Closing the circle on our trip around the Strait of Georgia we went into anchored in Silva Bay on Gabriola island. This place has seen better days. There was once a vibrant wooden boatbuilding school and marine repair facility. Also the Silva Bay Marina, one of only two marinas in the harbour, burned down last winter leaving only the docks in place. We did enjoy a dinghy ride around to explore the surrounding islands.
The next day we had one of the best downwind sails of the trip as we passed down the outside of Valdes and Galiano island to drop anchor in Whaler Bay.
What a lovely place Whaler Bay is with its great views and few other boats. In fact we were the only boat at anchor and enjoyed the peacefulness of the place. Depending on where you drop the hook it can be somewhat exposed to the Strait of Georgia. I laid out a stern anchor to keep our bow pointed into the light swell coming into the bay.
We went ashore at the government wharf the next morning and took a short stroll along the winding country road to the little village at Sturdies Bay. We enjoyed muffins and coffee at the Bowline Cafe and picked up a few provisions at the general store.
We left Whaler bay in the afternoon to catch the right tide through Georgeson pass and into Winter Cove on Saturday island. It was not surprising that it was packed with boats and I immediately thought about how interesting it is that people continue to go to the same anchorages despite there being other spots nearby that see hardly any visiting boats even in the height of summer.
We spent two nights at Winter Cove as we were waiting for my parents to rendezvous with us on their boat Arpeggio on the middle day. Murray also flew into Lyall harbour from Vancouver to cruise with us for the weekend.
Before everyone arrived, we went for a dinghy ride over to Lyall Harbour on Saturna to get some coffee at Wild Thyme Coffee House, which is an old bus that has been converted into a kitchen and seating area. We enjoyed our delicious coffee on the upper deck of the bus.
Then we headed over to hike the short trail from Winter Cove to Boat Passage.
Winter Cove was a cool spot to have a brief family gathering. The following day we cruised with Arpeggio to Tumbo Island. This is one of our favourite places to visit. Great beach walking, great views and few boats.
We were quite low on fuel, provisions and hadn’t had a shower in about a week so from Tumbo, we headed to Sidney to tie up at the Port Sidney Marina. We were able to get propane, groceries, have showers and do laundry all in under 4 hours so we left the marina and motored over to Sidney Spit late that afternoon.
At this point we had decided we were heading home in a few days but we were looking forward to a few more nights on the boat.
We stayed at Sidney Spit for 2 nights and enjoyed a beach day on the middle day, well except for the forest fire haze that set in.
Our last night of our trip was at Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Cadboro Bay. We used our reciprocal privileges and tied up to the dock. We went ashore to Gyro Park and Starbucks for the afternoon.
Day 77, our final day we rounded the Victoria waterfront and arrived in Esquimalt Harbour to CFSA by 1030. Within 2 hours we had packed up the necessary belongings, loaded the car and were headed home.
We have now been home for a week and we are finally settled in. The transition was tougher than we thought it would be and although we are happy to be home and have more space, we all miss living on Arctic Loon.
– Ellery & Chari