D16 DIS­COV­ERY IS­LAND

Suncruiser West Coast - - The Eclectic -

Gonzales Bay – Rocks and reefs. These haz­ards earned the bay its orig­i­nal name, Foul Bay. Gonzales Bay Park is in the west cor­ner.

Trafal­gar Park – Has King Ge­orge View­ing Ter­race which was ded­i­cated in 1990 by two Ro­tary Clubs. It has signs which point to 14 dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions giv­ing dis­tances.

Trial Is­lands – A 23 hectare eco­log­i­cal pre­serve which pro­tects the most out­stand­ing known as­sem­blage of rare and en­dan­gered plant species in Bri­tish Columbia. Four tow­ers are on the is­lands with a light at Staines Point. Ships have come to nasty ends here and dozens of peo­ple have lost their lives. 54 peo­ple died in 1904 when the Clal­lam sank.

En­ter­prise Chan­nel – Also known as Trial Is­land Pass; loaded with kelp. Mouat Reef at the east end is marked and chal­leng­ing. Only those with lo­cal knowl­edge should cross here. Gonzales Point – Named for Gon­zalo Lopez de Haro who was with the Spa­niards in their 1790 ex­pe­di­tion of the re­gion. He drew the first charts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The golf course here dis­plays a large Cana­dian flag.

Har­ris Is­land – Lee Rock is south, Emily Is­land is west. Tod Rock is north as is Fid­dler’s Reef.

Oak Bay – An 8 kph (5 mph) speed limit. Be cau­tious in the pas­sage be­tween Mary Tod Is­land and the Oak Bay Ma­rina break­wa­ter. Wil­low Beach Park at the north end of­fers great views, swim­ming area and beaches. Mary Tod Is. is grassy with a small break­wa­ter on the south tip.

Mayor Chan­nel – The pas­sage that coastal ves­sels usu­ally use. Tides flood to the north and ebb to the south. Lewis Reef – Marked by a light on a 6.7 m (22 ft) white tower. Fid­dler’s Reef is also marked with a light on a 7 m (23 ft ) white tower. The pas­sage be­tween the two reefs is known as the Goal Posts.

Chain Islets – A 170 hectare eco­log­i­cal pre­serve which also takes in Jemmy Jones Is­land and Great Chain Is­land. It was es­tab­lished to pro­tect bird breed­ing grounds, wild­flow­ers and marine life. Carolina Reef is on the north side.

Virtue Rock – East of Chain Islets is one of the most dan­ger­ous ar­eas in the re­gion. At low tide it is un­der 60 cm of wa­ter, just enough to catch un­sus­pect­ing boaters who are gaz­ing across Juan de Fuca. Plumper Pas­sage can pro­duce cur­rents be­tween three to five knots.

Cat­tle Point – Has two boat launches. Watch for rocks at low tide to the east when com­ing into the launch. Up­lands Park is 75 acres and a tremen­dous spot for bird watch­ing. Five knot speed limit.

Cad­boro Bay – Named after the HBC brig­an­tine Cad­boro and is home to the Royal Vic­to­ria Yacht Club. Gyro Park has beau­ti­ful sandy beaches, wash­rooms, kids play­grounds, and a great view of the bay where there is good an­chor­age. Staines Is­land and Flower Is­land are on the east side of the bay.

Jemmy Jones Is­land – Named after Cap­tain Jemmy Jones whose ex­pe­ri­ence with boats in the re­gion is less than in­spir­ing. In 1856 his schooner Emily Parker burned near Clover Point. In 1858 the Wild Pi­geon cap­sized leav­ing Vic­to­ria. Carolina, his next ship, ran aground on the is­land named for him. This sug­gests he might have had ei­ther a vi­sion or drink­ing prob­lem. Foul ground is north to Cad­boro Point and it is an eco­log­i­cal pre­serve. Baynes Chan­nel North light is at Cad­boro Point.

Baynes Chan­nel – Named after Rear Ad­mi­ral Robert Baynes. Cur­rents are stronger in the north chan­nel. Tides flood to north­west, ebb to south­east.

Dis­cov­ery Is­land – Named after The Dis­cov­ery, the ship which car­ried Cap­tain Ge­orge Van­cou­ver to this re­gion. About two-thirds of the is­land is a marine park with tem­po­rary an­chor­age in Rudlin Bay. The north side is an In­dian re­serve. At Com­modore Point there are lots of rocks. Heavy tide rips can de­velop.

Sea Bird Point – An Amer­i­can pad­dle steamer, the Sea Bird, was on its way from Vic­to­ria to Van­cou­ver on Septem­ber 7, 1858 when a fire broke out. To save lives the ves­sel was run aground. In 1886 a light­house was put up.

Al­pha Islet – Named for the first ship built in Nanaimo, the Al­pha - a 58 ton trad­ing schooner launched in 1859. On Fe­bru­ary 1, 1863 she ran aground with a cargo of coal in a snow­storm.

Chatham Is­lands – Lots of shoals, rocks and reefs to worry about. Five ra­dio bea­cons make the is­lands easy to iden­tify. The is­lands be­long to the Songhees In­di­ans and you need their per­mis­sion to go ashore. At low wa­ter, these low, wooded is­lands are al­most joined to one an­other. Ful­ford Reef (north­east) is a group of dry­ing reefs.

20. Haro Strait – The bor­der be­tween the U.S.A. and Canada runs down the mid­dle. Watch for a coun­ter­clock­wise cur­rent off the east side of Dis­cov­ery Is­land when the tide is flood­ing.

21. Ten Mile Point – Part of a world wide sys­tem of nat­u­ral ar­eas set aside for sci­en­tific re­search and ed­u­ca­tion as a pro­vin­cial marine eco­log­i­cal pre­serve. Do not take any marine species (alive or dead) and do not har­vest any sea­weed. If you see some­one do­ing it, call BC Parks (604) 387-4363. Good scuba dive site.

22. Tele­graph Cove – Dry­ing rock in the en­trance. Beach­side fires are pro­hib­ited. An un­der­wa­ter ca­ble comes ashore here. Stay on the western side of the cove.

23. Fin­nerty Cove and Ar­bu­tus Cove – Small boat an­chor­age. John­stone Reef (north­east) is marked by a port hand buoy and dries to about 60 cm. 24. Gordon Head – Home of Mount Dou­glas Park. Gordon Rock is north of the head. Mar­garet Bay pro­vides shel­ter from west winds. There is a rock that dries to about 30 cm just north of Cor­morant Point. South is a small bay that pro­vides shel­ter from north winds.

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