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Old 06-12-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
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West Coast of Vancouver Island

I expect to transit the West Coast of Vancouver Island in late July or early August.* I've never done the coastal route, so would apreciate any tips anyone has to offer.* Anchorages suitable for a 90 foot boat, dangers, not to miss sights, good fishing spots, travel stratigys, weather issues that time of year, availability (or the lack of) VHF weather forecasts, or anything else you think would be good to know.* For the most part, I'll be single handing, so will need to stop after 12 to 14 hours.* I plan to get a guide book, but local knowledge is usualy better. Thanks in advance..................Arctic Traveller
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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West Coast of Vancouver Island

Probably the most useful guidebook for this trip is the Douglass guide that covers the west coast of the island. The thing I like about their guides is that they focus on anchorages with good advice on bottoms, best places to anchor, and they include exerpts from the Sailing Directions in their descriptions of most places. They are more expensive than most of the other guides but worth it.

With regard to local knowledge, I know there are several members of the Grand Banks Owners Forum http://<a href="http://www.grandbank...owners.com</a> who have made this trip. You have to join the forum to participate (it's free) so it might be worth asking your questions there.

-- Edited by Marin on Saturday 12th of June 2010 11:11:10 AM
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:59 PM   #3
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West Coast of Vancouver Island

Arctic, if the weather is nice, there is no place better to cruise.* The first time we went around we didn't see another dude boat until we got to Barkley.* Not the case anymore, but it is still a unique and uncrowded cruising ground.* After 7 times around, here is a short list of must sees.

90 feet is a bit long but God's Pocket on Hurst Island is as nice as its name suggests.* You can catch Halibut below the fish farm just to the south and east of the harbor.

Bull Harbor is a good place to stop prior to crossing Nahwitti Bar.* The holding ground is muck city, and the locals are no longer particularly friendly so don't bother rowing ashore unless you like dirty looks.* If no one is around, the walk over the ocean side is short, and it is a great beach.

Take the warnings about Nahwitti Bar seriously.* Don't cross except at slack high water (or is it slack low water?? I forget, but read the Sailing Instructions and follow them.)* There is a small harbor about 2/3 of way from Bull to Winter that is used by fishing boats in a blow.* Pretty rolly, but you can duck in there if need be. From Bull it is a long day to Winter Harbor.* If you have time to fish, do so wherever the guide boats are working - usually right around the point.* I've never found anything particularly interesting in the rest of Quatsino, but perhaps you will feel differently.*

It blows like stink around Brooks, so keep tuned to the local conditions at Solander Island to guage how hard it is blowing.* Just below Brooks Pennisula where the penninsula ends there is a beach the locals call Jacobson Beach.* You can anchor in well protected water near an old Coast Guard cutter that was wrecked years ago and walk out to the beach.* It is phenomenal.*

If you like sea otters, hang around Checleset Bay.* There are sometimes hundreds of them floating around.*

Kyoquot is nice, and you can pick up a few supplies if need be at a pretty good store there.* The first time we were there an earnest looking young Indian wearing one of the arrows through the head gags solemnly told me to be careful as there were "Indians about".* The inner harbor is tight for 90', but there is room for you there.

Motor around Nootka Island, and if you need supplies, Tahsis is ok.*

If you must, visit Hot Springs Cove.* It's a nice walk to the Hot Springs, but since they starting flying people in to visit it has become a bit of a zoo.*

Tofino is pretty, but you have to keep a careful watch as the number of crab pots is truly astounding.

Plan on spending at least a week if you can in Barkley.* Bamfield is very special on the south side, Ucluelet less interesting but worth visiting on the north.* If you tie up to the dock, stay away from the fishing boats.* They run their gensets continuously to keep the ice frozen and blow massive quantities of soot around.* You can anchor outside of Ucluelet in good holding ground and plenty of room.*

East up Barkely Sound are some of the best and most beautifly anchorages in the world.* Once inside about 5 miles the ocean swell diminishes to next to nothing.*

From Barkely, pretty much the only next stop is Sooke.* Sooke is a great place to run aground, so use the range markers.

Hope that helps...

-- Edited by Delfin on Sunday 13th of June 2010 09:02:12 PM
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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RE: West Coast of Vancouver Island

Delfin,* thanks for the info, I'm looking forward to the trip. I'll have to get out the chart and look up all the places you mention.* Since I'm pretty well single handing the boat, I have to be carefull in choosing anchorages, since if I get to one and it's full or too small for a 90ft boat, it could turn into a really long day (or night too)* Whats the availability of weather information (VHF) along the way?* Sadly, this may be my last trip on this awsome passagemaker as it's due to be put on the market at the end of the season. Thanks again for the info..................Arctic Traveller
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
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West Coast of Vancouver Island

Canadian weather broadcasts are great.* You usually have to find which one is closest to you, but one thing to do right off the bat is to identify the stations they use to describe current conditions.* For example, Solander Island tells how bad it may be rounding Brooks Penninsula, Amphitrite Point the conditions off Barkley Sound, Egg Island what's happening just north of the Island, etc..*

The weather north may not be the weather south, so you have to know the reference points.* It's been two years since we last went around so perhaps something will have changed, but even at 90 feet, I don't think you'll have much problem finding anchorage space.* Dock space in the few places with docks is not going to happen at 90 feet.* My little 55 feet is a stretch sometimes, so we usually anchor out as well.

Hope you have a great time!

-- Edited by Delfin on Tuesday 15th of June 2010 07:09:39 PM
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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RE: West Coast of Vancouver Island

Thanks for the info.* I assume that the broadcasts can be recieved all along the coast?* As for the locations of reporting sites, and names of areas, the Canadian C/G publishes a great map that shows all the locations and names It makes it real easy to know where they are talking about, and they clearly start in the North and work South. We laminated one and keep it in the pilot house, with another copy in the binder I take on deliverys. The binder includes all the info I have accumulated over the yeras including maps of marinas, phone numbers, customs info, marina gate combos, SSB weather fax schedules, insurance info, and tons more, it's quite usefull..............Arctic Traveller
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:24 AM   #7
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RE: West Coast of Vancouver Island

Caadian weather and Coast Guard stations all have great range. There is usually an overlap of a considerable distance as you progress from one station to the next. The Coast Guard uses higher power than we consumers are allowed (I think 250 watts, but don't hold me to that, as Coast Guard Seattle comes in louder in Georgia Strait than Coast Guard Vancouver, so could be we Canadians use something more modest than what Seattle uses). Out on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the same overlapping of coverage is supposed to apply, so in all but the most mountain bound inlets should still have good coverage.
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