Our exit from James Bay was almost as exciting as our entrance. We were quickly reminded of the harbour masters quip when we checked in; “It is a working harbour you know” .
Exiting the inner harbour we rounded Laurel Point in search of the pump out dock. Where we ended up was right in the middle of a flurry of activity. This dock area was very small and by the time we located it against the shore we had crossed over into the wrong lane and the harbour patrol was close on our stern trying to figure out what these crazy Americas were up to! At the last moment we aborted our attempt at pumping out crossed back over to the proper side of the channel and headed for the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Once we cleared the harbour out came the sails but as we rounded Discovery Island and turned North up Haro strait, the wind died so we fired up the Yanmar. Running with a favorable tide we took Sidney Island to port, traveled briefly in Boundary Pass before turning up Swanson Channel. Salt Spring Island and our next port of call, Ganges Harbour, lay 12 miles dead ahead. We were now officially in the Gulf Islands!
The scenery as we ran up the channel was spectacular. North and South Pender Island on our starboard and lots of smaller islands scattered throughout. This is not the time to relax the watch schedule!
Arriving in Ganges Marina was….. interesting to say the least. We were met at the dock by two very welcoming dock hands and the lines were made fast. We were just ahead of the busy season so there was plenty of space. The docks have seen better days and ours was no exception. We had a serious list to port that made it extremely difficult to stay upright but there was evidence everywhere that rebuilding was happening. The tide rage in Ganges is huge and the ramps up to the main road were very steep at low tide.
Linda overlooking Ganges Marina
Ganges was a nice spot with good provisioning and a bustling little downtown area. The girls did a little shopping while Michael and I grabbed a beer at the Tree House Cafe. Properly named due to a large tree growing out of the middle. This was obviously a locals hang out and I have to be honest, I did not get a warm and fuzzy feeling here. Unlike the port office, they obviously did not know who we were……
Looking South out of Ganges Harbour –
The next morning we found the Salt Spring Inn. Here we experienced great food, great service and we got our warm and fuzzy back. Obviously word had finally reached town from the port office. We provisioned at the local store where they offered to deliver our groceries to the top of the ramp. We declined but did use their cart and they said they would collect it later. That was a nice touch!
Exiting out of Ganges Harbour we pass by several very small islands on the port side. These islands are teaming with wildlife and each one is unique! As we round Scott Point and the Athol Peninsula of Salt Spring Island the wind started to build. We rolled out the sails.
Linda caught a bald eagle as it soars overhead
Linda and Michael shared the helm as they had a great sail all the way up Trincomali Channel. Rounding Southy Point under sail we continued down Houstoun Channel between Kuper, Tent and Salt Spring Islands. We sailed up Stuart Channel and into Telegraph Harbour. It does not get any better than this!
Michael studying the charts on deck
You enter Telegraph Harbour between Thetis and Kuper Islands. This is a fairly narrow channel that can be shallow in spots. There are two marinas. Thetis Island Marina has more amenities and is on our port as we enter. Looks like a fun (substitute noisy) establishment. We opted for the marina deeper into the bay named Telegraph Harbour Marina. We were so pleased with our choice we stayed an extra day!