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Yacht club heading north to Broughton

Yacht club members get underway. - Photo submitted
Yacht club members get underway.
— image credit: Photo submitted

This summer, the Comox Valley Yacht Club is again planning a trip to the Broughton Archipelago at the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

This is an exciting cruise for members as they take their boats through some of the most challenging waters and see some of the most dramatic scenery on this coast. And along the way are orcas, sea lions and dolphins to add to the excitement.

Leaving Comox harbour, the yacht club members will cross the Strait of Georgia and head north through Desolation Sound.

The grandeur of this area can take your breath away the first time you see it, with steep mountains dropping into deep waters.  Everyone will rendezvous at Squirrel Cove at Cortes Island for the night. From there the trip just gets more exhilarating as the boats position themselves to pass through Surge Narrows at slack tide. Tide tables are a must!

The reward is anchoring at the Octopus Islands Marine Park where the mariners socialize over appetizers and dinner, often made from the bounty of the sea. A good night’s rest at anchor is needed as the next day can be long.

The next leg is timed for slack at a series of rapids — Upper and Lower Okisollo Rapids, then nose out onto Johnstone Strait before ducking into the ‘back way’ again through Nodales, Cordero, Chancellor, Wellbore and Sunderland channels. Green Point and Whirlpool are the last rapids before heading toward Johnstone Strait again.

At this point everyone usually heaves a sigh of relief. However, the weather must be checked to decide if the flotilla waits out the later-day strait winds or continues.

There are anchorages back in Sunderland Channel. If the winds are fair, it can be a lovely 24-kilometre (12-nautical mile) run up to Port Harvey at the first entrance into the Broughtons.

If the winds turn, it can be a long hard go of it, looking at the bottoms of boats in front of you. But this is where you have a chance to see the orcas feeding along the shorelines.

Once in the Broughtons, it’s a whole different world of cloud-shrouded mountains, calm waters, floating islands and history that takes your breath away. But that is a whole other article that you can read on the yacht club website at www.comoxvalleyyachtclub.com.

For membership information in the Comox Valley Yacht Club, call Sue at 250-898-8333 or Bonnie at 250-941-8432.

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