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Old 28-06-2012, 23:05   #1
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Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Anyone care to suggest a potential sail plan?

As sad as it may sound, we've never gone further up the Gulf Island chain than Montague Harbor on Galiano Island. We have eight days total and really want to hang out in Vancouver for maybe 2-3 days. We'll want to sail when possible, so let's assume 5-6 knots average headway.

I'm thinking we stop in Bedwell Harbor day one. Then maybe head on to somewhere like Degnen Bay on day two. From there, cross Strait of Georgia on day three and anchor in False Creek and stick around a couple of days before heading back.

What awesome anchorages are we missing along the way? Comparisons to anchorages in the San Juans and North Puget Sound are good. We've covered both top to bottom.

Thanks,

Rob
Seattle, WA
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Old 29-06-2012, 11:33   #2
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

The big choice is whether to go up inside the islands or the straight. You might want to go up inside the islands and then just boot it back on the outside when you're done.

You've mentioned Bedwell Harbour which has a great resort to stop at for a meal. Montague is great but crowded. A stop at Ganges for lunch in the treehouse and an ice cream cone is fun. You can then anchor overnight in Glenthorne Passage or Montague. Further up is Clam Bay which is large and Pirate's Cove which needs a stern tie (I've never been into Pirate's Cove, but it's supposed to be great). If it were me, I'd plan on Pirate's and then if the wind was going to be up, opt for Clam Bay instead. They're very close to eachother and Clam Bay has more room and better holding but is less spectacular.

Then you can head through Dodd's to Newcastle Island and Nanaimo or head through Gabriola Pass for Silva Bay or direct to False Creek. Note that you will need to time any of these passes for slack water. You do not want to try to get through these when the current is running!! I always go through within half an hour of slack.

You'll need to get a free permit to anchor in False Creek, and you can check out Granville Island and hit transit very easily by dinghy. Vancouver's a great city to check out.

Let me know when you're around and I'll trade some local knowledge for a tour of a Gemini
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Old 29-06-2012, 11:59   #3
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

I agree with CW, and do study your tide tables.
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Old 29-06-2012, 13:58   #4
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Oh, and the Dreamspeaker guides are expensive but really worth it.
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Old 29-06-2012, 22:21   #5
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Thanks very much for all the input cwyckham. Should we expect lots of fireworks on Sunday? If so, should I plan for lots of folks in anchorages close to populated areas, looking to get a good vantage point?

Also, what is Dodds? I did a quick search, but didn't find anything.

Thanks again for all your help!

Rob
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Old 29-06-2012, 22:50   #6
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Sorry, I meant Dodd Narrows near Nanaimo. Once you get into the northern Gulf Islands, there are only a few passages to get out, and they all need to be passed at slack.

Yes, most towns and cities will have fireworks on Sunday night, often visible from the water. Expect absolute chaos on the water with a zillion boats, kayakers, etc. out. This year in Vancouver they're in the main harbour (Burrard Inlet), not in English Bay or False Creek.

See here.

Victoria will have some, and Sidney probably will. I'm sure Nanaimo will. When are you heading up this way?
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Old 29-06-2012, 23:08   #7
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

I wouldn't go Dodd's if Vancouver is the target. People line up to go through at slack; it's a tidal rapids so shouldn't be used any other time. Gabriola Passage is the safest and the window to go through at is much larger. For both you need to monitor ch. 16 in case there is a log boom or some such going through. Porlier is fine at slack or with a little current going your way. It has the advantage of being open so you can see whatever is coming at you. The passes get dangerous when the current is running (Porlier will hit 11 knots) so use your current tables. Slack tide doesn't mean the current is slack.
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Old 30-06-2012, 00:23   #8
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Thanks CW and Hummingway. We're leaving from Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham. I'm not in a huge rush to get to Vancouver, so we may stick around the San Juans or Southern Gulf Islands Saturday and Sunday, to avoid the weekend holiday traffic.

When we get further north, we'll definitely plan for slack, just like good old Deception Pass. We all owe the folks at Canadian Hydrographics a big "thank you" for their work on the current tables.
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Old 30-06-2012, 02:10   #9
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

You can run with the flood or ebb in the passes, they are no big problem, at least Ive never found one. Watch out for the ferry routes they are very frequent and big.
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Old 30-06-2012, 09:04   #10
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

There are whirlpools, standing waves and enough cross and counter currents to make for a really wild ride. Gabriola can go to 9 knots but more commonly goes to 5. It is common for Porlier to run 11 knots. For a keel boat it's risky going with the current when it's running and often not even possible to go against the current.
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Old 30-06-2012, 21:51   #11
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Re: Bellingham to Vancouver - Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
There are whirlpools, standing waves and enough cross and counter currents to make for a really wild ride. Gabriola can go to 9 knots but more commonly goes to 5. It is common for Porlier to run 11 knots. For a keel boat it's risky going with the current when it's running and often not even possible to go against the current.

Yep.

Gabriola Currents - http://www.tides.gc.ca/2012_predicti..._ref/03300.pdf

Porlier Currents - http://www.tides.gc.ca/2012_predicti..._ref/03100.pdf

Dodd - Currents - http://www.tides.gc.ca/2012_predicti..._ref/03500.pdf


The times are in PST add an hour to get PDT.

The Current Atlas is invaluable as well.
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