As at 29th November 2018
This is the PHYC’s planned cruise in 2019 as part of the activities of the PHYC and is scheduled to commence Wednesday June 11th or 12th in the Gulf Islands and to complete Saturday June 22nd at Egmont after visiting the Princess Louisa Inlet. This plan is scheduled to take 12 days running on 4 days for 24 hours and covering 127 n-miles at an average speed of 5.3 knots. Participants are required to make all of their own reservations and they should inform the marina operators that they are part of the Port Harvey Yacht Club.
This plan is subject to any of the four “W’s;
(1) the Whims of the Fleet Capt, (2) the Whining of his mate, (3) the Weather and (4) the Wishes of club members.
This edition of the Passage Plan is as a result (1) and (4) above.
Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th June To Thetis Island.
Email: with water, power and internet as well as a limited supply of groceries. Kuper [now known as Penelaku] and Thetis Islands were originally joined by a narrow strip of land until 1905 when a canal, known as “The Cut” was dug to allow the passage of small boats. A bridge over the canal was constructed, however, it was destroyed in 1946.
Thetis Island got its name from H.M.S. Thetis (in turn named after Thetis the Nereid, a sea nymph daughter of Zeus), a British 36-gun frigate that was on the Pacific station from 1851 to 1853 and surveyed the area.
Thursday 13th June At Thetis Island
Thetis island is 2,560 acres (1,036 ha) in size. It is approximately two miles (3.2 kilometres) wide and three miles (4.8 kilometres) long north to south. Two north to south land ridges define the east and west sides of the island. Burchell Hill is 591 metres (1,939 feet) , and forms the high point on the west side of Thetis island, and Moore Hill is 585 metres (1,919 feet) above sea level, and forms the high point ridge on the east side of the island.
The cruise starts out with a visit to Chemainus to take in a performance of Manna Mia on Friday June 14th and on to Pirates Cove on Saturday June 15th.
Friday 14th June Thetis Island to Chemainus – 3.9 n-miles.
Saturday 15th June Chemainus to Pirates Cove – 11.4 n-miles
Depart the marina and proceed via Stuart Channel and Ruxton Passage to Pirates Cove on de Courcy Island. Anchor or tie to mooring rings (do not tie to trees) in cove to explore of the park.
Pirates Cove offers a sheltered anchorage in 12 to 15 feet over mud with good holding
Pirates Cove Marine Park is a 31 hectare (75 acre) provincial park situated on the southeast end of DeCourcy Island. Established in 1966, this park is a significant draw to boaters given its very well protected cove offering fairly good anchorage. Providing two dinghy docks and several stern tie mooring rings, Pirates Cove is an active anchorage during the summer months. Although locals say it is not as busy as it was in years past, there has been upwards of 50 boats on the busiest weekends. Russell’s Landing Dock is located within Pirates Cove and is a private facility for the use of DeCourcy Island residents and guests only. Please do not tie up to the dock or use it to access the park.
The park provides excellent walking trails in addition to a very popular beach at the south end known to locals as the south beach or as Ruxton Passage Cove by the Douglass’s. The bay here provides excellent anchorage when there is a northwesterly wind, or if you find Pirates Cove is just too crowded.
See the map of the Pirates Cove Marine Park at the end of this plan.
Sunday 16th June Pirates Cove to Silva Bay – 15.6 n-miles.
Depart Pirates Cove to transit Gabriola Passage on the high-water slack then via either Sear Island Passage or Commodore Passage to arrive at Silva Bay and tie up at the Silva Bay Resort & Marina’s docks [250-247-8662 ] with washrooms and showers (showers take loonies, approx. 4 minutes per loonie), laundromat (washers/dryers take tokens – $3.00 per token) and potable water is available at the fuel dock only.
Monday 17th June At Silva Bay.
Contact 250-668-6809 for transport to the island’s shopping centre or rent bicycles or scooters from Page’s Resort & Marina 250-247-8931 to explore Gabriola Island.
Gabriola has public beaches and forests, shopping centres, restaurants, a library, an elementary school and a museum. Its many cultural events include annual festivals related to art, poetry, gardens, music, boating and fishing.
The first European visit to Gabriola was by the Spanish schooner Santa Saturnina under in 1791. In 1792, the island was again visited by a Spanish expedition, under and . Galiano and Valdés stayed at Pilot Bay for several days, to repair their vessels and explore the vicinity of what is now Nanaimo.
By 1874, 17 settlers were working the land on Gabriola, and two-thirds of those had wives and young families.
Apart from farming, Gabriola experienced industrial development in the 20th century. A brickyard produced 80,000 high-quality bricks a day in the early part of the century, and they were sent principally to and Vancouver. The brickyard ceased functioning in the 1950s. In the 1890s and early twentieth century, sandstone blocks were cut from a quarry near Descanso Bay and shipped for architectural use in public buildings in Vancouver and Victoria.
Tuesday 18th June Silva Bay to Pender Harbour – 34.1 n-miles.
Departure depends on the weather in the Straits with Halibut Bank Buoy reporting wave height of one meter or less and Sisters Island lighthouse reporting winds of no more than 15 knots.
If its blowing, we aren’t going.
Depart the marina and proceed via the channel west of Vance Island and across the Strait of Georgia, through Welcome Passage to Pender Harbour. As we plan to go across on a Sunday, WG, the torpedoes range, should not be active.
Pender Harbour is an intricate amalgam of bays and coves that encroach inland for five kilometres and provide over sixty kilometres of shoreline. Once a steamer stop, a fishing village, and an important logging and medical waypoint, it is now an unincorporated community within the (SCRD).
Pender Harbour's population is under 3,000, with over 40% of property owners being non-resident. Pender Harbour includes the small villages of, , , and Kleindale.
Tourism is an important part of the local economy. The area has an arts community and several annual music festivals. It hosts the second-oldest May Day celebration in British Columbia.
Named in 1860 by, , after , RN ( - 1891). Pender arrived on this coast as second master of the survey vessel , 9 November 1857; served as master of the Plumper and the ; commander of the (hired from Hudson's Bay Company for hydrographic work), 1863-70; assistant, Hydrographic Office, London, 1871-84.
Before the first Europeans discovered the area, a vibrant population of First Nations equaled or doubled its current number of inhabitants. Sex'wamin, the Shishalh winter settlement centred on Garden Bay, was likely one of the largest on the British Columbia coast. It is estimated that over 5,000 First Nations people lived in longhouses on the shore near where the Garden Bay Hotel now sits. The Shishalh vacated Pender Harbour and relocated to summer villages up the inlets of Jervis, Salmon, and Narrow. Theirs was the opposite of current migration patterns, which see Pender Harbour's population swell in the summer and thin during the winter months.
Wednesday 19th June Pender Harbour to Princess Louisa Inlet – 44.3 n-miles.
Dock at the Princess Louisa Society’s floats at the Chatterbox Falls. Generator use is restricted to 0900 to 1100 and 1800 to 1900 hours.
In June 1792 Captain Vancouver explored Jervis Inlet to its end and apparently found the entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet but did not enter as the tide was ebbing through Malibu Rapids at the time.
James F. "Mac" MacDonald purchased the core of the park, 45 acres (18 ha), in 1919 and donated it to the Princess Louisa International Society in 1953. It was acquired by BC Parks in 1964. Much of the remaining land surrounding the inlet has been acquired and added to the park in following years. Hamilton Island, renamed MacDonald Island, is now a part of the park as well.
In 1940 Herman Caspar, who was rumored to have homesteaded at the entrance of the inlet, sold the land to Thomas F. Hamilton for $500. Casper was actually a squatter and had no legal right to the land. Hamilton, an American aviation executive, did buy all the land surrounding Princess Louisa Inlet with the intent on developing it with a series of themed luxury resorts to cater to visiting yachtsmen and Hollywood celebrities. However, only one resort was built at the entrance of the inlet, the Malibu Club which was named after Hamilton's yacht the Malibu. In 1950, the resort was closed and abandoned due to a polio outbreak and quarantine. The property was later sold to Young Life in 1953 and they have successfully operated it as a summer camp for teenagers.
The more accepted theory is that the inlet is named for Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, who was born Mary Louise Victoria. Adjacent Prince of Wales Reach was named after Edward VII when he was the Prince of Wales. Princess Royal Reach was named after another one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, Empress Frederick of Germany. Five mountains around Queens Reach are named after children of Queen Victoria: Mount Victoria, Mount Alfred, Mount Alice, Mount Arthur and Mount Helena.
No matter who the inlet was named for, some government official got the spelling wrong with Louisa instead of Louise.
The society has purchased various parcels of property around the inlet which they gave to the BC Parks. More information on the society’s web-site .
Thursday 20th June At Princess Louisa Inlet
We may be able, if it is available, to take on fresh water
Friday 21st June Princess Louisa Inlet to Egmont – 33.5 n-miles
Backeddy Resort and Marina advises that they have a running at the docks on both a flood and ebb tide. They have a dock crew to assist you and they recommend you hail them on so they can be there to assist. When docking, please approach with for maximum control.
The Backeddy Pub is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Please note, but they do have a restaurant area for families with children/minors and a great little picnic area overlooking the water and marina. They also take reservations for large bookings and they can accommodate additional buffet style service in their party room.
For the energetic, there is a serene hike in the rainforest from the trail head of Skookumchuk Narrows Provincial Park to the Skookumchuk Narrows observation points for the spectacular waves and whirlpools. Even when there is not a big tide that produce such a spectacular water display, the trail is the perfect place to experience our pacific northwest rainforest. The hike is relatively flat and takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes each way. Washrooms are located at each end of the trail.
This is the completion of the PHYC cruise. Participates can now head off on their own or they may, if they wish, return to the Gulf Islands
along with the Seajay to take in the Valley Power Squadron’s Sail past at Sidney
Spit and Canada Day celebrations at the Port of Sidney.