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post #11 of 20 Old 08-03-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

I've done the trip twice, both early in the year so can't comment on frequency of fog in Sept. I see you've put the trip off for a bit, I would recommend earlier in the year for the longer days and less fog. The only difficulty is the long distance between Sooke and Bamfield, we try to time it to take advantage of a long ebb starting early in the AM, and hope for light winds in the afternoon. We motor at 6.25 knots and I think it took about 12 hours (I don't like Pt. Renfrew, anchored there on one return trip to cut the trip in half but pulled the hook an hour later because of swell, exposure and continued to anchor at Sooke just inside the light). This is one of the great trips of the PNW IMHO, and everyone should do it at least once, a bit challenging but well worth the effort.

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post #12 of 20 Old 08-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

I've read that I can clear customs at Ucluelet or Tofino if I wanted to cross from Neah Bay, has that changed? The link that I shared above recommended that approach and was updated in the last year.

We don't have radar. Delaying until next summer does give me time to prep that boat with radar and work on my high wind sail inventory. I knew fog was a serious problem in August, but didn't know how bad it would be later in the year. The boat that we go on could change between now and then, a friend who is interested in this trip is looking at boats one size increment larger than my own and may end up with something a bit better setup for this trip (including radar).

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post #13 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

I berth in Port Angeles right now and am prepping for a West Coast Island trip next year. I appreciate all the good advice on here about the trip.

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post #14 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

We clear customs at Oak Bay (just east of Victoria) because it's convenient for us from the San Juans and that allows us to stop wherever in case of bad weather. The customs dock at Bamfield where we used to clear is closed but Ucluelet isn't much further west and would be the best if crossing from Neah. Radar is a requirement as far as I'm concerned on the west coast of Van. Is. You can get fog or heavy rain any month of the year and it's not a forgiving area like inside.

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post #15 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

John

I know there is a dock that says Customs, but I do not believe that Ucluelet is a port entry. Here are the BC CBSA offices:

Directory of CBSA Offices

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post #16 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

The NEXUS pass doesn't help either. American boats still have to go to one of their ports of entry. The NEXUS pass DOES sometimes allow american boats to clear back into america by phone. Not much help for your trip, because if you're headed for Neah Bay and they say, on the phone call, "you need to proceed to Port Angeles without stopping" you're going to be in for a crappy trip.

I'd have to agree about radar being pretty much a requirement. Basic ones are cheap nowadays.

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post #17 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

Its been a while since I have been out there.
Hot Springs Cove is worth it. I went in the spring,
September the Jaun De Fuca and the west coast are still prone to fog.
Boat was a 42 Maple Leaf we sailed to Bambfield from Vic was about a day and a half. to windward. Not much there there was a gov dock and pub.
Ucculet is a nice stop, for Food at Co Op, water and Beer. Marina Dock.
A full day from there up to the Hot Springs Cove.
Did Neah Bay to Roche Harbor in June after coming up from Portland.
There's not much in the way of options after Sook, Port Renfrew looks very exposed but there is a gov dock.
Contemplating going out there again soon may be end of august begining of september Fishing is good by August.
more likely I will head up the inside.
Just puttering about in the San Juans just now its quite nice but rather pricy if you stop in anywhere

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post #18 of 20 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

The government dock at Port Renfrew is a fixed dock. Been there twice.

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post #19 of 20 Old 08-05-2013
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

Good to know about Ucluelet Jack, that messes up the trip for anyone planning to leave from Neah though.

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post #20 of 20 Old 07-02-2015
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Re: Barkley Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island

I know this is an old thread, but it comes up in a Google search for "Ucluelet customs", so just want to set the record straight - what jackdale said about Ucluelet not being listed as a port of entry on the CBSA website is correct, but that does NOT mean it's not a port of entry. To be clear, Ucluelet IS a port of entry and customs dock at the "52 Steps" dock. The CBSA website is lacking / not updated / incomplete documentation.

I talked to 4 customs people - 1 at Canadian NEXUS, 1 at CBSA main line, an RSPN customs officer at Ucluelet, and that customs officer's manager at Ucluelet. All confirmed Ucluelet is a customs port of entry. The reason for so much paranoia in verifying is it would really suck to go all the way to Neah Bay -> Ucluelet only to have to turn around and do the straits again, twice! And as far as I can tell there is currently *no* official record on the Internet of Ucluelet being a port of entry. So I'm going by the verbal authority of these 4 agents and have written down their agent #s.

The CBSA really should update their website, because having an undocumented port of entry is really confusing and leads to a lot of phone calls.
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