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Old 07-26-2016, 04:36 PM   #1
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(BC) Gulf Island Favorites?

I'm chartering an American Tug 41 in late August, out of Bellingham (six nights). As I did the San Juans last year, I plan to do the Gulf Islands. I have the Dreamspeaker guide (by the Yeadon-Jones) so I can certainly map out my own plan.

But I thought I'd ask here anyway.

Obviously I have to clear customs, most likely at Bedwell. Beyond the large towns with restaurants etc, I'm looking for ideas for favorite anchorages anywhere in the Gulf Islands. I think my criteria are avoiding wind/swells, beauty, and enough space that I don't have to get there by noon in order to secure a spot.

All input appreciated!
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:33 PM   #2
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I,m kinda of a fan of Wallace island it's small anchorage though, have to watch tides and most likely stern tie. I'm sure there are plenty more especially the north end of the Gulf Islands
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:11 PM   #3
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I don't wish to predict what the crowds will be like when you come up, but I can say for certain that right now there are no vacancies in any of the popular anchorages. EG, Wallace, as mentioned above, and which I can see from my livingroom deck, has more boats in both Conover and Princess than they can hold, so the overflow is anchored north of Princess. The traffic past here for the last week has been huge, so I am sure that is a good indication of the numbers in all of the anchorages.
Montague can hold 100s, Clam Bay is huge, the north side of the campsite at Montague is huge, There is lots of room in Long Harbour, Ruxton Passage is often available when Pirates is full, Preedy Harbour, for when Telegraph is full, Bedwell has both Poets Cove and the adjacent Marine Park, Port Browning is huge. Winter Cove often has lots of room, Bennet Bay and Horton Bay often have lots of room. Maple Bay always has room. Burgoyne Bay is overlooked, Genoa Bay has a surprising amount of room (and a great restaurant to boot), Cowichan bay has lots of room, Brentwood Bay, Tod Inlet are surprisingly quiet.

I would avoid Silva Bay, Degnen Bay, the anchorage in Telegraph Habour and Ganges Harbour, all for the wind, waves, and crowding you wish to avoid.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:26 PM   #4
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Kevin has it covered really well and I'll throw in a few more which, depending on winds can work;

Sidney Spit, Tumbo, Irish Bay, Prevost Island, Dionisio Point, Tent Island, Secretary Islands and North Cove. Boat Harbour in a pinch.

Careful entry...
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:07 PM   #5
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Great list guys. We are considering spending our time after dropping the kids off in the Gulf Islands. That list is helpful.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays;
We are considering spending our time after dropping the kids off in the Gulf Islands.
You may never be so close again so I insist you at least take a look at your books and charts of Hardy and Nelson Islands, Hotham Sound and one of my forever favourites, Sechelt Inlet where, at the moment, there is only 1 AIS hit.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:43 AM   #7
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Will do HW.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:51 AM   #8
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I thump the drum for Hotham Sound for a few reasons.

The run up Princess Louisa is a long one at 100nm return and that's why I say you might not be near there again.

While I wouldn't discourage anyone from going up, Malibu and Chatterbox not withstanding, I look at it like Starbucks and the Blarney Stone. You go because you think you are supposed to.

Hotham Sound, with Sykes and Harmony Islands, is just as spectacular, if not more, than the three Reaches to Malibu. The sheer to shore is incredible and you experience two big deals at once; Freil Falls at 1400 feet is the highest freefall waterfall on our coast and the entrance to Hotham at 400 fathoms, the deepest.

Hotham Sound can be enjoyed in a third the time it takes for Louisa.

Same with Sechelt Inlet. Most are intimidated by the rapids so it is pretty solitary. Again, awesome scenery and at the end, Porpoise Bay is about a mile walk to the town of Sechelt.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:10 AM   #9
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Here's another one I just thought of, if you are having a slow(er) lazy day and need a nice spot for lunch; Buccaneer Bay between the Thormanby Islands. It can even be a decent overnighter if the winds cooperate.


And another, they just keep popping up...if you cross over to the west of Texada, look up Hornby and Lasqueti.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:23 AM   #10
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Hawg:

Sounds like you have developed the same cruise itinerary as I have. I second all of your recommendations so far.

Jedediah Island, not where I would anchor for the night, as either too crowded (Deep Bay) or too rolly, (White Rock Bay). I prefer to spend the night in Boho, but always manage a walk around Jedediah, Great views at Home Bay.

Also like the little Island up the N side of Lasqueti (Little known fact: was once owned by Boz Skaggs) for a protected anchorage.

Ballet Bay, if you don't annoy the guy with the nice little cabin on shore he won't annoy you with his construction noises. Or anchor near the Quarry on Hardy, off Fox. Great views out to Malaspina. No prawns in Blind Bay, I have been skunked every time I have tried. If you are transiting the passage between Fox and Hardy, past the cute little house on its own separate rock, stay to the middle of the channel, as the charts don't all show a rock close to the Fox side.

Telescope Passage is another gem, if heading to or from the Harmony Islands.

If I had time to spend a few days in Princess Louisa, I would go, but for a single overnight, it is a very long trip, especially at trawler speeds. The anchoring is interesting, as the rock surface is just a huge slab coming down from thousands of feet up, and continuing down at the same angle, unbroken by anything your anchor would find to hook onto. Basically dependent upon the weight of chain and anchor hanging off the bow to keep you still, with limited opportunities to tie back. Although we have spent a pleasant time there in fabulous weather. Chatterbox falls keeps a layer of very cold fresh water on top of the warm salt water, so swimming is interesting.
Docking? At this time of year, always full.

Quarry Bay can get a little lumpy, but it is great in flat water.

Storm Bay is one of my favorite anchorages, but if you don't feel like transiting the Skookumchuk, go into Egmont and walk down at maximum current to watch and listen to the rapids. Well worth an afternoon.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #11
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Keith, your first round of go to's is a good'n. Some of mine are subject to exposure but make a good "back of the mind, just in case" plan B.

Storm Bay, I agree. I like that the Skookumchuck keeps most at bay. In fact, watching the coast via AIS over the past month, is like flying over the Celebration of Light or PNE. Sardines man.

Green Bay on Nelson is a decent tuck yer butt in too.
Squitty Bay...you'll chuckle at that suggestion, I know.
We could just go on couldn't we?
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
I have the Dreamspeaker guide (by the Yeadon-Jones) so I can certainly map out my own plan.
I'd recommend getting the Waggoner and the Douglass guides also, for their different emphases and perspectives. Read all three and you'll know about as much as anybody about Gulf Island destinations.

Quote:
I think my criteria are avoiding wind/swells, beauty, and enough space that I don't have to get there by noon in order to secure a spot.
In August those 3 criteria have a definite "pick any two" aspect to them. But anchorages are not far apart and it can be quite feasible to get underway early enough to arrive at the next one late morning. When your destination is one of the small tight popular ones, have a there-will-be-space-for-sure alternative planned if the first doesn't work, and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:18 AM   #13
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I don't know if your still cruising into September, but I am anchored in Todd Inlet, a dingy ride away from Brentwood Bay. It's very protected and is the backdoor entrance to Buchart Gardens
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