MV Dirona


Up the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

Sea Otter Cove, Cape Scott to Port Hardy, Inside Passage

Day 18: Port Hardy, Inside Passage
It really blew during the night, but conditions seemed to have settled down.  At 0650 it was blowing an estimated SE 10 at Cape Scott.  As another low pressure system was slowly moving in, this seemed like a reasonable, although not great window, so we decided to make a run for it around the top.  That is Cape Scott in the distance.  Conditions were pretty good, with a 6-9-foot swell.  But were were running with it for once, so not bad at all.  Climbing up the swell, our speed dropped to 14.4 knots and then jumped to 17.8 knots as we surfed down the other side
We arrived at Cape Scott exactly at slack, and conditions were very smooth through Scott Channel.  It was so overcast that we could not see the Scott Islands at all, and could barely see the Cape Scott lighthouse up on its hill.

Rounding Cape Scott put us into Cook Bank, extensive shallows off the north end of the island.  The wind was blowing strongly from the SE now against a flood tide of 4.5 knots at Nahwitti Bar at the entrance to Goletas Channel.  Conditions were difficult -- really steep, tight 3-5' chop with sets of 5-6'.  Approaching the bar, we could see a big line of breakers.  We took the inside route described in the Waggoner, which was very calm.

And we were around.  But we still had some slogging to do down Goletas Channel.  Our plan from the start of the trip was to finish up in Port Hardy with a celebratory beer at I.V.'s Pub.
Not far along, we saw the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Gordon Reid at anchor in Shushartie Bay.  We joked that if they were hiding from the weather, maybe we should too.  But we needed a break, so we pulled in and dropped the hook for breakfast.  They kept a close eye on us as we came in.
We then continued to Port Hardy and I.V.'s pub, where we celebrated our conquering of Vancouver Island's west coast.




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Copyright 2012 Jennifer and James Hamilton