|July 2009 - Barkley Sound
The 285 mile long west coast of Vancouver Island receives the full brunt of North Pacific Ocean swells rolling in uninhibited by land for
thousands of miles. Most of the year brings rain, fog, and hurricane force winter storms that are tourist attractions in and of themselves. The
five major sounds along the coast cut deep into the island and its 7000 foot snow capped mountains and are geologically diverse with classic
fjords, rocky headlands, and pristine beaches along the coast. Most of the area is remote and without roads while being rich with First Nation
history and abundant wildlife. Needless to say ... it's a very beautiful place. Barkley Sound is the southern-most of the five major sounds and is
named after Captain Charles Barkley of the English trading ship Imperial Eagle which sailed under the Austrian flag to avoid paying license fees
to the East India Company. Barkley, who was only 26 at the time, traveled with his 17 year old wife Francis who was the first European woman to
visit the coast. The place has much to offer in interesting history.
Mariposa anchored at Port Desire near Bamfield at
the southwest tip of Barkley Sound - Disregarding
the salt water, this had the feel of a high mountain
trout lake with fishing lodges on the shore. This was
our first stop after a very long day traveling 92 miles
from Victory running the engine with no wind.
Typical scenery when hiking through the rain forest.
Ferns are everywhere. This is on Effingham Island
which was our second stop.
A hike to the other side of the island from Effingham
Bay rewards one with this beautiful beach. There is
a large midden close to shore from past villages in
JoAnn peering into the tide pools.
Chris - We spent most of two afternoons exploring and taking in
the scenery on this beach.
Notice the bald eagle perched on the rock to the right. They are literally
everywhere along this coast.
One of two caves on the beach at Effingham. The
greenery hanging from the ceiling is Maiden Hair
Craig, JoAnn, and Chris - Craig (our son) flew over
from Boise to spend a few days with us.
We were fortunate to have good weather for most
of our visit.
Dicebox Island - We often used the dinghy to explore
other smaller islands in the Broken Group Islands of
Barkley. The Broken Group is part of the Pacific
Rim National Park in Canada and includes hundreds
of islands in Barkley Sound.
Kayakers near Nettle Island - There are designated
campsites in the park for those enjoying the area by
paddle. It looks like a lot of fun.
Craig & JoAnn exploring Joe's Bay by dinghy.
The park ranger float house at Nettle Island. They
are usually out in kayaks checking on campers.
Craig out in the dinghy catching pictures of another
spectacular sunset. The clouds and fog also
provided him with good photo opportunities as below.
Bamfield Inlet - We anchored here a couple of times to do laundry and shop for groceries. Bamfield was a terminal for the trans-pacific
telegraph cable to the South Pacific and Australia. The buildings left over are now part of the Western Canadian University Marine
Biology Society as well as being used for "Music by the Sea" concerts which are well attended. The larger than normal number of boats
anchored are due to one of the concerts.
Ucluelet Inlet - This is another town we anchored
in for fuel, water, and shopping. Although it
doesn't receive as much fog as the rest of Barkley
Sound, it gets its share. The guy "walking on
water" below was trying to reach the barge in the
picture by standing on a surf board and using a
paddle. Guess he didn't have a boat.
Sunset over Ucluelet Inlet - The name is derived
from a local tribe, the Yuclutl-ahts which translates
to - "the people with the safe landing place."