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Old 09-04-2012, 22:55   #1
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BC Cruising Guides

Looking for some advice on a couple things. First, I am headed up to British Columbia this summer and we have on board Charlie's Charts, North to Alaska. I am curious if anyone has used Don Douglass' cruising guides for BC, or Bill Wolferstan's books for the area? If so, any thoughts on which you found to be the most helpful.
Second, charts for the area, I like having paper charts on board besides just GPS so are there chart books for the BC coast waters? Or do you have to have a pile of individual charts? What are the options.

-Colin
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Old 10-04-2012, 00:52   #2
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

How far are you going ? This will of course affect the charts you will need , Are you Power of sail , Many of the cruising guides lean to one or the other.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:23   #3
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

We've used the Douglass guides extensively. I'd especially recommend the BC North Coast and SE Alaska ones - good info to help you choose anchorages. For south of Cape Caution, we've used Douglass and years ago Wolferstan. Dreamspeaker guides seem pretty good too. Waggoner can be helpful - seemed to me maybe more for marina information than for anchorages.

Another excellent reference for BC is the Ports and Passes book for tides and especially currents - critical info for transiting the rapids. Much better than the govt pubs.

There's a chart kit book that covers up to Nanaimo, but beyond that all I know of is the real paper charts. We carry most of them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:24   #4
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

Thanks for the responses so far. I am on a sailboat and will be cruising desolation sound north towards sitka. Is there a good place in Victoria or another place for picking up paper charts? Currently located in the San Francisco bay area, are there spots in this area?

-Colin
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:40   #5
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

There are chart books available for the lower half. You may need real charts if going clear to Sitka. That's a pretty ambitious schedule for one summer. You could spend years inside and rounding Van isle! You will want a BC Tides and Current guide (may not be the correct name) It's a beautiful trip. I wouldnt miss the lower half of the outside of Van Isle for anthing....
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:45   #6
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

Yeah I know its a huge area to explore for sure. Thanks for the suggestion of van isle. Basically going north of desolation sound and start gunk holing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:44   #7
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

Arnchair Sailor in Seattle is a good source for charts.

Armchair Sailor Books & Charts

They have collections of charts for various regions, including full-size B&W copies of the Alaska charts if you want them at a lower price. We carry all their B&W SE AK portfolios, at less than half the price of the standard charts.

They also carry Ports and Passes (BC Tides and Currents)
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:56   #8
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

Also pick up an up to date copy of the Coast Pilot. There are a number of Marine stores that stock charts, books and guides within easy walking distance of Victoria Harbor by the Empress Hotel. When you check in at the Customs and Immigration dock, they will give you directions to the shops. Make sure everyone stays aboard the vessel at the C&I dock as they get pissed when crew are wandering around without you first checking into the office and getting cleared. Office is at the head of the Customs dock... take all passports, ships papers, insurance, paers for any pets, including shots from your vet. Many times if you call ahead on vhf, they will have an inspector meet you at the boat and do everything right there aboard... usually nice folks to deal with. Remember, no hand guns allowed in Canada... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:02   #9
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

I used the Waggoner guide. What I like about it is that it gets updated on an annual basis, which means that you've got the latest marina maps, phone numbers, et cetera.

http://waggonerguide.com/
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:06   #10
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Re: BC Cruising Guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMoon View Post
Arnchair Sailor in Seattle is a good source for charts.

Armchair Sailor Books & Charts

They have collections of charts for various regions, including full-size B&W copies of the Alaska charts if you want them at a lower price. We carry all their B&W SE AK portfolios, at less than half the price of the standard charts.

They also carry Ports and Passes (BC Tides and Currents)
Also Captains Nautical Supply in Seattle... extensive inventory...
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