Photo: Solander Island off the Brooks Peninsula
The winds blow stronger around the Brooks Peninsula than anywhere else on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and rounding it can be a challenge. We had planned to spend several days in Checleset Bay, north of Walter’s Cove before rounding the Brooks Peninsula, but when we heard the weather forecast of light southwest winds the next day followed by several days of stronger northwest winds, we decided to head north immediately while we had the wind behind us. After a quick stop in the General Store we left Walter’s Cove and headed for Columbia Cove for the night. Located on the east side of the Brooks, it’s a convenient jumping off point for rounding the peninsula.
The next morning the sea spread out before us like an undulating mirror under hazy skies. We motored along the peninsula, admiring the beaches through binoculars. As we approached Clerke Point, where the peninsula turns to run northwest, the wind came up, not from the southwest as forecast but from the northwest. But the seas were flat - only gentle swells - and we made good progress tacking along the shore. We sailed close to Solander Island where we saw sea lions lying like brown logs on the island’s rocky slopes. As we tacked away from the island’s dangerous north shore, we caught a glimpse of a rock formation that looked like a seal head.
Photo: rock formation on Solander Island with sea lions along water’s edge.
It was an easy rounding, as we intended, even if the wind wasn’t from where it was supposed to be.