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TOPIC: Pirates Cove and Silva Bay

Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 08 Jun 2014 04:40 #1

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We are always looking for new spots to visit and have heard about these two, but never stopped at them on the way to Nanaimo. Any thoughts or advice on either of them would be appreciated.

Thanks - Open Wide

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Thanks - Open Wide

Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 08 Jun 2014 06:55 #2

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We have been to Pirates Cove. It is a great place. Lots of history there Google "Brother 12" and "Madam Z". Much of the anchorage is Canadian marine park. There are hiking trails. Bring your stern tie, as the anchorage is small, many stern tie rings line the perimeter. If you have kids there is a Pirates Chest they can loot. No fuel, or services.

The Admiral Checking out the Pirates Chest

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A view of the bay, note the stren ties:

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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 08 Jun 2014 11:29 #3

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We have overnighted in Pirates Cove countless times, and there are two extremely good pieces of advice to heed.

1) When entering the cove, approach from the east, at right angles to the entrance. On shore is a range that you MUST follow. There is a large white arrow near the shore, and a large white "X" further up the shore. Keep the arrow lined up with the X as you approach. Once you are in the entrance, with the Cove immediately to port, turn hard a-port and drive right in. Sounds complicated but is easy and intuitive once you are there. This ensures you stay off the reef which extends out parallel to the entrance just under the water and is invisible except at low tide. Cut that corner and you are on the rocks.

2) Do not anchor overnight if a strong NW wind is forecast. It is still and tranquil in a SE wind, a wind tunnel in a NW. Couple that with the fact that it is not great holding ground and it always turns into "midnight bumper boats" if a northwesterly blows up during the night. Witnessed this many times. Watch your forecast.

If you do go there, stern tying on the west side, as far in as possible, is advised. There are iron rings drilled into the rocks for this purpose.

There is a dinghy dock on the west side, which leads to a beautiful gravel road that goes from one end of DeCourcy Island to the other. Definitely worth checking out.

Now here is a tip, if you get there and that pesky NW wind is in the forecast, OR Pirates Cove is packed full of boats (happens all the time). All is not lost!

5 minutes to the east of Pirates Cove is Gabriola Passage, which takes you between Gabriola and Valdes Islands. Imagine yourself going east through that passage, heading toward Georgia Strait. Look to your left when halfway through, and you will see Degnen Bay, which is an amazing little "hurricane hidey-hole" that almost no-one knows about. You can either anchor in the middle, or raft up to a fishboat at the public dock. We've done both. We've even gotten there midweek and been able to tie right up to the dock for a ridiculous $10.00 per night, plus $1.50 for 30A power!

We used to anchor in Degnen Bay, then zip up to Silva Bay in the dinghy for lunch or dinner, which only takes 10 minutes or so. Be careful in Gabriola Passage, it can run 10 knots of current on large tides. If you have enough power, it's lots of fun, but I have seen low powered sailboats get into all kinds of trouble.

Degnen is dead quiet, and flat calm in a 25 knot wind from any direction. Red Rock crabs are abundant at the entrance to the bay. You can walk the whole island from the public dock, Silva Bay is about half an hour to walk. The locals are friendly and approachable, and fishermen expect you to raft, so it is not frowned upon.

Here are some shots of Degnen Bay:







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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 08 Jun 2014 16:02 #4

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Good advice about the winds in Pirates Cove.

The NW'ers are a nightmare.

Strat didn't mention it, but Silva Bay is nice too. Very busy in the summer - reservations highly recommended.

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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 08 Jun 2014 16:36 #5

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Pirate's Cove is what got my wife and I into boating. We went out with friends last August in their 39ft Shannon Sailboat and had a wonderful weekend. We opted out of going sail and went for power instead though and ended up with the Bayliner. We had a great time there and will go back this summer!











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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 12 Jun 2014 10:45 #6

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Great Pics' Guys, Good read to!! ; ))

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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 19 Jun 2014 21:49 #7

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I'll give a shout out for Silva Bay my wife and I really liked it. Friendly people, farily quiet, sheltered, decent bar/restaurant.

Pirates Cove is nice but we didn't spend the night there just anchored for lunch. Always thought we would come back and I think this summer we will.

Degnen Bay? Didn't seem too friendly to us. "No Transient Moorgage" signs every where. Public dock very small and crowded. So we ended up in Silva. We also hiked past Degnen on the road to see some petroglyphs behind an old church. Pretty cool stuff.

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Pirates Cove and Silva Bay 19 Jun 2014 21:56 #8

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Both are great. Best to go late in the season imho, it can get very crowded.

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