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Boating in Gulf Islands or Vancouver Island?

Boating in Gulf Islands or Vancouver Island?

Old Oct 22nd, 2023, 11:09 AM
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Boating in Gulf Islands or Vancouver Island?

Hi travelers! I am beginning my research on my first trip to Canada and the Vancouver Island or possibly beyond there into Gulf Islands instead. I imagine having about 10 days and I know I would like to rent a boat (one of us is a capable captain) and island hop a bit for a day or two during my trip if that is realistic. I would love some direction/ideas on where to explore. Would you recommend Vancouver Island or the North or South Gulf Islands? I'm leaning toward the gulf Islands as I wonder if Vancouver island is more crowded w tourists. I want to go when its warm to enjoy the water if possible.

I was intrigued by:
Hornsby Island
Calvert Island
Bowen Island

But I am just starting my search. I want to hike, I want to lay on a beautiful beach and I want to boat and just take in the beauty. I also would love to find yummy places to eat and surround myself with the friendly interesting locals and art studios and shops here and there too. I envisioned renting an air bb (maybe split at two different places if needed ) and then have a boat to explore.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
LaughingCloud is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2023, 08:31 AM
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Which month would your trip be in?
Calvert Island is up at the top end of Vancouver island, and it is really not a tourist island. Also that is quite a long boat trip from Vancouver.
Hornby and Bowen island you can actually reach by ferry; Bowen island is not far from Vancouver, you take a ferry from West Vancouver. It's close enough that many people live on Bowen and commute to Vancouver for work. It's actually a nice day trip from Vancouver for tourists.
Hornby you would take a ferry from West Vancouver to Nanaimo then drive to Buckley Bay ferry terminal (about a one hour drive), take the ferry to Denman island, drive across Denman, then take another ferry to Hornby.
For your ten day trip with a boat I think the southern gulf islands would be better. Saltspring island is a nice island with a good variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants plus places to hike etc. This island can also be reached by ferry. Mayne island and Pender are also nice.
Be aware though that summer time is busy with lots of other boaters, also I'm not sure how easy it would be to boat around the islands with no previous experience in the area. You would have to do quite a bit of research first. You can easily visit most of the gulf islands by ferry and car.

Other places you might want to consider visiting are Tofino and Uclulet on the west side of Vancouver island. This would be a ferry ride to Nanaimo, then drive to Tofino. These places are on the open Pacific side so the beaches are better. The beaches around Vancouver and the gulf islands tend to be rocky or grey -still lovely but not the white sand imagining of what people tend to think of beaches as. No matter where you choose to swim the water temperature here is fairly cold even in summer.
Happy planning!
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Old Nov 14th, 2023, 05:51 PM
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Hi LC.
I'm not quite sure just what you are asking.
Are you looking to rent/charter a boat to cruise Vancouver Island and/or the Gulf Islands, while staying on the boat or a run-about from various island destinations?

In either case, in summer, the entire area from the border to Campbell River and at the north end of Vancouver Island is extremely busy. Depending on your plans and size of boat, moorage needs to be addressed.

More detail will really help.
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