We in BC are blessed with some of the world's best cruising grounds, with myriad inlets, islands, sounds, and hidey-holes abounding. With so many of you all hauled and suffering I thought I'd put up a taste of what summer will be like.
This GE image (not the greatest) shows the Gulf Islands area, the proximity to Washington State's San Juans, the border hijinx courtesy of Kaiser Wilhelm. As you can see the islands are entered by the various tidal passes highlighted. Some of these can run to 9 or 10 knots at spring tides, and deserve a great deal of respect... they can also be, as you may well imagine, serious traffic jams at slack tide during summer months.
Focusing on the Northern section of the Gulf Islands, highlights here include Decourcy Island with Pirates Cove... legendary tales of the cultist "Brother XII" and his 'harem' culled from, among other sources, rare visiting boaters during which time the hapless husbands were housed elsewhere and put to work.
Now a popular anchorage and marine park,it's a pretty spot and the 'pirate chest' is a favourite of the youngsters.
The other gem (also a marine park) of this area is Wallace Island. Once a small resort started by David Conover, and American from LA (who claimed to have some connection with Marilyn Monroe) and then held by a cooperative of Seattle teachers, it was purchased by the BC Government with support from Marine Parks Forever and made a park. Two good anchorages here, Conover Cove is close to the original resort and a few small buildings remain.. the other is Princess Bay, deeper and larger and only a short walk from Conover.
There is a good trail the length of the island that is an easy walk, about 4 km each way, and there is allegedely a visible wreck (of the Panther) off Panther pt. We've never managed to actually see it. The pass around Chivers point is navigable at all tides but one must be cautious.
One of the treats here is an old summer kitchen building that has been festooned with hand made plaques of hundreds of visiting boats and crews (this is also a popular kayaker's stop) and it's easy to spend an hour here marvelling at the ingenuity of some of the things done/made to hang here.. some samples:
Here are the three we put up over the years, of 3 past boats, Phantom, Jalapeno and our current FastForward:
Another highlight for kids, young and old, is an old Willy's truck left over from the resort days:
And here's a rustic former animal shelter:
Looking at the GE shot, there's small cove near the NW end, just below Chivers point on the outside.. a tempting looking spot but we've never quite had the nerve to try to anchor here. We did stop on a combined hike/kayak trip.
Anchored in Princess Bay
And from here in fair weather, you're pretty well guaranteed some really nice sunsets: