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West Coast Vancouver Island | Wrap Up

Few Pacific Northwest boating trips capture the imagination of cruisers like circumnavigating Vancouver Island. It’s ambitious. It’s technical. Cruisers must deal with all the gates of the inside route—the Strait of Georgia, the rapids north of Desolation Sound, and Johnstone Strait—in addition to the more challenging spots on the outside…

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The Strait of Juan de Fuca | West Side of Vancouver Island

We’ve written about many of the weather trouble spots on the west side of Vancouver Island already: Cape Scott, Brooks Peninsula, and Estevan Point. For southbound travelers, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is the final hurdle. The challenges are many: ocean swells at the west entrance, strong currents throughout,…

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Barkley Sound | West Side of Vancouver Island

The most challenging part of cruising on the west side of Vancouver Island is weather. The typical summer weather pattern is calm, cool mornings followed by clearing and warming in the afternoon. Fog is frequent. As temperatures climb, a northwesterly breeze fills in and conditions can get rough. By September,…

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Tofino | West Side of Vancouver Island

Approaching Tofino is a bit overwhelming after weeks in the wilderness. Boats—tour boats, fishing boats, skiffs, seaplanes—zoom this way and that. Shoals dot the waterfront. Current runs to four or five knots. We tried hailing the harbormaster at the public docks to no avail. When we looked at the largest…

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Bottleneck Bay and Bacchante Bay | West Side of Vancouver Island

From Hot Springs Cove we went into Clayoquot Sound. Clayoquot Sound is best known for Tofino, the town at its center, but the inlets, channels, and anchorages are wonderful cruising areas. Our first anchorage was Bottleneck Bay in Sydney Inlet. The bay gets its name from the narrow entrance channel,…

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Estevan Point and Hot Springs Cove | West Side of Vancouver Island

Continuing south from Friendly Cove requires rounding Estevan Point, one of the significant headlands on the west side of Vancouver Island. The forecast for today sounded acceptable—wind light, building to west 15-25 knots in the afternoon and northwest 25-35 knots in the evening. We planned to head for Hot Springs…

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