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.

Named ‘place of harmony’ by its Finnish founders, this historic village is a beguiling destination just outside the Broughtons. On BC’s long and storied coastline, the ambitious cruiser’s bucket list is sure to contain literally hundreds of high-profile “don’t-miss” spots. But over the years, one destination popped up regularly in our conversations with cruisers and landlubbers alike, people whose opinions we trusted. They spoke of this place reverently and urged us not to miss it.

Georgian Bay

Across the country the wilderness, spectacular scenery and animals of Canada’s National Parks have served as inspiration for artists for over a century. Georgian Bay Islands National Park is rekindling the traditional link between the park and the arts with their Artist in the Park program which has successfully run for more than five years at several other national parks. Visitor experience manager Graham Lamb said there is a long tradition of the landscape inspiring artists. “Georgian Bay in general, as well as specific locations within the park, were both the inspiration and actual location for several works by


Solace at AnchorEach summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands.  The route,  for most of us, begins somewhere in the heavily populated environs of the Greater Toronto Area and takes us along the North shore of Lake Ontario through the protected waters of the Bay of Quinte ending in the crystalline waters of the Thousand Islands.  This year, four of us decided to head east in two boats.   Our companions, Alex and George,  are racing sailors who take three weeks off each year to cruise in Merlin, their C&C 27. My wife Eileen and I are travelling in Solace, our well-loved Oday 240. 

The San Juan Islands offer an eclectic alternative to Canada’s Gulf Islands, including eight superb destination marinas. Few cruising grounds can match Washington State’s Puget Sound for its wide array of natural beauty, wildlife and idyllic boating conditions. Right across the border from Canada’s Gulf Islands lies the eclectic group of islands known as the San Juans, a favourite destination for Canadian cruisers for decades. One of the great pleasures of cruising in the San Juans is the islands’ impressive selection of welcoming and well-run marinas. Here are eight great marina destinations for you to visit, explore and enjoy.

 Killarney

KillarneyStory and Photos by: Jennifer Harker

We’re aboard Attigouatan, a Pursuit 2260 that normally lives life as a friend’s cottage boat, running back and forth from dock to dock. This will be her longest run in four years, travelling the approximately 120 kilometres (80 miles) northwest from Parry Sound to Killarney, threading our way through the northern reaches of the stunning 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline.

Her name evokes an early indigenous name for Lake Huron – Spirit Lake. 

Read more about Killarney....

  

Lifestyle

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Don’t miss this brilliant photo double header
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Boat Reviews

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Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440By Zuzana Prochazka

There are few things more satisfying than watching someone thumb their nose at tradition and introduce something revolutionary that kicks convention to the curb. French designer, Philippe Briand, has done just that for Jenneau’s new line of Sun Odyssey family cruisers. By starting with a clean sheet, Briand re-thought how we move about on deck and below, and the results on the Jeanneau 440 are game changing.

Jeanneau unveiled the first hull of their 440 in Annapolis with dramatic flair. On command, the plastic that sheathed half the boat...

Read more about the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440....

 

 

DIY & How to

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Marine Products

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Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
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Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.
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We have all had the experience of heading down below on a nice boat only to encounter an unpleasant ...