Tap & Barrel fish tacos.

Six Features of Lower Lonsdale That Make Everyone Love It

This winter, I visited Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver. If you haven’t been there in a while you might be surprised at the growth that has taken place. I was told by a local, that it is the new “hot spot” and that many young professionals and retirees are moving to this area. Along with a…

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D’Arcy Island, British Columbia: Previous Lepers’ Colony

After exchanging goodbyes with our friends Knut and Christine, we departed Sidney and headed for the scenic and mysterious island of D’Arcy. Located on the Canadian side of Haro Strait, D’Arcy was one of several islands used to smuggle liquor into the U.S. during Prohibition. A more unfortunate piece of history took place between 1894 and…

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Trial Islands Lighthouse with Olympic Mountains backdrop.

Time with Friends in Sidney, British Columbia

Trial Islands Lighthouse with Olympic Mountains backdrop. From Esquimalt, we made our way around Gonzales Point past Victoria and the beautiful Trial Islands Lighthouse via Enterprise Channel. Turning north through Haro Strait, we stopped at Saanichton Bay, located behind James Island south of Sidney, and noted that this large bay would serve as a nice…

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Exploring Clayoquot Sound on West Coast Vancouver Island

Clayoquot Sound, including the charming town of Tofino, is one of the cruising highlights on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. One of the main attractions in Clayoquot Sound and a renowned boating destination is Hot Springs Cove. Visiting Hot Springs Cove is a special treat for many boaters. Hiking the 2 km (1.2 miles) boardwalk, still…

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Ahoust Guardian vessel in Clayoquot Sound.
1860 Fisgard Lighthouse marks the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour

Discovering Historic Esquimalt Harbour

Anchorage in Esquimalt Harbour is located just off Cole Island with beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains.  Some swell makes its way into the harbour, but it’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to visit some significant historic sites. Anchorage near Cole Island, a historic site. The Fisgard Lighthouse, a National Historic Site, marks…

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New Water Runway on Lake Union and No Discharge in Puget Sound

New Water Runway on Lake Union As of the Memorial Day Weekend, there will be a new water runway marked with lighted buoys on Lake Union. The buoys will be strung in a line north of MOHAI and the Center for Wooden Boats. They are equipped with flashing lights that can be triggered by the…

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Finding “Swiftsure”

A morning departure from Port Renfrew promised a beautiful day with good visibility and gentle rolling seas of 4-5 feet. Traveling with the current, we gained an additional 3 knots of speed and made good time heading eastward. As we neared Victoria, an unusual number of AIS (Automatic Identification System) targets appeared on our chart…

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Discoveries at Port Renfrew

Thursday was our weather window for departing Barkley Sound to continue back south along the west coast of Vancouver Island to Port Renfrew. Quartering seas were 7-8 feet at an acceptable 11 seconds, the upper limit for us to be “comfortable.”  As we neared Port San Juan near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de…

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The new Bridgemans Grill at Pacific Gateway Marina is scheduled to open June 1, 2018.
M/V Francis Barkley making her run to Bamfield.

The Francis Barkley

After a pleasant conversation in the morning with members of the Port Alberni Yacht Club, stationed at beautiful Robbers Passage, we motored across Trevor Channel to investigate Poett Nook. Poett Nook has plenty of room to anchor. Not a nook, but a spacious bay with a narrow entrance, Poett’s Nook has excellent protection from all…

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Exploring Barkley Sound

We were glad to see that the winds had died down when it came time to leave Port Alberni and head to Barkley Sound. Backing out between boats with a crosswind would have proven dicey.  On our way down Alberni Inlet, we stopped at Hook Bay on the west side, to check out the anchorage…

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Cruising down Alberni Inlet
McLean Mill National Historic Site in British Columbia.

McLean Mill National Historic Site at Port Alberni

The highlight of visiting Port Alberni is arriving at the National Historic Site of McLean Mill aboard the 1954 diesel locomotive heritage train. Tickets are available at the historic Port Alberni train depot, located a short walk from the Harbour Quay Marina. The train departs at 11 am for the 40-minute ride to the McLean…

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Investigating Port Alberni

If we were to choose an eboatji (emoji) symbol for Port Alberni, it would be a picture of fishing boats traveling up and down the Alberni Inlet and sawmills dotting the shoreline. Port Alberni – A Rough and Ready Town Port Alberni is a rough and ready town and has some interesting attractions that make…

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Harbour Quay Marina at Port Alberni