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Anacortes to Nanaimo in August

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    Anacortes to Nanaimo in August

    It looks like we have an opportunity to go from Anacortes over to Sidney and up to Nanaimo this August. We trailer our 245SB from Spokane, WA and launch at Anacortes. We're just starting to plan the trip so I thought I'd ask you seasoned veterans what Ido we need to know to enter Canadian waters. Also, what marina in Sidney is good to clear Customs and a great place to stay the night? What are the can't-miss spots to hit going up through the islands to Nanaimo? What's the cool stuff to see and do in Nanaimo? We'll have 7 - 8 days for the trip, is this enough time? TIA for any help!
    Attached Files

    #2
    To enter Canada everyone must:
    - be fully vaccinated
    - use the ArriveCan app (one person can cover all aboard) and submit your arrival in advance
    - tie to the customs dock and call in to report your arrival and answer all the questions about declaring goods being brought in, etc

    Recommendations:
    - clear Customs at Port of Sidney and stay the night there. Its a great town and a great marina
    - do your shopping at Sidney for things that you couldn't bring into Canada
    - FYI, Sidney is a busy place for customs, so you will likely need to call the marina from outside the breakwater when you get there as they keep a queue as to who's next to enter the marina and tie to the customs dock
    - Other good destinations: Montague (anchor or marina, take the Pub Bus), Ganges (fun town w/great Saturday market), Thetis Island (either Thetis marina or Telegraph marina), Poets Cove Resort on your way home
    - in Nanaimo, stay at the Inner Harbour marina, or Newcastle park docks or Newcastle buoys. Dingy Dock pub is a do-once thing, lots of restaurant/shopping downtown, Harbour Chandler is THE marine store if you need anything.

    Lots of other places depending on marina vs anchoring, but research Maple Bay, Genoa Bay, Mill Bay, Tod Inlet, Ladysmith.

    Pat
    Paragon
    1999 4788

    Comment


      #3
      An easy, less crowded customs dock is at Van Isle Marina. You’ll have to make your arrival decision before filing your ArriveCAN data. Pat hit the high points although I’m not that fond of Poets Cove. While at Port Sidney you can catch a bus to Buchart Gardens and Victoria. We are going into Canada next week and will do our poultry, eggs and produce shopping there. Basically the only produce you can bring in is tropical fruit. No uncooked chicken or eggs. Telegraph is always on our list if we are going anywhere near there. Otter Bay is another great stop, be sure to ask about “the stand” we’ve had some exceptional burgers there. Make reservations!
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      MMSI 367770440

      Comment


        #4
        Wow, I love this forum, you are so awesome with info, thank you so much! This all helps start the process. How's the weather in August, we hope to avoid fog as a 24' we don't have radar, just GPS. Thanks again!

        Comment


          #5
          Generally it’s pretty good, but fog can come locally any time. It can be blue sky and warm in the islands right up to Thatcher Pass, then be pea soup across Rosario Straight. You aren’t on a absolutely gotta be somewhere schedule. Plans can be adjusted even if inconvenient. I’ve followed the Ferry across Rosario more than once. My biggest worry out there, and Haro, are the big ships so you may want to think about an AIS receiver that can interface with your gps if you are really concerned. There is a protocol at Dodd Narrows to wait your turn and announce your intent to transit north or southbound. The current can run pretty fast so stay as close to the middle of the channel as you can. If you don’t have a copy of the Waggoner Cruising guide, get it. It puts a lot of local knowledge at your fingertips. Another fun read is “The Curve of Time” about a family boating the length of Vancouver Island starting in the 1920’s. There are boating lessons in there that are gold, and it’s entertaining.
          P/C Pete
          Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
          1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
          Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
          MMSI 367770440

          Comment


            #6
            We've got the Waggoner's guide, it's a must. I'll get serious about planning. More questions to come, first trips to a new place are so much fun! Can't wait to get started! BTW, I lived in Port Angeles and Port Townsend for 20 years but didn't get into cruising until I moved to Spokane. Figures, huh?

            Comment


            • Pcpete
              Pcpete commented
              Editing a comment
              Yup.

            #7
            We trailer our boat from Newport WA, just north of you over to the Salish sea also. This will be our first season with Radar. We have run into fog on Rosario Strait, and other places in the San Juan’s, Gulf Islands, and points north. Have made the decision to venture out into it with only the aid of our chart plotter, and AIS and have regretted it.
            Getting into Canada is easier than getting back into the USA. We like the border crossings in Sidney, and Pender Harbor . The Marina in Sidney is first rate and the town has many markets within walking distance to fill your galley.
            Montegue Harbor is one of our favorites. It is large enough for many boats and has a wonderful marine park for waking about. Newcastle Island across the water from Nanimo is another great marine park with great walking trails and views of the Strait of Georgia.
            2000 2859
            7.4 Liter MPI Bravo 2
            Time Out
            2006 3500 Duramax Silverado
            Triple Axel Trailer
            Newport, WA

            Comment


              #8
              If you come up to fog, stop and wait for another boat with radar and hail them to see where they're headed and if you can follow them.
              I've had small boats follow me across Rosario Strait staying about 50ft off my stern because the fog was so thick.
              Pat
              Paragon
              1999 4788

              Comment


                #9
                One more question...I've done all I know to be prepared, mechanically and research-wise. I belong to BoatUS for towing in the states but who tows me if I break down in Canadian waters? I can't seem to find something like BoatUS around Victoria/Vancouver. Thanks!

                Comment


                  #10
                  https://c-tow.ca/

                  Canadian Coast Guard is very active in the area, responds on vhf 16 just like US CG
                  1985 Bayliner 3270
                  110 Hino/Hurth 360A
                  previous = built own Roberts V495, circumnavigated
                  previous = Apollo 27
                  previous = Folkes 39, sailed to Hawaii
                  + few more before that..

                  Comment


                    #11
                    With your boat's speed, 7-8 days is doable, provided you have smooth water. If small craft warnings are up, you're looking at some choppy seas and slower cruising. Be flexible. Watch weather forecasts and tide tables. Sydney, Saltspring Island (Sat AM public market is great, as mentioned previously). No need to run up to Nanaimo if the water and tides aren't favorable.
                    "Del-Sea"
                    "98, 2859
                    7.4 Mercruiser, B II
                    Ferndale, WA. USA

                    Comment


                      #12
                      I like Nanaimo but have to agree that it is really just the stopping point to stock up in a real grocery store before heading further north.

                      More than enough to poke around in the lower Gulf Islands to burn through a week. Store in Ganges is good, and probably closer to the docks than the Thrifty near the docks in Naniamo.
                      1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                      1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                      Nobody gets out alive.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        When planning a multi-day, lengthy trip in the Puget Sound the first thing I’d have is RADAR!
                        Jim Gandee
                        1989 3888
                        Hino 175's
                        Fire Escape
                        [email protected]
                        Alamitos Bay, SoCal

                        Comment


                        • kwb
                          kwb commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I say this as someone who has had radar on the last 3 boats.

                          I have really only needed it probably 6 times in 18 or so years. Most of those days would have been just fine if I chose to wait an hour or two for departure.
                          AIS receiver on the other hand I highly recommend. It sees the ferries around corners, it lays out on the plotter if you need to plan to go in front or behind the big boys, you can bias off to be further out of a freighter wake that you won't see for an hour.

                          That said in the grand scheme of boats - Radar is pretty cheap anymore.

                        #14
                        KWB, yep, most days you won’t need radar. The big problem comes when the Wx turns to crap when you’re already on the water. Fog rolls in and without radar things can get dicey quickly. You know, you’ve been there. I agree that AIS is a great tool but nothing beats RADAR IMO. And you’re right, they’re fairly inexpensive these days.
                        Jim Gandee
                        1989 3888
                        Hino 175's
                        Fire Escape
                        [email protected]
                        Alamitos Bay, SoCal

                        Comment

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