We live on the Island and as part of our local vacation plan this summer, decided to do a day cruise on the Uchuck. We picked the Tuesday cruise which they do all year. This is a working trip with many stops at logging camps, resorts and fish farms which is about 9 hours in length. (note: on this trip you do not get off the ship at Friendly Cove) It was a terrific day in every respect. Mostly sunny weather, fascinating stops, like at the Kendrick Arm logging camp where off-highway trucks deliver logs to the shoreline for sorting and booming, friendly fellow passengers and an efficient and welcoming crew. Hats off to Captain Spencer and deckhands Dave and Adrian. Their good-hearted banter and expert ship handling made for a great experience....you will be amazed how adroitly Spencer wheels this 135 foot long vessel into some very tight spots...and he looks to be only in his 20's! Another highlight was watching helicopter logging. A Russian built Kamov was lifting logs out of a cut block and dropping them into a boom right beside us at one point...very cool to see. This is also a "must-do" experience for fans of Captain James Cook. When you sail past Resolution Cove on Bligh Island, the Uchuck slows and Spencer reverently tells you about the 6 weeks the Resolution spent there in 1778 doing a refit. The spirits of Cook, Vancouver, Bligh, Gore etc. are all around you here...magical and moving. I must also mention the food. Lovely gal who was the cook (didn't catch her name) made fresh-baked cookies and muffins, fresh sandwiches to order, and a Thai pepper prawn soup (more like stew) that was delicious. Very reasonable prices too, like you would pay in a small town cafe. Another point of interest: if you want to learn about Nootka Sound First Nations culture and lifestyle circa 1800, read the excellent account by John Jewitt entitled "White Slaves of Maquinna". Couldn't put it down...absolutely fascinating. Jewiit, a blacksmith of the vessel Boston, lived among the Nootka people for 3 years as the personal armourer for Maquinna and offers insights and observations that cannot be read elsewhere. Our only disappointment was there was not much wildlife was to be seen. However that is June for you. Not the fault of the Uchuck of course! Once the salmon runs begin In late July, there is a better chance to see whales, seals, bears etc. Make sure you heed the instructions for bringing proper clothes for dressing in layers. It was hot at the docks in Gold River by 9:00 AM but once we headed out to sea, we quickly had on long pants, fleece and windbreakers and spent the whole time on deck. I highly recommended this experience for both visitors and locals alike. Do not miss it!!! See my separate reviews for food and lodging in Gold River. Visited June 2016
Guests aboard the MV Uchuck III take amazing photos on their voyages. Please consider sending us your best shots! The Top 10 photos of 2017 will earn a FREE Get West Souvenir teeshirt. The #1 photo of 2017 earns the photographer a FREE Nootka Sound Day Cruise for 2! Please submit your photos to:
NOTE: Any photos submitted may be used in Get West promotional material.