After a couple of pleasant nights on the hook in Clam Bay, we made our way towards Dodd Narrows, stopping at Boat Harbour to investigate this unique marina, which now offers transient moorage for the general boating public. Boat Harbour Marina is a hidden gem and is just beginning to be discovered by cruisers. In early 2018, all new docks at this privately-run marina had been completed for permanent tenants, along with added space for transient guest moorage. Guest stays are by reservation, 48-hours in advance, with a minimum stay of two-nights during the weekends; side-tie space can accommodate boats up to 100 feet. While the marina website indicates that they monitor VHF Channel 66A; it is best to contact the marina by phone (250) 802-9963 as the wharfinger is often busy helping guests with their lines, working on projects, or out feeding the sheep. If the docks are full, you can tie-up at one of the four guest mooring buoys. Due to shallow depths and the private water lot, boaters should note the no-anchor zone, marked by a line of spar buoys.
The marina property includes hiking trails, fields, and farm animals. Guests may walk the trails and groups can arrange for customized adventures, including lakeside picnics, hosted BBQs, wine tours, and even a cooking class. Visitors may want to plan a trip to the small community of Cedar on Yellow Point, where the popular English-style pub, Crow & Gate draws patrons from around the world. You can also take in the Cedar Farmer’s Market with over 70 vendors held on Sundays at the Woodbank School. On July 1, Canada Day, Boat Harbour Marina puts on a pig, beef, and lamb BBQ, be sure to call for reservations.
Both Cedar and Boat Harbour are rich in history. The village of Cedar, two and a half miles from Boat Harbour, is where the infamous Brother XII (Edward Arthur Wilson) first established his religious cult, later known as the Aquarian Foundation, and named the farming district, Cedar by the Sea. As a former sea captain, Edward often brought his tugboat to Boat Harbour. Boat Harbour takes its name from the boat sheds and wooden boat construction that once took place here. One of the boat sheds still remains and was re-established as a work shop in the 1970’s. It is said that movie actor John Wayne visited Boat Harbour and often used that very boat shed.
Joe, the Wharfinger, loves sharing the history of Boat Harbour and is a delightful person of Croatian descent. Joe toured us around the property and showed us the new building under construction, which will house restrooms, showers, and a laundry for the 2020 cruising season. A gazebo for group gatherings is in the planning stages and will be another nice addition. Next time you plan to pass through Dodd Narrows, don’t skip by this scenic location with its delightful marina.