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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 3 | Campbell River to Cameleon Harbour

On most of our flotilla trips, we take the “back way”—Yuculta Rapids, Gillard Pass, Dent Rapids, Greene Point Rapids, and Whirlpool Rapids—north from Desolation Sound to the Broughtons. This time, we’re in a hurry, so we’re taking the “highway” route. This route is less protected and less scenic, but shorter…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 2 | Nanaimo to Campbell River

We left the docks at Nanaimo just before 6:00 a.m. for the long cruise north to Campbell River (about 75nm). The forecast for the Strait of Georgia was quite good, so we figured we’d skip our planned stop in Comox and have a long (but hopefully calm) day on the…

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Circumnavigating Vancouver Island Flotilla | Day 1 | Roche Harbor to Nanaimo

We’ve started another flotilla, and will be circumnavigating Vancouver Island over the next four weeks! Our group met on Sunday at Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands and headed for Nanaimo in the morning. The wildfire smoke has been pretty bad for the past few days, but today seemed…

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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 | Days 19-20-21 | Bamfield to Sooke Harbour and Victoria

Bamfield to Sooke Harbour is a long cruise–about 73nm. The forecast was wind light, becoming west 10-20 knots in the afternoon, with some fog. We left Bamfield at first light…about 5:30 a.m. The sky (and thus, the water) turned bright pink as we headed out of Trevor Channel. Amazing!  There…

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