We left Ucluelet, and visited two anchorages in the brocken group. We can see why the islands are so popular with kayakers. So many beautiful little islands with just a short paddle in between. Unfortunately they are closed to camping this year due to covid-19, I suppose they aren’t isolated enough.

While at Effingham Island we caught up with Magpie. Jeff, Astrid and their two kids had high balled back from Mexico when it became apparent things were going to get nasty. Good call.

Yesterday morning it appeared we were going to get a good weather window to run the 70 miles of the notoriously stormy Juan De Fuca strait to Sooke. The forcast 15 to 20 knots of West wind didn’t materialize, so we ended up motoring the entire way, often in glass calm seas.

Humpback whales were plentiful in the strait, and Chris kept a sharp eye out for spouts, humpbacks are not known for the awareness of their surroundings. We ended up having an extremely close encounter with one that was apparently napping at the surface. It submerge and surface alternating between invisible and just its back above water. While the chance of sharing space with a whale in all this water should seem remote, this one surfaced directly in front of our boat. Chris yelled “whale”, yanked the throttle back to idle, and disengaged the autopilot and I cranked the wheel to port. We didn’t miss it by much! Sorry, no pictures, we were too freaked out to think about anything but putting some distance between us and the whale.

We were surprised to see a sea otter in the Juan De Fuca, just doing what sea otters do: eating. It’s good to see that they’ve made it that far from where they were reintroduced in the Bunsby Islands.

Having a rest and relaxation day at the government dock in Sooke. Perhaps move on to Victoria tomorrow depending on the weather.

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