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jackdale 06-21-2011 11:46 PM

North to the Broughtons
I was asked to provide some information about getting north the Broughtons.

Remember this area floods south and ebbs north.

Option 1 - Seymour Narrows

This is my least favourite option; I did it on the 2007 Van Isle 360. It would be best to catch the last of the ebb and go through on the turn.

Option 2 - Beazley Passage (Surge Narrows), Octopus Islands, Upper Rapids

There is not sufficient time to clear both Beazley Passage and Upper Rapids in succession. The huge advantage that you can spend time at Octopus Island. Enter Octopus Islands from Bodega Anchorage. Stern-tie in the Islands or go down to Waiatt Bay and swing on the hook. The latter is my preference. Clear Upper Rapids latter that day or the next day.

Option 3 - The Yucultas, Gillard Pass, Dent Rapids

The is my favourite as you can spend less time in Johnstone Strait. I have been nailed at Chatham Point. But it can only be done once a day going north. Twice a day is possible going south.

Arrive at Harbott Point 1 hour before the turn to ebb; i.e., the last of the flood. Stay close to the Stuart Island shore until you get to Kellsey Point. Head across the rapids using the white house as a target and try to catch favourable whirlpools/eddies. Once across stay close to the Sonora Island shore, then right through Gillard Pass and up to Dent Rapids. You should be able to get through before Dent starts to ebb.

Or Yucultas.jpg photo - Jack Dale photos at for the large image.

My next stop is Blind Channel Resort. They have a nice facility, if somewhat expensive. But the free WiFi allows me to check conditions in Johnstone Strait, especially Fanny Island. Greene Point Rapids need to be taken on a turn unless you have local knowledge or follow a fish boat through. I usually then go up Wellbore Channel through Whirlpool Rapids which has never presented a problem.

After I get out of Sunderland Channel into Johnstone Strait I will head for Havanna Channel. If I have time I will go to Lagoon Cove Marina for the pot luck which starts at 1700. Or I will anchor in Potts Lagoon (great protection) or Cutter Cove (open to Westerlies). Port Harvey is an option, but there is a logging operation and aquaculture there.

You are in the Broughtons. I have not been to the spots north of there, but they are on my list.

Faster 06-21-2011 11:54 PM

Great stuff, Jack! Much obliged.

jackdale 06-22-2011 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by Faster (Post 742865)
Great stuff, Jack! Much obliged.

When will you be up there? I am going around the Island from July 20 to August 3. I will be on this boat.

Faster 06-22-2011 12:17 AM

We're heading out June 30, spending July 1 weekend at Smuggler Cove with the GYC then heading in that direction. No real fixed schedule but we'd like to be back in Comox for the Aug long weekend's festivals there.

Will keep an eye out for you and that beauty!

jrd22 06-22-2011 12:38 AM

Good write up Jack, thanks. We concur about Lagoon Cove for 1700 potluck. Billy Proctors museum near Echo Bay is worth a visit while in the area too.

Bilgewater 06-25-2011 02:08 PM

Good work Jack and thanks.

I just want to add a few of my own observations. Although I completely agree with you Jack, there are ways to get through Beazley and the upper rapids in one shot in some circumstances but it all depends on the strength of both the ebb and flood. I do it quite often but you need to carefully watch the current tables. This is based on a vessel that can make 5+ kts...If you can make way using the back-eddies up to and through the Dent rapids against a flood 15 minutes to a half hour or so ahead of the turn to ebb you will generally make the lower rapids on a bit of an ebb. After making your way through the lower rapids on an ebb and if it feels a bit uncomfortable, you can make your way around the top of Okis Island and avoid much of the current associated with the upper rapids and if need be you can duck into Barnes Bay and wait it out a bit. But be aware that Barnes Bay can have some pretty substantial currents of it's own but the holding is quite good and the Ling Cod fishing is awesome. I definitely wouldn't do this during any big tides.

Seymour Narrows...I like using Seymour Narrows because for me, it's a direct and fast route but Johnstone Strait can get a little nasty at times, particularly just south of Kelsey Bay. But you'll get an indication of what's coming up at Chatham Point and again at Ripple Point. It's usually pretty good in the summer but in any case you can always anticipate problems and duck out at numerous spots. I generally leave Campbell River/Cape Mudge one hour or so before the turn to ebb and on a good strong ebb I will get a real good push all the way up to Kelsey Bay. Monitor traffic on channel 71 because you will inevitably find yourself amongst quite a bit of commercial traffic going both North and South through the narrows at the turn.

The Broughton's are what I think are some of the best cruising grounds around with few boats and good weather at this time of year.

larrytwo 09-03-2011 11:04 PM

Kelsey bay
hello there, just a little on Kelsey bay and the westerleys that occur there. carefull consideration to weather should be taken. on the ebb a nasty sea develops. against the westerly. my work as a tugboat master took me through this area alot. i made a short video of an afternoon westerly there. this came up in about an hour. hope it's ok to post this link. regards to all. :)

3Kioni 10-19-2011 01:55 PM

Valuable information for next year's destination, and a good supplement to the Sailing Directions. Thanks.

jackdale 10-19-2011 02:45 PM

Another destination on the way north to consider is the Mound Island Anchorage (Latitude: 5035.327'N Longitude: 12638.939'W). Good holding, well protected and nice scenery.


sthorout 10-19-2011 03:08 PM

Hello all,
I would add another stop if you have the time and the weather allows. York Island, just off the NW tip of Hardwicke Island, north of Kelsey Bay, has a facinating WWII gun fort on top of the island. You can anchor near the old jetty on the SE side (watch the current if you can't get in close) or in a bight on the west side if conditions allow. Not a great overnight spot but a really cool lunch or "stretch your legs" place.

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