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Old 09-01-2019, 11:50   #1
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Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Headed to Victoria Canada next week and was just hoping for some advice re navigating Canadian Customs in Victoria. This will be my first trip to Victoria by boat and we are very excited!

Iíve read the info on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authorityís info as well as the NWboatinfo.com customs page. Also Iíve checked out the Canada Border Services Agency website as well but was wondering if anyone had some tips or recommendations that may be helpful to us as well.

Also, would love to hear of good places to go while we are there. Any and all comments welcome!

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:44   #2
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

A few years ago around Christmas time we pulled into Victoria, from Friday Harbor. We didn't have NEXUS, just our passports, and it went very smoothly. We tied up at the customs dock just up from the marina in front of the Empress Hotel, and I picked up the phone in the yellow box. I needed passport #s for all people on the boat, and their full names and dates of birth (and perhaps a bit more, but it's all on the passports). A few minutes later we were cleared in, and we shifted to the marina (where we had a reservation).

When in Victoria we enjoy visiting the big museum, and Beacon Hill park. And just walking around town.

A few days later we had a cold and windy trip back, dodging logs in the waves and snow. Dress warmly with good gloves!
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Old 09-01-2019, 13:25   #3
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Thanks Paul. We hope to stay at the Empress as well. I was just perusing the site for reservations at the Causeway Marina and since our arrival date is going to depend on the weather we might have to wing it with the reservation or call on our way access the straight.
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Old 09-01-2019, 13:32   #4
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Why not just boot it to Sidney? Nice marina there,very few bums, easy bus to downtown Victoria for a couple bucks....may make for smoother trip minimizing time in Juan de Fuca. I do like staying in Victoria in warmer months though.
I'm assuming you are in Puget Sound?
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Old 09-01-2019, 13:35   #5
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

I spent Christmas at my brother's in Victoria, and went for a midnight walk along the harbour. There were a few new boats at the marina, but still lots of space, so you should have no trouble finding a spot. If they are full, there are a few other marinas around the harbour that are still within walking distance of downtown. Enjoy!
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Old 09-01-2019, 13:48   #6
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

The GVHA crew is pretty slack during the off season. I would definitely call the office during business hours as there is no likelihood of finding staff on the docks. And the gates all are locked in the winter months as liveaboards are taking advantage of their winter program.
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Old 09-01-2019, 14:00   #7
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Hi Eder. I was told it might be easier to just hop over to Victoria rather than deal with the narrows and currents this time of year. Please advise if that’s untrue. I’ve been watching the Windy app and the wind and wave conditions have looked very promising. Much much better than the last few weeks of storm systems that have been passing through the area.
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Old 09-01-2019, 15:05   #8
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgwright View Post
I spent Christmas at my brother's in Victoria, and went for a midnight walk along the harbour. There were a few new boats at the marina, but still lots of space, so you should have no trouble finding a spot. If they are full, there are a few other marinas around the harbour that are still within walking distance of downtown. Enjoy!

Sounds promising! Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2019, 15:08   #9
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post
The GVHA crew is pretty slack during the off season. I would definitely call the office during business hours as there is no likelihood of finding staff on the docks. And the gates all are locked in the winter months as liveaboards are taking advantage of their winter program.
We will definitely try to get in touch with them after we depart from the US. I am assuming the place wonít be very busy this time of year but Iíve assumed things before that didnít work out so good. ; )
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Old 09-01-2019, 15:25   #10
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Well it looks good in the next week to go to either place.There's currents in both destinations nothing your Bene will complain about.


Its just Sidney is much more sheltered route, esp if you go to Friday Harbour then hop across to Sidney and it can be a bit less nautical than going to Victoria.


Either way have fun.
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Old 09-01-2019, 15:38   #11
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

I use deepzoom.com for currents on planned route. Ports and passages is good in BC. Iím in Everett and prefer to go up inside and pop out at deception. Not bad from there to Sidney
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Old 09-01-2019, 16:22   #12
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Make sure you don't have an excess of beer,wine or liquor onboard when you clear in. They are picky about this and limits per person are low.
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Old 09-01-2019, 16:42   #13
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

I would check before you depart. There probably is some visitor space but a lot of boats winter there it may be full up.

I would second the recommendation to stop in Sydney and clear customs in Sydney.
Depends on time you have available. Roche Harbour to Sydney is a pleasant 3 to 4 hr trip reasonably sheltered. It’s a day sail from Sydney To Victoria.
You want to get to Sydney by 1700 or the gates are closed. Or call and arrange a berth with a security card left out. There is a dock to call customs from. In the off season I have just stayed on it after asking,
There are customs docks at Canoe Cove as well.
The town of Sydney is quite pleasant I like the Town Marina as a stop with a short walk to everything.

Friday Harbour, Roche Harbour, Rosario, are nice stops on route.

Alternatively. Port Townsend to Victoria is a fair ways of relatively open water. With quite strong currents. Roche Harbour then across is much more sheltered.
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Old 09-01-2019, 16:55   #14
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eder View Post
Well it looks good in the next week to go to either place.There's currents in both destinations nothing your Bene will complain about.


Its just Sidney is much more sheltered route, esp if you go to Friday Harbour then hop across to Sidney and it can be a bit less nautical than going to Victoria.


Either way have fun.
Understood Eder. Much appreciated!
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Old 09-01-2019, 17:26   #15
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Re: Leaving Seattle Monday headed to Victoria!

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Originally Posted by Cat36Mahalo View Post
I use deepzoom.com for currents on planned route. Ports and passages is good in BC. Iím in Everett and prefer to go up inside and pop out at deception. Not bad from there to Sidney
DeepZoom is pretty slick. Thanks!
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