Originally Posted by davefromoregon
I’m going to spend several weeks in the desolation sound and Broughtons this summer with multiple crew changes.
Last summer I did something similar where I went to the San Juan’s, Gulf Islands, and desolation sound. I made Anacortes my base.
this year, I’ll spend all of the time farther north. I’ll need to get crew in and out. Most coming from and going back to Portland
I’m thinking Pender Harbour or Lund. Are there places that would allow people to leave a car for up to two weeks? Pender harbour has a better store. Lund may be harder to get to.
Recommendations? Other ideas?
Ok. I live in Pender Harbour/Madeira Park. Yes you can park your car at the government dock
Park free for as long as you want - although there are some secret places when the obvious ones are full. I've certainly parked mine there for extended periods when, for example, I go up to Princess Louisa Inlet, over to Jedidiah and Lasquiti Islands, and into Sechelt Inlet. I've also left Scorpius at anchor
for two weeks just off the government dock
when I'm staying at our house there or have to go down to Vancouver
with the car. Never had a problem and haven't heard of any either.
I keep Scorpius in Lund, on the hard
, over the winter
. I'm there now getting her ready to launch. Other than Jack's Boatyard, I wouldn't recommend ANY services in Lund. The store, fuel
dock, etc. are far from the best around. They even charge for the lousy Lund water
for heaven's sake! They say the hotel/resort probably won't open this summer because of post-Covid staffing shortages - and the pub, which was closed for the winter
, may not re-open. IMHO the place has REALLY gone downhill with the new owners.
Park and Port McNeil are the best places on the coast to re-provision. Westview (Powell River) is the best for fuel
on the east side of Georgia
Strait. Westview water is superb, free, and readily available at the town dock (South Harbour for transients). There's a very large shopping
centre in Westview - but it's a mile from the docks straight up a VERY steep hill. In past years there has been a sporadic shuttle bus but the wharfinger wants you out of there in two hours or you pay and, using the shuttle bus, it's really not possible to get up the hill, do your shopping
, and get back down within the two hours. With a taxi it is. Or bite the bullet and stay the night at the dock. There aren't any good anchorages
close to Westview. The closest is Sturt Bay on Texada Island - about 5 miles SSW.
You were talking about Wagonners, etc. as a guide book. There are better ones and I'm sure someone will mention them - but Wagonners is adequate. I'm usually using one that's a few years old (that someone has discarded) and it works fine for me - although you do find that things are changing - like the Lund Resort and Hotel
and Echo Bay in the Broughtons. Waggoners is also very conservative when it comes to acceptable conditions for going somewhere, etc. and, their advertisers (and there are a lot of them) generally get glowing reviews
- not always warranted. They also seem to be very powerboat oriented with extensive writeups of the various commercial docking
facilities while being pretty sparse about anchorages
- which I much prefer and are free. But then, I just look on the charts
for good spots - and I have my favourites: usually pretty secluded and uncrowded.
I would also STRONGLY recommend that you get a current
copy of "Ports and Passes". It's available at pretty well every chandlery
in Puget Sound
(in the US) and in most in BC. It's invaluable. The Canadian Government has stopped printing tide and current books
(you can download PDF's). Ports
and Passes has all that information plus chartlets of all the rapids you will have to go through to get north of Desolation Sound (I would STRONGLY advise going up through the Yulcultas, etc. rather than Seymour Narrows to avoid as much of the "washing machine" of Johnstone Strait as possible) - but you need REALLY good tide and current information and timing tips - and it's all in Ports
and Passes. DON'T rely on electronic tide and current tables. Some of them are accurate. Many are not. If you use the tables that come with OpenCPN
you'll be trying to go through Whirlpool Rapids (despite their name, far from the most dangerous) at peak flood or ebb instead of at slack.
Getting up through the rapids and to Port McNeil for re-provisioning and as a base for the Broughtons you may have to make another fuel stop along the way. I would suggest Blind Channel. They also have a great restaurant and a bit of a store - but it's no supermarket. Wonderful people.
There's a major airport
serving Port Hardy and Port McNeill for getting people in and out - and I believe they've started a local bus service
that will take you right from the Port McNeill docks to the airport
(possibly with a transfer) for around $2 per person. It's quite a ways. Powell River (Westview) also has an airport with scheduled flights to and from Vancouver
When you are in the Broughtons make sure you visit Billy Proctor and his museum and bookstore in Proctor Bay (just around the corner from Echo Bay). It's an experience not to be missed. Make sure you buy one of his books
to REALLY learn about life in that magical area.
And don't miss the U'mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay. Or Sointula.
I can't think of any questions you might have that I haven't answered
but if there are more, just ask here - so everyone else can listen in.
Have fun! I may see you along the way somewhere.