Well, that was a bit disappointing. On our way to Tofino we stopped at an nice little ancorage called Matilda Inlet. Well protected with the promise of an ice cream at the general store a dinghy ride away. We were nicely settled in when along came a yellow speed boat with two young aboriginal men. They were very apologetic, but the hereditary chief had declared most of Clayoquot Sound to be their territory, and visitors were not welcome. Tofino was the only place we could anchor.
That’s fine, we wanted to go to Tofino, so we left with thoughts of fresh vegetables, cafés and shopping.
Never before have we gone somewhere with not a single slip available, but that was the case it Tofino. Anchoring was out of the question since the passes flow like rivers, so we moved on upstream for an hour and a half to Windy Bay, with the AIS off.
The next morning we had somewhat of a weather window to head the Ucluelet. Not great, and we would have stayed put if there was somewhere decent to stay, but we were ready for some civilization.
This could very well be the most stressful day boating we’ve ever had. The sea was very rough, but after a couple of hours you get used to the motion. We were motoring with no sails up at about 6.5 knots, but the fastest surf I saw was 8.6 knots. The fog made seeing the crab traps challenging, and there were a lot of crab traps. Wrapping a rope around our prop in these conditions would have been nasty!
Shortly after leaving Tofino, I start tracking a radar target coming up from behind. Chris starts scanning astern with air horn in hand, and a small power boat eventually appears out of the fog, head straight for us. Chris lets out 5 short blasts… nothing. Now one very long blast. Finally the morron sees us and in panic throttles back. WTF is someone like that doing out here, this is serious shit.
We were very happy to turn to corner and follow a fish boat into Ucluelet.
What a great little place. We’ve had had two days of glorious civilization. Shopping, coffee, restaurants. Isolation is definitely over rated. Thanks to Kevin in the small boat harbor for his hospitality.
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