Stormbound & Other Anchoring Tales

Northbound at Shearwater this summer, we met Eric (Rick) and Sharl Heller, who live on the east coast but keep their beautiful Sabre 40 sailboat out here for summer vacations. Rick told me about a surprise storm they experienced at Ganges, in the southern Gulf Islands, and promised to send a report. The report begins,…

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Chart Correction for Whiterock Passage

The Waggoner incorrectly warns that the large scale Plans Chart 3537 for Whiterock Passage is drawn on the older NAD 27 horizontal datum.

The new edition of the chart, published April 30, 2004, is drawn on the current NAD 83 horizontal datum.

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Shoaling at Head of Toba Inlet

Local Notice to Mariners cautions that river sediment has extended the shoal areas at the head of Toba Inlet.

Don’t trust your chart.

Trust your depth sounder and your eyes.

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Submerged Cables & Inspections

Here’s a valuable piece of experience sent to us by Fred Triggs. Butchart Gardens–submerged cables 1. On a recent visit to Butchart Gardens cove we noted several vessels anchored between the boats on the buoys with stern ties out. It looked a bit close to us, but what do we know? We anchored in Tod…

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Cruising in the Northwest: Introduction

Cruising in the Northwest offers it all: stunning scenery, breaching whales, secluded anchorages, and urban escapes. From Olympia, Washington and north, you needn’t go far to have an outstanding cruise. Don’t try to pack too much into a limited holiday afloat. Cruising takes time. On any given morning you can be up and out at…

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Geocaching in Canada’s Parks – The Perfect Treasure Hunt!

If you’ve ever enjoyed that thrill of discovery or reveled in the sense of victory when you reach the end of an adventure, you’re in for a treat! Gulf Islands National Park Reserve’s geocache experience is a “treasure hunt for techies.” But you don’t have to be a techie to take part. You, the cacher, will…

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Confusion About VHF Radio Licenses for U.S. Boats Cruising in Canada

There’s been confusion about VHF radio license requirements for U.S. pleasure craft cruising in Canada. Here’s the straight scoop on the situation: For some time, the U.S. has not required pleasure craft under 20 meters (65 feet) to have station licenses or individual operator permits for travel in U.S. waters. For foreign travel, a station…

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Great Link for Weather Buoy Data

Waggoner reader George Johnson directed us to www.ndbc.noaa.gov to get complete, near-real-time observations from weather buoys and land stations in B.C. and U.S. waters. The web site is easy to navigate and its information is extremely useful. With a few clicks you can get complete data on wind speed, wave height, air temperature, barometric pressure,…

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Weather Information by Cell Phone

I was reviewing the advice on crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca and found it to be very helpful. I would like to add my own tip for those who have one of the newer cell phones that surfs the Net. You can add the specific NOAA pages to your favorites and pull up…

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Nexus/Canpass/I-68 Comparison

You need to pre-clear if you want to clear either U.S. or Canada Customs by telephone. For U.S. Customs, pre-clearance is by Nexus or I-68. For Canada Customs, pre-clearance is by Canpass. Here is a quick comparison of the three programs. For more complete information about Nexus, I-68 and U.S. Customs, see U.S. Customs Small…

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Nexus Border Crossing Phone-in Pre-clearance Changes

Effective April 30, 2007 Nexus border pre-clearance can be used in place of Canpass for telephone check-in into Canada. After phone-in, Nexus card holders still must land at a designated landing site at an agreed-upon time, although as with Canpass they may depart without penalty if a Canada Customs officer does not show up to…

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Canadian Customs Clearance Number Reminder

I would like to underscore your recommendation that U.S. boaters in Canadian waters post their customs clearance number in a side window (Waggoner Cruising Guide, 2008, p. 16). We have seen increased vigilance over the last few years in northern B.C. waters. Customs officers can be seen walking the docks at Prince Rupert Rowing and…

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