We rented a boat in Nanaimo. From Vancouver we took the seaplane to Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School .
We left Nanaimo for Buccaneer Bay. 25 NM crossing of the strait of Georgia. Light wind from SE. Anchoring was epic we had to try 7 times. Full record. We were always too deep or too close from the shore. Also a line of buoys was making the job complicate. The place was wonderful. We spent 2 days there exploring and eating oysters and clams.
We left Buccaneer Bay for Hardy Island. 10 NM with light SE wind. Anchoring was as well complex because of the depth and a few boats. Our shoreline was too short. At the end we found a spot. Wonderful place ! Well protected.
From Hardy Island we went to Van Anda. We left at 7 AM for a 25 NM leg. The small marina is quiet and the mining town something to see…we saw our first whales. Light Wind from the SE. Docking operation was easy. We arrived early and had room.
From Van Anda we went to Squirrel Cove our first step in desolation sound. 30 NM. No wind. We had to motor. The place is amazing. Entering desolation sound is “wahoooooooo”. Easy anchorage. The afternoon was rainy so we had to explore under the rain.
Short navigation to Refuge Cove. Oh my ! this marina is something. It is like to return in the early 30. Wooden buildings and docks against the mountains. We found room in the marina and some fresh food as well and gas. The day was rainy. We were discovering the true face of BC :). Coming from Florida we were happy !
10 NM to Melanie Cove. Amazing trip in desolation sound. The cove is something. Small and well protected with thousand of jellyfish. The entry to the anchorage is a bit scary but easy with the chart. No surprise. We spent 2 days there. The second day we went for a hike in the rain forest.
15 NM to Lund. 10-15 kt wind from SE. We were lucky to find a spot in this busy small marina. Lund is very attractive. We will spend two days there because of bad weather the day after. First we went to see the mile zero of the Pan American and we tried the 2 (only) restaurants. Yes the fish and ships are great ! This is an amazing small city. We saw a pod of Orca ! Fresh food and hike. The Lund loop ! These people don’t have much but they do everything to make people feel welcome and enjoy the stay. Amazing ! Thx you Lund !
40 NM to Pender Harbour. That was a long leg. Again wind from the SE at 10 kt. Geez the navigation was complicate we had to tack the Malespina strait. The first anchorage (Gerrans Bay) was the best protected from SE but we were in the middle of a boat graveyard. DEPRESSING ! SAD. So we moved to another anchorage in the area (Garden bay). Great place. After desolation sound and all the other places is not most spectacular but nice for a quick stop.
Pender Harbour to New Castle island. Light wind from SE. 30 NM. Nice place. The park is very nice and the view at night to Nanaimo is just great.
Day 13: back to the marina around 2 PM. End of the trip.
A few things:
I would recommend Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School. Ian and Beth are amazing. Before starting we had plenty of information, guides, chart etc…Also the boat are very well maintained and ready to sail. No issues at all with the boat. I can extend the congratulations to the entire team there. Amazing.
Coming from Florida I didn’t know what to expect in term of navigation and conditions. I must recognize that the depth of most of the anchorage is a bit confusing when you are used to anchor in 6 feet of water but for the rest it is not complicated. Just be careful with tide and currents. Weather has been stable.
We went the first 2 weeks of July. We didn’t see so much people. It was perfect for us. All marinas and anchorage had a lot of room !
We will go again 🙂 Hopefully one day with our boat after crossing the Panama canal !