As we travel further north along the coast of Vancouver Island, we have to plan our provisioning stops carefully to ensure we do not run out of supplies, food, fuel and/or water. After Alert Bay, the two remaining options for re-provisioning include Port McNeill and Port Hardy. We decided to go to Port McNeill after consulting a couple of boaters even though Port McNeill was only about 6 nautical miles (NM) away from Alert Bay.
Our morning started out with us untangling tons of kelp and seaweed that became wrapped around our anchor rode during the night. It seems that Alert Bay is one of those bays that accumulates kelp and seaweed due to the direction of the tidal flow as the other boats that anchored in the bay the previous night also had seaweed wrapped around their anchor rodes.
After only a few hours of motoring and going with speed up to 8 knots (the fastest we have had the boat to date), we docked at the Town of Port McNeill’s municipal harbour docks (50°35.544N, 127°05.357’W), one of two marinas in town. The dock was one of the best marinas we have been to so far with very friendly staff. Both marinas are close to the shopping centre, a few coffee shops, restaurants and of course the laundromat. The town of Port McNeill is known as the “Gateway to the Broughton Archipelago”, sits on the northeast side of Vancouver Island and has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
We stayed two days to restock the galley, clean the boat and to do laundry. While on the marina, we also met some interesting boaters. Jim Slocum (sp?) was on a revamped fishing boat and spends 6 months of the year in Canada working with various marine biologist and environmental groups creating computer remote sensing programs and GIS programs. Another group we met was on a boat called the Coastal Messenger. They are a non-denominational Christian group who travel around all the way to Alaska, around Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands from April to December visiting various communities spreading the word of Christ and are based out of Chemainus, BC on Vancouver Island. One of their main navigator and pilot has a vast knowledge of the west coast and showed us some good anchorages and resupply places along the west side of Vancouver Island.
One of the great things about meeting other boaters are their generosity in sharing their vast knowledge and experience. We definitely enjoyed our stay in Port McNeill and hope to be back again. ~Sophia & Rob