Desolation Sound is a peaceful area with dramatic
views of the surrounding mountains ascending from the sea. The mornings are often mirror
calm with a breeze in the afternoon. This makes for a nice relaxed start followed by a
sail in protected waters. This area is quite busy during July and August but in June and
September the crowds are gone and the water gets warm enough to actually enjoy your swim.
There are not many shops or restaurants, people are coming here to relax and enjoy the
views mixed in with a relaxed sail.
The Gulf Islands are stretched along the inside of
Vancouver Island. You will experience a well developed cruising area with all the
amenities. The area is close to Vancouver and relatively dry during the summer so
its no surprise that it is very busy! This area's popularity is what has allowed the
restaurants, pubs, marinas and galleries to become well established for those that enjoy
shopping and eating out. The Gulf Islands and anchorages are scenic with lots of sandstone
formations topped with Arbutus and Garry Oak trees.
The Sunshine Coast is serviced by roads and ferries
through Vancouver and the Comox Valley. There are towns and small settlements scattered
along its length with a good number of isolated anchorages as well. Princess Louisa Inlet
is probably the most well known of the neat areas to explore with Chatterbox falls at its
and Lasqueti Islands
Jedediah and Lasqueti are fairly isolated out in the
middle of the Strait of Georgia between Texada and Vancouver Island. They are not geared
for tourists but visitors are welcome. Jedediah is the main attraction with its meadows
that are grazed by wild sheep and goats. It is said these animals were
originally introduced by the original explorers hundreds of years ago to provide a ready
food source on their return. More recently Jedediah was homesteaded and eventually
purchased by BC Parks. These two islands are very pretty and have a multitude of small
anchorages where one can get access to the islands trails.
The Discovery Islands lie between Desolation Sound
and Quadra Island. This is an area known for its tidal rapids which have earned a healthy
respect from all mariners. This is a very pretty group of islands with quiet anchorages
and convoluted passages that must be traversed with tide book in hand. While not many
people visit this area because of the challenging navigation, it's well worth the trip.
The West Coast is a wild and rugged place totally
exposed to the open Pacific Ocean. This is an area for the experienced sailor. During the
day you will experience challenging wind and waves conditions from across the ocean. Then
at night, hole up in a protected bay to contemplate whether your character is fully
developed yet (challenges are said to be character building!!). This is a coast of exposed
beaches, long rocky headlands and anchorages that are usually empty. There are no shops
and one must be fully prepared to be tested and rewarded by nature on a daily basis.