Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver Island
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sailling in Vancouver/Straight of Georgia
I'm from the general Vancouver area and have lived aboard a cal 29 for two years with my girlfriend, including at anchor around my hometown of Vancouver.
The realization is beginning to dawn on me about how nice the whole inside water complex of Puget Sound/Gulf of Georgia is for sailors. Not having to deal with river bars... as with Astoria. Not having huge stretches of open ocean as it is from Coos Bay pretty much down down to San Fransisco.
In fact, you can travel almost the whole way to Alaska from Seattle and stay pretty much inside, the cruise ships certainly capitalize on it.
Now I'm a whalewatching skipper on the west coast and I work and play almost everyday on the open Pacific, but I realize that the "inside" is pretty good for folks not willing to bounce around on 7 foot seas and 35 knot northwests or even stronger southeasts during low periods.
The gulf islands are excellent cruising. There is a lack of wind in the summer, though. You can travel north to desolation sound, off cortes and redonda island. A lot of people seem to think that this is complete wilderness, perhaps a general american perception that canada is a frozen wasteland coupled with the name attract a lot of folks. Many, many yachties come up from seattle to hang around desolation sound, and many from around southwestern british columbia as well. desolation sound has warm waters in the summer because the tides meet from around the inside of vancouver island... less tidal flow and so the waters grow warm enough to swim. The winds are also very light and around pendrell sound and the park, you can often go into an anchorage and see the whole cove or even inlet covered with people who are shore tied, stern to.
august is incredible for weather and the amount of boats... labour day almost rivals the bvi over easter weekend for people being everywhere.
beautiful spots around vancouver... count on areas with large current, light winds in the summer, and you can expect that it's a well discovered, well travelled place. i'm talking about howe sound, the southern gulf islands and the areas around desolation sound from lund to the redonda islands. other than that... the places get even wilder, more beautiful but more treacherous.
i believe they're starting to charter out beneteaus, etc around there... island cruising is a charter place that comes to mind. i think sunsail is right downtown vancouver coal harbour as well. and of course cooper yachting at granville island. anyway, happy sailing, i hope you enjoy yourself...