Howe Sound: Plumper Cove Marine Park
I get the impression that most US PNW cruisers tend to clear customs in Bedwell, cruise the islands to Nanaimo before striking north to Desolation and beyond. As a result few venture into Howe Sound. As with my post on Halkett last week, here's another reasonably good alternative on the edge of Georgia Strait on the mainland side.
This long-standing marine park is a popular one, offering a good dock, numerous mooring buoys, 20 campsites, toilets, picnic sites and water. There is also a good 30-40 minute loop hiking trail that's a good climb and a great waker-upper to stretch the legs. It is very near the community of Gibson's Landing (semi-famous due to the long running CBC TV production "The Beachcombers")
This first GE shot shows the cove across from Gibsons, both near 'Shoal passage' out to Georgia Strait. This is a popular jump off point for Strait crossing, as it's only 15NM to Silva Bay, the closest/shortest hop. It's a near due south Mag course on a body of water with predominately SE or NW winds... and easy passage either way.
A closer view of the cove.. Park docks to the right; there are several private properties and docks here too as can be seen. The 'Shelter Islets' do provide some protection. Parts of the cove are quite deep and the mooring buoys are usually quickly taken.
This cove is subject to a fairly steady wash from passing traffic during busy summer days, but does tend to quiet down at night. Occasionally, however, a swell will roll in from the strait overnight causing boats to roll uncomfortably, esp if rafted or at the dock.
A shot from the beach end of the park dock..
The shaded picnic area:
Anchored and moored boats, private properties in the background.
Looking North into Howe Sound from 'Observatory Point".. you can see the BC Ferry terminal in the distance.
Gibsons itself is an interesting visit too, if not the most practical provisioning spot. There is a private marina and an extensive public dock too, with anchoring feasible outside the breakwaters.
This might be an alternative for PNW sailors on the way back from further North.... something different to see from the trip up.
Ron, your cruising posts are invaluable, better than the cruising books, I might add...have I said that before. ;)
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