Sooke is a large, well sheltered harbour filled with dangers. The entrance needs leading marks to keep boats from hitting the rocks and bars in the middle of the channel. Do not enter the harbour until you see the two daymarks line up, one above the other. Keep them in line as you approach until the second pair line up, then turn towards the second pair. This keeps your course only a few meters off of the prominent spit and away from the dangers in the middle of the “channel”. The harbour itself is shallow and littered with buoys marking the numerous sand bars. An alert helm paying attention to the chart is a must for any vessel that draws more an a meter.

Sooke is also a suburb of Victoria. As such it is large and has all services.

There are several sets of docks in the harbour. We stayed overnight at the public dock, which is well kept. We were uncomfortable with the shallow depths, often less than 2m even in the marked channels, so we did not explore fully enough to find a gas dock.

Approaching Sooke harbour in fog and gale force winds was the stupidest thing we did on our circumnvaigation of Vancouver Island. If the fog hadn’t cleared at the harbour mouth we certainly would have badly damaged Wai Whare. I recommend avoiding Sooke in fog in any conditions. Passable anchorage is available a few miles away on either side of Beachey Head while running aground at the mouth of Sooke Harbour is essentially guaranteeded if you can’t see the marks, even with GPS.

  • Docks: yes
    • Washrooms: not at the public dock
    • Showers: no
    • Laundry: no
    • Restaurant: yes
    • Gas: maybe?
  • Mooring Cans: no
  • Cell service: yes

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