Our team is out on the water and reporting as they go, providing cruisers with the most recent updates.
On-The-Water Cruising Updates for 2017
(This list will be ongoing and added as reports come in. The most recent update will be at the top of each location.)
Swinomish Channel Closures July through November 2017
Alert to boaters planning to travel through the Swinomish Channel in the 2017 summer/fall season. Due to work on the Railroad Bridge at the north end of the channel, the bridge will rotate to close and the Swinomish Channel will be closed to boat traffic during various times of the day from July 17th through November 2017 (no scheduled closures on Sundays). For a schedule of closures, go to www.swinomishchannelclosures.net
This is the 150th Anniversary of Canada and the celebration carries through this summer. There are many activities centered around Canada Day (July 1) but most significant is that entrance to Canada’s parks is free this year. This includes entrance fees into the protected areas of Haida Gwaii. This is a fabulous way to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Canada. Unfortunately, this does not include moorage fees in the parks for mooring buoys or the docks.
- Silva Bay (August 1 ,2017)
We have several errors on the Silva Bay diagram on page 226. Here is a new marina diagram for Silva Bay. Please print this and place it in your Waggoner Guide. This diagram corrects the errors on the dock configuration for Page’s Resort & Marina. Our apologies for this mistake. And, Page’s Resort & Marina has purchased Silva Bay Inn, which is not called Page’s Inn on Silva Bay.
- Cowichan Bay Fishermen’s Wharf Association (July 17, 2017)
For the 2017 season, Cowichan Bay Fishermen’s Wharf Association and Bluenose Marina are the two transient moorage options in Cowichan Bay. Dungeness Marina has reportedly been sold and no longer offers transient moorage. Contact Fishermen’s Wharf on VHF 66A for moorage. Bluenose Marina has 100 feet of transient moorage, boaters should call ahead (250) 748-6789 to make reservations.
- Cowichan Bay – Pier 66 and Pier 67 Marina Fuel Dock (July 17, 2017)
The fuel dock at Pier 66 and Pier 67 in Cowichan Bay is now operated by Ocean Ecoventures. The fuel dock, with mid-grade gasoline and diesel, is in the same location with hours that vary seasonally. Call ahead for fuel. Ocean Ecoventures (250) 748-3800 or (866) 748-5333.
- Maple Bay Marina (July 14, 2017)
Maple Bay Marina recently replaced their fuel storage tanks and fuel lines and added high flow diesel pumps. At the present time, Maple Bay Marina is the only marina offering fuel in the Maple Bay and Birds Eye Cove area.
- Birds Eye Cove Marina (July 14, 2017)
The fuel dock at Birds Eye Cove Marina is currently closed for renovation. Birds Eye Cove Marina property is for sale. Check back at WaggonerGuide.com for future updates.
- Nanaimo (July 10, 2017)
2017 Nanaimo Marine Festival and Bathtub Race begins on Friday, July 21 and runs through Sunday, July 23. For a full schedule of festivities and events see the official Bathtub website.
- Café at Hope Bay
The popular Hope Bay Café that closed in 2016 has re-opened as Philly’s Diner and carries on the tradition of tasty, well-prepared dishes. The décor is also similar, showcasing local art; and you can’t beat the window-side views overlooking Navy Channel. Philly’s Diner is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. See Waggoner Cruising Guide for dock and buoy moorage information.
- New Bar and Patio at Port Browning Marina
Port Browning Marina recently completed transforming a former café area into a delightful modern-style bar area complete with roll-up doors to an adjoining glass-enclosed patio area overlooking the marina. The new bar will be open for this 2017 cruising season, ready for thirsty traveling boaters.
- Montague Public Wharf Monitored
New for 2017 is video monitoring at the Montague Public Wharf and a pleasant greeting from the on-site wharfinger. Boats and dinghies can tie-up at the Public Wharf for a two-hour complimentary stay, after which a fee must be paid at the self-registration payment box at the head of the ramp. These changes should help keep space available for both boats and dinghies. The public dock is a popular place to leave the dinghy while taking the bus to the Hummingbird Pub located inland.
Strait of Georgia
- Comox Valley Harbour Authority (July 7, 2017)
When you walk up to the docks you will notice a new silver pavilion area and splash park for kids. The pavilion will be a hit for flotillas with indoor and outdoor meeting areas. The food truck is now located here. The splash park was just being finished when we visited. It should be a big hit with kids and grandchildren this summer.
Desolation Sound & Discovery Passage
- Seascape Waterfront Resort (July 5, 2017)
Seascape Resort on Gowlland Harbour in the Campbell River area is closed for renovations. Check back at WaggonerGuide.com for more information.
- New Docks at Denham Bay Resort
On the northwest side of Dent Rapids is the charming Denham Bay Resort. New docks are on-site at Denham, Bay and once they have been configured and secured, the resort will have a total of 500 feet of moorage accommodating boats up to 60 feet. Peter and Sarah are ready to welcome guests including those who may not have been able to moor here in previous years. Their long-time dream of owning a resort continues to evolve for the benefit of everyone. Denham Bay is a convenient place to overnight for timing the rapids in the area.
Desolation Sound & Discovery Passage
- New Docks at Denham Bay Resort (July 15, 2017)
On the northwest side of Dent Rapids is the charming Denham Bay Resort. New docks at the resort now accommodate boats up to 60 feet on a total of 500 feet of moorage. Peter and Sarah are ready to welcome guests including those who may not have been able to moor here in previous years. Their long-time dream of owning a resort continues to evolve for the benefit of everyone. Denham Bay is a convenient place to overnight for timing the rapids in the area.
- Morgan’s Landing Closed (July 15, 2017)
Morgan’s Landing, near Dent Island, has closed indefinitely. The fishing lodge and marina are for sale.
- Village Island (July 9, 2017)
Native watchmen are present on Village Island during the peak summer season at various times to greet boaters visiting the ruins of this First Nations village. If watchmen are not present, the Mamalilikulla First Nation asks that you call their office in Campbell River at (250)287-2955 for permission to come ashore, and mail your $20 per person fee/donation to their office at 1441-B 16th Ave, Campbell River, BC V9W 2E4; fees go towards developing the ‘guardian watchmen’ program, a worthwhile project. Currently, there are no guided tours of the Island or sponsored feasts.
- Lagoon Cove, B.C. (June 29, 2017)
New owners Jim and Lou Ryan have kept all of the things we love about Lagoon Cove while enhancing the existing facilities and adding new activities. As Jim puts it, “we want to enhance but not change the character of Lagoon Cove.” That’s good news for boaters who have a long-standing love affair with the charm and feel of this family-run marina. Lagoon Cove has been busy this season and has started the practice of accepting reservations. Contact them at email@example.com, 250-277-9639 or on their website www.lagooncovemarina.com to reserve moorage. Free WiFi is now available on the docks as well as at the shop/event area, thanks to son-in-law Dan and their daughter Kelley who have helped improve services at Lagoon Cove. Prawns remain a featured item at the nightly 5 p.m. potluck happy hour. In addition to the popular ‘exercise stations,’ other games have been added, including ping-pong and bocce ball. Propane is temporarily not available at Lagoon Cove.
CAUTION: When entering Lagoon Cove from Blow Hole, give the Islet and shoal across the channel from Perley Island a wide berth as the shoal extends further west than chart 3564 indicates. Look for a private orange and/or green round plastic float which should pass to your port side as you enter Lagoon Cove from Blow Hole.
- Jennis Bay Marina
The new telephone number for Jennis Bay Marina is 778-762-3037. As an alternate, try calling 250-954-8112. Email contact remains firstname.lastname@example.org. General Manager, Peter Turnbull and year-round caretaker, Warren Oliver will be welcoming marina guests this season since Allyson has departed for other endeavors. There is a surprising amount of activity at secluded, rustic Jennis Bay Marina with work boats and pleasure craft coming and going. When arriving at Jennis Bay Marina, leave the log boom breakwater and yellow buoys to starboard. Use caution approaching the marina. About 500 feet southeast of the marina’s log boom and yellow buoys, is a logging camp mooring float and a ‘standing boom’ extending 400 feet from the northeast shore. Neither of these two obstructions is charted or lit.
- Sullivan Bay Marina
As we arrived at Sullivan Bay, staff had just finished pressure washing the moorage floats, getting ready for the 2017 season. A familiar smell of fresh cedar filled the air as they worked on the installation of new decking planks for the floats in front of the store. According to Debbie, they are ready for another busy season and will be offering buffet style dinners in the restaurant on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Boaters may wish to participate in the special offer this season for a third night’s free moorage after 2-paid nights of moorage. Visiting dogs will appreciate the new ‘doggy poop deck’ located behind the fuel dock. Wifi will be available, just a reminder that Wifi at remote locations such as Sullivan Bay has limited bandwidth, and boaters are asked to restrict their internet access to email (without large attachments).
- Shawl Bay Marina
Renovations are underway at Shawl Bay Marina, and the marina remains closed at this time. New owners plan to have renovations completed later this 2017 season with limited transient moorage possibly available later in the season. Check back at WaggonerGuide.com for the latest on Shawl Bay Marina
North Vancouver Island
- Port McNeill Harbour (July 31, 2017)
- Sointula, B.C. (June 19, 2017)
Sointula’s extensive public docks are active with both local and visiting boats. This year, six loaner bicycles are available at Sointula’s Malcolm Island Lions Harbour Authority office, located at the north docks. Bicycles make it easy to visit Sointula village located a mile and a-half from the docks. Don’t miss visiting the 1909 Co-op Grocery Store (closed on Mondays and Sundays) and Coho Joe’s Café & Coffee Shop In the village.
Tarkanen Marine Ways is open for business after replacing the facilities that were destroyed by fire in 2016, the newly rebuilt facilities opened in spring of this year. Tarkanen has three marina ways each with differently sized cradles and can accommodate vessels up to 60 feet. Tarkanen is the only haul out facility between Campbell River and Shearwater.
- Port Hardy, B.C. (June 17, 2017)
Port Hardy Harbour Authority’s seasonal Seagate T-Floats have been installed for the season and are available for transient boats up to 60 feet in length. Water is available on the dock, but 30 amp shore power is temporarily not available. Contact Port Hardy Harbour Authority on 66A or (250) 949-6332 or (250) 949-0336 cell for moorage registration and payment.
Port Hardy Harbour Authority email address has changed to email@example.com.
Ha’me’ is the newest fine dining restaurant in Port Hardy. Located in the new Kwa’LiLis Hotel, Ha’me’ is open for lunch and dinner serving a wide selection of well-prepared items from their menu. Formerly the Port Hardy Inn, three area Native tribes came together to completely rebuild the structure incorporating local cedar. The beautifully appointed hotel rooms and restaurant are an expression of the local Native culture. Dinner and lunch reservations are available at (250) 949-8884.
Northern B.C. Coast
- Cow Bay Marina (July 7, 2017)
The new Cow Bay Marina is pretty special. A miracle when you consider how quickly it reached final approval and was completed. Location, location, location – it is close to the shops and restaurants of Cow Bay and has room for 52 boats depending on the size. The breakwater moorage can handle boats up to 200’. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Bravo to the City of Prince Rupert for this much needed marina development.
- Duncanby Lodge & Marina (June 15, 2017)
Duncanby Lodge & Marina is open for the season and welcoming guest boaters with moorage on the outside of the south floats. The inside of the south floats and all of the north floats are used for their expanded fleet of charter fishing boats. The restaurant has fresh and healthy menu creations, compliments of the new chef. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; except closed at 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and closed 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays for private events. Shore power is no longer available on the floats.
- Ocean Falls (June 9, 2017)
Ken is back as Wharfinger at Ocean Falls after taking a leave of absence and is looking forward to greeting boaters for the 2017 season. Free Wifi, good potable water, and power await this season’s cruisers who arrive to spend time exploring this special destination. The Annual Salmon Derby & BBQ will be held this year on Saturday, August 26th. The BBQ follows the derby at the end of the day and is open to the public; tickets may be purchased at the wharfinger’s office on the docks.Rob is also back and once again provides showers and laundry facilities for boaters at Darke Waters Inn and Adventure Lodge. Rob also provides meals with advance notice; please call at least one to two days in advance.Visitors arriving by ferry can stay in one of the cozy guest rooms.Contact Darke Waters Inn at 250-289-3585, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.darkewaters.com to make reservations. About a mile down the road from the Ocean Falls docks is the community of Martin Valley where you will find Saggo’s Saloon open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Boaters and residents mingle over cold beer and wine.
- Lizzie Cove (June 6, 2017)
Pete and Rene Darwin are ready for another season welcoming boaters to their docks in Lizzie Cove. The docks and their floating homes are located in the southeast end of Lizzie Cove off Lama Passage. They welcome transient boaters and monitor VHF channel 10. Rene noted that Saturday, July 15th is the date for this year’s annual Pig Roast.
The San Juan Islands
- Deer Harbor (7/13/17)
Deer Harbor is a quiet, protected bay on the west end of Orcas Island that is home to two marinas. Deer Harbor Marina is the first marina entering the bay from the south with transient moorage, guest services, and outstations for several yacht clubs. At the north end of the bay is Cayou Quay Marina with only permanent moorage and no transient services. The entire bay north of Fawn Island has good anchorage. A charted Cable Area surrounds Fawn Island and extends westward to the shore of Orcas Island.
- Rosario Resort – Signage at New Docks (4/27/17)
As reported in Rosario Resort & Spa – New Docks, New Marina Configuration, and Much More (April 2017), Rosario Resort & Spa has all new docks in a ‘U’ shape configuration. The new docks have been installed and are available for the 2017 boating season. Signage for slip numbers will soon be posted at the water end of the finger piers. In the meantime, the harbormaster will provide directions to an assigned slip. The two arms of the ‘U’ shaped docks are designated as North and South and numbered starting from the deep water (east) entrance of the ‘U.’ See the article with a dock diagram.
- Roche Harbor Marina Update – Ethanol Free Gasoline (3/11/17)
The fuel dock at Roche Harbor now has ethanol-free gasoline. Kevin, the harbormaster reports that they have secured a reliable source for ethanol-free gasoline and are pleased to offer this to boaters in addition to diesel fuel. Still located below the flag pavilion, the fuel dock is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Other upgrades at Roche Harbor include GFI safety protected shore power on J-Dock and an expanded outdoor events pavilion area. See the WaggonerGuide.com article Don’t Get Tripped-Up by New Shore Power for more information about GFI protected shore power.
Roche Harbor Market (3/11/17)
This year, there are a couple of changes at The Company Store, which includes new deli items, “grab and go” snack trays, and locally-made alcoholic beverages like craft beers, cider from Westcott Bay Cider, wine from San Juan Vineyards and Lopez Island Vineyards and we’ve heard a new winery will be launching soon. There are also new floors and a new reading corner, which has a selection of cruising guides and books. (Photo credit: Roche Harbor Resort)
South and Central Puget Sound
- Port of Olympia Swan Town Marina Fuel Dock Opening (July 7, 2017)
The Port of Olympia is just putting the finishing touches on their new $2.5M state of the art fuel dock. The dock is spacious with room for multiple boats and five fuel pumps for gas, two low-pressure diesel, one medium pressure diesel and one commercial diesel pump with high pressure fills for large commercial vessels. The dock shed and office has lubricants and limited supplies. Watch for the Grand Opening in early August for this much needed facility in the South Sound. It should be open for business in July. Call 360-528-8049 for more information.
- Gig Harbor (July 7, 2017)
It is always fun to pull into one of your favorite destinations and see something new. The city of Gig Harbor funded a striking new building above the Jersich dock. The building features a plaza, new bathrooms, and showers. An observation deck and stairway to overlook the harbor was incorporated into the design. (See below about Skansie Brothers Park.)
Adjacent to the new park is the Gig Harbor Marina and Resort with the well known JW Trolley for food to enjoy under the sun at picnic tables. The resort has rooms available for those who may not have accommodations on their boat. They now have a new program called “Fleet Suites” you or your friends can spend the night on a boat. You can buzz over in a small fast boat from Des Moines or Seattle and spend the night or the weekend in Gig Harbor. Think of this as the VRBO for boats. They already have your choice of 3 boats and have room for 7 more. Those who want to place their boats into the program should call Ron at 253-858-3535.
- Gig Harbor (June 16, 2017)
After nine months, the construction at Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor, WA is complete! The park, a favorite for locals and visitors, reopened with much fanfare at the beginning of June. New features of the Welcome Plaza include a bigger restroom facility with showers for visiting boaters, laundry facilities, and power and water at the city dock. There is also is a viewing deck with tables and chairs on top of the restrooms, a Fisherman’s Memorial statue and a splash fountain water feature that children, and for those young at heart, are sure to enjoy on hot summer days. The park is also the location of the Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market, a free summer concert series and movies, festivals and more!
- New Trolley Service in Tacoma – Downtown to Point Defiance (4/25/17)
This summer, it will be easier for boaters to explore Tacoma’s Point Defiance with the NEW Downtown to Defiance trolley route. Service on this route will run from June 2 through September 3, 2017. The hours have not be finalized, but most likely will be Friday thru Sunday from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm, every 30 minutes. Price: $1 adults and youth, .50¢ seniors.