Wednesday, September 13, 2006

South to Sooke & on to Victoria

We departed Bamfield in the dark at 0500. We were accompanied by numerous fishermen all seeking the biggest catch for the day! It's a long trip to Sooke and the sea swells are 8' with small waves and little wind. The crew is a little worse for wear!

As we turned to head into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we were surprised buy a big humpack whale that surfaced about 50' off our starboard bow and then breached right beside us! It was awesome!

The much anticipated wind in Juan de Fuca never accumulated, in fact we had to motor almost the whole way on the glass calm water, huh!

We arrived in Sooke around 1930 and tied to the government dock for the night - cheapest moorage of the whole trip! Did a little blackberry picking and made some blackberry syrup for pancakes in the morning - yum!

We thought we'd wait for the fog to clear before departing, but that never happened so we left anyway. It was tough enough staying on the range coming into sooke, it was even harder when we couldn't see anything for the fog - thank goodness for the chart plotter! The fog off Sooke was unbelievable! less than 1/8 th mile visibility - yay for radar once again! The fog finally broke just after we passed Race Rocks and we enjoyed the sun and clear skies as we entered Victoria.

We thought we would have a tough time finding moorage in Victoria, but such was not the case, there was, in fact, plenty and we were fortunate to tie to the government dock right in front of the Empress! What a fun place to be! Lots of people and lots of activity. Here's a picture of Jay BBQing dinner on the back deck.

Barkley Sound

Sunset at Joes Bay, Broken Group, Barkley Sound
Jocelyn, Marg & Jenny at Bamfield

Jenny & Jocelyn swimming in the waterfall Jay watches as the girls hike up the falls

The South West Coast

We moved on to Tofino after Hot Springs Cove. We made the entire trip in thick fog. As we entered the harbour, we couldn't even see the huge coast guard boat anchored 1/8th of a mile away - good thing for radar again! The entrance is kind of tricky, you really need to mind the markers and if that's not challenge enough, it seems that every fisherman has a couple dozen crab traps down making things even more interesting!

The docks were all full, so, after much deliberation we decided to raft next to a similarly sized sailboat tied to the government dock. The crew of Genesis (from Calgary) proved to be great neighbours.

We spent three nights at Tofino catching up on school work, banking, email, groceries and of course....laundry ugh!

The hustle and bustle of Tofino proved to be a welcomed change to the solitude of the North Island anchorages. Of course, all us girls loved the shopping! Finally some shops to buy gifts!
We had some great fish & chips and an excellent coffee - all at a premium price mind you!

After paying our $2 to pressurize the hoses on the dock, we filled up our water tanks then departed the next day for Uclulet. We thought the entrance to Tofino was interesting, Uclulet is even more so. We consulted the sailing directions so we could dance around the many rocks and reefs surrounding the entry.

There was no room in the boat basin at Uclulet, so we tied to the 52 step dock which was quite quiet. 52 steps up and about a mile walk through town allowed us to see all we wanted to see, so we departed the next morning for Lucky Creek.

We arrived at Lucky Creek a little before high tide, which is the optimal time to take the dinghy up. Jenny and Diesel kept a sharp lookout for logs, as the waterway is very shallow in spots. We tied the dinghy to a big rock at the bottom of the creek and climbed up to a beautiful fairytail like waterfall, with crystal clear water!

We were a little worried about Diesel swimming in the rushing water, so Marg and Diesel hung out at the base while Jay, Jocelyn & Jenny hiked to the upper falls and enjoyed a nice cool (non-salty) swim! We were lucky to have Lucky Creek all to ourselves we would say it's a must stop for anyone visiting Barkley sound.