On Aug 2nd we left Ucluelet and headed into Barkley Sound where the Broken Group and Deer Group islands are.
We anchored in Joes Bay next to Walsh island. It was protected and calm and we spent the next morning exploring the various shallow channels by dinghy on a zero tide. We saw all sorts of underwater critters that fascinated the girls, including: kelp and red rock crabs, bat stars, leather stars, different types of fish, urchins and sea cucumbers.
August 3rd we headed over to the Deer Group to meet up with Murray, Anouk and a group of their friends who had come out kayaking for the long weekend. We passed through a thin line of fog that enveloped the Broken Group but as soon as we got into Imperial Eagle Channel the visibility was clear. We anchored in a lovely two boat spot between Sandford island and the Ross islets with good views and a beach close by.
We spent the afternoon on the beach and let the girls stretch their legs. It’s a chance for them to expend all the pent up energy after being contained on our boat. We enjoy it because we get to relax!
Murray, Anouk and their friends arrived in their kayaks to camp on the beach we had been at earlier. We invited them onboard later for a drink. Then our friends from Ucluelet Angela and Matt arrived on their sailboat Island Wind and anchored near us. That evening there was 6 of us visiting in our cockpit after the girls were asleep, our largest gathering so far!
We were grateful to finally have some summer weather and we spent the next morning playing in the hot sun at beach. It was close to low tide again and we found lots of sea anemones and sea stars on the beach.
On Aug 4th Murray, Anouk and their friends kayaked to another beach for the night so we sailed close by and anchored in Dodger Channel. We cooked dinner on Arctic Loon and then took the dinghy over to the beach so we could join them for dinner and a beach fire. We all had a great time!
5 Aug / We headed to Bamfield for two nights at anchor and watched the weather closely in preparation for the final leg of the voyage down the Juan De Fuca Strait. This allowed us time to explore the waterfront community of West Bamfield, do a bit of reprovisioning and walk to Brady’s beach for a morning.
7 Aug / We left Bamfield at 0630 to head down the Juan de Fuca Strait with a forecast of light winds increasing to strong westerly late in the day. Juan de Fuca Strait is the 4th and final crux of sailing the west coast of Vancouver Island. If the weather got bad there is nowhere to hide and no safe port until reaching Port Renfrew. At first the wind was non-existent but as we approached the entrance to Port Renfrew a westerly wind quickly kicked up to more than 20kts.
8 Aug / Finally we had a perfect west coast sailing day from Port Renfrew to CFSA in Esquimalt Hbr (53nm) sailing downwind with the spinnaker almost the entire way. This completed our circumnavigation of Vancouver island after 78 days and covering 986 nautical miles.
– Ellery & Chari