Cape Scott

You may have heard of the Baja Bash. That’s where people who’ve sailed down the Baja coast for the winter, turn around and bash their way back north into the prevailing winds and swell.

We’ve now discovered the BC bash. From Campbell River all the way to the northern end of Vancouver Island, the trip has been against the North West wind, and during much of the time a short steep chop/swell.

We thought once we reached Bull Harbour that would all change as we rode the northwest wind down the west coast. Not so.

The north end of Vancouver Island is astonishingly beautiful, a wild and secluded wilderness. The ocean was calm, with a slow swell that just rolled under the boat nicely. We saw our first sea otter as we crossed the Nahwitti Bar, then dodged humpback whales all the way to Cape Scott. It’s interesting that the swells breaking on shore a mile from the boat feel different from the ocean side rather than land. They take on a slightly more sinister feel.

Just before Cape Scott, a south wind kicked up, and we were able to sail. Close hauled, but we were finaly sailing, and fast. Unfortunately the wind only lasted for a couple of hours, then died again. It came up briefly a couple more times, and we tried to sail, but it was coming from where we were heading, and we had a long way to go. We had been sailing in beautiful sunshine, but about halfway down the coast the fog rolled in, but only stuck around for an hour or so. Now, all those south, southeast winds had interacted with the low west northwest ocean swell and turned the sea to slop. It was like someone had taken an egg beater to the Pacific Ocean, and this is where the bashing started again. The last 3 hours were excruciating!

It took us 9-1/2 hours to go from Bull Harbour to Kyuquot Sound, and a calm anchorage has never feld so good.

There’s lots to explore in Kyuquot Sound, and southeast winds are forcast for at least the next 5 days. We plan to stay here until the usual northwest winds kick back in so we can sail in a more gentlemanly fashion.

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