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Cape Caution
 



 

 

 

 


 

 
 
 
 
 

For boaters travelling the BC Inside Passage, Cape Caution is the first stretch of open water that can be intimidating and dangerous for the inexperienced.  There is about a 50-60 mile stretch and there are many possible routes and places to take cover in case of strong winds and nasty seas.  Port McNeil, Port Hardy, Sullivan Bay and Blunden Harbour are good starting points.  This journey is almost always characterized with thick fog as the Pacific warm currents meet with the cold arctic water.

As for the opportune time to cross Cape Caution, listen to the marine weather forecast.  If the ocean swell at Sea Otter Island is less than 1 meter, it is okay.

Cape Caution was named by Captain Vancouver as a warning to mariners to take caution.   Today, as sailors explore this region, they find virually a pristine wilderness that remain untouched for two centuries.

"A very irksome and perilous situation" is how Captain George Vancouver dryly described his predicament when, on August 6, 1792, HMS Discovery ran aground. After hours of plying cautiously through thick fog obscuring Queen Charlotte Strait off northwest British Columbia's coast, the ship unceremoniously grounded on a bed of submerged rocks. The ebb tide was running strongly and within half an hour, the ship toppled on her broadside. By nightfall, she was high and dry.

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