Rhythm's Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island

By john

In August we went on an 850nm shakedown cruise around Vancouver Island. The crew learned alot and Rhythm performed admirably. We saw Orca and Humpback whales, and dined on fresh salmon and lingcod. We anchored using stern ties for the first time, and navigated our first tidal rapids. We enjoyed hot, sunny weather, and sailed in torrential downpours.

Here's the day-by-day breakdown where we went:

Day 1

7/30: 47nm, Bellingham to Prevost Island

We left Bellingham early bound for Nanaimo. Wind and chop made The Stait of Georgia pretty unpleasant, so we diverted to Bedwell Harbour to check in, then on to anchor for the night in Selby Cove on Prevost Island.

Day 2

7/31: 68nm, Prevost Island to Hornby Island

Another early start to ride the flood tide up to Hornby Island.

Day 3

8/1: 36nm, Hornby Island to The Copeland Islands

We pulled into Lund to top off the tank after 2 big days of motoring, then on to the Copeland Islands to anchor for the night with our first ever stern tie.

Day 4

8/2: 24nm, Copeland Islands to Von Donop Inlet

We took advantage of a SE wind to sail up the Lewis Channel, then turned South to head for Von Donop Inlet.

Day 5

8/3: 0nm, Hike to Squirrel Cove for fresh vegetables

We hiked over to Squirrel Cove to top off the fresh food supplies, and spent some time checking out the inlet by dinghy and paddle board.

Day 6

8/4: 20nm, Von Donop Inlet to The Octopus Islands

Navigated our first ever tidal rapids at Hole In The Wall, then anchored in the Octopus Islands on a hot sunny day.

Day 7

8/5: 0nm, Hike to Small Inlet and Granite Bay

We spent the day checking out Quadra Island on foot.

Day 8

8/6: 70nm, Octopus Islands to Blackfish Sound

We took advantage of the ebb tide and a SE wind to cover alot of ground. We stopped for lunch and a nap at boat bay, and still managed to cover 70nm on our way to Spout Bay in Blackfish sound. Orca and Humpback everywhere.

Day 9

8/7: 13nm, Spout Bay to Waddington Bay

Started the day by catching a lingcod. Then made a warm, calm and glassy run up to Waddington Bay in the Broughton Islands. Finished the day with a paddle and some fresh fish on the grill.

Day 10

8/8: 37nm, Waddington Bay to Port Hardy

Left Waddington Bay for Port Hardy. Too much fog in Queen Charlotte Strait, so anchored for few hours in Sunday Harbour to wait it out. The fog lifted early afternoon and we made the evening run to Port Hardy. Hit a huge log on the way, but Rhythm came away from the encounter with nothing more than some scuffed bottom paint.

Day 11

8/9: 0nm, groceries and laundry

Spent the day topping off food, water, and fuel in Port Hardy.

Day 12

8/10: 24nm, Port Hardy to Bull Harbour

Plowed into the wind to get to Bull Harbour. Went for a little walk out to the beach on the North side of the island.

Day 13

8/11: 37nm, Bull Harbour to Sea Otter Cove

Crossed the Nahwitti Bar, and rounded Cape Scott in foggy, but otherwise great sailing conditions. Anchored in Sea Otter Cove in half a gale. Watched black bears on the beach and then went for a little walk.

Day 14

8/12: 3nm, hike to Lowrie Bay, move to San Josef Bay

Hiked to Lowrie Bay in hope of finding surf. None found. Decided Sea Otter Cove was a terrible anchorage in a North wind, so moved around the corner to San Josef Bay. A little more swell in San Josef Bay, but almost no wind.

Day 15

8/13: 0nm, hike to Eric lake and check out San Josef Bay

San Josef Bay and the trails in Cape Scott Provincial Park are amazing.

Day 16

8/14: 30nm, San Josef Bay to Winter Harbour and Browning Inlet

Pulled in to Winter Harbour to top off the tanks, the fridge, and the liquor cabinet. Anchored for the night in Browning inlet.

Day 17

8/15: 46nm, Browning Inlet, Brooks Peninsula, Bunsby Islands

Rounded the Brooks Peninsula in great sailing conditions. Caught the biggest salmon of the trip while trolling under sail just outside the Bunsby Islands. Anchored for the night in the Bunsby's where we met some new friends and traded some salmon for some lingcod, and went for a paddle.

Day 18

8/16: 35nm, Bunsby Island to Queen's Cove

Moved down to Esperanza Inlet in a building NW wind and swell. Pulled into Gillam Channel heavily reefed in 30+ knots of wind. Anchored for the night in Queen's Cove.

Day 19

8/17: 0nm, hike and paddle

Weather was warm, sunny and calm, so we stayed a rest day in Queen's Cove.

Day 20

8/18: 37nm, Queen's Cove to Zeballos, then Bodega Cove

Went up to Zeballos in search of some fresh food and slip for the night. Finding neither, we pressed on around Nootka Island, riding the evening outflow winds down Tahsis Inlet to anchor in Bodega Cove just before dark.

Day 21

8/19: 37nm Bodega Cove to Hesquiat Harbour

Sailed down to Hesquiat Harbour and anchored behind Anton's Spit.

Day 22

8/20: 0nm, beach hike and surf check

Hiked out around the point looking for surf. Found none, but did get in a short kite session that evening in Hesquiat Harbour.

Day 23

8/21: 4nm, hide from the NW wind in Rae Basin

Mike an Jake arrived by float plane late morning with lots of fresh food and drink. The wind was building so we moved to Rae Basin. Turns out Rae Basin is great place to get out of a NW wind, and there's a nice sandy beach to launch a kite kite from just a short dinghy ride away. Pulled a great afternoon kite session.

Day 24

8/22: 15nm, Rae Basin to Hot Springs Cove

Walked up to Hesquiat Lake, then sailed down to Hot Springs Cove. Had a nice evening soak in the hot springs.

Day 25

8/23: 21nm, Hot Springs Cove to Matilda Inlet

Moved down to Flores Island and anchored in Matilda Inlet.

Day 26

8/24: 0nm, hike to Cow Bay

Hiked the trail to Cow Bay in search of surf. Found none.

Day 27

8/25: 10nm, Matilda Inlet to Blunden Island

Moved to Blunden Island, then we all piled in the Dinghy to head over to surf on Vargas Island.

Day 28

8/26: 12nm, Blunden Island to Tofino

Moved down to Tofino for some fresh food, top off the tanks, shower, dine, and everything else that comes along with a dock spot.

Day 29

8/27: 37nm, Tofino to Joe's Bay in The Broken Group

Said good bye to Jake, then headed for Effingham Island in the Broken Group. Effingham was getting lumpy in a building NW wind, so went a little further up to Joe's Bay.

Day 30

8/28: 4nm, Joe's Bay to Effingham Island

Moved down to Effingham Island so we could be a little closer to waters open to fishing.

Day 31

8/29: 23nm, Effingham to Ucluelet and back

Went in to Ucluelet to pick up Mike's family for a night in the Broken Group.

Day 32

8/30: 23nm, Effingham to Ucluelet to Joe's Bay

Dropped off Mike and family in Ucluelet, the back out to Joe's Bay to wait out the wet and windy weather.

Day 33

8/31: 0nm, waiting out bad weather in Joe's Bay

We had planned to head for home today, but the weather wasn't having it. Stayed put.

Day 34

9/1: 46nm, Joe's Bay to Thrasher Cove

According to the forecast, today was the best weather we could hope for in the foreseeable future. Made a rough and wet motor sailing push for Thrasher Cove.

Day 35

9/2: 57nm, Thrasher Cove to Oak Bay

We hoped to spend the night in Victoria, but a festival had every slip in town booked. Ended up pushing to Oak Bay and anchoring in the dark just outside the marina.

Day 36

9/3: 46nm, Oak Bay to Roche Harbor then Blaine

cleared customs in Roche Harbor, then pushed on to Rhythm's new temporary home in Blaine.