Making the rounds around British Columbia on our boat.
After departing Sidney, we spent the day making several stops, gathering updates and taking photos. First stop, Otter Bay Marina on North Pender Island, with its lovely grounds, swimming pools, and the convenience store/café, seems to draw the attraction of many boaters. The marina appeared to be full, and the marina phone recording instructed boaters to make reservations online. One boater we spoke with said he was unable to raise anyone at the office on the radio.
All indications that reservations are a must during the busy peak season. We noted ten buoys near the docks labeled “Otter Bay Marina,” with several buoys not yet occupied. Upon further investigation, we discovered that most of the buoys are for permanent moorage only. However, four buoys have been set aside for transient moorage when not occupied.
Continuing northwest, we stopped at Port Washington Wharf, a short distance from Otter Bay. The Wharf has two floats. Thee northwestern float is available to transient boaters, with the exception of the load/unload portion marked in yellow. Thee eastern float appears to be for assigned, permanent moorage. A self-registration payment box is located on the pier. Boaters should note that these floats are subject to boat wakes from Swanson Channel.
Circling around to the east side of North Pender Island, we made a stop at Hope Bay Public Wharf, a small marina with a cluster of businesses including a chocolate shop, a second-hand store with antiques, and a goldsmith shop in addition to a veterinary clinic and realty service.
Unfortunately, Philly’s Diner, overlooking Plumper Sound, has closed and it remains to be seen if another restaurant will take its place. Crossing Plumper Sound, we stopped at Lyall Harbour on the north end of Saturna Island. A self-registration payment box is located at the head of the ramp. Moorage is rather limited, but if you find space, it’s an interesting stop for a look into island life.