Written by Missy Johnston
The city of Bellingham, located just 23 miles south of the Canadian border and 90 miles (1 ½ hours drive) north of Seattle, is a Northwest treasure. Surrounded by the exquisite natural beauty of abundant saltwater and Bellingham Bay, many freshwater lakes, and the breathtaking view of Mt. Baker, Bellingham is a recreational paradise and a delightful city to explore. Leave Bellingham Harbor and cruise to the Sucia Islands. Drop anchor in Echo Bay. The Sucia Islands are a cluster of 11 islands and inlets. Fossils can be found in the bays as well as oysters, clams & crabs. Hiking trails are abundant throughout the Islands. Sucia was known in the early days as the base for smuggling and rum running. Overnight.
Victoria Parliament Building at Night
Leave early for Victoria after checking into Canadian Customs and moor in front of the majestic Empress Hotel. Afternoon tea, gourmet restaurants, duty free shops, bag-pipers, and a world-class museum are all just steps from your boat. Overnight.
After Breakfast leave for Nanaimo. As British Columbia’s third oldest city, Nanaimo is rich with history and has been shaped by the various industries including the coal industry, marine based industry, and forestry. Overnight or leave for the Harmony Islands.ea
To Harmony Islands or Egmont. The Harmony Islands are a lovely anchorage. You could also cruise up to Egmont and take a walking trip (about two hours round trip) to view the amazing Sechelt Rapids. You might stay overnight or head toward Princess Louisa.
Continue to Princess Louisa Inlet or Tenedos Bay via Lund. Chart a course for a journey up Jervis Inlet to Chatterbox Falls. This cruise is one reason why the Pacific Northwest is irresistible. The 120-foot waterfall, against the granite peaks, is a photographer’s delight. The adventuresome head to shore for a bracing dip in one of the pools under the falls. Stay for lunch then head on to Tenedos Bay, mooring behind the north side of the island if possible. Take a swim at the bay’s east end. Overnight.
Leave after breakfast for Roscoe Bay. There is great swimming in Black Lake, a ten-minute hike. Stay overnight in Refuge Cove on the southwest side of West Redonda Island, or stay in Squirrel Cove on East Cortes Island.
Visit Pendrell Sound. The best spot, if you get there early enough, is behind the little tiny island where the brook enters about 1.5 nm from the north end on the west side. Later in the day, head to Walsh Cove. This marine park is a beautiful protected spot. This is also the place to find Native American artifacts and petroglyphs. If you don’t like oysters, mussels, or shrimp you may not agree on this favorite spot. If lucky, a shrimper will come to sell fresh shrimp!
In the morning, visit Chameleon Harbor, or Hemming, Handfield or Thurston Bays. Cruise up through Yuculta and Dent Rapids and then around the corner and south into Nodales Channel for your next overnight. It’s a beautiful, quiet, and uncrowded spot. Overnight.
Leave after breakfast and head for Campbell River. The young and vibrant community of Campbell River on the east coast of central Vancouver Island is beautifully set between Strathcona Park to the west and the Discovery Islands to the east. This metropolitan town is located on the frontier of a BC wilderness, inhabited by few people but many animals. It is long known as the “Salmon Capital of the World.” Disembark.