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Old 26-06-2013, 20:31   #1
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Gulf Islands

This summer, we're heading north to Nanaimo and want to spend time exploring the Gulf Islands, B.C. We've spent time in the San Juans and want to go further north this yeare. Would love to hear about favorite spots for anchoring in Gulf Islands. Info on favorite marinas also welcomed. We like to get off boat and explore so places with "stuff" to do (hiking, shops, etc) are ideal. Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old 26-06-2013, 21:55   #2
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Re: Gulf Islands

My favorite harbours are Montague and Ganges. You can go for nice walks in both places and Ganges has lots of things to see. Have not stayed in marinas in either place though. Nanaimo certainly has a good harbour and things to see and do. If you go further north I would recommend Pender Harbour. There lots of smaller anchorages but these are a little more interesting ashore. Have a good trip.
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Old 27-06-2013, 00:34   #3
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Re: Gulf Islands

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Originally Posted by cdbrown View Post
This summer, we're heading north to Nanaimo and want to spend time exploring the Gulf Islands, B.C. We've spent time in the San Juans and want to go further north this yeare. Would love to hear about favorite spots for anchoring in Gulf Islands. Info on favorite marinas also welcomed. We like to get off boat and explore so places with "stuff" to do (hiking, shops, etc) are ideal. Thanks for your suggestions!

I'm so jealous. My final choices for retirement came down to the Sequim area of Washington state (Olympic Peninsula) or the Tampa Bay area. I think I would have ended up sailing in either area, and how I would love to sail the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island. The thought of it makes my mouth water.
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Old 27-06-2013, 00:55   #4
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Re: Gulf Islands

Pirates Cove on Decorcy Island has an amazing history and is a beautiful spot : De Courcy Island, Nanaimo, British Columbia - Google Maps

The anchorage on Portland island is a nice little stop:
Portland Island, Southern Gulf Islands, BC - Google Maps

Winter Cove here winter cove, saturna island - Google Maps is where the Robertson II went down:
Heritage tall ship Robertson II runs aground, at risk of sinking. Has a good pub if you exit the bay and head over to the next cove.

Genoa bay on Vancouver Island has some awesome hills that if you catch in the right wind after a hot summer day you will blow at 40knots of absolutely hot air! Genoa Bay, BC - Google Maps (warning I don't control the weather!)

Nanaimo Harbour is a fun place to hang around in the summer. Hit it up towards the end of July and hit up the Bathtub Races. http://bathtubbing.com/userfiles/pdf...3_Schedule.pdf

If you find yourself in Silva bay on Gabriola island visit the ship building school http://goo.gl/maps/EKr7z (It's not very touristy I don't think - at least since I was there last, but if you're interested in learning maybe go and talk with them just for fun :-)

A pro tip for the islands is to bring a bike or hitch hike! Hitch hiking is not frowned upon on these islands, and I bet you if you do so people will stop even if they're all full just to apologize that they have no room. Canada is great eh :-) Some of the better islands for hitch hiking or Pender (North and South as they're connected by a bridge), and Gabriola. Some of the larger islands get pretty bustling in the summer and lose their hippy vibe, and some of the smaller ones don't have any roads to speak of.
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Old 27-06-2013, 05:11   #5
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Re: Gulf Islands

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, cdbrown.
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Old 30-06-2013, 20:07   #6
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Re: Gulf Islands

Thank you!
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Old 04-07-2013, 20:06   #7
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Re: Gulf Islands

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Originally Posted by gordwedman View Post
My favorite harbours are Montague and Ganges. You can go for nice walks in both places and Ganges has lots of things to see. Have not stayed in marinas in either place though. Nanaimo certainly has a good harbour and things to see and do. If you go further north I would recommend Pender Harbour. There lots of smaller anchorages but these are a little more interesting ashore. Have a good trip.
+1 on some of these suggestions.

At Montague on Galiano Island you will find a well protected anchorage off the marine park or there is a marina we have used. Go up to the road from the marina and the Hummingbird Pub bus comes around once or twice an hour. Fun ride and you'll enjoy the restaurant.

Ganges on Saltspring also very interesting. Lots of places to eat, groceries, bars, etc.

Sidney is another good stop.

Across the strait highly recommend Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Quaint marina with excellent facilities and very good restaurants. Cute spot.

Gibsons has a nice marina and you can go to Molly's for supper. Try the scallops.

Further north Pender Harbour is a great spot. We've stayed at Garden Bay Marina. Well protected. Good restaurant.

Lund is also a spot I would stop. Good marina and you can tie up to the floating breakwater if the slips are full and dinghy a short distance to the dinghy dock. Highly recommend the Boardwalk for a meal and you have to have cinnamon buns at Nancy's Bakery. Interesting historic Lund Hotel. Has Ghosts apparently, although we stayed there on a recent motorcycle trip and no visitors!

Desolation Sound is not that much further north and you could try Prideaux Haven, Refuge Cove or Squirrel Cove.

Lots of other places besides this, but these are the ones that we've been at.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-07-2013, 22:41   #8
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Re: Gulf Islands

CSmithers said:

Hitch hiking is not frowned upon on these islands, and I bet you if you do so people will stop even if they're all full just to apologize that they have no room. Canada is great eh :-)

It was somewhere in the San Juans that we caught a ride from a family in a Volkswagon bug. With them and us there were 10 people in the car. Didn't seem a problem for them. Several miles back to the boat after a movie. Fun times.
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Old 13-07-2013, 09:35   #9
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Check out Wallace Island Marine Park - nice anchorage in Princess Cove (although busy in peak season) with bow and stern tie mandatory (eyelets in the rock for stern tie). Great hikes and a bit of history. Just north of Montegue Up Trincomali Channel.
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Old 13-07-2013, 09:37   #10
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+1 on some of these suggestions.

At Montague on Galiano Island you will find a well protected anchorage off the marine park or there is a marina we have used. Go up to the road from the marina and the Hummingbird Pub bus comes around once or twice an hour. Fun ride and you'll enjoy the restaurant.

Ganges on Saltspring also very interesting. Lots of places to eat, groceries, bars, etc.

Sidney is another good stop.

Across the strait highly recommend Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Quaint marina with excellent facilities and very good restaurants. Cute spot.

Gibsons has a nice marina and you can go to Molly's for supper. Try the scallops.

Further north Pender Harbour is a great spot. We've stayed at Garden Bay Marina. Well protected. Good restaurant.

Lund is also a spot I would stop. Good marina and you can tie up to the floating breakwater if the slips are full and dinghy a short distance to the dinghy dock. Highly recommend the Boardwalk for a meal and you have to have cinnamon buns at Nancy's Bakery. Interesting historic Lund Hotel. Has Ghosts apparently, although we stayed there on a recent motorcycle trip and no visitors!

Desolation Sound is not that much further north and you could try Prideaux Haven, Refuge Cove or Squirrel Cove.

Lots of other places besides this, but these are the ones that we've been at.

Good Luck!
South Pender also boasts an awesome marina at Poets Cove. There are also some mooring buoys for those that like some privacy. Great showers and a nice pool.
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