When many boaters in Central Canada imagine cruising in the Maritimes, they think fog, fierce tides and the perceived perils of the open ocean.  While there can be plenty of those things (although not nearly as bad as some imagine) there is however a place with almost no fog, tides or ocean waves, but with an abundance of breathtaking scenery, secluded anchorages and friendly inhabitants.  The Bras d’or Lakes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, are 450 square miles of inland sea with enough cruising potential to last a lifetime.


My Quebec Sea-Doo tour was a fantastic experience that I’d highly recommend to any boater. Cruiser, runabout and personal watercraft owners have much in common when it comes to selecting a good destination for a boating tour, so if you’re looking for a new marine adventure, this one’s for you…

The cruising season in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest does not have to end with the passing of summer. A few hardy cruisers keep fall, winter and spring cruising as their own secret. The places that looked so captivating, with their natural green beauty in the summertime, take on a completely different look during the off-season. Fall colours are painted across the hillsides and in winter the white snow cap is more pronounced.

Any list of the “Best of the West” iconic boating destinations (CYW August 2013) simply has to include Prideaux Haven. Indeed, many would consider this scenic anchorage in Desolation Sound one of the “Best in the World.”

Prideaux Haven, including Melanie and Laura Coves, is surrounded by numerous islands that create myriad bays and interconnecting coves that are a wonder to explore by small craft. Against the backdrop of the rugged BC coastal mountains, these islands provide excellent protection from the weather. 

When boaters ventured into Frenchman’s Bay even a couple of decades ago, it was not without some trepidation - the entrance to the harbour was badly marked and was flanked by the remnants of underwater pier footings, the water inside the bay was so shallow running aground was a certainty for any but the shallowest drawing and the docks were slightly wobbly and mosquito populated.   But all that has changed and more transformations are underway even as you read this.

When July 1 arrives, our bow points northward to the Broughton Archipelago for good scuba diving, kayaking, prawning and crabbing, wilderness hikes and relative isolation.  The Broughton Archipelago is a paradise of hundreds of low-lying islands and evergreen- covered rocky islets lying between the bracing waters of Queen Charlotte Strait and the mountainous BC mainland. For most of us, the Broughtons are just far enough away to be a challenge yet close enough to be accessible. Up here, you’re on your own yet within a half-day’s run of

This month, we survey the major routes north of Desolation Sound, where some of BC’s best cruising grounds lie just beyond a series of challenging tidal passes. Beyond Desolation Sound lies a beckoning labyrinth of forested islands, inlets and anchorages guarded by a number of tidal passes adjacent to Vancouver Island. Because of the strength and speed of the currents in these passes, boaters may be apprehensive about attempting the transit to the greener pastures ahead. But taking an informed and calculated risk at these gateways leads you on to greater rewards in cruising grounds and anchorages to the north.

It’s nine at night and we are sitting in the cockpit of Adamant 1 enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sun turn the sky brilliant reds and oranges. We reminisce about our day. We climbed the hills at The Benjamins, we kayaked around all the little islets, we swam in the cool clear water and we shared sundowners with three other couples. It doesn’t get any better than this. We are on holiday in the North Channel! And we think we are the most fortunate sailors on earth.

The islands, channels and fjords that stretch from Desolation Sound northwest to Queen Charlotte Strait make up one of BC’s most inviting cruising grounds. Here’s how to get there and what to expect. North of Desolation Sound there is a special cruising ground that is rustic, remote and majestic. It offers some of the finest cruising in the world through deep channels and fjords, with vistas of snow-capped mountains beyond. Up here, the cruising just seems to get better the farther north you go.

Celebrate summer cruising with our choice of our favourite boating spots and experiences on the West Coast. This month, to celebrate summer and the best of the boating season, we’ve assembled a roster of prime cruising spots, activities and diversions. They’re not intended to be “bests” by any means – that would really be stepping out on a log boom! – but favourites selected by ourselves and some of our regular contributors. We’d love to hear what you think of our choices – and we’d love to hear about your favourites.

Boat Reviews

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Bernie Luttmer of Swan’s Yacht Sales, has finally had his brainchild come to life, and he tells me ...
The BC builder takes a big step forward with its largest yacht to date: stylish, fast and ...
Modern graceful elegance is what Dufour’s Umberto Felci was trying to achieve when he designed the ...
The very first Sabre yacht, was a Sabre 28 sailboat appropriately named Patience. Sabre repurchased ...
When the time finally comes to do the dream destination cruising you've always talked about, you ...
The Offshore series from Canada’s largest aluminum pleasure boat builder offers practicality, range ...
Embodying the Cruising Sailor’s Wish List.The Bavaria Vision 42 is the product of collaboration ...
The Beneteau Oceanis 38 claims more flexibility than seen before on this size of boat and a new way ...
From the first glance the wide open decks large cockpit and overall look and feel of this boat are ...
The brand new Cruisers Yachts 328 Bow Rider is one of a new breed of boats that is redefining our ...

DIY & How to

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Boaters who prefer to be on the hook, such as ourselves in our Islander 36 sailboat Holole’a, ...
Will traditional paper charts soon be a thing of the past? And what will that mean for recreational ...
With built in functions for radar, weather, chart plotters, engine data, and radio controls, boat ...
Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your ...
The Interlux® Boat Paint Guide has gone digital with the launch of a free app for Apple® IOS and ...
Convenient, Cool and Low-cost!From simple organizational Apps for your smart phone to complete ...
Navigation light repairs and replacements you can do yourself.In researching this article, we spoke ...
If you are new to boating, how do you start searching for the right boat at boat shows? We put the ...
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done while boating?That’s the question I asked fellow-boaters ...

Environment

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Boating and astronomy can be a match made in the heavens. The inky black canvas above the boat is ...
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay is a boater’s dream destination with crystal clear waters, ...
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ...
Many Canadian Yachting readers have likely experienced the beauty of British Columbia’s Gulf ...
Many newspaper headlines appeared in the spring of 2012 with these two names highlighted. The ...
Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to ...
I’m on vacation! Things can turn ugly in paradise when you finally reach that secluded anchorage. ...
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines ...
There's been lots of talk about electric boats recently, but few examples are actually out on the ...
I think it’s a given that as a Canadian Yachting reader, you are passionate about ...

Lifestyle

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Soup season is in full swing and this Tomato Tortellini Soup with Pesto is just the recipe to warm ...
This flavour-infused pasta dish is terrific for any season.  It takes a little bit of prep time but ...
As the season's evenings grow cooler boaters will be looking for heartier galley meals to extend ...
Cooler days and cooler nights make everyone want to prepare something warm and comforting... This ...
This is a simple recipe too.  The only challenging part is rolling up the tortillas without ...
This recipe is great for a make-ahead easy yet satisfying on board meal.  You can use chicken or ...
The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting ...
Fruit Infused water is a top notch way to stay hydrated and have deliciously refreshing drinks ...
I remember vividly awaiting the beginning of the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) which also ...
If you can get your mouth around this burger it is well worth the effort.  Easy but perfect and ...

Marine Products

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Sweden-based Radinn, a company aiming to "revolutionize the watersport industry,” is trying to make ...
Taylor Made Systems is introducing a new range of glass sunroof systems for the boating industry at ...
KVH TracVision® owners in the U.S. can now enjoy satellite TV from DISH Network® on their boats and ...
Douglass Simpson, a winner of the Globe and Mail's Top 12 Canadian Innovator awards in the ...
Whether chilling snacks for a quick outing or supplying auxiliary cold storage for longer trips, a ...
SunZone SprayWet has been specifically designed to be applied on wet skin. Its formulation is able ...
Boaters and marina workers should exercise caution this summer before taking to the seas. A study ...
ASA Electronics is pleased to announce the arrival of the MS40BT—a Bluetooth®-enabled stereo that ...
When any boater is planning to head out onto the water for a two week excursion or even for an ...
My Boat was specifically produced in response to customer demand for an iPad App that would appeal ...