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Old 21-12-2012, 09:44   #1
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Vancouver Island; Inside or Outside?

If all goes according to plan we will be making landfall on the North end of Vancouver Is. sometime next summer and heading south from there. This is kind of a delivery/cruise as we are headed for SoCal and on a bit of a time constraint so we won't be able to devote the time this area deserves. So, given that, my question is, would you sail the West coast or the East coast?
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Old 21-12-2012, 09:57   #2
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

I would do the west coast. The inside takes time, alot of places to see, high current places to time properly, motoring etc. The outside has fewer stops but they are great for sure. Barkeley Sound is a must.
You might as well just head for Sea Otter Cove rather than all the way to Bull harbor on the north end. Not much North of Sea Otter as far as anchorages go... The conditions on this video are pretty much the same as when I entered Sea Otter; you are sailing blind into a lee shore, then take a sharp turn to port into the cove. If you watch... skip to about 3:30 minutes for the entry part...
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Old 21-12-2012, 10:23   #3
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

If times the issue, go outside. That being said, there is a lot of fog especially in August that tends to dissipate in the afternoon. You still want to make passages early in the day because the prevailing wind, northwesterly, picks up in the afternoon to gale force off of the western most points. It's a pretty wild coastline, onshore winds and sometimes large swells and lots of rocks but a beauty all it's own.

A definate stop would be Hot Springs Cove. A several kilometer board walk through old growth brings you to a natural hot springs. It's great during the day but some cruisers like to bring small candles to set in the rocks at night. You'll notice the creative boat name carving on the planks as you go. Grey whales are common in the area and can be seen rolling in the shallows to stir up food. To me this is a special area but to be prepared study some of the West Coast guides.

Barry
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Old 21-12-2012, 10:28   #4
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

I guess yo didnt say how long you will have, if limited to 2-3 weeks I would head for the southern half right off.
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Old 21-12-2012, 10:34   #5
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

hmmm. hard to really know what you're up for time wise, but if you head for NorthEnd, the inside is smoother water and easy. It'd be a break if you show up in SE weather... yes, the likely chance of motoring and a bit of tidebook reading needed aside. But it's longer too and you'll have to work your way out Juan de Fuca at the end...which is likely beating at the time. It can take time, alright.
I might say just head for Barkley Sound /Clayquot instead of North Isle if you want to stay loose. 10 days, couple of weeks like... You can pop down Juan de Fuca and back out if you want to use time up or GET stuff in Washington State or Victoria...You'll see Rocks,Trees Mountains either way which pretty much sums it up hereabouts.
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Old 21-12-2012, 13:34   #6
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

Thanks for the recommendations. We won't know how much time we will have until we get there, but likely less than 4 weeks. I like the ideea of lingering someplace nice like Barkley Sound, rather than trying to see everything. Like Happy Seagull says; rocks, trees, mountains.

Cheechako, thanks for the video. One thing though, I have a friend in Victoria who assures me that the sun is always shining and that the weather is always warm up there. I couln't help notice that in the video it looks a bit overcast and cold. Next you'll have me believe there are mosquitos!
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Old 21-12-2012, 14:21   #7
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

Ha! Yeah, running into Sea Otter Cove is a scary one the first time, realistically shoot for anywhere south of Brooks Penninsula and you'll have better weather and plenty of places to roam. In Barkely, be sure to go all the way up Pipestem inlet and anchor at the falls at the end. Do this early as there's limited space to anchor.
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Old 21-12-2012, 14:55   #8
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

4 weeks? I'd take the inside, myself. That's loads of time.
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Old 21-12-2012, 15:04   #9
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

No mosquitos. But no sunshine either.
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Old 21-12-2012, 17:05   #10
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

I'd vote for the outside... no worries about tides/currents, less travelled area, few, if any bugs compared to the inside. One spot to check out is Friendly Cove near the entrance to Nootka Sound... think it is still called Yuquot. This was the spot that Capt Cook landed on his epic trip around the north Pacific that ended with him being the filling in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), as I recall. After the stop there, you can cruise down to Hot Springs Cove, Tofino, Ucluyet (Fuel and marine chandlery) then on to Barcklay Sound. Been a while since I've been there but recall you need to give Brooks Peninsula a bit of sea room on your rounding. Enjoy your passage... Phil
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:22   #11
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

Another vote for outside here. A little less busy, no significant tide/current gates to worry about, some fine destinations to visit.

I guess if you are just coming off passage and hankering for bright lights and big city amenities, the cosmopolitan wonders of Port Hardy might make an inside run more appealing, but I wouldn't trade the succulent delicacies of the Overwaitea for a few days luxuriating in Hot Springs Cove.
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Old 21-12-2012, 18:24   #12
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

We have always loved the Outside of the Island !! We like to go around counter clock wise !! But the outside is much more laid back, fewer boats and plenty of warning of bad weather coming ! great fishing, claming and oysters Ahhh ya gotta love it !!
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Old 21-12-2012, 21:14   #13
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

I assume from Borneo you will eventually be making a great circle passage via Japan.

Another consideration for a very interesting, pristine and efficient stop would be South Moresby, Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai).
It really is quite magic!



Venture to Haida Gwaii - YouTube

Landfall via Eastbound passage thru Skidgate Channel to clear in is a bit tricky but easy with your shallow draft.
Have gone thru many times in the past but a few years ago, so you need to confirm present conditions with others
Skidegate Channel: entrance to West Coast of Queen Charlottes | Voyages North
East Narrows, Skidegate Channel, British Columbia

I remember seeing Canada Customs officers at Sandspit, but again a few years ago.
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Old 21-12-2012, 21:24   #14
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

Another vote for the outside! I've been up the inside enough times to know one has to fight currents and NWers. The big fast powerboaters are a PITA also.

The fishing, logging and barge companies will be out there too.
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:37   #15
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Re: Vancouver Island; inside or outside?

Definitively the outside. I find the inside of Vancouver Island dark and muddy, with too many pieces of rotting wood in it.
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