Victoria to Campbell River       Saturday June 22 to Friday June 28 2013

Participants: Al, Mike, Tom

• • • Saturday Jun 22 • • •
Tom & I drove to Victoria, went to MEC, had dinner, and launched at Cadboro Bay. We paddled against an ebb and made it to D'Arcy Island as the light was fading. While we were unpacking, a pod of orcas swam past the island.

launching on the sand at Cadboro Bay

June 22 Cadboro Bay to D'Arcy Island

• • • Sunday Jun 23 • • •
There was an ebb against us all morning, through hughes passage, past hamley pt on Sidney Island, and to forrest is. The ebb was very strong at Coal Island so we ducked into the smaller John Passage. Currents were chaotic off Swartz Head but quieted down in Colborne Passage. We made a quick stop at Portland Island and then rode the building flood to James Bay on Prevost Island. The prime site on the point was taken so we set up above the beach in heavy rain.

June 23 D'Arcy Island to James Bay, Prevost Island

• • • Monday Jun 24 • • •
Because of the ebb, we hugged the east shore of Saltspring Island, making use of whatever countercurrents we could find. I had good sailing from Wallace Island to Porlier Pass, then slow sailing to Blackberry Point. There were 5 kayakers at Blackberry so we found an empty site at the south end.

Blackberry Point

June 24 James Bay, Prevost Island to Blackberry Point

• • • Tuesday Jun 25 • • •
We covered the short distance to Gabriola Passage in a light tailwind, and arrived at the turn. I sent Tom through at slack while I waited for the flood to increase to 6 knots. The current was no problem until the exit, when I had to skirt a countercurrent on the north side, and avoid a large boil & rip in front of Breakwater Island. I arrived at the Flat Top Islands at low tide but there was no sign of Tom. He eventually showed up, explaining he had gone the wrong way around Breakwater Island. Mike Jackson arrived early evening, having launched at Boat Harbour.

Blackberry Point

Flat Tops

Flat Tops

June 25 Blackberry Point to Flat Tops

• • • Wednesday Jun 26 • • •
We had an easy launch at high tide, paddled past Entrance Island, across Nanaimo Harbour, and stopped for a break at Neck Point. There was just enough wind for a sailing assist past Southey Island and on the French Creek. We suffered up a steep rocky takeout at the west side of the marina, and had to carry our kayaks to the commercial campsite. So we treated ourselves to dinner in the pub.

Entrance Island

June 26 Flat Tops to French Creek

• • • Thursday Jun 27 • • •
Not wanting to tackle the rocks again, we carried our kayaks to the creek and had a pleasant launch at high tide. This turned out to be the best day of sailing I have ever had. My notes say I did not paddle at all. I remember gybing back and forth in a good wind, while being somewhat protected by the wave height. Chrome Island reported SE wind 22 knots at 10:40 and 24 knots at 1:30. The sailing was marred by Tom's capsize and subsequent jettison of his sail. I noticed I could not see his sail, so Mike and I fought upwind for 400 meters. Fortunately Tom was back in his kayak, but it was non trivial to pump out his cockpit while minimizing the kayaks banging into each other. Having three people helped a lot. Tom was cold & wet (his neoprene hood was hiding in his day hatch - we didn't want to open it) so I watched over him as we carried on to Deep Bay, where we stopped for fish & chips. Fortunately I got to do some more sailing on the way to Sandy Island.

June 27 wind at 10:45 am

Sandy Island

June 27 French Creek to Sandy Island

• • • Friday Jun 28 • • •
Since Tom was without a sail, we encouraged him to detour to Goose Spit for a pickup by Ann. Mike & I carried on against the ebb, taking breaks at Little River Bay and Kitty Coleman. Shortly after we crossed the ebb north / ebb south divider, the ebb that was with us turned into a flood against us. Fortunately we were able to sail the last kilometer to Ken Forde park, where we were picked up. This turned out to be a 49 km day, so we earned our dinner out.

June 28 Sandy Island to Ken Forde beach, Campbell River

Rain, lots of rain.
And two excellent sailing days!


  • Overall wind direction depends on time of year.
  • Gulf Islands currents can be a drag.
  • Travelling in 3 foot waves is much easier with a sail.