Posted by: cherylyoung | April 27, 2013

Barkley Sound and The Broken Group Islands B.C includes hundreds of island that are filled with some of the most remarkable sites on the planet

Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands comprise one of the three main recreational components in Pacific Rim National Park.

The popularity of these islands with paddlers and boaters has soared over the past decade, much to the dismay of  longtime observers.


Barkley Sound lies south of Ucluelet and north of

 Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island,

 covering an area of approximately 800 square

 kilometres that includes hundreds of islands, none

 of which is larger than 2 kilometres across.

The sound was explored and named in 1787 by

Capt.Charles William Barkley of the Imperial Eagle

 a British Trading vessel sailing under Austrian

 colours .

 Barkley was accompanied by his 17-year-old bride,

 Frances, the first white woman to see British


The ease with which less-experienced sea kayakers

 can reach the Broken Group Islands on the MV

Frances  Barkley from Port Alberni and Ucluelet

contributes greatly to their allure and charm.

 The best paddling is from April to October, and if

you must visit during the peak season in July and

August be sure to reserve space for your kayak or

canoe on deck well in advance.

 Consider adventuring here in any month other than

July and August, particularly if you value solitude.

Kayakers usually begin their exploration at Gibraltar

 Island and make their way through the chain, stopping

at campsites on Gilbert, Clarke, Turret, Willis, and

 Hand Islands.

 All of these sites are easily reached within a day’s

 paddle (or less) of each other.

 Camping is also allowed on Gibraltar Island and

 Dodd Island.

Numerous kayak operators lead tours through the

 Broken Group Islands.

Camping was discontinued on Benson Island in

 May 2009 out of respect for its cultural significance.

 Archaeological research dates traditional use of

Benson Island for over 5,000 years.

Tseshaht First Nation’s oral traditions name this site

 as their origin place where the first Tseshaht man

 (Naasiya’atu) and woman (Naasayilhim) were


It became the site of their principal village

 of Ts’ishaa.

 It is from this village that the Tseshaht derive their

 name, as Tseshaht literally means “people of


 Visitors are encouraged to visit Benson Island

during the day and return to designated campsites

 for the night.

The MV Frances Barkley is based in Port Alberni,

 with routes that lead through the Broken Group

Islands in Barkley Sound to the fishing ports of

Bamfield and Ucluelet.

In the course of a day’s trip the sturdy wooden

packet freighter drops mail, groceries, supplies,

and the occasional passenger along the way at float

 homes  and the Sechart Whaling Station.

At times you’ll definitely feel the motion of the ocean

swells, but the better part of the journey through

Barkley Sound is not as exposed as that experienced

 when you travel on the MV Uchuck III to Nootka

Sound from Gold River.

The trip makes a pleasant outing in itself or can be a

 link for paddlers to the Broken Group Islands.

The west coast of Vancouver Island is exposed to the

 moisture-laden westerly winds blowing off the

warmer Pacific Ocean.

 The warm air masses are forced up by the island’s

mountain ranges, resulting in considerable

 precipitation falling on the Pacific Rim region

during the winter months of September to March,

while summers are relatively dry.

The abundant rainfall and mild temperatures

 account for the lush vegetation and the wonderful

rainforests found in the region.

Location: Barkley Sound is located south of Ucluelet

 and north of Bamfield on the west coast of

Vancouver Island.

 The sound is either accessed from these two

 communities or from Port Alberni by travelling down

Alberni Inlet.

The route of the MV Frances Barkley, based in

Port Alberni,  leads through the Broken Group Islands

 in Barkley Sound to the fishing ports of Bamfield

 and Ucluelet.




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  1. Reblogged this on Cheryl Young's Blog.

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