The Broken Islands in the Barclay Sound
The Broken Islands is a group of small islands in the Barklay Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. They form part of the Pacific Rim National Park, a vast undeveloped area known for its rich variety of sea life. Hundreds of birds find food and shelter here.
The best way to explore this maze of islands and passages is kayaking. You’ll pass by sandy beaches, rugged shores, quiet lagoons and sea caves as you paddle through this archipelago of more than 100 islands . Wild life is abundant. You’re likely to spot Gray whales, Orcas, porpoises, bears, eagles, bellowing sea lions, and numerous sea birds. The tide pools are abundant with colorful sea anemones and starfish. Depending where you go, you may also paddle past old growth rain forests on the Stopper Islands. You can also learn about the cultural history of the Nuu-Cha-Nulth people on Hand Island. Everywhere you go, the scenery is breathtakingly lovely in this magical place on the edge of the continent.
The Broken Islands can be accessed from Toquaht Bay or Ucluelet, British Columbia. Drive North from Victoria on Hwy 1 and then West on Hwy 4. The trip is about 180 miles from Victoria and takes about 4.5 hours.
Parks Canada requires that all commercial sea kayaking trips conducted within the Broken Group Islands have a professionally certified Level III guide. Several kayaking companies offer guided tours from Toquaht Bay and Ucluelet, BC on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. To find a qualified guide, contact the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia website at: www.skgabc.com
Photos courtesy of Sandi Koop