Cruising Canada

The South Gulf Islands


Victoria Empress Hotel

If you think the San Juan Islands are a beautiful place try the Gulf Islands. There are a lot of Islands and some are very close together causing very swift current. The tides come in from both sides of Vancouver Island and in some spots they come at you in both directions at the same time causing lots of confused currents. For most power boat this is not a problem but for sail boat some of these current can get up to 12 knots and there is nothing a sail boat can do to deal with that other then wait for the current to be going there way. At time it looks like the water churning and you must be very shallow but in fact it might be 3 or 4 hundred feet deep. It is fun just to stop in them and watch the Dolphins feed on the fish. The fish can't seem to get away and try to jump out of the water to get away and the dolphins are right there to grab them.

Some of the sheltered coves like Otter Bay on Pender Island are very quiet and peaceful you find yourself just relaxing and enjoying the calm cove and setting on the back deck relaxing. If you want you can go to the ferry dock and get the biggest hamburger I have ever seen. Bring help they are very heavy caring them back to the boat and to large to eat at one time. Some of the towns have Saturday flea markets and are fun just to walk around and enjoy the food and look at all the stuff. One such Town is Ganges on Salt Springs Island. Did you wonder where all the hippies went? I found them they are a little older but there they are selling hand made products everything from paintings to hand crafted wood works. I might add some very good chocolate and sweets.

Victoria and Sidney are just great but plan on staying for more then one day. The museum in Victoria and of course Butchart Gardens is a must. It doesn't matter what time of the year you go to Butchart Gardens there is always something blooming. I would avoid the Carriage rides my experience was that we got a tour of the city and the driver would talk about the building and the culture of the city. Our driver new less about the city they I did and I have only been there once or twice. When I complained they told me to bad you got a ride. There are bicycle cart rides that the drivers seem to have a better knowledge of the city and the historical land marks.

Maple Bay also on Vancouver Island is a nice place to spend the night. The way the moorage is set up can make it a little tricky if you don't have bow and stern thruster. The wind comes at you from the side and can blow you into the docks if you aren't a good drive or don't have thruster. If you don't have the skill or thrusters you need to arrive early in the day to avoid the winds.

Here are some pictures:

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This Home Page was created by WebEdit,Thursday, October 18, 2007
Most recent revision Thursday, October 18, 2007