September 1, 2003

Vancouver Island Circumnavigation

From June 28 to August 11, 2003, we took the boat on a counterclockwise circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

We went north up the Strait of Georgia with stops in Snug Cove on Bowen Island, Pender Harbour, and Lund. We then went quickly through Desolation Sound, stopping only in Shoal Bay due to the necessity of properly timing the tidal passes. From there, it was a 50 mile day to Telegraph Cove, where we overnighted before moving on the next day to Port Hardy, with a brief stop in Port MacNeill to refuel. We spent a single night in Port Hardy to provision and do laundry, before negotiating Goletas Channel at the north end of Vancouver Island to get to Bull Harbour. We'd achieved our goal of making it to the northern tip of Vancouver Island in the first week. We wanted to spend the better part of our 6 weeks on the west coast of the island.

Gallery of Sights

We spent two nights in Bull Harbour waiting for favourable weather to cross Nahwitti Bar and round Cape Scott. The passage around Cape Scott was our first in real ocean swell. We stopped for one night at Sea Otter Cove, before moving on to Winter Harbour in Quatsino Sound. Once in Quatsino, we spent nights at both Pamphlet Cove and Julian Cove, with a brief stop in Rumble Beach in between to provision. From Julian Cove, we left to round Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook at the next favourable weather window.

Gallery of People

Once past Brooks, we spent two nights at Columbia Cove, then moved on to the Bunsby Islands. There we were on anchor watch for two nights weathering a 40 knot gale. It was with much relief that we left the Bunsbys for Walters Cove, where we were disappointed to find Miss Charlie's restaurant closed and so, after reprovisioning, moved on to Dixie Cove in Kyuquot Sound, where we spent two nights.

Gallery of Flora & Fauna

From Dixie Cove, we left Kyuquot Sound through Clear Passage for Esperanza Inlet, where we headed straight for Zeballos for a much needed laundry stop - our first since Port Hardy! From there, it was through Hecate Channel for a night in Bodega Bay, followed by two nights in Critter Cove in Nootka Sound.

Nootka Sound was followed by the passage around Estevan Point, after which we stopped for 3 nights in Hot Springs Cove and hooked up with several neighbours from Vancouver. A night in Bottleneck Cove was followed by a stop in Matilda Inlet, before we moved on to Tofino for another laundry and provisioning stop.

Gallery of Boats

From Tofino, we made the passage to Effingham Island in the Broken Islands Group of Barkley Sound, where we spent two nights. We then met up with S/V Volantis in Useless Inlet, where the water was 22 degrees Celsius and the swimming excellent! We had an anchorage to ourselves in the Pinkerton Islands the next night, before we went back to Effingham prior to our departure for the 95 mile trip to Victoria.

We spent 4 nights in Victoria socializing with friends who came over from the mainland, did the usual provisioning and laundry, and enjoyed the Symphony Splash concert. From Victoria, we visited Sidney Spit, Bedwell Harbour on South Pender Island, and Montague Harbour at Galiano Island, before crossing Georgia Strait on the last passage home.

Over the entire trip, the only places we hooked up to AC power were Snug Cove, Pender Harbour, Zeballos and Victoria.

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