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Old 10-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
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Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Stealing Mark's idea to list favorite cruising places in SE Alaska, I'm going to start three other ones.* This one is for the Gulf Islands in BC.* It's a popular and reachable destination for shorter cruises, particularly from home ports like Bellingham, Blaine, and Anacortes.* So perhaps it would be beneficial to boaters on this forum in this area to hear what others have found to be their favorite spots.

For us so far, it's been:

Montegue Marine Park (nice walk around the penninsula with the native shell midden beach)

Cabbage Island Marine Park (very exposed to north winds and waves, however)

Ganges (fun town on Saltsrping, make sure to be there Saturday for the weekly market)

Genoa Bay (secluded harbor, nice staff, good faciities, great restaurant)

Sidney Spit Marine Park (great view, nice walking on the mile-long sand spit)

Telegraph Harbor (good albeit funky marinas, the ferry ride to Chemainus to see the buidling murals is worthwhile)

Silva Bay (nice marina, an "outside" environment on the edge of Georgia Strait, good jumping off point for the run to Desolation Sound as it avoids Whiskey Golf).

Nanaimo (the city marina is nice, centrally located, with a great fresh fishmonger in the harbor)

-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 10th of October 2010 07:46:13 PM
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

The Gulf Islands are a great place to spend the summer - and not use much fuel as many of the anchorages are within 30 minutes of each other.

The North end of Valdez has a newer Marine park.* Great trails and history.
See: Canadas False Prophet - Brother 12.

Pirates Cove on D'Courcey - 5 stars

The north end of Thetis has a cool long tidal Kayak paddle.

Wallace Is - multiple excellent anchorages and great trails.

Long harbor on Saltspring has a nook right across from the ferry dock that will fit 2 boats stern tied - we always seem to stay at least 2 nights here.

Prevost Is - multiple great anchorages.

Satuna Is - lots of nooks around winter cove

Tod Inlet - very much worth the detour

Portland Is - great anchorages and hiking - with ripe fruit on the trees in August - If anchoring on the north end, stern tie with the ferry wakes in mind.

Kudos to the Canadian Marine Park folks - these are some of the most magnificent parks you will see and use.

Lots of cruising guides for the area
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Yes Marin we've done all of those. Cabbage Is was fun. We are members of The Albineers of British Columbia and their gatherings brought us to the Gulf Islands many times. Otter Bay was a favorite harbor that was always the first cruise of the year. Miss the Albin folks and the places we went together.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Cowichan Bay and Chemainus are little towns that have done quite a lot to make their marinas more available to rec boaters. Cowichan Bay added space and Chemanius got the fish boats to move to near by Crofton. Both places have unique attractions for everybody, *ifcoming by land or sea
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:08 PM   #5
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Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

bshanafelt,Speaking of Wallace there are islands up near Port Neville called the Wallace Group. We anchored there in 03 and took this picture before pulling anchor.
By the way I really like your picture. It's really nice to see a place like that. We live in a wonderfully beautiful place but we don't have anything comparable to that. We miss the maple trees.


-- Edited by nomadwilly on Saturday 16th of October 2010 03:12:24 PM
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:36 PM   #6
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

There are JUST SO MANY... But there is one that I'll NEVER forget. Winter Cove. We had guests on board from the mid-west. It had been a beautiful day and we had finally set the hook and were cooking up a bunch of crab. (I couldn't have planned it any better) We are sitting there finishing our meal when we hear someone on shore starting up their bag pipes. He/she was playing from the porch of one of the houses on shore. We were treated to (I think) four songs. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #7
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

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carvendive wrote:

...starting up their bag pipes. He/she was playing from the porch of one of the houses on shore. We were treated to (I think) four songs. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!
The reason bagpipers are always walking when they're playing, even if it's walking in place, is they are trying to get away from that God-awful sound.* It's no wonder the English designated them weapons of war and banned them way back when.* The single greatest mistake the British have made in their entire history was lifting that ban.

*
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

The Gulf Islands aren't all that far away for people in the Puget Sound area. From the northern Sound-- Anacortes, Bellingnam, Blaine or marinas in the San Juan Islands--- the Gulfs are a two to four hours away. From the south Sound--- Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Edmonds, etc.--- they can be a very long one day's cruise away or a day and a half or so if you don't want to push it.

For people over on Vancouver Island the Gulfs are right in front of them. For folks over on the BC mainland the islands are perhaps three or four hours away depending on the mood of the Georgia Strait.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #9
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Quote:
bshanafelt wrote:

The Gulf Islands are a great place to spend the summer - and not use much fuel as many of the anchorages are within 30 minutes of each other.



That sounds like Trawler Heaven,* I got to run at least 2 days before things get interesting!!

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Old 02-16-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Quote:
superdiver wrote:I was understanding the Gulf Islands to be in "the gulf"* lol, sorry, i was thinking like down near FL or TX...lol* Makes much more sense now...lol
No, the Gulf Islands have big-ass trees and bears and stuff on them.* I'm not sure the folks down south would quite know what to make of them......

*
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Marin
I hope that was a little tongue in cheek, been boating 40 years in the Gulf Islands. Never seen a "big ass" tree let alone a bear on any of the Gulf Islands, sure would like to can you tell me where?
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

There are bears on Saltspring for sure. There's a whole Saltspring web page devoted to "how to deal with one if you come across one." They swim between Vancouver Island and the islands. Not often, apparently, but enough to be aware about. We met a couple this past September who lives on Saltspring--- friends of the friends that were guests on our boat--- who had a black bear rummage around in their garden once.

As to the big-ass trees, well, compared to what I have seen in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina, even the second and third growth trees on the Gulf Islands are pretty damn big. At least tall. They do get some impressively wide and very good looking trees down south I've noticed.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:38 PM   #13
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Don't know whether that web page about bears on Saltspring is very recent. I have a house on Saltspring, since 2001. My Dad has lived there full time for 25 years. I have never heard of anyone seeing a bear on the Island, although I acknowledge the possibility, as they do swim quite well.
We have had several bears in our own yard at our Coquitlam house over the past three years.
At Saltspring, I did see a Lynx in my own backyard about 5 years ago, and a small wild boar in the winter of 09. Lots of deer, bigger up at the north end where I am than in Long Harbour where my Dad is.
As to big-ass trees, this past year I have taken down several trees of 4 to 6 feet diameter at the cut. These are just every day trees for Saltspring. They grow like the weeds they are and need to be culled.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:20 PM   #14
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Quote:
koliver wrote:

have never heard of anyone seeing a bear on the Island, although I acknowledge the possibility, as they do swim quite well.
The people we met last year on Saltspring live overlooking the top end of Samsun Narrows.* Perhaps that's why they had a bear in their yard, as I would think if a bear did swim across it would choose the shortest swim to the island.

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:02 PM   #15
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RE: Favorite Gulf Islands destinations

Superdiver
Here are the directions from Portland, Or, where I am moored.
Go 100 miles downriver to Astoria, turn right. Go 130 miles to Tatoosh Island, turn right, go 65 miles to Port Angeles (stop for fuel), turn left. Proceed to Sidney for Customs clearance.

Sidney is a great first stop for us - great grocery stores (who will deliver to the boat), Stock up on beer, liquor (limits on what we can bring in). It's also a great book town with several bookstores, so we stock up on reading material as well. We like all the stops mentioned above, as well.
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