Yachts Heading to Barkley Sound for Sport fishing
Depending on your direction, Barkley Sound is the first sound on the way north or the last sound on the way south. It is roughly square in shape, measuring 15 miles across its mouth and approximately 12 miles deep, not counting the 20-mile-long canal to Port Alberni. The sound is dotted with rocks and islands, and the waters are famous for their excellent salmon and halibut fishing. A cruising boat could spend weeks in Barkley Sound, fishing, exploring, and moving from one nook to another. In fact, many boats do just that, coming directly from Puget Sound, Oregon or the Strait of Georgia region.
During the summer months, fog often forms just offshore. In minutes, it can sweep in, even with no wind. It is essential, therefore, that the navigator know the vessel’s position at all times. Most boats cruising Barkley Sound, large and small, have radar. Even with electronic help, the navigator must remain alert and aware.
If approaching from up-island, you will probably enter Barkley Sound from Ucluelet. Not that a course across Sargison Bank from Ucluelet to Broken Group takes you very close to a rock that lies approximately 0.7 miles east of Chrow Island. The rock is shown on the chart not with a rock symbol, but by a depth of 0.5 meters. It is easy to overlook while scanning the chart for hazards.
If approaching from the Strait of Juan de Fuca or Oregon, leave Cape Beale at least one-half mile to starboard, which will leave the offshore rocks a safe distance off. If the boat is coming from the United States, it must go directly to Ucluelet for Canadian Customs, although it may duck into Barkley Sound to get out of the ocean sells. A good option is to enter Imperial Eagle Channel, leave Effingham Island to port, and proceed west between Clarke and Benson Islands, to Loudoun Channel and Ucluelet.
In Barkley Sound will find superb exploring everywhere: Pipestem Inlet, the Pinkerton Islands, Julia Passage, the Chain Group, the Deer Group and the famous Broken Group. Settle summer weather makes it possible to anchor in of hundreds of coves or nooks and explore by dinghy.
More information can be found in our partners Waggoner Cruising Guide.