The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
Suggest to attend the first of July celebrations "Canada Day", in Sidney. It's big and fun with water competitions, games, market place and fireworks right next to the harbor. Book asap.
After that work you way north, any place where you can anchor, dock or gunk hole all the way to New Castle or time permitting to Desolation Sound and beyond. There are plenty of good quality marina's everywhere
You're good for a great, wonderful and unforgettable time. Best part, it's just about half price given our floundering CAN dollar
Around Campbell River is nice , I spent 4 years in the early 90's sailing out of Campbell River in a 1970 Venture 22 SK . Quadra island, Cortez , Desolation Sound . Just watch your tide changes and currents ,Seymour Narrows has quite the force to it . Also be aware of the tugs towing barges ,I remember stories of boaters hitting the tow cable in fog .
Just reporting in: Nikki and I married on June 22nd (!) and went on our honeymoon sailing our C25 in the Gulf Islands. I could not recommend this more! We just returned last night.
We trailered our beloved Molly Jim from Bend, OR to Bellingham, WA and sailed to Rosario Resort Marina (where I proposed to Nikki during our cruise last year). I was quite proud of Nikki as she helmed through “tiny” Obstruction Pass, completely under sail and while managing traffic.
We then had a great sail out of Orcas Island’s East Sound, but found the wind to die so we pulled into West Sound and anchored behind the 3 acre Skull Island. While rowing our tender around the island (after looking at beautiful wildflowers and Madrone Trees) we spotted 4 Orcas and watched them for 10 minutes. We were anchored all by ourselves and had a delightful time.
From there, we had a perfect downwind and down current sail all the way to Sidney, BC. Saw an orca again! We really enjoyed the town, friendliness of people, and some rain caused us to stay for 3 days. Checked out Butchart Gardens, which were spectacular. Also fell in love with the fine products of Victoria Distilling! Yum!
Pulled out to Ganges Harbor on Salt Spring Island. Loved it. Then sailed to Montague on Galiano Island and picked up a mooring ball. Especially beautiful, and the Hummingbird Bus should not be missed.
While in Ganges, we docked across from an older Catalina 35 and its captain, Rob. We shared our boats and conversations and he invited us to the Catalina Rendezvous he was hosting at Thetis Island for the upcoming weekend. Given the fun of that invitation, we extended our trip a few days and sailed under delightful breezes from Galiano to Thetis Island’s Telegraph Harbor. Met up with about 35 Catalinas, all from BC and all in the 30-40 ft range. Good times. We were definitely the smallest Catalina to ever attend their annual rendezvous and the first from the USA as far as anyone remembered.
From there, the calendar made us turn south :(. Motored in dead calm seas for Otter Bay Marina on North Pender Island. It was perfect to set us up for showers and a quick jump across the border. The next day brought us to the customs dock at Roche Harbor in San Juan Island. Picked up a marina slip and had a wonderful dinner, still celebrating our honeymoon.
The last day had us motor 35 miles from Roche back to Bellingham. We could have sailed the last 6-8 miles, but we were sort of eager to get back to shore and trailer the boat. While at the guest dock in Bellingham, we moored across from a Catalina 42, and managed to get a tour. Wow! Their cockpit seemed larger than our entire cabin! I especially liked the sweet little propane fireplace they installed to take the chill off Bellingham’s wet winters.
After 14 full days on the water, we safely drove Molly Jim home yesterday. AND we are still excited to be married. :)
Perhaps I will get a video put together of the cruise this winter while not sailing.
This was my 6th annual cruise to the islands, but my first into BC. I cannot recommend it enough!
Dale, Congratulations to you and Nikki...what a great adventure to celebrate a new chapter in your lives and a beautiful area. Looking forward to pics when you get around to it. Also curious how you dealt with storage and provisioning; our boats don't come with a lot of extra room. Best to you.
Loved your enthusiastic report and description of one of the nicest areas on the west coast. Above all to take your bride and enjoy the trip together. Johanna and I are on the Trent/Severn waterway at lock 26 at Lakeview and staying for the weekend while meeting friends for dinner tonight. Look forward to your trip photos and perhaps video
What a great start for you two! We were the smallest in a Catalina organization on Long Island Sound--no shame there. In your case, not one of those other boats could have been easily trailered to the start of the adventure, and each of them has unspoken stories of issues with systems that you don't have to think about. On boats like ours, every additional three feet makes the boat about twice as "big" (evidenced by desplacement) and twice as complicated.
Dave Bristle Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can). Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
Thanks for the well-wishes and kind words. :). We are very happy to be married!
In regards to storage, I am happy to describe generally what we have down for 6 years. Please note we have the traditional layout, meaning a settee on both port and starboard, and the batteries are in the hold below the quarter berth and the water tank is starboard aft in the settee.
We sleep in the V berth. Luckily, Nikki is on the shorter side, so I have a bit of foot room under the anchor locker. We stow clothes (in duffle bags), sails, dock cart, and spare blankets in the quarter berth, the clothes bags being most forward.
We store miscellaneous boat stuff in the forward portion of the starboard settee. This includes radar deflector, rain fly, pop-up cover and miscellaneous candles, etc.
We store food and drinking/cooking water below the port settee and in the cupboard (or what I call the pantry).
We use the boat onboard cooler for beverages and carry a cooler for food (which is much better insulated than the stock onboard cooler).
The small space behind the head serves to hold towels and linens. We have erected a curtain behind the head to keep things clean. The hold below the head sink holds cleaning supplies, rags, tp, first aid and the like.
The dumpster holds sailing related gear, including fenders, spare lines, dock lines, bucket, boat hook, filler extension, flares, horn, spare pfd’s... the small hold on the starboard cockpit seat holds bulge pump handle, winch handle, spare blocks and short lines, and small covers like winch and filler.
I think that’s it! Let me know if you have more specific questions. :)
What do you do with the quarterberth? There’s an amazing amount of storage room there on the starboard side and underneath the cockpit sole.
For overnighting, we store our suitcase, bedding, dry food items and the food cooler in the Qberth.
I have a dinette style layout which makes it nice for sleeping since you can fit a queen size air mattress across the dinette seats and I bridge the gap to the starboard settee using a plywood filler strip.
You can really stretch out there, but it makes walking around the cabin impossible until you remove the mattress in the AM.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.