D3 GABRI­OLA PAS­SAGE

Suncruiser West Coast - - Nanaimo -

Roberts Me­mo­rial Park – Pic­nic ta­bles, wash­rooms, swim­ming area. No horses, camp­ing or fires. Dogs must be on a leash.

Flewett Point – A can­non and an­chor on the rocky out­crop­ping at the north point. A pri­vate wharf at the south point. Named af­ter the ma­rine en­gi­neer who ran a steam launch in this re­gion in the 1870’s.

Boat Har­bour – A dry­ing reef in the north­ern part of Boat Bay is marked by a day marker. Fair-weather an­chor­age open to the east. Round Is­land, north is sur­rounded by rocks and dry­ing shoals.

False Nar­rows – Cur­rents run to more than four knots at times. Look at your tide and cur­rent ta­bles and post a look­out on the bow. Be cau­tious when nav­i­gat­ing this stretch of water.

Link Is­land – Con­nected to Mudge Is­land at low tide. At high tide there are boul­ders to catch the un­wary. Do not an­chor or go be­tween is­lands. You will need a ca­noe to go be­tween Link and De Courcy Is­land.

De Courcy Is­land – Great ge­og­ra­phy on the west side and some good beach­comb­ing along the east­ern shores. A green buoy marks a rock at the north­east tip.

Pi­rate’s Cove Ma­rine Park has a bea­con on the point that pro­tects the cove from all winds, but the reef extends about 200 m (660 ft) fur­ther north. The cove is a mag­nif­i­cent an­chor­age with more an­chor­age to the north. The park cov­ers 30 ha (76 ac); it has fresh water, pic­nic ar­eas and out­houses, dinghy docks on the east­ern and western shores and two pri­vate floats on the south­west side of the bay.

Rux­ton Is­land – A day bea­con marks the dry­ing reef at the north­west­ern end. Named af­ter Lt. Wil­liam Fitz Her­bert Rux­ton. Rux­ton Pas­sage has claimed the bot­toms of many ves­sels so be alert and care­ful. Her­ring Bay is a nice moor­age but not much shel­ter from north winds.

Py­lades Chan­nel – Bears the name of the ship that Lt. Wil­liam Fitz Her­bert Rux­ton served on.

10. Thale­boat Is­land Ma­rine Park – This 3 ha (7 ac) park, estab­lished in 1981, has a nice an­chor­age to the north­west of the is­land and a small in­let on the north­east cor­ner. 11. Py­lades Is­land – Named af­ter the HMS Py­lades, which served the Bri­tish Navy in the area from 1859-1862. Watch for a group of rocks on the south­west side. Ex­perts say to stay at least 1.6 km (1 mi) south of Tree and Py­lades Is­land.

12. Dan­ger Reef – Pay close at­ten­tion to charts and aids to nav­i­ga­tion here and your keel will thank you.

13. In­ter­est­ing rock for­ma­tions and a small bay 1.6 km (1 mi) south that is a favourite way point for kayak­ers ad­mir­ing the steep cliffs of Valdes Is­land.

14. Valdes Is­land – A red light marks a dry­ing reef off the tip of Dibux­ante Point at the north end. Dibux­ante Point is named af­ter Dibux­ante Josef Cordero of the Mex­i­cana. Cordero Point is also named to hon­our the draughts­man. It was named for Cayetano Valdes who com­manded the Mex­i­cana, a Span­ish navy ves­sel that ex­plored these wa­ters in 1792. About 1.6 km (1 mi) south of the point is a boom­ing area and is al­most to­tally un­in­hab­ited. More than a third of the is­land is In­dian re­serve. There are no fa­cil­i­ties or moor­age on the east shores.

15. Gabri­ola Pas­sage – Small pas­sage from the Strait of Ge­or­gia into the Gulf Is­lands is very pop­u­lar with re­cre­ational boaters. Tides can run up to eight knots so wait for slack water. Ad­vanced scuba divers only.

16. Deg­nen Bay – En­ter on the north­east side of the small is­land. Some good all-weather an­chor­age, a gov­ern­ment wharf and sev­eral pri­vate floats. The Maple Bay, Bur­rard, and False Creek Yacht Clubs have out­sta­tions here.

17. Drum­beg Park – Estab­lished in 1971 with out­houses and trails. No fires per­mit­ted. Scuba divers can find most of the ma­rine life that is in Gabri­ola Pas­sage with­out fac­ing the treach­er­ous wa­ters. Rogers Reef (off the park) is marked with a light. Pay at­ten­tion to your charts and aids to nav­i­ga­tion here as rocks ex­tend north and south of the light that marks the reef.

18. Ken­drick Is­land – Long­est of the three islets with some good an­chor­age. West Van­cou­ver Yacht Club out­sta­tion on the south side.

19. Silva Bay – En­ter with cau­tion. Pay close at­ten­tion to your charts. Be care­ful when go­ing be­tween Vance and Tug­boat Is­land. The bay is well pro­tected by the Flat Top Is­lands. Moor­age, mari­nas, ma­rine pub, chan­dlery, gro­cery store, and re­pair fa­cil­i­ties. Leav­ing be­tween Sear and Gabri­ola Is­lands, stay closer to Sear Is­land. Silva Bay Re­sort & Ma­rina of­fers guest moor­age plus boater’s re­sort ser­vices, liquor store, diesel and gas plus great din­ing in­clud­ing the pa­tio sit­u­ated “on-top” of the ma­rina which en­hances the panoramic view of Silva Bay and the Flat­top Is­lands.

20. Flat Top Is­lands – In­cludes Lily, Gavi­ola, Acorn, Tug­boat, Sear, Bath and Saturn­ina Is­lands. Tug­boat Is­land has the out­sta­tion for the Royal Van­cou­ver Yacht Club. A favourite fish­ing area. Keep an eye out for Brant Reef just east of Acorn Is­land. Car­los Is­land is rocky.

21. Thrasher Rock – A dive site suitable for ad­vanced divers be­cause of the in­cred­i­ble cur­rents that at­tract large fish.

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