Destinations Eucott Bay

Destination: Eucott Bay

Monday, July 14, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Dean Channel, The Central Coast

52°26.51’N, 127°19.23’W

Note: There is no VHF reception inside Eucott Bay.

One of the many snow-capped peaks and waterfalls along Dean Channel.

With some cruising grounds, it’s all about what lies at the end of the road: a sandy beach, a waterfall, a special hike.  And with others, it’s what takes place along the way.  Cruising the Central Coast is the perfect mixture of both; and one of the highlights of sailing to Eucott Bay, located along the western shore of Dean Channel, is what you see before you get there – mile after mile of high, steep mountains dotted with waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, separated by stunning glacial valleys.

David kayaking in beautiful Eucott Bay.
But Eucott Bay is a gorgeous destination in its own right, as beautiful as any we’ve anchored in over the years, where all the elements come together in an amazing climax:  Marshes line the beach where black bears roam in the mornings and evenings in search of food as the tide goes out.  A waterfall cascades a thousand feet down from snowy peaks along the southern shore near the entrance to the bay. To its right, a 4,665-foot jagged peak, capped with snow, dominates the landscape and leads the eye to a volcanic ridge before dropping off into a glacial valley.  On the northern shore near the head of the bay stands a 2,000-foot vertical granite dome, reminiscent of scene straight out of Yosemite National Park.  And at the base of this monolith lies the “pi├Ęce de la resistance” . . . a hot spring pool formed from natural rock that locals have enhanced with concrete slabs to create a large tub that looks out onto this incredible vista.

A mother black bear and her cubs foraging along the eastern shore.
A male black bear.

The view from the hot springs pool.

If you sense a BUT coming, you’d be right.  Eucott Bay has one small problem that makes it an unappealing destination: deer flies.  And plenty of them.   On sunny days, they overtake your vessel and will cover you in welts if you dare step outside without being drenched in bug spray.  Over the years, we’ve tried several ways to detract them – fly traps, electronic fly swatters, citronella candles – without great success.  The only thing that seems to keep them away is the weather – overcast, windy or rainy days are the best ones to visit Eucott Bay.

To enter the anchorage, favour the eastern shoreline until you’re beyond the set of pilings located on the western shore.  Silting from a stream has occurred over the years and the charted depths are shallower than reported: at low water, the depth is closer to 3.5 metres (12 feet) than 5 (17 feet).  Once past the pilings, the bay opens up but shoals to 2.4 metres (8 feet) and anchoring space is limited to the southeastern section of the cove where the holding is very good in sand and mud with protection from all quadrants. 

There are views all around Eucott Bay.
The hot spring is located near the head of the bay along the northeastern shore directly in line with the row of pilings.  When the nearby company town of Ocean Falls was in full swing, the hot springs were a popular destination and the site had a pier; the pilings are all that remains.  The pool is large enough for a dozen people and about one metre deep (3.3 feet) – an excellent soaking tub.  The water is uncomfortably hot directly out of the stream (around 55°C/131°F); but the temperature can be controlled by inserting a rod into the outflow pipe, reducing it down to a trickle.  The pool is maintained by residents local to the area.  Last year, a boardwalk and steps were adding, making access to the tub easier.

The hot spring pool in Eucott Bay.
Things to Do:        
  • Soak in the hot spring tub
  • Kayak
  • Crab
  • Bear watching

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