British Columbia Sydney Inlet

Bottleneck Cove: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Sunday, August 18, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

Bottleneck Inlet
From Hot Springs Cove, we rounded Sharp Point yesterday and travelled up Sydney Inlet to our next destination: Bottleneck Cove.  It was only an eight nautical mile trip, but a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the previous four days and I fell in love immediately. 

After navigating through yet another narrow entrance that tapers down to less than 60 feet, the anchorage opens up into a large bay with enough swing room for several boats. The holding is good in mud, and the cove is well-protected from all quadrants, barely allowing a breath of air to cross its threshold.  From outside the boat, we can hear water running down a stream and the call of a loon in the distance, but very little else.  The silence is only occasionally broken by the sound of a float plane, a reminder of the chaos that lies justover the hill.  It’s pure heaven and we have it all to ourselves, a welcomed respite after the time we’d just spent in Hot Springs Cove.

Surrounded by old-growth cedar that branches out over the water at high tide and granite outcroppings covered in moss and lichen, there are few, if any, signs of man and it would be easy to believe that we’re the first ones to have ever visited this place . . . but we’d be wrong.  During prohibition, rum runners used the bay to avoid having their boats discovered carrying loads of alcohol.  They would hide their stores of liquor near the entrance before coming in and when federal officers arrived to check their holds, they wouldn’t find a thing – a bit of history that appeals to our sense of moral justice. 

As much as we’d like to linger, our plan is to spend one more night here and then move on.  It’s getting late in the season and we’re feeling the pressure to finish our West Coast adventure and move back to inside waters.  So with four or five days of fine weather ahead of us, we need to use it to explore Clayoquot Sound and make further southing.  But honestly, I feel like I could stay here forever . . . it’s that perfect.   
The entrance to Bottleneck Cove looking out to Sydney Inlet

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