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Old 09-12-2019, 07:46   #1
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Cruising Vancouver

We are planning to sail up from San Francisco this spring and spend the summer cruising the Pacific NW. We are in a Swan 54 and have seen a lot of action having sailed all the way from Finland. Now I would like a summer of relative peace and lazy days. Any suggestions on where to go/stay and cautionary thoughts. Thanks in advance.

Festina Lente
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:15   #2
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Way way too much to go into without more specific questions. There is years of cruising that open up to you the moment you round Cape Flattery

I would suggest starting with a Waggoners (Its available digitally but they are not as useful). It covers from Puget Sound to Alaska and all of Vancouver Island. Not a complete cruising guide but a great overview.

https://www.waggonerguidebooks.com/

We are tidal waters up here so you will want to pick up something like Ports and Passes and read up a bit on tidal passes. Currrents and rapids are a fact of life; so is flukey wind. We have everything from big cities to lonely isolated anchorages, and with a good heater it is accessible year-round.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:34   #3
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

For easy cruising you'll probably want to stay on the inside. More challenging to circumnavigate counter clockwise. Lots of marine parks in the US San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands. Victoria is a fun town to visit, staying at the public docks in front of the Empress Hotel. Going up to Princess Louisa for a picture of your boat under the waterfall is good. Port Townsend is worth a visit too.

As mentioned above, start with the Waggonner guide. Plan on mostly motoring.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:13   #4
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Thanks. A bit more thoughts. I plan to sail up and then fly in and out as my Bay Area schedule allows, probably a week or two at a time. Iíll pick up the suggested book for sure. Questions: l will need to find a home base for the summer, maybe near Victoria, something with reasonable airport access. Suggestions welcome. How about destinations and anchorageís that I could take my guests (some not seasoned sailors). Any not-to-miss places? How about gotchas? Best time to sail North, and sail south? Thanks in advance and fair winds.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:47   #5
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Quote:
Originally Posted by SausalitoDave View Post
Thanks. A bit more thoughts. I plan to sail up and then fly in and out as my Bay Area schedule allows, probably a week or two at a time. Iíll pick up the suggested book for sure. Questions: l will need to find a home base for the summer, maybe near Victoria, something with reasonable airport access. Suggestions welcome. How about destinations and anchorageís that I could take my guests (some not seasoned sailors). Any not-to-miss places? How about gotchas? Best time to sail North, and sail south? Thanks in advance and fair winds.

Dave, look at a road map of the Victoria area and find the airport. The airport is nearest the many harbors of Sidney. Those "marinas" are in the heart of the Gulf Islands and right across Haro Strait from the San Juans, perfect for your plans. I sailed up here from SF in Aug/Sept 2016. Safe Journey.


<Best time to sail North>


Send me a pm and I'll send you George Benson's narrative about how to sail north.


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I've posted our log (with charts & photos) here:

Travels with Aquavite: San Francsico Bay to British Columbia 2016

Photos are under some of the later months' tabs, click on the month to expand to see the photo listings.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:03   #6
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Alfie has a YouTube Channel that covers everything you could imagine up there called Life is Like Sailing.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:23   #7
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Vancouver is a very expensive city (by Canadian standards) but it is a good jumping off place for some great sailing. The Gulf Islands are just a couple hours sail away and Desolation Sound is a couple of days sail away. I have used Granville Islad Fishermans Wharf as my overnight and short stay destination. My 35ft HR cost me $60 per night for short stay moorage. Enjoy your trip, you can't go wrong up here there is so much to see here.
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Old 24-12-2019, 19:29   #8
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Re: Cruising Vancouver

Airports you should consider include Nanaimo - which is actually much closer to Ladysmith harbour than Nanaimo. You're already in the Southern Gulf Islands there - just book your moorage in advance. The other to consider is Comox which has good service connecting from Vancouver - airport runways are military, ie, good, and good connections to Vancouver and Calgary. Comox marinas not so good though imo. I'd also suggest Campbell River, which is where my boat is. Bit less air service than Comox but better marinas imo and a gateway to Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and further north. Connection is from Vancouver.
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