Considered by sailors as one of the most beautiful sailboat cruising areas in the world due to the snow topped mountains, spectacular fjords, and wildlife; Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park has earned the name of Canada’s Premier Sailing Playground.
Desolation Sound was first inhabited by the Salish people prior to European arrival. In 1792, Captain George Vancouver and two Spanish captains worked together and mapped the Desolation Sound. Captain George Vancouver named it “Desolation Sound” because "there was not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye".
Sailors and cruisers have a different view of Desolation Sound. With sixty miles of breath-taking coastline, intricate waterways, small islands and numerous attractive bays and coves, nooks and crannies - there is enough to delight every sailor and cruiser.
Sea lions and seals can be found sunning and relaxing on the rocks, dolphins are often sighted dancing in your charter boat’s bow wake and you may even see killer whales’ pods that occasionally visit Desolation Sound. Anchor your sailboat or motorboat and enjoy hiking on shore or swim in one of the many warm fresh water mountain lakes. Only your time and imagination will limit the endless variety of places to discover and activities to pursue in this unforgettable marine park, the largest in British Columbia.
Island Cruising Yacht Charters provides a complete range of yachting vacations for the novice through to the experienced sailor. Our main office is in Victoria/Sidney BC and our satellite office is in Comox/Courtney BC which provides easy access to Desolation Sound. We pride ourselves in being the
All of our charter yachts are superbly equipped and meticulously maintained so that all you need to bring are your personal belongings, your imagination and your enthusiasm! Let our professional and personable staff take care of the rest. We will ensure that your sailing charter vacation in Desolation Sound is everything you dreamed of.
Grace Harbour is a long and narrow sheltered bay located on Gifford Peninsula in Malaspina Inlet. The inner part of Grace Harbour is completely protected from all winds and seas whish is perfect for anchoring your charter boat. There are a series of hiking trails at the end of the bay. Follow the trail at the northern end of the harbour to a small, peaceful, freshwater lake created by beavers. Galley Bay and Isabel Bay provide anchorage for cruising boats.
Isabel Bay is situated in Lancelot Inlet and only limited anchorage for a few charter boats can be found here. A small cove at the lower end of the bay, along with two tiny nooks for one or two boats can be found behind Madge Island at its northern end. Clams and oysters abound. It may be necessary to tie a stern line to shore.
Wootton Bay has several temporary anchorages with most of them being near the head of the bay. These spots provide good protection from the night time westerly winds but are somewhat exposed to any wind from the south or southeast.
Theodosia Inlet is almost like a lagoon as the shallow entrance channel inhibits the entrance of salt water but also permits freshwater outflow from the Theodosia River. The current runs quite quickly through the narrow twisting channel which opens up inside Theodosia Inlet. The Inlet at the entrance of Theodosia is often used as a picnic area and there are flat areas suitable for camping. A shallow bay on the East side of the inlet can be used for beaching a canoe or kayak. Other good anchorage spots can also be found throughout Theodosia Inlet. Outside the Inlet, anchorage is possible near Grail Point behind Susan Inlet. An old orchard is a landmark.
Mink Island is private property, however it provides one of the most popular anchorages in Desolation Sound. The outer anchorage is fairly deep, but a shallower more protected anchorage is possible behind a small islet near the head of the cove. Depths are 10-20 feet.
Tenedos Bay is known as the "Deep Bay" and caution must be exercised in setting anchor here as depths can reach over 300 feet in the central bay. There are however many small coves and crannies shallow enough for small charter yachts to find anchorage. The largest, most protected anchorage area is in the extreme northern end of the bay. Despite its partial exposure to westerly winds, the eastern most cove in Tenedos Bay is usually the busiest. Here you can anchor and walk a trail which leads up to Unwin Lake. The lake is only five minutes by trail from the sea and halfway along the trail it is possible to cut through the woods to a stream where gentle rapids and deep pools provide an ideal secluded place to swim. When a westerly wind arises, it whistles through this area. Unmarked rocks extend from this island in several places.
Galley Bay offers good anchorage in the western most nook, or behind the island in the eastern part of the bay. Caution must be exercised in the central part of the bay, because there are two dangerously drying rocks. The one near the centre dries three feet and the one farther in dries 12 feet. It's also exposed to north easterly winds. A stern line to shore is recommended.
Ha'thayim (Von Dunop) Marine Provincial Park in the Discovery Islands, with its long, narrow sheltered inlet, is a popular anchorage for charter yachts. Located on the northwestern tip of Cortes Island, the inlet can be entered from northern Sutil Channel.
Otter Island is only large enough for a few boats and is an almost totally secluded anchorage for charter boats. The passage separating Otter Island from the mainland, although extremely narrow, is deep enough for most small craft to safely navigate. Sky Pilot Rock, one of the most dangerous hazards in the area, is located north of Otter Island. It waits menacingly out in mid-channel, unmarked, and only a few feet under water at high tide. Favour the Otter Island Shore.
Prideaux Haven is known as one of the most scenically outstanding anchorages anywhere. This well protected harbour has enough arms and interconnecting coves and passageways to safely accommodate hundreds of charter boats. Entrance to Prideaux Haven is from Homfray Channel to the east of Eveleigh Island. Caution should be exercised when entering the area and the reef in the center of the channel should be kept to the port. From July to August, Prideaux Haven has the reputation of being one for the most crowded anchorages on the BC coast. The warm waters of this area make it a perfect spot for swimming and water skiing.
Teakerne Arm Provincial Marine Park is a beautiful 128-hectare area off Lewis Channel on the west side of West Redonda Island in Desolation Sound, BC. The park features features forested uplands and the amazing 30-metre high Cassel Falls. Follow the hiking trails to Cassel Lake, perfect for a picnic and a swim in one of the best swimming spots in Desolation Sound, BC. Most charter boats anchor in the bay immediately to the west of the falls, with plenty of anchor rode out in the deep bay and a stern line fastened ashore. Teakerne Arm Provincial Marine Park has a dinghy landing dock and is a perfect area to include in your sailboat charter vacation.
Walsh Cove is a small 85-hectare sheltered anchorage at Walsh Cove Provincial Marine Park, a favourite among Desolation Sound charter boats, is located on the east side of West Redonda Island, off Waddington Channel. After anchoring in the secure and compact little cove, sailors can take their dinghy and explore the undeveloped shoreline, hike the trails and look for ancient native pictographs on the rock cliffs at Doctor Bay.
Powell River Beach Gardens Marina accommodates transient and permanent moorage. Fuel is available in season (gas, diesel, oil). There is a liquor store (cold beer available), directly at the marina. Fresh water, ice, coin laundry, showers, washrooms, and telephone are available. The marina also offers a shuttle service to the Town Centre Mall during July and August.
Lund Harbour is home to many shops and services including a general store, a restaurant overlooking the water, kayak and adventure tourism stores, and Nancy's Bakery, a favourite of locals as well as tourists.
Savary Island Dazzling sunlight, glorious sunsets, and moonlit nights on sandy beaches all combine to bring the glamour of the tropics to Savary Island, a paradise island in British Columbia's Strait of Georgia. A public wharf and moorage floats are located in Keefer Bay. There is a water taxi to and from Lund (604) 483-9749
Cortes Island Nestled at the entrance to enchanting Desolation Sound, tranquil and friendly Cortes Island is one of the most impressive of the Discovery Islands, with its placid lakes, beaches, and rugged gorges. There are three settlements on Cortes Island:
Whaletown has a small public float alongside the ferry dock. There is also Gorge Harbour Marina which has all amenities for charter yachts including 15- and 30-amp power connections, water, newly renovated bathrooms with coin-operated showers and laundry facilities. In addition, four guest rooms are available for those with crew changes or needing additional sleeping space. The well-stocked General Store provides ample extras for those sailing trips to Desolation Sound and beyond. Look at the cliffside to port for the petroglyphs as you enter the narrow channel into this extremely protected harbour. Call VHF 66A for slip assignment.
Manson's Landing has a good sailboat anchorage to the north of the long public dock however the entire area is exposed to the south. From here you can access Mansons Landing Marine Park and Hague Lake which is a wonderfully warm lake with great swimming.
Squirrel Cove: The Government dock is 200ft long with 15-amp power and can be used by charter yachts. There is access to telephone and garbage disposal. (250)935-0180 You can purchase supplies at the Squirrel Cove General Store.
Quadra Island Heriot Bay has a Government Dock which will accommodate charter yachts. Sailors can monitor VHF Channel 66A for docking information. Heriot Bay Inn & Marina is situated in sheltered Heriot Bay, the sailboat and powerboat marina offers: diesel, marine fuel & propane sales, ice, showers and laundry facilities, wireless high speed internet, charts, maps & fishing charters.
Taku Resort South of Heriot Bay in Drew Harbour - When using sailboat moorage facilities, guests can also access all the resort’s fantastic amenities including Internet access, tennis court, showers and laundry facilities. They can even restock provisions at the market, only a five-minute stroll away. VHF Channel 66A for slip assignment
Malaspina Inlet Okeover Inlet, south of Penrose Bay, has a public float. The day use area is situated on a traditional Sliammon First Nations archaeological site. There are interpretive signs explaining the significant aspects of the site.
Toba Inlet The peaceful and undeveloped Toba Inlet provides almost total isolation for sailboat charters who want to enjoy a cruising experience that ranks among the best in the world. Sailors seeking the tranquility and scenic wonders of Toba Inlet may have difficulty anchoring in the deep waters of the fjord. Protected anchorages are difficult to find, with the west side of Brem Bay considered to be the best anchorage in Toba Inlet. Charter boats generally anchor in deep water and run one or two stern lines ashore. Sailboats tucked into small coves can attach lines to objects on both sides of the shore to secure their vessel for overnight stays. Sailors can sometimes secure permission to tie up to a logging barge near the Tahumming River.
Toba Wildernest Marina has a quiet, friendly dock in a well-protected, picturesque bay with 350 feet of moorage. The size of the marina ensures that even when full it has an intimate feel. There is access to fresh water, a small store that carries ice, ice cream, fishing tackle and a few convenience items and shower facilities that have been called "The best shower in the world" by some boating guests.
Lewis Channel Refuge Cove is a unique coastal co-op with a small store, liquor outlet and some mouth-watering homemade cinnamon buns.
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