- Jul 1, 1998
What to expect toward the end of summer is lots of thick fog. Leaving Bamfield won't be so bad because it is a narrow inlet but as one heads out of the harbor it can be really foggy that time of year..... On leaving Bamfield we have a bit of sailing to do in order to round the south end of the island. Our first goal will be to round Cape Beale. A morning departure is advised by the "local wisdom".
"The collision of currents combined with wind and shallow depths around the cape can make for heavy going" (Waggoners Guide). So an early departure to meet the Summer westerly breezes and the longshore currents to find our way to Port Renfrew.
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Another comment about Port Renfrew. Port San Juan for the large bay on the chart; have not been into the actual Port Renfrew marina. That is typically a very rolly anchorage. It would be good to experience it once so one knows. The swells going into the Strait of Juan de Fuca seem to arc around and enter the inlet while any wind sets the boat in a direction that puts it at an angle to the swell. Not every wind/swell situation will be the same but in the time we've been there that's what it's been like. For us, if it can be avoided we will avoid it, even if it makes for a long day otherwise.
With the typical winds that time of year one can make good speed over water and with an incoming tide the speed over ground is even better. However, the fog can persist well into the late morning even with the wind. One memorable day we departed Bamfield, got hit by the fog, rounded the Cape Beale as the wind really picked up. Ran down the Strait in the separation zone with the Canadian military doing an exercise, we could hear the aircraft overhead but not see them), and were dong 10 kts through the water all the way to Sooke. Could have easily reached Port Townsend that day but at that speed it is wearing. The fog gradually lifted during the day and turned into high overcast and we arrived in sunny Sooke early that afternoon.
Editorial comment: Sooke would be our preference for a port of call over Victoria on this leg. Very relaxing and laid back area. Easy walk to town.....Our next run will be influenced by weather, tidal currents and winds. It could be a long sailing day or we can break it up by hiding in Sooke Harbour.