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Rounding the Brooks Peninsula

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Rounding the Brooks Peninsula will potentially be the most challenging portion of your circumnavigation around Vancouver Island.

When going from north to south, your ideal conditions will be an ebbing tide with a light north wind. Be aware that if you are camped along the northwest coast of the peninsula, you can expect the winds to be at least 10 knots higher once you get to Cape Cook (AKA The Cape of Storms!). This is the one place you definitely want a second opinion on the weather. Have someone that can check the weather and relay the information to you via Satellite phone. Do not rely solely on the marine forecast on your VHF radio.

The toughest part comes right at the beginning, where you will squeeze through the mile wide gap between Cape Cook and Solander Island. The gap is littered with small islets and submerged rocks in the shallow water. In adverse conditions this place is hell on earth, the breakers will be all around you. Navigate through the maze as best you can, and keep your wits about you! Don't linger here too long.

At Clarke point there is a broad shelf, where the waves may be breaking, if you stay beyond the breakers you should be fine, and the further you get behind the southeast shore of the peninsula the conditions will improve.

The video below from David Leaf shows a group of kayakers rounding Cape Cook on an extremely calm day. Don't expect conditions to be like this.

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