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Old 07-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
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Seattle to Desolation Sound (Gorge Harbour?)

Hey guys,

My grandfather, father, and I are looking into doing a 5ish week cruise next summer from our home marina in Seattle up into Desolation Sound. I have been to some harbours on the way (Friday, Roche, Victoria/Vancouver harbours) but am looking for some good ideas of places to check out. Do you guys have any suggestions on places to stay or see along the way? We have not decided on the exact route (suggestions welcome) so anything is possible.

We will be doing this in a 37 foot Hershine that averages 6-8 knots if that helps with suggestions.


Also, this will be the first extended (more than 2 weeks) cruise for my father and I. What are some must bring items that we may not be thinking about? Bikes?


Cheers!

Kent
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:29 PM   #2
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Well since you're not in a hurry. . . Buy a good cruise book covering the Gulf Islands and read it before you leave. Then run up to Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor or Garrison Bay on San Juan Island and then hit Canadian Customs at Bedwell on South Pender Island the next morning. From there the sky is the limit!! Literally a million places to go. Personal favorite is Pirate Cove on De Courcy Island and Telegraph Harbor on Thesis Island. Nanaimo is lots of fun with Newcastle Island right there.

Then you can cross over the Straits of Georgia to Welcome passage and Pender Harbor (not the same as Pender Island). Too many places to list!! To really enjoy it you need 6 months or 4 or 5 trips north. But honestly get a good boating travel book or two and be sure and hit the Gulf Islands.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:29 PM   #3
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Do you want to stay at marina's, anchor out, combination of both?
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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So many places to go to in that time frame. Dream speaker Guide books, Waggoner's Cruising Guide and a multitude of others. We went to Princess Louisa Inlet in 2010 and wrote a blog about it that talks about a number of places to go to on the way there, Princess Louisa Inlet 2010. It is a bit long but will give you some ideas. Lots of wonderful places from there to Desolation Sound too, Lund, Squirrel Cove, Refuge Cove, Tenedos Bay, Unwin Lake and a lot more. Great cruising grounds.

Enjoy your trip, it will be a memorable one.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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@Edelweiss

Any suggestions on good cruising books or just anyone will work? I am pushing for not planning the whole trip so we can be flexible and change destinations while underway.

@Russell Clifton

Combination. Probably not planning on doing too many consecutive days anchoring out (2-3 max) but we enjoy both!
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:43 PM   #6
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One of the nicer references is a chart book titled "Exploring Puget Sound and British Columbia. It's not only a chart book, which was quite accurate, but has insets which tell local history. Where the names and landmarks come from, who explored the area on what ship, etc. Some of the information goes back to the early exploration of the PNW and Canada. Really a nice addition and presentation. I have the mid 70's edition which is on heavy card stock and wire bound. A newer edition with updated charts is out with the same info, just not as nice of a book.

Be sure and have at least one travel guide that covers local information on entering and anchoring in specific bays and coves. For example: entering or leaving Roscoe Bay in Desolation Sound, where the entrance narrows it will actually go dry on a minus tide and it's solid rock. Not a mistake you would want to make.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:03 PM   #7
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Keith, your photos bring me back to highschool when I had time to go cruising with my grandpa every summer! Wish I lived up in PNW now Houston is nowhere near as pretty on the coast. I skimmed through the reading (supposed to be studying for the GRE right now) but plan on reading it completely this weekend. Sounds like you guys had a great trip. Also, that Waggoner's guide seems really nice - just ordered it!

Edelweiss, I think my grandpa actually has a copy of that. I'm going to have to call him to get stock on all the different books/guides he has. I need to start my own collection!
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:07 PM   #8
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Kfish, I believe the Waggoner's site has a free download of the guide as well. Good luck on your GRE.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
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One problem with the Waggoner ( we have one) is that it doesn't include everything, for example, the marina I'm in (Pender Harbour Resort) is notin there
but I suspect that's because you have to pay a fee to Waggoner to be included.

Get a copy of The Sailing Directions, government publication - it'll tell you all the info about obscure anchorages and what to watch out for.

The east side, after the Gulf Islands, has Smuggler, Secret Cove, Thormanby, Pender Harbour, Harmony Islands, Jeddediah Is, Nelson Island, Powell River, Lund, Copeland Islands then Desolation and lots of others. Savary...etc...
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:24 PM   #10
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Xsbank,

I just downloaded The Sailing Directions at http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...4/Pub154bk.pdf

I had not heard of this before. What a great set of information.

Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:00 PM   #11
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Hey Keith, you're welcome!

A note to our southern neighbours, Canada Customs, or whatever the scum suckers call themselves now, are revenue collectors primarily. Read the rules about how many bottles of "ship's stores" etc. you can bring over lest the buggers lighten your wallet.

They also take a very dim view of firearms and marijuana, things that are legal elsewhere, so it would be a great shame to spend your holidays detained "...at Her Majesty's pleasure..." should you forget this fact.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:01 PM   #12
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What I like most about the Waggoner Guide is that it is updated every year. Marina's change and sometimes even close up. Last summer I tied up at a marina after reading about it in a cruising guide. The guide said that they allowed boats up to 65 feet, but I was asked to leave because the rules had changed since that guide had been printed (waggoner didn't go that far north.) So get the latest copy before you leave. They also include great information on clearing customs and boating in BC.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:14 PM   #13
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Holy smokes!! I'm really surprised to hear a Canadian speak of their customs that way. Over the past 50 years of cruising in Canada I have found them to be very polite and friendly. Everyone should know what the gun and other restrictions are before they go, so that should not be a issue either.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:54 PM   #14
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Waggoners and Douglass South Coast BC book will give you a very good kick start. Also passports are required. And, bring your IPad or similar so you can daily check the env canada weather updates. We pretty well bypass most (not all) of Desolation as it is too crowded and lacks the wow factor you get in the Broughtons.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:29 AM   #15
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Mainland side: Princess Louisa, Prideaux Haven, Pendrell Sound, Stuart Island, Pender Harbour, Harmony Islands...

Island side: Maple Bay, Telegraph Harbour, Montague Harbour, Pirate's Cove, Nanaimo, Campbell River...

I probably forgot bunches of terrific spots.
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