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Campbell River to Sullivan Bay

Campbell River/Crawford Anch. to Sullivan Bay

The Desolation Sound route comes together with the Campbell River route at Broken Islands on the east end of West Cracroft Island.


From Broken Islands, one route to Sullivan Bay turns north and meanders up Tribune Channel. 


The other route continues out Johnstone Strait and then northwest up into the Queen Charlotte Strait to Wells Passage. 


Weather in Queen Charlotte Strait may weigh in favor of the Tribune Channel route, but from Broken Islands, the Queen Charlotte Strait route is 10 miles shorter.

Photo to the right:  Sea Lion tied up at Sullivan Bay. Steve and Shari just back from the Sullivan Bay Market (such as it is).  

Area Overview

Probably the single best place to see Orcas between Seattle and Alaska is at the west end of Johnstone Strait between Robson Bight and Blackney Pass.  Other than that, Johnstone Strait is not a memorable passage. 


Rounding Cracroft Point and into Blackney Passage and the Queen Charlotte Strait beyond, you enter the B.C. coastal wilderness.  There are very few outposts between here and Prince Rupert along this coast. 


The Broughton Islands, a Canadian Marine Park, lies to starboard as you enter Queen Charlotte Strait.  Sullivan Bay, one of the most charming of the coastal outposts you will encounter, and the only civilization actually in the Broughton Islands, lies on the northwest side of North Broughton Island. Sullivan Bay enjoys scheduled seaplane service from Seattle through the summer months.


Echo Bay and Shawl Bay are two vital little hamlets not actually in the Broughton archipelago, but literally right on its eastern edge. 


The alternative route north from the Broken Islands takes you through Chatham Channel and close by Lagoon Cove, a thriving little marina, and then across Knight Inlet into Tribune Channel around the east end of Gilford Island and on to Sullivan Bay completely protected from any seas.


The Broughtons and nearby islands do not have dramatic topography.  Elevations rarely exceed 500 feet.  However, they are full of snug anchorages and picturesque channels.  And the fishing is good. 

MacKenzie Sound east of Sullivan Bay. 

An Orca matriarch in Johnstone Strait.  She swam over to the boat, rubbed against the bow, rolled on her side and transfixed us with her eye. It was like looking into the Universe without a telescope. 

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