MV Dirona


Up the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

Mosquito Harbour to Matilda Inlet, Flores Island, Clayoquot Sound

Day 7: Matilda Inlet, Flores Island, Clayoquot Sound
The next morning the water was packed with moon jellyfish, literally thousands and thousands.  It was also quite foggy, so we waited until mid-morning to leave so we could see the mountains better.
It turned into a fabulous, clear day.  We followed the eastern shore of Meares Island north through Fortune Channel.  This is the view looking down Warn Bay opposite the northeast corner of Meares Island.  We continued west along the north shore of Meares Island.
As it was so clear, we went down Bedwell Sound for the mountain views.  They were very impressive.  Snow-clad mountains jutted straight into the sky, well above the tree line.  From the head, we could see the the peaks of the southern  boundary of Strathcona Park.  It was surprising to see that park from here - it's such an "east coast of the island" entity to us.
We tucked into Quaite Bay at the eastern corner of Cypress Bay, just west of Bedwell Inlet.  The entrance is tight, but easily managed.  Inside is a large sportsfishing resort, but it was fairly tasteful.  There was nobody anchored inside though.  We settled in for lunch and planned to stay the night.
We became restless however and weighed anchor.  Following Calmus Passage along the north shore of Vargus Island, we turned north into Millar Channel and down into Matilda Inlet.  We picked up a load of diesel in Ahousat, then continued south to anchor near the head.  There were several sailboats already on the hook.  This was the first time we'd shared an anchorage on the trip.  Had we not wanted to visit Gibson Marine Park, we would have probably gone elsewhere.
Gibson Marine Park extends from the head of Matilda Inlet to the exposed southern coast of Flores Island.  A trail leads from one side to the other.  There are hotsprings at the trailhead, but they are not particularly hot at 77F.  A concrete basin has been built to contain the springs, which also marks the trailhead.
The trail is about 1/2 mile long.  We had to really hoof it because it was nearing sunset and we did not want to be coming back in the dark. The trail is well-maintained, well-marked and well-trod, but quite muddy in parts.  Good rubber boots are essential. It is well-worth the trip however -- the beach at the other side is wonderful, with talcum-soft sand.
We brought a picnic dinner and ate sitting on a rock outcropping facing out towards the Pacific as the sun set.




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Copyright 2012 Jennifer and James Hamilton