Around the Island.
Vancouver Island is known for it’s remote and wild landscapes. Vancouver Island is the largest island off the coast of North America and one of the last few wild places on earth. Our plan is to circumnavigate the entire island with the mighty power of wind. Our subjects have never sailed or set foot on a sailboat. Their mission is to learn how to pick the right vessel, outfit the boat for ocean travel and learn how to read the wind, fill the sails and re-discover this ancient travel method. We will set sail around the island where we will soon discover the beauty of British Columbia, it’s habitants and it’s rich history. We will visit and learn about old growth forests, untouched sandy bays, talk and learn about native cultures and people living off grid. We will find anchorages in desolate weather calmed areas to hike to very remote places and visit Della Falls, Canada’s tenth highest waterfall, visit Carmanah Provincial Park where knotted cedars and Spruce trees are estimated to be 1,000 years old. We will meet and talk to environmentalists and geologists and learn about this fragile ecosystem the climate, fisheries, bear habitats and marine wildlife. Our goal is to discover and learn about this island while discovering sailing as a top transportation choice to bring the adventure in reach to people who might of forgotten about this rather romantic way of travelling.
Sail with us and discover this magical place we call Beautiful British Columbia.
EPISODE 1: FINDING THE Perfect SLOOP.
In this episode we will follow the subjects as they try and search for the perfect used sailboat to start the journey. The subjects will stumble upon a used 1976 30ft Catalina sailboat. A strong contender in ocean travels and a great choice for coastal sailing. A test sail in Vancouver bay the subjects can test the boat and notice if anything needs to be fixed and addressed properly before leaving. A few repairs and sailing lessons later the subjects undergo their map plotting and choosing the best anchorages and mooring for the trip. This process is a crucial step in the preparation of the voyage. a lot of details have to be covered here since there is no internet connection on the water. The itinerary, provision, anchorages and mooring locations are all planned before leaving.
EPISODE 2: First Sail to Saltspring.
The subjects take on their maiden trip out of Vancouver and sail to Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring Island is located between the mainland of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We will learn about sailing the Catalina and learn about wind and points of sail. A brief lesson in filling the sails will be the base of this episode to captivate the viewer in learning how to sail, map plotting, basic understanding of currents and terminology. This segment will include beautiful animations to help the viewer understand points of sail and how a sailboat functions.
EPISODE 3: Victoria.
With basic understanding of how a sailboat operates, we sail down South to Victoria BC. Our subjects port in beautiful downtown Victoria. Here we will visit the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest. It’s population of 345,164 enjoys snow-free climate and a very popular destination for the travelling yachting community. We will talk to french government officials about the capital and it’s french speaking community about the strong French presence that continued here until the BC gold rush in the 19th century where French were forced into the minority. The mountains and street names are a good indication of it’s predecessors. Our subjects learn about the history of Victoria and visit the Maritime Museum and learn about early historical ship building firms, charting waters without the use of GPS and see several ships from the early 1900’s. The “Tilikum” a 39 foot aboriginal canoe sailed from Vancouver Island to London UK in 1901. “Trekka” the smallest sailboat to have circumnavigated the globe by it’s Victoria boat builder in 1954. We later provision and set sail for 3 days north non-stop to Bamfield BC.
Episode 4. BamfielD.
In this episode we arrive in Bamfield BC, home to the Marine Sciences Centre. The centre offers in-depth learnings about ocean life. It hosts a public educational program in marine related sciences. We talk to researchers and get an understanding of the red tide, marine bio-toxins and shellfish identification. We learn about the local ecosystem and what can be foraged and fished on our trip. We set off for a long hauled sail to Tofino with our newly acquired crab fishing techniques and lessons on ocean mammals.
Episode 5. Tofino BC.
Having learned about boat building and early map charting techniques. Our subjects are aiming course to Tofino BC. Turning off all digital GPS aids the subjects use the 1900's navigating techniques to get to Tofino. Home to cold-water surfing, Hot Springs Cove, whale watching and strong native cultures. The long haul to Tofino will take 3 days. We will exit the Juan de Fuca Strait and enter open waters. We will encounter many obstacles in very heavy wind, giant swells and unobstructed westerly winds. The sail to Tofino will be a test to our subject's physical and emotional strength throughout this very difficult passage. This episode will focus on team building and quick decision making. We test our crab fishing and cooking skills onboard the ship. On arrival we port into Tofino Marina and start on the usual boat maintenance checklist, we dive under the boat and clean away mussels, barnacles and algae buildup from the rudder and the haul. Check the lines for chafing and climb the mast to check the rigging. We visit the town, have a go at surfing and learn about local native culture. We visit the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and learn more about whales and marine mammals. We provision for the sail to Cape Scott Provincial Park.
Episode 6 and beyond: Cape Scott.
The long sail to Cape Scott will be the longest on-water travel leg of the trip. Here we will face changing winds, shifting tides, dead wind and many weather systems and changes similar to an ocean crossing. The most difficult leg of the trip will again test our subjects to adapt and quick decision making. An anchorage in the bay of Cape Scott will provide sheltered waters from large swells. A great place to snorkel and set crab traps, swim, surf and carry boat maintenance. We climb the mast to check on our riggings. A landing on Cape Scott will reveal very large old growth forests and untouched sandy beaches only available to boaters. The Kweakwaka’wakw First Nations created trails in the area for harvest and to visit sacred land. We talk about this land and visit the three-meter-tall granite tombstones. We get back aboard the Catalina and set sail around the most northern tip of Cape Scott Provincial Park and make our way back South towards Port Hardy. In the next episodes we cover Telegraph Cove, into the Johnstone Strait, Visit Quadra Island, Cortes, we re-supply in the tiny community of Refuge Cove and dive into Campbell River’s giant Salmon river run to observe the bi-annual pink Salmon. We port in Hornby Island and make our way down back to Metro Vancouver to finish off the trip