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Octopus Islands | BC

We’d heard and read about the Octopus Islands (and how great they are) but we hadn’t been there, so we put a quick stop to that on our way south!

It rained all night at Shoal Bay. We left the dock with cappuccinos in hand at 9am. Today was Okisollo Rapids day! We had about 20 miles to the rapids (at about 7 knots that’s about 3 hours) and we planned to be early for slack (which was at around 1:10pm). We were plenty early so we trolled for salmon a while in Discovery Passage before turning into Okisollo Passage. We saw a whole bunch of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, and also a few Dall’s Porpoises that surfed our bow a bit. The white-sided dolphins have curved dorsal fins, while the porpoises have small, more triangular fins. We’ve had both surf our bow, and they can be easy to confuse for one another because their coloring is the same…the dorsal fin is the easiest way to tell the difference.

We had some current against us as we approached the lower rapids, but it was diminishing rapidly. We went through the lower rapids and noticed pretty much nothing in the way of swirls, boils, whirlpools, or anything else. Same thing at the upper rapids…it was so calm there wasn’t even anything to take a picture of….completely uneventful.

During maximum current, the Okisollo Rapids can have somewhere between a 5-8 foot standing wave/overfalls. If you want to see what I’m talking about, check out this video. (There are plenty more…feel free to Google.)

Soon after the non-rapid rapids, we turned into the Octopus Islands Marine Park. How beautiful! I’m so glad we finally decided to stop here. There are only two other boats in here: a sailboat that anchored way up at the head of Waiatt Bay, and a power boat anchored not too far from us (but definitely far enough). We’re in the northernmost tip, anchored in about 30 feet with plenty of swing room. I made us some lunch (a curry tortilla wrap filled with fresh crab, tomatoes, avocado, shredded lettuce, and a little garlic aioli and pepper…super yum) and then we went out exploring in the dinghy. (Crab pots are out!)

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Tonight I think we’ll just grill up some halibut with some zucchini, and enjoy the quiet. It hasn’t rained since we got here, and there’s even some blue sky. Perhaps we’ll stay here tomorrow too! Our next planned stop is down at Rebecca Spit (beach, park, woods, trails) and Drew Harbour…on the east side of Quadra Island. There are two marinas there as well…the Heriot Bay Inn and Marina and the Taku Resort. There’s apparently a really good store (and even a liquor store)…sounds like a big city!

So We’ll be going through Surge Narrows between here and there, and I believe it’s another one that needs a slack transit. Lots of rapids in this area of BC!