D10 PENDER ISLANDS
Pender Islands – The Penders—north and South Pender Islands—were once one island connected by a narrow strip of land. A canal between the islands was dredged in 1903 to allow boats to make a speedier passage to the outer Gulf Islands. Rejoined again with the building of a one-lane bridge in 1957, the two islands are now home to a combined population of around 2000 permanent residents, the majority of whom live on North Pender.
There are a variety of accommodations available on the Penders including inns, vacation cottages, bed and breakfasts, resorts and marinas. The Driftwood Centre, located on Bedwell Harbour Road is 15 minutes from the Otter Bay ferry terminal and is the island’s commercial hub. A Customs point of entry is located at Bedwell Harbour (Poets Cove) on South Pender Island and Parks Canada’s field office is located at Hope Bay on North Pender Island.
Wallace Point – Named after Peter William Wallace, assistant surgeon aboard the HMS Satellite. Peter Cove (north) offers some anchorage but it is exposed to south and east winds.
Swanson Channel – Named for Captain John Swanson, was in HBC service in 1859.
Thieves Bay – Nice beach and picnic area at the head of the bay. Temporary anchorage and also a launching ramp. Mouat Point 800 m (.5 mi) was named after Captain Williams Alexander Mouat. Shingle Bay 1.6 km (1 mi) has some anchorage, but be careful of rocks which extend from the south corner.
Otter Bay – Offers ferry service and some anchorage. Hyashi Cove is at the head of the bay. Roe Islet is on the south side of the bay with a flagpole on the western tip of the islet. Roe Island is part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). Roesland, located at the adjacent Ella Bay, is a former cottage resort and is part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Perfect location for kayakers to come in and enjoy a picnic and learn about the local history. The Pender Island Museum is also located at Roesland. Interpretation services are offered during the summer season. New dinghy dock available.
Port Washington and Grimmer Bay – Named after one of the first residents of Pender Island, Washington Grimmer. Boat Islet in the bay.
Navy Channel – Tides flood to the east and ebb to the west at up to three knots. Watch for rips near Hope Bay on flood tides. Conconi Reef is marked by a light. Davidson Bay has a nice beach but there is limited shelter if you are planning to anchor overnight. Clam Bay Farm is private.
Hope Bay – Named after Rutherford Hope, an early resident of the island. You may find some fresh shrimp to buy on the dock. Fane Island (east) is marked by a green light and was named for Charles George Fane. Colston Cove and Welcome Cove are north. Park field office is located at Hope Bay.
Plumper Sound – You can often see large ocean-going vessels anchored here. Winds in the sound generally blow from the south and southwest.
Port Browning – Entering from the east; there is a red spar buoy at the end of Razor Point. Hamilton Beach is worth exploring. Mortimer Spit, on the south side, offers a terrific shell beach which is located just inside the passage.
11. Pender Island Bridge – Clearance under the bridge is 9 metres at high water. The canal is 12 metres wide. A monument describes the area’s history; “Near this point passed an ancient trail over which Indians portaged their canoes between Browning and Bedwell harbours across this neck of land. Pioneer settlers later dragged their boats on skids for visits between the scattered island families or to shorten the journey to Sidney by sail or row-boat. In 1903, the federal government constructed the canal dividing Pender Island.” Shark Cove offers anchorage.
12. Beaumont is part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR), established in 2003 offering camping, toilets, picnicking and 15 mooring buoys in this all weather anchorage. The Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club provide a marine host service at this location - please visit the volunteer host for any information about the park and the area.
13. Bedwell Harbour – Originally called Punta de San Antonio; more than 9,000 boats a year are processed at the customs dock here. Public wharf within walking distance; groceries, a post office, washrooms, showers, laundry and pub. Medicine Beach at the head of the bay is one of the places where Pender Island First Nations lived for thousands of years.
14. Gowlland Point – Marked by a light. Nice
beach and great tide pools to explore. Here you can watch freighters and the occasional pod of orcas traveling through Boundary Pass as you look toward the San Juan Islands. Tilly Point 1.6 km (1 mi) wes) is a popular scuba diving area with caverns 30 feet down. Camp Bay 800 m (.5 mi) north provides good anchorage but it is exposed to southeasterly winds.
Crocker Point – Marked with a light. There is a rock shoal point. Breezy Bay is on the north side of the point.
Lyall Harbour – A public wharf and washrooms by the ferry landing at Saturna Point on the south point. Watch for Crispin Rock which is marked by a buoy at the entrance. Boot Cove is entered north of Trevor Islet and provides good shelter.
Winter Cove – A good all-weather picturesque anchorage. Winter Cove is part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR). Winter Cove offers picnic sites and toilets as well as a beautiful trail through to Boat Passage. Boat Passage is tough to spot, but a good way of seeing what is out on Georgia Straight. A new dinghy dock is also available.
Irish Bay has nice beaches. Anchorage tucked in the south corner.
Georgeson and Robson Passages – Between Lizard and Curlew Islands are the prettiest passages of the Gulf Islands. Access is not permitted to Georgeson Island.
20. Horton Bay – Nice beachcombing area with several private floats and a public wharf on the south side.