The coastal waters of BC have conditions for every kind of sailor. The West Coast of Vancouver Island has large swells, strong winds, rugged scenery and unpredictable weather. It is for hardy adventurers only. In Georgia Strait it is generally more tranquil and protected, and on a sunny day, off some of the islands, you'd swear you were in the South Pacific.


Desolation Sound and Johnstone Strait have rapids, isolated lagoons, marine parks, and wild creatures in the water and along the shores. The reason for such a plethora of sea life is because the currents bring nutrients to the shallower waters, creating a thousand times as much marine life as elsewhere. This is why you see all the eagles, sea lions, whales ...


This body of water, which separates Vancouver Island from the Mainland makes idyllic sailing in most types of weather, year round. There is usually wind enough for most craft in full sail, and often enough for an exciting clip through 6-10 feet waves. Small craft warnings are quite frequent, which is when the adventurous BC sailor goes out, and also when smaller boats should call it a day.


The scores of islands that stretch from San Juan Strait to Johnstone Strait in the north may well be the most beautiful in the world. They are sparsely populated, so there is a wealth of marine life. Most of the larger islands have marinas and docks, pubs, restaurants and accommodation. The locals are friendly, and speak understandable English.

THE GULF ISLANDS: west from Vancouver and north east from Victoria, these islands all have small communities that offer hospitality. The straits between the islands are often the most majestic, with scattered cottages between the trees, bald eagles, seals, beaches, strangely eerie rock faces and fast currents. Marinas and/or floating docks are found on all the larger islands.


Provincial Marine Parks were initiated to preserve unique systems and for recreational purposes. Some have camping sites, trails, floating docks, and most have suitable anchorage. The BC government puts out a map entitled: Coastal Marine Parks of British Columbia which is available at Info centres.


Twelve of the parks are located in the Gulf Islands area and are accessible by small craft in good weather.


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