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Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Westie, Aug 20, 2014.
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.
The pictures are fabulous, I did a lot of boating in the Puget Sound with my Dad when I was young and fell in love with that whole area up there. Would love to cruise the area someday (bucket list)
Westie, thanks again for taking all of us along on your cruise. You posted some great photos and it only makes me more determined to do our summer-long cruise up there.
Beautifully done Westie; fantastic shots. You've inspired me to give another go at getting that far north hopefully next year. Its been another frustrating year from a boating standpoint, and this was just the nudge I needed.
We did Desolation Sound for almost 3 weeks last summer on our old boat (a 30' Chaparral). We're already planning another cruise this summer in our new Sea Ray but not sure if we'll make it all the way up to Desolation. We don't have a dinghy yet and since we have a dog, it's not a very good plan to try anchoring without a way to take her to do her business.
We're thinking about cruising to stops in the gulf islands that we missed on the last trip and also stopping in areas that we loved (like Montague Harbor).
Our itinerary last summer ended up being these stops:
- Roche Harbor
- Bedwell Harbor
- Westview (fuel only)
- Squirrel Cove
- Gorge Harbor
- Laura Cove (retreated to Refuge Cove when we lost anchor)
- Prideaux Haven (lost anchor again - long story!)
- Secret Cove
- Montague Harbor
- Telegraph Harbor
All in all it was a fabulous trip and it made us realize that we really needed a bigger boat though the Chaparral did great on such a long trip. We can't wait to do more exploring on our Sea Ray!
One day I want to go there for two weeks , not possible on our boat though . Might have to rent a trawler but it's not the same if it's not your own boat .
You would probably need more than two weeks if you were planning on going on a trawler. Crossing the Strait of Georgia is best done at dawn and as fast as you can get across before the winds start up.
If anything I feel like spending 3 weeks on our boat helped us to deal with all of the little projects that we somehow never got around to and we also got to learn the limits of the vessel (holding tank capacity, how long we could go without being able to refill our water tanks, managing our fuel consumption, managing batteries/power when using the generator). I don't think I'd want to do that on a boat that is unknown to me.
When we first started to boat we had a 28 footer and spent a lot of time in Desolation. It now crowed in the summer and we go further north. The Golf Islands are nice except in the summer when there are a lot of people.
With the 28 footer our dinghy was a $200 Hunt and Fish blow up boat. Just keep it off the rocks or you will put holes in it. If you are to get a dinghy that is tough we have a 10 foot Livingston with a 5HP. Bottom is all scratched up but no holes. With the present boat we used to go from Nanaimo to the end of Vancouver Island and back to Nanaimo at 6 knots in 3 weeks. Never spent more than 2 days in one place.
Fuel is less this year good time to visit the area.
We have a blow up dinghy but many of the places we stopped had really sharp rocks and few places to tie up that wouldn't have punctured a cheap dinghy. We're hoping to wait until next year to get a proper dinghy but if the right one comes along we may get one sooner. Where are your favorite stops North of Desolation Sound?
There are a lot of places once you leave Desolation. It depends on if you want to anchor or stay at marinas. We anchor mostly but with your short time I feel marinas are your best choice.
Start with Blind Channel. It is a full service marina with fuel, water, laundry, groceries (Limited mostly packaged), alcohol and a very good restaurant.
If you do not want to stay at a marina Forward Harbour is a good place to anchor. There will be lots of boats. Be prepared to anchor in 50+ feet and holding is not great if there is a strong wind.
From there you can make it to Lagoon Cove. Good marina with power and water. They have Happy Hour every day where all boaters gather, eat and drink. You bring one dish. Make a reservation.
Sullivan Bay is a good marina. They have all the amenities of Blind Channel.
You can end at Port McNeill. Make a reservation with the fuel dock marina as they are very friendly. If it is full the town has a marina they are nice people also and have good docks. There is a large grocery store about ¼ mile from either marina that is very good. You can push the shopping cart back to your boat.
On you way home you can leave early and make it to Campbell River in a day. We like the Coast Marina as you get to use the hotel facilities. From there depending on how far you want to go you can make Nanaimo in a day.
I have logs of some of our trips if you are interested in them. PM me in 3 weeks with an email address and I can send you a few.