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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The restaurant and the beer and wine store in Silva Bay will close permanently on December 28th.
This is very sad news for those of us who have been going here for years.
We have always looked forward to stopping at Silva Bay for the food in the restaurant. It was simply the best.
Silva Bay has been a struggle for businesses of all kinds for many years. This will definitely effect the other remaining businesses, including the marina.
We would like to wish Tanya and Tim all the best in their future endeavors.
Silva Bay Pub, Restaurant and Liquor Store | Gabriola, BC
 

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Dog, I've moved your thread to the PNW section of destinations..

It's too bad, and kind of hard to understand why nobody seems to be able to make a go of it there, it's a very popular well used stopover for probably 8 months of the year. But many have tried and none have been long term successful. It's a tough business to be sure.

Do you know if the marina itself will continue or is it tied up in all this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The marina is a separate business with different owners. As far as I know it will remain in business.
The restaurant and beer store were huge draws to the marina not only for your average cruiser but for the RVYC outpost across the bay.
Without the beer store and the restaurant there anymore every business will suffer including the marina. I don't know why people can't make a go of it there.
When my wife and I were kids this place used to thrive with business and was the place to be. That was over 40 years ago. Today and for the last 20-30 years it has really struggled to keep going. It has also really deteriorated in the last few years and it would take a ton of cash to bring it back.
An excavator would do it a wonder.
Sad, we are going to miss it.
 

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There are 3 marinas in Silva Bay. The southern-most one (associated with Silva Bay Yacht Club) had clean bathrooms and nice reciprocal moorages with many other clubs. They also have a little store with the essentials. It was about a 15 minute walk to the restaurant, sorry to hear that they are closing because we enjoyed the food there.

The only problem with Silva Bay is that it is on the outside of Gabriola Passage. If it is roaring down Georgia Straight (so you are trying to stay protected) and you want to use Silva Bay as a stopover you need to time Gabriola Passage once getting into Silva Bay and again the next morning on your way out. You'll then need to anchor somewhere else to wait for the next slack in Dodd Narrows. It is a lot easier to just stay in Pirate's Cove.
 

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......
The only problem with Silva Bay is that it is on the outside of Gabriola Passage. If it is roaring down Georgia Straight (so you are trying to stay protected) and you want to use Silva Bay as a stopover you need to time Gabriola Passage once getting into Silva Bay and again the next morning on your way out. You'll then need to anchor somewhere else to wait for the next slack in Dodd Narrows. It is a lot easier to just stay in Pirate's Cove.
The good thing about Silva Bay is that it's outside of Gabriola passage.;). so it gives you a stopover after a late Strait crossing, or a stopover that always allows an early start to a run across or up the Strait without worrying about tidal gates.

We do avoid it mostly because of the derelicts/non transients - not much anchoring room left, and it is often windier than anywhere else. Still, it's a shame that those kinds of businesses can't make a go of it.
 
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There are 3 marinas in Silva Bay. The southern-most one (associated with Silva Bay Yacht Club) had clean bathrooms and nice reciprocal moorages with many other clubs. They also have a little store with the essentials. It was about a 15 minute walk to the restaurant, sorry to hear that they are closing because we enjoyed the food there.

The only problem with Silva Bay is that it is on the outside of Gabriola Passage. If it is roaring down Georgia Straight (so you are trying to stay protected) and you want to use Silva Bay as a stopover you need to time Gabriola Passage once getting into Silva Bay and again the next morning on your way out. You'll then need to anchor somewhere else to wait for the next slack in Dodd Narrows. It is a lot easier to just stay in Pirate's Cove.
But pirates cove is small and further. Silva puts you right there ready to cross or gives you a place to stay after crossing so you can come over any time and not have to worry about the timing to get in. Uh...kinda like the above guy mentioned.

Plus there is a place to park on the inside or the pass too. Denhams or deghan bay or something.

Buy otherwise silva sucks. I avoided it on my way back because the entire bay is covered in moorings that when I arrived, which wasn't late in the day, I had to anchor in the wind and it was the only night I had trouble sleeping in 5 months. Then I woke up surrounded by crab traps. Since it's one of the only safe anchorages for miles they shouldn't let the whole thing be covered in mooring balls. Sorry. I just hated silva bay because of this and it's on my list of "do not go back"
 

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Pirate's Cove was incredibly busy the 3 times that we went by it. We did stay once and it was a nice place to anchor, but you have to get there early. They really need to mandate stern ties in there, we often saw boats using up the space of 3 boats by being unwilling to stern tie. It was probably the most crowded spot that we encountered on our trip. Even the "other side" (south end of the island anchorage) was pretty busy and can be exposed in a blow. We also explored "Boat Harbor", but that is a very poorly named spot that is quite exposed too.

I expect that at least half of the people (I know this doesn't apply to you northoceanbeach) passing through are affiliated with some local yacht club and can use the reciprocal moorage in Silva Bay. Everyone else who was on our dock while we were there were using it. They are very generous with the benefit unlike most reciprocals that only have one or two dock spaces available.

Degnen Bay was also crowded with mooring balls, but didn't have the benefits of the Silva Bay Restaurant or free dock space.

I would love to see the bay cleaned up and provide more space for transient anchorage, but I still liked Silva Bay. However in a week where Georgia Strait was really blowing it was in an out of the way spot for us.
 

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Silva has those two disadvantages, IMO... busy, and it will be windier than nearly any other nearby anchorage. Pages Marina (South) only has one reciprocal slip and it's often booked ahead. We generally go to Pages.. it (was) an easy walk to the restaurant.. Silva Bay Marina has slips that various yacht clubs 'reserve' for the season, but those are typically not available as 'reciprocals' with those clubs (few 'outstations' are)
Much of the marina to the north is too shallow for keelboats. Silva's main positive is its being outside the tidal gates.

Pirates is a popular spot, usually less windy but we find the holding there rather marginal and if a real blow comes up many of the stern tied boats will be in a precarious position, across the breeze. Also Pirates can be brutal ashore for mosquitoes and at least a few boats a year find the reef extensions in mid cove.

Herring bay on nearby Ruxton is our preferred spot unless a big NW breeze is expected. We poked our nose into 'Boat harbour' last summer.. too many KEEP OUT signs and NO MOORAGE... very unwelcoming.

Degnen is indeed packed up with resident mooring balls, and it's a difficult spot to anchor because the currents are so varied that few boats 'pull' in the same direction at the same time.

Another option in the area is anchoring behind Kendrick Island on the south side of Gabriola Pass entrance.. There's a WVYC outstation there but room for a few boats on the hook. And part way through the pass on Valdes Is is a recently created marine park, Wake Cove(?) with a dinghy dock and an interesting walk ashore. We've spent the night there before.
 
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The night that we stayed at Pages Marina there were 4 boats using the reciprocal moorage dock. All of the boats were about 30' and we hung out after dinner and that came up.

I was surprised by this because most marinas won't accommodate so many reciprocals. It sounds like we may have just gotten lucky.

This was in the first week of July, so just before things started to really get busy.

During that time there were decent sized NW blows (around 30 knots in the Strait). We were planning on heading across from Silva Bay, but changed our plans and took a very slow day (timing Gabriola and Dodds) moving up to Naniamo and spending a couple of days there waiting for the winds and waves to drop into the 20s.

Herring Bay does look pretty and is something for us to try another time.

We're lucky to live in an area where we are talking about 6 or 7 anchorages within a 3nm circle.
 
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