D3 GABRIOLA PASSAGE
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.