Day 18 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove

Overnight the wind dropped and the swell (Friendly Cove gets some swell) died off. The 4:40 a.m. light station reports sounded promising (single digit winds, one foot chop or rippled), so at about 7:00 a.m. we got underway for the four hour trip from Nootka Sound to Clayoquot Sound.

The morning light was particularly pretty:

Leaving Friendly Cove
Low clouds and fog, Nootka Sound
Fog, Nootka Sound
The sun coming up from behind the mountains, Nootka Sound

Sea conditions were perfect: a gentle swell, no wind waves, little current. As we neared Estevan Point, we motored into the fog. Peaceful hours like these on the open ocean are the reward for patience and careful weather planning.

Glassy and calm (and a little foggy) at Estevan Point
Fog starts to clear as we approach/enter Hot Springs Cove

Inside Hot Springs Cove it was sunny, but we could see the fog bank sitting offshore all afternoon. We had a relaxing afternoon exploring by dinghy, catching up on internet tasks (not that relaxing, but necessary), and watching the float planes and tour boats come and go. After a few weeks being disconnected in the wilderness or sleepy villages, it’s a little shocking to suddenly be around so much activity!

We dinghied across to the First Nations village on the other side of the cove and walked around a little. We’d heard there was a little store there but if so, we never found it.

Dog Star at anchor in the cove

Flotilla at anchor in Hot Springs Bay

We had an early happy hour on Impulse then headed to the hot springs as the last of the tour boats was leaving.

Walking to the hot springs trailhead
Hot Springs Cove public dock

The boardwalk trail leads 1.2 miles through enchanting rainforest:

Old growth forest on the trail to the hot springs
Most of the boardwalk trail to the hot springs is in great shape!
Foggy shoreline from the trail
More old growth forest on the trail
Cute tiny moss/fern-like things that look like little trees

We enjoyed the hot springs until dusk, then returned along the trail before it got too dark.

Hot springs at Hot Springs Cove

The weather looks great again tomorrow, so we’re heading for Ucluelet!