How crowded was the West Coast of Vancouver Island?Time for a numbers post.
People are always trying to find the next cool place to travel, that no one else has heard of so that they can have it to themselves. We're like that too. Then, when everyone else also finds that place, the people who used to "be there first" tend to get a little grumpy about the crowds.
We had heard some people griping about how busy the W Coast of Vancouver Island had become and how it used to be an isolated paradise. Most of our sailing has been in the Gulf Islands and about the only way to find isolation there is to go out in the winter, preferably in bad weather, so we were looking forward to the isolation of Northern Vancouver Island. Since, I've learned a lot about where I fall in the balance between wilderness and towns.
So, how isolated was each area we visited? Removing all of our nights in towns where, obviously, there was no isolation to be found, what percentage of time were we anchored in a bay all by ourselves?
Gulf Islands - 0 of 7 nights - 0%
Northern Inside Vancouver Island (Comox to Cape Scott) - 7 of 9 nights - 78%
Northern Outside Vancouver Island (Cape Scott to Estevan Point) - 14 of 22 nights - 64%
Southern Outside Vancouver Island (Estevan Point to Port San Juan) - 19 of 28 - 68%
Obviously these numbers are affected by our choices of anchorages. We sought out (and found) isolation more often early in the trip than later. Although, because I've removed towns from the tally, the percentages of at anchor isolation are probably not affected by our desire for company as much as you would think. Usually when we wanted interaction we headed to port. We also anchored in a number of places that were not ideal anchorages - rolly or exposed - rather than the main all weather harbors. For example, we spent 3 nights with other boats at the all-weather anchorage Sea Otter Cove and then moved 2 miles directly East and spent 5 nights to ourselves at the exquisite San Josef Bay (rolly).