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Old 02-24-2017, 11:20 PM   #1
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Favorite Gulf Islands Anchorages?

fellow TFers,

In mid-September we'll be chartering an American Tug 34 out of Bellingham for a week. We've chartered in the San Juans a few times and loved it, so this year we want to spend most of the time in Canadian waters.

So, among the bazillion possibilities, what are your favorite anchorages that are likely to be not too crowded, good scenery, etc We'll be spending the first day or so in Sidney, but after that we have 4 or 5 days before heading back to US waters.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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Old 02-24-2017, 11:31 PM   #2
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Mid September it shouldn't be crowded at all.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:32 PM   #3
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Lots of good spots in the Gulf Islands. A few of our favorites.......Montague Harbor, Pirates Cove, Wallace Island, Silva Bay. Waggoners cruising guide has lots of info on the Gulf Islands.
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:46 AM   #4
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Favorite Gulf Islands Anchorages?

Conover Cove is pretty nice and has great walking trails.

Telegraph Harbor has a great little honor system market a short walk from the marina.

Buchart Bay behind the gardens is nice place plus you get a private entrance into the gardens.

Poets Cove and Port Browning are both quite nice plus you can run through Pender Channel to get from one to the other.

Since you will be in Sidney make sure to go over and anchor at Sidney Spit, great views and good swimming for the brave.

We are in Bellingham at Gate 3 so please look us up when you get here, first round is on me.
Plus we can share GB tales.

Bob & Jill
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:50 AM   #5
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Montague Harbour, Genoa Bay, Port Browning, Winter Cove, Bedwell Harbour and Tod Inlet all about 3 hour or less trip from Sidney BC.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:00 AM   #6
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Another one we like is Annette Inlet.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:27 AM   #7
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If you only have 4 or 5 days to bring your chartered tug to the Gulf Islands, most of the above are good choices.

If you want to avoid crowds, even in Sept there will be 100 or so boats in Montague, Poets will still be busy, Conover likely full, Silva Bay you will need to tie at the marina as the anchorage will still be full. The rest are going to be open, as are many other nice little coves.

There are Marine parks (equals good walking ashore, not too crowded) at Bedwell Harbour (300m from Poets Cove), Montague (anchor on the north side where it is much less crowded), Wallace Island (Princess Cove is way better than Conover, connected by well travelled paths), DeCourcey Island (Pirates can be crowded, but the Ruxton passage end is rarely crowded and provides access to the same trails). Gabriola Passage has a park at Cordero Point, rarely busy.
All of the above will give you the quiet and scenery you seek.
Clam Bay is a great anchorage, from which you take the dinghy passage through to Telegraph Cove for walks and a decent pub.
There are so many more that you will be back many more times before you get tired of the Gulf Islands.
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:00 PM   #8
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I agree with all the above except for Silva Bay - the whole bay is now full of private buoys and there is very little left of the charm and quiet you used to be able to find there. It's a perfect example of the chaos resulting from unconstrained development and greedy marina owners who drove everyone to buoys with stupid high prices. Now most of them are half empty.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:30 PM   #9
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Montague seems to make every list. I've not stopped there in a couple decades, but I absolutely will be visiting there since reading the article in this month's Sunset Mag about the Pilgrimme restaurant.

I don't see much mention of towns, but we find Ganges a charming burg with good logistics --have lunch at the Tree House.

And we seem inevitably drawn to the wonderful marine park at Newcastle Island. Great hiking trails with sweeping marine vistas, excellent anchorage or good cheap docks, interesting history on display, nighttime views of the Nanaimo skyline and the "World Famous Floating Pub" just a five minute dinghy ride.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:00 AM   #10
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Favorite Gulf Islands Anchorages?

In fair weather, the hit of the parade, as far as I'm concerned is Cabbage/Tumbo Islands. There are mooring bouts available for no charge. Also nice is James Bay, Prevost Island as there are nice walks on shore. JB is exposed in NW winds. Look for Anne Vipond and William Kelly's book. It's very complete.
https://www.amazon.ca/Best-Anchorage.../dp/1927747015

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Old 04-02-2017, 05:34 PM   #11
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...mooring buoys...not mooring bouts!
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:00 PM   #12
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On the east side of Tumbo facing Georgia Strait, the depths fall off quickly and Orcas often come in very close to shore, making for great viewing. As you mentioned, this is a great spot in settled weather but a stiff W or NW wind gets in there in a big way.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:07 PM   #13
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with 4 or 5 days, I'd do:
- Tod Inlet, 2 days
- Montague Harbour, 2 days (do the Pub Bus!)
- Bedwell Harbour
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