While this is our first time in the Canadian Gulf Islands on our own boat, we traveled to Bedwell Harbor and Ganges last year on Gold Rush (click here). Yesterday we left Ganges about noon after visiting the gas dock and pump-out station. We had a major voyage ahead of us: a whole 8 miles to Montague Harbor on Galiano Island, new territory for us. We’re staying at the Montague Provincial Marine Park which has a 300-foot floating dock and a couple dozen mooring buoys. Unfortunately all the buoys were full, so we’re tied up at the dock. Additionally, the bay has at least 3 or 4 dozen boats at anchor, though it doesn’t feel crowded except while motoring your way through to get to the dock.
We’re busy, or at least as busy as we allow ourselves to be, reading our boat owner’s manual, Chapman ( the boater’s bible), and the Waggoner Cruising Guide. After our experience at Sucia Island with the sailboat that slipped its anchor and almost crashed into us, we’ve undertaken a fair amount of reading regarding the gear and technique required to successfully anchor, and will be ready to give it a try on our next trip. We’ve learned that our boat is outfitted with a suitably rated anchor, but which is at the lower end of the recommended weight and only outfitted with enough chain and line (rode) to anchor successfully in 20 feet of water and in less than 20 knot winds. We suspect the designer’s plan was that the boat would typically be anchored for “lunch” stops during which the inhabitants would be sitting there watching all the time, not sleeping below deck for the night.
This afternoon we went on two walks: one beach walk to explore the park, and another down the road to the local marina to check it out, and of course stay long enough for a beer on the terrace. This cruising life is tough!