|Paddling with the Port Ludlow Group in
the Broken Islands, Vancouver, B.C.
The Broken Islands is one of the prettiest places in the world. The islands are in Barkley Sound, on the western side of
Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They are part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. We went to these islands to
paddle with the Port Ludlow paddle group.
To get to the Broken Islands, we took the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. It is a three hour drive from Victoria to Port
Alberni. Port Alberni is a town of 18,000 people. There we went to visit the only remaining steam powered saw mill in Canada
which was built in 1927. The plant was interesting but not particularly picturesque. However, one of the restored lumber trucks
from 1945 did make an interesting picture.
The great thing about going with the Port Ludlow group is that believe in doing a paddle with class. Rather than camp, the
group of 24 people rented most of Sechart Lodge. The lodge resides in quiet isolation on Barkley Sound. The lodge building
was towed from Port Alberni back in 1995 and converted into a lodge. It has electricity, hot running water with shared baths,
and our package included three terrific meals a day. It is a one mile crossing from the lodge to the Broken Islands. From the
porch of the lodge, one has an awesome view of Barkley Sound and the Broken Islands.
In addition to the Broken Islands, there is another group of islands close
to the lodge which is not a part of the National Park--the Pinkerton
Islands. These islands are easy to reach and are suitable for those with
lesser kayaking skills. Our first afternoon, most of the group paddled
these islands (pictures below). The skies were cloudy that day, which
made photography a challenge, but it did not detract from the beauty of
this little group of islands.
On our first full day, Doris Monti led some of us on a paddle from the most outer Broken Islands back to the lodge. We loaded
our kayaks on to the Sechart water taxi. On our way out, we were privileged to encounter an Orca whale (below).
After the brief Orca viewing delay, we
arrived at our destination where we
unloaded our kayaks and prepared for
the 12.5 mile kayak trip back to the
lodge through the Broken Islands.
The best part of the paddle trip back to
the lodge was the fact that the sun came
out for the rest of the day's paddle.
The next morning we took our kayaks and gear to the dock to
be loaded on to the M. V. Frances Barkley by the captain and
owner himself. The ship departed promptly at 8:00 a.m. for
the Broken Islands and Ucluelet.