The Broughtons are a beautiful cruising ground located at the north end of Johnstone Strait. Rich in history, with an abundance of protected anchorages within a maze of islands, islets, passages and tidal rapids which has much to offer the adventurous cruiser.
Over the years of our exploring the Broughtons, we have established a list of favorite anchorages that we revisit when in the area. Here are five from the list, and what to do when you get there.
Gunkholing the Broughtons: Five Favorite Anchorages
Potts Lagoon, West Cracroft Island
The passage leading into the basin, between West Cracroft and Kloaitsis Islands, is wide and deep with a few well-marked rocks to starboard. The narrow passage straight ahead, is shallow with patches of kelp, leads into the main basin. The lagoon offers anchorage to the southeast of 41-meter island in 20-feet over a good holding flat mud bottom. This scenic anchorage is well protected and safe in all winds, although westerly’s can occasionally sneak around the small island. A half dozen floating homes occupy the southern portion of the lagoon and an expansive tidal marshland and meadow beyond the navigable depths of the lagoon.
- Excellent dinghy or kayak exploration.
- The remnants of the lagoon’s first homestead near Coho Creek and logging operations make great discoveries.
- Explorers also must beware that this is a drying marsh, don’t linger too long or you’ll find yourself high in dry.
Crease Island, West of Goat Islet
Passing Goat Islet to port and weaving between the kelp to set the hook in 20-feet over a mud bottom between Crease Island and Goat Islet. The anchorage provides excellent protection from westerlies.
- Launch the dingy and locate the Chief’s Bath on the north side of Berry Island in Village Channel. The site is marked by a pictograph of the Hanasta (or cannibal spirit) to protect it from evil spirits and unwanted visitors.
- Respect the spirits and First Nations People, take a few pictures and pondering what life was like in another time and culture.
Waddington Bay, Bonwick Island
It can be a bit tricky finding and entering the anchorage, as it is narrow and there are many rocks and islets that will bite if close attention isn’t paid to the chart and electronics. The entrance to Waddington Bay is located south of the Fox Group, between 46-meter Islet (to starboard) and 52-meter Islet (to port). Then follow the fairly straight waterway west into a surprisingly large and well-protected anchorage. There’s a small island that partially hides the head of the shallow mud bay that shoals. The bay offers anchoring depth of 15 to 25-feet over a sticky flat mud bottom with good holding.
- Explore the maze of islets via dinghy or kayak. Many are covered in wildflowers.
- Fishing from the tender.
- Soak a crab trap.
Mud Bay, Eden Island
Locally known as Mud Bay, we prefer the name “Let Her Rip Cove,” a name given by some cruising guides because of the protection provided by westerlies off Queen Charlotte Strait. The name is appealing to our adventurous side by providing fuel for our imaginations. The approach is straightforward with the exception of a small islet and a couple drying rocks, all lying south of the cove.
Set the hook near the head of the cove in 25-feet over sand and grass providing good holding. The cove offers ample anchoring and swing room for three or four boats, and the setting is pristine with a tree-draped shoreline and shoaling headwater at low tide.
- Dinghy exploration of the cove and the numerous nearby islets in Trainer Pass.
- At the head of the cove, there are large logs washed-up to the high water line makes for a great resting place with a tranquil view of the anchorage and snow-capped mountain range off in the distance.
Broughton Lagoon Nook, Greenway Sound
Set the anchor in this cozy, secure nook located southeast of Ceil Island and south of unnamed islet in 30-feet of water. The anchorage provided a beautiful view of Cecil Island and the entrance of Greenway Sound.
- Explore Broughton Lagoon by dingy but exercise caution because it’s guarded by a tidal gate with turbulent, fast-flowing water, and hazardous rocks. Slack tide is the only safe time to either enter or leave a lagoon. It is possible to stay inside the lagoon for about half an hour on the same tide before returning.
- Set a prawn trap.