Clayoquot is one of the major sounds on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast, and a haven for cruisers in search of peaceful, remote harbours.
At the dock in Victoria, we were filled with the anticipation of a new adventure. We were fully provisioned and had carefully reviewed the weather window, consulted the charts and checked all of the vital equipment on Ocean Mistress, our American Tug 41. Like children on Christmas Eve, we pretended to sleep before we departed for our trip. We only had time for a short vacation and desired a place away from the crowds. The west coast of Vancouver Island was our objective.
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The Rideau Waltz
I have lived in Ontario my entire life but have likely explored more acres outside my own province and perhaps even country than within. Shame on me! Because clearly there’s definitely more to discover here.If You Don't Know Me By Now
If you had told me a year ago that I would be enjoying our “calvacade of colour” cruising up the Rideau Canal in a houseboat, you’d have knocked me over with a feather. And although travelling by houseboat may have never been on my ‘to do’ list then either, I’d certainly add it to yours now.
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It was still dark when we departed our home slips in Chrystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and entered the Detroit River. It was August 2nd, 2013, the first day of our adventure to complete the mini-loop counterclockwise from LaSalle, down Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, through the Trent-Severn Waterway, across Georgian Bay, down Lake Huron and back home to LaSalle.
Maurice and his wife, Hélène, traveled on Mystic Blue, a Mainship 30 Pilot Classic. Terry and his wife, Linda, voyaged on their Camano Troll, 4 Buoys.
Read more: A Trent-Severn Mini-Loop Adventure
Much has been written about the sublime cruising destination of Desolation Sound. Once you pass Lund and the incredible expanse of snow-capped mountains opens up, even the most jaded must surely gasp in awe at the vista of islands, peaks and sparkling ocean. The choice of anchorages is extensive and all offer something special to make them a cruiser’s favourite.
Read more: Grace Harbour
Just off Fitz Hugh Sound, Fish Egg Inlet boasts a maze of islets and a multitude of anchorages, all waiting to be discovered.
Of all the boating we’ve done along the Inside Passage, one of our favourite cruising areas lies just north of Cape Caution. Once past this aptly named cape, we usually make a beeline up Fitz Hugh Sound to revisit anchorages we first pulled into 20 years ago.
Read more: Exploring Fish Egg Inlet
In my youth, summers in Nanaimo were not complete without a visit to Newcastle Island. Just a short boat ride away, it offered beautiful beaches, hiking trails, a rich history and an enticing shoreline. My mom and I would save our coins for the ferry fare and, eager with anticipation, savour every moment of the ride.
Read more: Summer Days at Newcastle
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.
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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…
Read more: Riding the Richelieu
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.
Read more: The Wonder of Winter Cruising
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.
Read more: Prideaux Haven