Barkley Sound Day 16 – Clueless in Ucluelet (You-Cloo-Let)

Note about the last post: Since we had workable Internet I looked up the sea creature we saw last night on the swim ladder, it appears to have been a Bay Pipefish (, apparently the only pipefish north of California.

This morning Devon woke up early and started to get the boat ready.  We wanted to get going kind of early so we had time to possibly sail, as well as get to Ucluelet early enough to find space and get all packed up to leave the boat.  We need to get in the car and going around 8am tomorrow to make our ferry reservation in Nanaimo.



We made toast with cream cheese and lox (yes my boat-made lox for breakfast) and the girls also wanted some cereal.   Then Devon decided she wanted to sail off the hook.  So we pulled out the main, and brought up most of the anchor chain then once we got the anchor off the bottom we pulled out the genoa as well and tried to get going in the 4kts of breeze that was blowing us straight to the rocky shore.   In the end there wasn’t enough room to get any boat speed to avoid hitting the rocks so we fired up the engine and motored out of our little cove.   Then we got a bit more wind and got moving under sail.  And thus began an hour or so of short tacking out of Pipestem Inlet toward Ucluelet.


Once we cleared the point that hid us from the open West of Barkley Sound the wind picked up to 12-15kts and we got some good heel going.  With a bit more than a single reef in the main we sailed upwind at 12degrees heel in 15kts of wind all the way to Ucluelet.  It was a nice sail, and I always feel accomplished when we sail from one location to another, which is something of a challenge when you compare that to just day sailing with no place to go.


The girls were doing well with the heeling angle, and ended up playing with their iPads a bit, eating sandwiches, etc while Devon managed the boat and I managed the galley, with periodic interludes of helping with the sails.  Cup’o’Noodles underway tasted good   😉


At one point, I tried to move the jib car forward while under pressure, which I knew I couldn’t really do, and broke one of the cam-cleats in the process.  It still holds the line for now but it will need to be replaced.  Soon enough we came up on Ucluelet inlet and switched to motor, putting away the sails.  The harbor area around Ucluelet is pretty, with log strewn beaches, interesting resorts and buildings on bluffs, and some maritime “art” on shore.


Once we made it into the harbor and near the marina it was time to put the dinghy up on the davits since we’ll be docking.  I called the Small Craft Harbor on the phone to ask for space on the floats and they asked us to raft alongside a power boat on D dock, one “MY Dunn Deal”.  How’s that for coincidence, we went fishing with Capt’n Pete on Dunn Deal 10 days ago, and in a completely different harbor, out of hundreds of boats across 6 docks, the harbormaster asks us to literally tie ourselves to that boat.  Ridiculous.   We didn’t see Capt’n Pete though, he was out somewhere else for several days.


Once on the dock I paid for moorage, hooked up to power (For the first time in 12 days or so), using our new shore power connections for the first time (which worked!), and connected the boat network to the harbor WiFi.  I then realized that all of the network rejiggering I did a couple days ago just wouldn’t work the way I thought it was going to, so I had to undo some of it before we could get on the Internet.

We finished up as much of the packing as we could and then Devon and Katherine took Morgan for the long promised Geo-caching excursion, which was a success thankfully.   About that time Devon’s parents arrived in our Mazda and found us.  We were all hungry so we started to walk toward food.  First we saw the Floathouse Grill in the harbor but we weren’t sure they had a liquor license, which seemed important tonight, so we walked on.   We then headed around to the old Canadian Princess ship permanently moored in the harbor which is supposed to be a good restaurant but it was “closed for the season”, which seemed strange to us since late-July would seem to be dead-center in the middle of the season for which you’d want to be open.

We then walked up the hill to the where there were supposed to be multiple restaurants and we did find a few, including a couple that looked very nice, but what we didn’t really process was that it was a Friday evening AND it was “Ukee Days”, an annual festival in Ucluelet so every restaurant had more than an hour wait, and we had a group of 9.  I was also surprised to see several food trucks, which just seemed strange for this little town on the coast of the middle of nowhere.

In the end we walked back down to the Floathouse Grill and waited 35 minutes for a table.  They did have a little bar so we ordered Margaritas while we waited, which unfortunately were NOT good, but G&T’s are pretty hard to screw up.  The fish and chips actually WAS good so overall we had a decent meal there.  After dinner our new crew loaded their frozen goods into our freezer and then everyone went to bed.  Up early again tomorrow to unload the boat and get on the road as early as possible.

Note about the Canadian Princess restaurant..  The host at Floathouse told me that it’s closed up for good due to some sort of environmental issue and is slated to be moved for the first time in many years.  So the “closed for the season” sign is a bit inaccurate.

• Rafted one boat from the dock to a Pete-less M/Y Dunn Deal at Ucluelet Small Craft Harbor, Barkley Sound, BC
• Engine Hours: 1445.9 to 1447.4 = 1.5 hours
• Genset Hours: 0 hours
• Water Consumption: Ridiculous amounts of gallons because it’s the last day and it doesn’t matter
• Watermaker Production: 0 gallons
• Water Temp about 62F
• Air Temp about 74F
• Barometer 1021 and rising


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