Broken Group Islands

Under Construction

Useful References:
  • The Wild Coast, Volume One, by John Kimantas, Whitecap Books (2005).
  • Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds, by Mary Ann Snowden, Rocky Mountain Books (2005).
  • Kayaking the Broken Group Islands, 2nd Edition, by J.F. Marleau, Pacific Rim Informative Adventures (2008).
  • Barkley Sound and The Broken Group Islands - Recreation Map and Trip Planner, Produced by Wavelength Magazine.
  • Chart 3670 (1:20,000), Canadian Hydrographic Service
Our trip is planned for the Monday July 19 through Friday July 23, 2010 time slot. We need to be at the M.V. Frances Barkley dock in Port Alberni by 7 AM - with kayaks empty and ready to load. We'll then take the ship to Sechart Lodge and, weather permitting, we should be paddling in the afternoon. The next 4 nights will be at the lodge. Our return to Port Alberni requires that we be at the Sechart Lodge dock by 2:30 PM on the 23rd - with kayaks empty and ready to load on the Barkley. To learn how to arrange this sort of trip, visit:

As part of my dry land preparation for the trip, I am going through the references above plus the appropriate tide information. Currents are not as much an issue as some other places we've been. Because my experience is only 3+ years deep, I am getting acquainted with the chart by planning some simulated day trips (hey, I have some time - I'm retired). So I am figuring out potential landing sites, distances, paddling times, compass headings etc. ... all assuming typical summer weather for this area. Of course, we have no guarantee of such weather, but I'll have a base case and some chart familiarity. I am guessing that we'll not explore the outer islands, where weather could strand you temporarily on the 'wrong' side of Coaster Channel - we are unlikely to bring camping gear. On the other hand, if we can get an early morning water taxi to the outer islands, that might work in fairish weather.

The Broken Group consists of many islands and islets. I've heard that most are low lying with few distinguishing features, making navigation tricky for a first-time visitor. I'll bring my GPS unit and have already entered a selection of waypoints for the Broken Group. That should help a lot - as long as it continues to function. GPS seems like cheating, doesn't it? But we'll have Chart 3670 and our compasses, as well.