in-person visit by Slowboat team: August 28, 2018

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