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Fishermen's Wharf in British Columbia.

Changes Come to Cowichan Village

Cowichan Bay, a long-time favorite with many boaters, has seen some recent changes. Fishermen’s Wharf, located behind the breakwater, is the main facility in Cowichan Bay that offers transient moorage. Dungeness Marina was recently sold and no longer offers transient moorage. Bluenose Marina is currently on the market but still offers 100 feet of transient moorage; boaters should call ahead to make a reservation. Permanent moorage is also provided at these two private marinas.  Fishermen’s Wharf is responding to calls on VHF 66A for transient moorage requests at Dungeness Marina from boaters arriving in Cowichan.

The docks at Fishermen's Wharf.

Fishermen’s Wharf has a number of docks for moorage.

Pier 66 Fuel Dock

Pier 66 Fuel Dock is now managed by ‘Ocean Ecoventures’ with varying hours of operation, boaters should call ahead (250-748-3800); the fuel dock is best suited for small craft. Due to a possible shortage of transient moorage, rafting with other boats at Fishermen’s Wharf may be necessary; however, we had no trouble finding space when we arrived late July on a Monday.

If space is full on Fishermen’s Wharf docks or at Bluenose Marina, boaters may wish to moor their boat at nearby Genoa Bay Marina and ride the Genoa Bay Shuttle (Greylag Boat Tours) to Cowichan Bay. Shuttle fees are reasonable.

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Cowichan Village

The good news is, the specialty shops in Cowichan Village are thriving, including True Grain Bread, Udder Guys Ice Cream, and Hilary’s Cheese shop, We enjoyed a nice selection of cheeses from France, Holland, and Germany served with crackers and fruit as a late afternoon snack. Other restaurants and cafes appear equally busy this summer season, and the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre is better than ever. The centre is managed by the Wooden Boat Society as a museum as well as a wooden boat restoration shop.

The collection of artifacts, archival photos, model ships, and collection of antique outboard motors are fascinating.  The building itself is also of interest, with pods extending out over the water connected by a boardwalk.

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The entire village is very picturesque with boutiques and cafes on pilings along the seashore, a quintessential postcard setting. The village of Cowichan continues to be a delightful place to visit. In the early 1920’s, Cowichan Bay had only a few log boom dolphins and private floats for a fish camp.

As the population grew around the city of Duncan with increased consumption of oil, oil tanks were installed along the hillside above Cowichan Bay and piers constructed along the shore for transport by ship. Today, condominiums and homes overlook the bay, and the ‘Masthead’ building that once served as a shipyard is now a fine dining venue.

~Lorena Landon

(originally posted on http://llcruise2017.blogspot.com)

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