Bob’s sister Lynn and Cathryn’s father Crawford have both expressed the difficulty they’re having understanding the area we’re cruising, putting together the pieces of where we’ve been and how we got from one place to the other. We understand. We have the same difficulty getting the lay of this land. Hence this Google Maps photo of the Broughton Island Archipelago, with Bob’s artwork added using a program called Paint. He apologizes for the shaky line, but without a mouse, only a touchpad, it was tough to draw. Click on the photos to enlarge and see the details better.
The first photo shows our westward route up Johnstone Strait from Desolation Sound into The Broughton Islands. The numbers are the places we stopped each night: 1) Port Neville 2) Port Harvey 3) Potts Lagoon 4/5) Kwatsi Bay 6) Shawl Bay and 7) Turnbull Cove. The land mass in the bottom of the photo is Vancouver Island, including highway 19 which leads to Port Hardy, the last town at the northern tip of enormous Vancouver Island, not far beyond the edge of the photo.
This second photo adds a red line depicting the route we “think” we’re going to take moving on from Turnbull Cove. Plans change, so we may add other stops or miss some shown here. A) Sullivan Bay B) Echo Bay C) Sointula D) Alert Bay E) Port Neville. From there we plan to take the “back route” heading east and south, through a series of 5 tidal rapids (over two days). The larger waterway in the center-left of both photos is Queen Charlotte Sound, the next northbound “gateway” that stops a lot of recreational boaters from going further north. It’s big and open to the Pacific Ocean, so usually has waves and swells much larger than other places on the Inside Passage. The Broughton Island Archipelago is roughly 30 miles north to south, and 40 miles east to west, so most of our travel days once we got here have been pretty short, 2-4 hours.
In our other significant road or boat travels, three winters in an RV on the Baja Peninsula, and 15 months on the Great Loop on a boat, there was “only one road”. By this we mean that the general route taken down the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, or around the eastern third of North America, was dictated by geography that limited options, and mostly we didn’t have to decide “where to go”, only “where to stop each night”. This is different. There are numerous “routes” one can take throughout The Broughtons, and we’ll only skim the surface of those choices in our two weeks here. We’re thinking of this as a “survey trip” to help us understand the lay of the land, learn the different skills needed to enjoy this area (anchoring deep, running tidal rapids, and understanding the weather patterns). We hope to spend more time here another year.