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Old 29-03-2011, 15:08   #16
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

Did anyone mention Montague Harbor on Galiano? We spent a couple of days there, good anchorage, nice park, perhaps the most spectacular sunset we had ever seen, and don't forget the bus to the Hummingbird Pub( what a hoot), the bread ship that comes over regularly from Maple Bay, best sticky buns we ever had in the Gulf Islands. Was one of our favorite stops. If you have a good strong tender with a bit of horsepower, you can motor over to Active Pass and watch the Orcas swim through, at least in summer they seem to be there every other day around 2pm Very Cool, On a whim we took a cruise up the Saanich Inlet and tied up to a free mooring ball in Todd Inlet provided by Butchart Gardens, which is definitely worth the price of admission. I am not a gardener but we spent the whole day wandering around, listening to a blues group at an outdoor theatre and fireworks later on.
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Old 09-07-2012, 16:56   #17
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

We are new to the PNW. Chartering out of Bellingham for 7 days. Can someone suggest an easy, safe mooring/anchorage for the first night leaving Bellingham at noon at 9 knots. Is Saltspring Island doable the first day from Bellingham ?
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Old 09-07-2012, 17:07   #18
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

GEE! no one has mentioned the neat little harbor in the back of Busch Gardens !! free place and ya have the whole of busch gardens to see!! our kids loved it make sure your there after dark when the lights come on !! very quite, safe, and a good dingy dock !!it's just around the bend from Sidney but very few local boats go there !!
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Old 09-07-2012, 18:10   #19
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

Leaving from Bellingham, a great place to stop would be Sucia Island, a unique place that is a favourite with Canadians. From there to Pender (Poets Cove) for customs if you're heading north. If you're thinking Buchart Gardens, Buchart Cove or Todd inlet you would want to Clear at Sydney.

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Old 09-07-2012, 19:45   #20
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

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Originally Posted by bmarino View Post
We are new to the PNW. Chartering out of Bellingham for 7 days. Can someone suggest an easy, safe mooring/anchorage for the first night leaving Bellingham at noon at 9 knots. Is Saltspring Island doable the first day from Bellingham ?
It's doable but a long day; plan on Bedwell Harbour, Pender Island instead so you can check in. It's a nice stop anyway with a variety of options from luxury spa and marina to park bouy and hiking or a couple of good spots to drop the hook if you prefer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 19:46   #21
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

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GEE! no one has mentioned the neat little harbor in the back of Busch Gardens !! free place and ya have the whole of busch gardens to see!! our kids loved it make sure your there after dark when the lights come on !! very quite, safe, and a good dingy dock !!it's just around the bend from Sidney but very few local boats go there !!
The problem with Busch Gardens is the big reef between here and Florida!
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Old 09-07-2012, 21:52   #22
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

It's about 47 nm from B to S. do-able but a long run and if currents are unfriendly even longer. Ganges on S is the Big Smoke of the GI's. I don't believe there's a customs check in available there and Bedwell is the place to check in. Bedwell at Pender is a great place to anchor or dock up at Poet's Cove. Either way, you can use the pool (for a fee if anchored) and showers. Have a fun time. Cheers,
Bill
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:11   #23
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

Thanks everyone for your sugestions and comments. I think we will play it safe and shoot for Sucia Island the first day/night. We have cruising books here for the San Juan Islands but not the Gulf Islands. One more question - do we really need to go to the Gulf Islands ? Is there really much difference between the two ? Will we be missing something ? We only have 7 days. Thanks again.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:25   #24
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

It's hard to answer a question of need but they are very different. I try not to do any of it in a hurry preferring to experience the places I'm anchoring vs. seeing them as I go by. I also find a less ambitious agenda allows me to sail instead of motoring everywhere.

Cruising books help, charts are required. The Canadian Hydrographic Services charts do show anchorages but they don't tell you anything about them and they only show certain ones. It makes it a little hard to plan a trip. One week isn't much so plan well.
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Old 10-07-2012, 19:04   #25
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

I cruise both the San Juan's and the GI's each season - they are very different. I find that the Juan's are better for docking up and the "civilizations" (villages) are better developed offering more amenities while the GI's have much better anchoring opportunities. Of course, this is my perspective and contains generalities. Cheers,
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Old 10-07-2012, 20:17   #26
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

One of my most memorable evenings and great oyster feed was in a little bay around the corner from Georgina Point at the top end of Mayne Island at the eastern tip of the island. This was back in the late fifties/early sixties and had sailed across from Snug Cove on Bowen Island as I recall arriving late afternoon. Sunny, warm, very little wind so powered in to the tiny inlet between Georgina Shoals and the top of Mayne island on a falling tide. At low tide both the shoals and the oyster beds almost dried out leaving about 3 meters of water under the keel at low water. The shoals protected us wonderfully from the swell of Georgia Straits. Oysters so thick that they grew on top of each other!
With the love of my life (at the time), we skinny dipped with only running shoes and collected probably 2 lbs of oysters (shucked)... ate 1/2 raw and made up an oyster potato stew with the rest. Put on a few tunes, lit the coal oil lamp below and watched the sun set over Active Pass.
I feel truly blessed that I still recall the magic of my youth and the memories are as vivid as they were 50 years ago.
The oyster beds are probably long since privatized I imagine and I think there is even a B&B close by named after them... ah, progress... Capt Phil
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Old 10-07-2012, 20:35   #27
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Re: Best Spots in Canadian Gulf Islands

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Originally Posted by bmarino View Post
Thanks everyone for your sugestions and comments. I think we will play it safe and shoot for Sucia Island the first day/night. We have cruising books here for the San Juan Islands but not the Gulf Islands. One more question - do we really need to go to the Gulf Islands ? Is there really much difference between the two ? Will we be missing something ? We only have 7 days. Thanks again.
For a 7 day jaunt, it really isnt necessary , or even possible to see much of the Gulf Islands anyway. Plenty in the San Juans. Sucia, matia, Friday Harbor or Roche for a night out, Garrison Bay etc... in all cases pay attention to the tides and use them!
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