Prince Edward County is a confidence that boaters share with a few tourists and the locals, but it has yet to become a major tourist draw.  It’s very close to the mainland; only the Murray Canal, the Bay of Quinte and its associated waters separate it from the rest of Ontario, but it’s the largest island in Lake Ontario and comes with all the wonders that islands develop. “The County” has only been an island since 1889 when the five miles of the Murray Canal was completed; prior to that it was a peninsula, but we’ll cut some slack on that.

A pearl among Gulf Islands parks, this sandy haven is ideal for hiking, beachcombing, birding, fishing…or just hanging. Sidney Spit is a park of superlatives. With the best sandy shores, the best sunsets, the best crabbing and some of the best hiking in the Gulf Islands, it’s no wonder it’s a hit with just about all who visit – for a few hours, a day or a week. The park occupies 178 hectares at the north end of Sidney Island, among the most geologically diverse of the Gulf Islands. The island is composed almost entirely of quaternary drift deposits – unconsolidated sands and gravels deposited by glaciers about 10,000 years ago.

Returning to these waters after many years was both a homecoming…and a tempting taste of cruising adventures to come. We first visited the Broughtons when friends asked us to deliver their sailboat back to Vancouver after a cruise to Haida Gwaii. From Port McNeill we headed home via Alert Bay, the Indian Islands, Knight Inlet, Lagoon Cove and Johnstone Strait. We never forgot the breathtaking vistas of mountains and channels, the easy hospitality of the marinas, the turquoise water of Knight Inlet, the haunting presence of ancient First Nations inhabitants and more recent pioneers, an exciting sail down Johnstone Strait in a booming westerly – and we couldn’t wait to return in our own boat.

Join us on a tour of these “Sirens of the Salish Sea,” perhaps the most tempting of the Gulf Islands. What is it about North and South Pender Islands, lounging smack in the middle of the Salish Sea, that makes them so alluring to boaters? The islands together comprise just 3,620 hectares and are home to only 2,300 residents. So why have they enticed skippers ever since their namesake, Daniel Pender, arrived in 1857 aboard his survey vessel HMS Plumper?

In 1613, Samuel de Champlain made his way up the Ottawa River in a birch bark canoe. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of this historic journey, 14 riders on 11 personal watercraft (PWC) made our own four-day voyage of discovery last summer. We travelled faster and likely had more fun than Champlain, but we shared the spirit of mystique, magic and wonder that the Ottawa River Waterway still invokes for all who adventure there.

Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast boaters. The day brothers Will and Ben Kiedaisch assumed ownership of Genoa Bay Marina, they inherited outstanding bills, the bank was about to foreclose on the property, and the electricity was in danger of being turned off. “We didn’t know port from starboard when we took over,” says Will, laughing. “We had to learn how to run a marina from the ground up.”  “We didn’t even own a boat and the first tool we had to buy was a bolt cutter because the marina was locked and abandoned,” recalls Ben.

On a high-speed delivery to Whittier, Alaska, a brand-new Coastal Craft 400 IPS makes short work of the Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska. In September 2010, I took a call from a pleasant Alaskan, Dick Weldin. I remember his genuine interest in boat design, the pros and cons of features, and his queries and speculation on craftsmanship―I enjoyed our call immensely. I extended an invitation to the upcoming Seattle Boat Show. Little did I suspect that a year later I would be at the Seattle show standing on Dick and wife Jennie’s new Coastal Craft 400 IPS Indigo.

En route to Princess Louisa Inlet, this marine park offers tranquil refuge in a truly spectacular setting. After spending three wonderful days relaxing, exploring and visiting with other boaters in Princess Louisa Inlet, my wife Arlene and I departed, retracing our track back out through Jervis Inlet’s Queens, Princess Royal and Prince of Wales Reaches. The granite mountain slopes shone brilliantly in the morning sun. It was easy to imagine how the intense weight of massive glacier flows carved out these mountains and polished the hard granite to a shiny brilliance. Below the granite walls, thick forest, dissected by waterfalls, descended to the shoreline.

These “islands on the edge” are alive with the spirit of the Haida people, and a cruise here is an unforgettable experience. There is a special place – north of Vancouver Island and west of the northern British Columbia coast – that is inhabited by the spirit of the Haida people. Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago of more than 150 islands, and one of the most unique destinations you can visit by boat in North America. Haida Gwaii is remote and pristine, with a unique geological history.

I first discovered the Thousand Islands three days into a CYA sailing course that was basically a boat camp for sailors. It was the end of September. We’d been underway twenty-four hours a day. Our skipper/instructor finally took mercy on us – no doubt persuaded by the odiferous crew – and instructed us to tie up to a dock at Mermaid Island in St. Lawrence Islands National Park. The leaves were just beginning to turn – blushing maples, oak leaves gilded in gold. I dove into crystal waters, floating lazily, staring out at the sun falling into the west, its rays burnishing the waters of the St. Lawrence.

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

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Boat Reviews

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Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
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Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50By: John Armstrong and Andy Adams
Photos: Cruisers Yachts Inc.

Almost a decade ago, Cruisers Yachts Inc., launched an entire line of express cruisers called “Cantius” (named after company owner KC Stock’s grandfather) that began with the 48Cantius then came the 54, the 60 and now the Cantius 50. In the fall of 2017, we will be at the debut of the 42 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale International boat show.

These designs have a strong family resemblance withhandsome and distinctive linesand with a design philosophy that you could say, pioneered the new version of the express cruiser. 

Read more of new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50.....

 

 

DIY & How to

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Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...
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Marine Products

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  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...