Presentation on theme: "Hello everyone from the 2009 Islander Fall Rendezvous. This is a slightly revised version written in March 2010 (with improvements and corrections) and."— Presentation transcript:
Hello everyone from the 2009 Islander Fall Rendezvous. This is a slightly revised version written in March 2010 (with improvements and corrections) and it surprises me to realize it is already more than 6 months since we were down your way! On behalf of my wife Marion and me, the token Canucks, this is a Big Thank You for all the hospitality we received on the September 12th and 13th 2009 Rendezvous weekend. What a wonderful bunch of enthusiasts you have. And I see that you are spending our outrageous dues ($15.00) wisely! Nice city too, by the way. Attached is a teaser for anyone contemplating some northern cruising – just a sampler of good areas and an overview of Vancouver Island. Our province is British Columbia, with the charming capitol city of Victoria which is on the southern end of Vancouver Island. Victoria itself it is a beautiful cruising destination and Port of Entry (Customs and Immigration) within easy reach of any port in Puget Sound. Do use caution and follow the navigational channels in the very busy harbour (Canadian spelling!); there are lots of boats and float planes here. A highlight of Victoria is to sit on your boat on a sunny day in front of the Empress Hotel and Parliament building with an appropriate beverage in hand watching the tourists watching the boats. There is usually some sort of street entertainment happening at any given time. Further north is the Port of Sidney, also a Port of Entry which has several marinas, and from there one can go north-eastwards to several nice places including Ganges on Saltspring Island (Saturday morning market) or to Montague Harbour which has a beautiful anchorage and marine park and fresh cinnamon buns made on an old boat. Head north from there to Wallace Island Marine Park, or keep going to Pirates Cove Marine Park. From there, one can go through Gabriola Passage (at slack tide) to either the Strait of Georgia or to Silva Bay (use your chart, there are tricky but not difficult channels into Silva Bay, the channel at the east end is preferred). Or head west from Sidney (while keeping a close watch for ferries docking at Swartz Bay) to charming Cowichan Bay (marinas and anchoring) and Genoa Bay, also with a marina and anchoring. The local inflow wind is called “the Doctor” and usually arrives at 10 or 11 AM on warm days. On Saturday night anchor in little Tod Inlet (southwards in Saanich Inlet) for a free fireworks display at Butchart gardens. Head north from there to Maple Bay (marinas) or to Chemainus (marina and murals) or to Ladysmith (heritage town, marinas, and anchoring). This is where Marion and I live, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, right on the 49th parallel. Eastwards from Ladysmith or Chemainus is a small harbour between Thetis and Kuper Islands called Telegraph Harbour, the site of 3 of the 4 Canadian Rendezvous. There is some anchoring, 2 marinas, and a pub. If you head northwards again from this area and eventually through Dodd Narrows (go through at slack tide) you will arrive at the port city of Nanaimo. It has a beautiful anchorage, lots of marinas, shopping, and a floating pub. Pubs are important navigational aids and should be carefully noted. Also watch out for float planes by the dozen!
Across the pond, also known as the Strait of Georgia, served by 3 main ferry routes, is the large city of Vancouver or “Big Smoke” as some of us call it. This was the main (city) site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. English Bay usually has great sailing (and scenery) Burrard Inlet is the major commercial shipping harbour and has a few marinas, False Creek has several marinas, anchoring in certain areas with a City of Vancouver permit (keeps out the riff-raff), and of course great shopping. Sailing is generally better on the Strait than in the Gulf Islands, and we have had some wonderful long, 8 knot beam reaches across the Strait over the years, but summer typically has light winds in this area except when a low pressure system is approaching. Sailboats here need a decent engine. The normal wind is SE heralding a low, and NW heralding sunny weather. The westerlies as they are called sometimes can be very strong in the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south of Vancouver Island, and also in Johnstone Strait on the inside northerly parts of the Island. After a deep low and strong SE winds, watch out for gusty SW winds. Georgia Strait can get good strong winds anytime. Late July, all of August, and early September tend to be the warmest and driest time; however for the west coast of the Island, earlier in the year has less fog. While the Gulf Islands are probably the most popular cruising destination, Desolation Sound is also very popular in the summer, especially for a 10 to 14 day cruise. The scenery is great and the water is relatively warm. Princess Louisa Inlet is spectacular for mountains and waterfalls, particularly in June while the snow melt is happening, and that cruise can be done easily in a week from Nanaimo or Vancouver. Beyond the friendly “inside” waters are the wilder and very beautiful areas on the west coast and at the northern end of Vancouver Island. Ports of entry for US boaters are Victoria, Nanaimo, Sidney, and Bedwell Harbour. There are a lot of charter companies in Seattle, Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Vancouver, Sidney, Nanaimo, and Comox etc., which I won’t try to list, but a couple of good references are the “48 North” magazine out of Seattle (similar in concept to your own “Latitude 38”, and “Pacific Yachting” published in Vancouver. Paper charts from the Canadian Hydrographic Service are desirable for backing up the electronic navigational aids that most boaters have now (and which can go Phhtt! when they feel like it). The tides can range from a maximum of 12 feet or so in the Gulf Islands to a maximum of 16 feet further north. The currents in the passes can be up to 8 knots in the Gulf Island passes, but up to 16 knots up north!!! A tide and current book or a reliable computer program for tides and currents is a must, and if you go through passes at slack, no problem. This article lists only a few of the many marinas and destinations. We hope to see you guys up here sometime. The 2010 Canadian Rendezvous, for all Islanders, is July 9 to 11 th at Thetis Island again. We have a fairly loose group of Islander enthusiasts in BC and Puget Sound, and I’m sure that anyone who shows up for the rendezvous, or at any other time, will get a boat ride. Here’s a link to our rendezvous: rendezvous&catid=9:2010-rendezvous&Itemid=5http://www.islandersailboats.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8:2010-canadian- rendezvous&catid=9:2010-rendezvous&Itemid=5 Feel free to us at Good John and Marion Rodall I36 Holole’a
Princess Louisa Inlet Desolation Sound Canadian Gulf Islands American San Juan Islands Broughton Archipelago Also called Blackfish Sound USA/Can Border 49 Deg N. Lat 50 Deg N. Lat. 60 Nautical Miles Barkley Sound Sunshine Coast
Sample Gulf Islands Chart – our town of Ladysmith is middle left. The Gulf Islands are arguably the most popular cruising area of British Columbia. The navigation is relatively easy, there are a number of small and large towns to dock at, and lots of harbours to anchor in. The tidal passes to the Strait of Georgia do need some attention; on a large tide they can exceed 8 knots, so wait for slack. The Canadian Rendezvous at Thetis Island is approximately center. Note that Canadian Charts are Metric for depths
Sample San Juan Islands to the right, International Boundary Center, Part of Vancouver Island Left, and a few Ebb Current Arrows
Sample Barkley Sound – see the Islander 36 website Vermeer’s Barkley Sound Cruise This area is definitely West Coast, and it is a bit of a grind to get there. There is lots of weather both good and bad, fog sometimes, lots of rocks, all charted, but few marked. When the sun comes out the scenery is marvellous! When the weather turns nasty, there are lots of places to hide. It is mostly anchoring here – lots of hidey-holes if you are brave). You need good charts and some decent navigational skills. There are only a few places to provision – Bamfield on the south side and Ucluelet on the north-west side.
Very Popular Desolation Sound with great scenery and good swimming. Mostly anchoring here, the main provisioning place is Refuge Cove, approximately in the center of the chartlet. See the Islander 36 website Vermeer’s Desolation Sound Cruise.
The long trek to Princess Louisa Inlet (upper right) – See the Islander 36 website 2005 Rodall’s Chatterbox Falls Cruise Note Red Current Arrows at bottom - Skookumchuk Narrows – wild on a big tide –no you don’t need to go through here, but it’s a nice 1 hour walk from the dock at Egmont. Crazy whitewater kayakers play in the standing waves. There is also a significant tidal current at the entrance to Princess Louisa – plan ahead for slack!
Sample of the northern reaches of the Vancouver Island section of the Inside Passage – Beyond Desolation Sound the whole world changes to wilder and remote. Commonly known as the Broughton Archipelago. Lots of passes that need serious attention to the Tide and Current Tables (red arrows show an ebb current) and lots of rocks – all charted but few marked. Beautiful area, not too many facilities, but there are usually Killer Whales somewhere. With good charts and good navigation it is very worthwhile. There are a few remote facilities, and the main town is Port McNeil. This is a good area to pack extra water and fuel. The Inside Passage is the famous and well traveled “relatively sheltered” waterway between Puget Sound and Alaska. It is heavily used by commercial shipping and Cruise ships. Keep your eyes open in the narrower places.