Cruisers who venture north of the BC coast’s major tidal rapids quickly learn that they’re not in Kansas anymore. The big passes not only divide the popular cruising grounds to the south from the less-travelled country to the north. They are gateways between the “civilized” south – where humans are in charge – and the “wild kingdom” that is home to some of North America’s most formidable wildlife.
However, the drive was such an exhausting part of the journey, it had the reverse effect of stress relief. That was when we finally realized our calling to transition into boating. Our first boat was to be big enough to sleep on and to entertain our family and friends.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…