Chapter 18 - West Coast Vancouver Island

The West coast of Vancouver Island is remote, beautiful, and sparsely settled. Unlike the eastern coastline’s sheltered waters of the Inside Passage, the west coast has large stretches of open water. The experienced captain with navigational knowledge and a seaworthy, well-equipped boat will enjoy the challenge of cruising this rugged, unspoiled coast. It’s an adventure and there is something to discover at every turn. Sooke, on the southwest tip of the Island, not only has an interesting museum, but its visitor centre has all sorts of ideas for things to see and do, including horseback riding or zip lining. Traveling on up the coastline, the communities of Bamfield and Port Renfrew both offer moorage.  Port Renfrew is home to Avatar Grove where visitors can walk through stands of towering, ancient cedar and fir trees. The west coast’s largest community, Port Alberni, sits at the end of an inlet 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It is a great place to come for on-the-water fun like windsurfing, kayaking, diving, fishing and even river tubing. Adjacent to the Broken Island Group is Eagle Nook  Resort, a sheltered, four-star hideaway with moorage where you can fish all day and soak in the Jacuzzi or have a massage that evening (how perfect is that?!)  The surrounding Barkley Sound is known for superb fishing opportunities and places like Bamfield, Ucluelet and Tofino all have fishing resorts with moorage. In Clayoquot Sound, visit Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Provincial Park for a dip in the natural hot mineral spring pools. Lest you think the wild west coast is all rocky shorelines and rainforests, stop by Port Alice on Neroutsos Inlet and play a civilized 9 holes of golf at their municipal course.

Eagle Nook Resort

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Eagle Nook Resort


Now in its 39th year, Northwest Boat Travel is a unique cruising guide containing twenty geographically arranged chapters presenting descriptions and useful information about the ports-of-call, anchorages, bays, inlets, waterways, marine parks, marina and resort facilities, fuel docks, services, and things to see and do along coasts and islands of Washington, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.