The West Coast of Vancouver Island is just as isolated and beautiful as the east coast. There are a few major differences between the two sides of the island, as the west coast is more exposed to oceanic climate, making the weather extremely unpredictable. Because of the exposure and unpredictable weather, the west coast offers far less protective waters and discovering sheltered anchorages can be much more challenging. However, due to the weather and ocean exposure, the west coast offers year round surfing, tuna fishing and larger runs of salmon.
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, south of Ucluelet and north of Bamfield is Barkley Sound, also known historically as Barclay Sound. Forming the entrance to the Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound is a popular destination for kayaking, diving, hiking, fishing charters, whale watching, wildlife tours and water sports. Exposure to westerly winds habitually take place through the summer, especially advancing in the afternoons. Fog can also be an issue June through September, with August traditionally having the highest occurance. Private anchorages are difficult to find in Barkley Sound so planning your trip and being weather conscious is highly recommended.
Tofino is a district of approximately 2000 residents on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The fishing town is located at the tip of Esowista Peninsula at the southern edge of Clayogqot Sound. Tofino's population is growing drastically as the destination has become an extremely popular tourist attraction. Tofino attracts surfers, campers, kayakers, storm watchers, nature lovers, bird watchers, yoga enthusiasts, whale/bear watchers, fishermen, or anyone looking for an intimate experience with nature. Tofino is a rugged, laid back, small unpretentious town with beautiful beaches, world renowned high end luxary resorts, restaurants, and spas. With its natural hot springs Maquinna Marine Provincial Park is a popular day-trip destination for tourists.
Winter Harbour is a tiny fishing village located on the rugged, remote and pristine northern tip of Vancouver Island, at the mouth of Quatsino Sound in British Columbia.
Even though Winter Harbour has a small population of approximately twenty people, it offers a variety of amenities needed as it is the first stop coming around the island. Along with offering fishing charters, the marina has approximately 1000 ft of moorage available and can accommodate up to 75'. Fresh water, fuel and a well stocked store can also be found in this unique town. Quatsino Provincial Park and Raft Cove Provincial Park are nearby to explore for the more adventurous. Winter Harbour is a perfect place to find a protective anchor as the large bay forms a safe and natural protection from the unpredictable westcoast weather.