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Old 07-15-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Jervis Inlet - Princess Louisa next week

Weather permitting, that is - we hope to leave next Saturday morning, Nanaimo Sat night, Pender or Egemont Sunday night, and up to PL on Monday.

We've not been there before, so I do have a question.

I've poured over the guides and see two things that concern me when taken together. First, that it's a very popular cruising destination (duh!) and fills up. Second, that there aren't many alternate anchorages available because of the steep dropoffs.

So I'm concerned that we get through Malibu and to our destination only to find no room at the inn. And at that point we're six hours 'til the next ebb water at Malibu and still not close to anywher we can drop hook for the night.

Am I being paranoid? Any thoughts/hints/experiences greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-15-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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We've not taken the boat there but we've taken the Beaver in there a number of times. In the summer your concerns are somewhat justified. The one long dock fills up and at the head of the inlet there is only one alternate anchorage and that is directly in front of the falls. The water in the entire inlet drops off very fast close to shore but there is a shelf in front of Chatterbox with room for one or two boats. You have to anchor very close in. But the theory-- which seems to work from our observation-- is that the current from the falls keeps the boat off the shoreline.

There is a small anchorage at McDonald Island just before you turn the corner into the head of the inlet. We've seen a boat in there every now and then but never more than one so I don't know how much anchoring room there really is there.

I don't know what the anchoring situation is like at Malibu itself. There's a strip of bottom about 40' deep along the shore by their docks but while we've seen boats at the docks I don't recall ever seeing anyone anchored there.

The uncertainty of getting a spot at the head of the bay is one reason we would not go there by boat in the summer. We do our longer cruises in September, anyway, so would consider going there then. There have been times in the plane we've flown in there only to find no space at the dock, but it's no big deal to simply turn around and fly out again.

There is a time limit on the dock. I think it's two days but you probably have that information already. But the time limit results in a pretty brisk turnover of boats.

It's a beautiful spot although compared to what's up the coast in BC and SE Alaska it's not anything particularly special. If you've never been to Chatterbox it's certainly worth visiting although it's a long plod back in there, even in the Beaver at 110 mph.

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Old 07-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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This information you have probably already found on the Princess Louisa website:

"Four Mooring Buoys are available behind MacDonald Island to port approximately halfway up the Inlet. Watch for a drying rock off the South end of the Island. Anchorage is also available at the head of the inlet at the foot of Chatterbox Falls. Set your anchor in close to the falls in 10 feet (3 m.) And let the river current keep you in position. The Society has placed mooring eyes at various locations along the rock walls from MacDonald Island to either side of the falls for stern ties to assist in anchoring at other locations in the Inlet but does not warrant the locations as being good anchorage. The holding ground is largely rock and the water deep."

We have anchored many time along either side at the head for a night with a stern tie to one of the rings. Deep but can be done, if you are ready to move on the next slack just keep an eye on the dock and move in when someone leaves.

Beautiful place, great hiking, water on the dock....enjoy God's country!
Mike Barge
MV Rochepoint
Sidney, British Columbia.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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There's quite a bit of anchorage available around Macdonald Island if there's no room left at the top of the inlet. Can't comment on whether you're being paranoid because we were there in Jan/Feb - there was lots of room at that time of year.
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