Gulf Islands Cruising School
The Main Sheet
At Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd., we work to help people realize
their full potential for the boating lifestyle. We provide professional Boating, Sailing and
Navigation courses and share our knowledge of boating and the Gulf Islands
It is difficult to believe that it is September and our son is back
in school. It has been a busy summer with a number of clients buying boats and needing
instruction. On the first Saturday this month I had the pleasure of travelling over to Ganges aboard a
50' motor yacht with the owners and their guests. It was a perfect day with sunshine and almost
flat seas. We went into Glenthorne Passage on Prevost Island to show them the anchorage and the little
cabin at the head of the bay. From there we proceeded to the dock in Ganges Harbour and had lunch at La
Cucinna overlooking the harbour.
After lunch I met an operator
from a whale-watching company in Victoria and he told me the orcas where travelling towards Active Pass.
We returned to the boat and headed over to Active Pass, unfortunately the whales had already gone. We had
just passed Beaver Point on Saltspring Island when I spotted two black fins in the water ahead. I asked
the owner to stop the boat. There were actually three whales, a bull and two smaller ones and they came
across our bow at a distance of about 150 to 200 yards. We were able to watch them as they followed the
shoreline around the point. Everyone on board was suddenly standing up to see and the cameras came
out. What an exciting finish to a perfect day!
In the Marine Parks the Government buoys have a
label on the top which states the mooring fee, usually $10. There is one mooring buoy in Montague Harbour
that is the same make as the Government buoys, however it has no label and is a Private buoy.
When picking up a mooring with your boat hook it is usually easier to insert your
boat hook through the ring on the top of the buoy rather than trying to hook the ring from the outside. The
ring is attached to the mooring chain which should slide up the pipe in the middle of the buoy so you may lift the
ring up to your deck to attach your lines. Some chains will not pull through the pipe due to mussels or weed
on the chain.
Sidney Spit Marine
Sidney Spit Marine Park is a favorite
destination for a day trip or as an overnight get away. There are numerous mooring buoys, a
large anchorage, as well as a public dock.
From Sidney the trip by powerboat takes
approximately 20 minutes. Once secured and on shore, choose bird watching, hiking, or relaxing on
the sandy beaches. One may see fallow deer, peacocks and many species of birds. A picnic area with
tables and fire pits is located on the sandy beach at the end of the wharf. For campers there are
campsites located on the upper portion, many with water views.
The park is a wonderful family destination and
can provide children with hours of enjoyment. We have been to the Park many times with our son and his
friends to spend the day playing on the beach or on the sand hill. Some friends were new to boating and
it was a wonderful experience to introduce them to the joy of being on the water.
When planning a boating vacation Sidney Spit
Marine Park is a stop to consider.
The Ritchie Family left Sidney
in July 2004 on board R Factor, a 56’ Maple Leaf for an extended offshore trip and have recently
returned. To view their journal click
Contact us at 250 656-2628 or Toll-Free
P.O. Box 2532 Sidney BC V8L 4B9
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