Vancouver Harbour & More
The Mighty Fraser & The Inner Harbour - 3 Day Weekend
Friday — Board the luxury yacht Toy Box II at 10:00am: Your destination Coal Harbour located close to the Western Bayshore Inn and the Lion's Gate Bridge. Departing Captain's Cove, you will proceed up the South Arm of the Fraser, entering the North Arm just a little south of the City of New Westminster. From this point you will explore the North Arm exiting the mouth of the Fraser River at the Point Grey area, close to UBC and Wreck Beach. Entering Burrard Inlet and traveling beneath the Lion's Gate Bridge, you will berth in Coal Harbor for the night. This will have been a day of many sights, sounds and awe. Tonight you may want to just kick back and enjoy the luxury of Toy Box or take in the Vancouver night life… your choice… your boat… your cruise.
Sat… Today you will embark for Snug Cove on Bowen Island via the Inner Harbour and Indian Arm… are you prepared for sensory over load? Departing Coal Harbour at your leisure; you will proceed along the south side past many of Vancouver's famous land marks including the cruise ship terminals, Pacific Place and the new convention center, while you gaze up at the soaring multimillion dollar penthouses — they may be gazing down at you. You will continue past the City of Burnaby and just before the City of Port Moody, you will turn north into Indian Arm; a Vancouver boater's hidden gem nestled within this bustling port city, a secret many boaters are reluctant to share.
You will soon discover these calm waters slicing deep into the Coast Mountain Range towering five thousand feet above you. You continue north past the town of Deep Cove; with a population of 5,000 it is the proverbial end of the road from the city of North Vancouver. Continuing up this now remote fjord to its terminus of Granite Falls, the largest of the falls that enter Indian Arm, tumbles off a cliff along the east side. Indian Arm is a true photographer's delight. As you turn and make way for Snug Cove, you will re-enter the Inner Harbour and just maybe you will feel a bit of the Twilight Zone. You have not exited the Port of Vancouver and yet you have left behind a city of 1,000,000 persons literally within minutes only to have that city magically reappear when you are finished with the wilderness tour… is that weird or what?
Sun… After your trip through Indian Arm and reappearing almost magically in the Inner Harbour, you have transited Burrard Inlet and are now safely moored at the Union Steamship Company Marina within Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Snug Cove is a favorite stop in Howe Sound for most boaters. The village at Snug Cove has several boutiques and eateries. The village is a favorite for Vancouver day trippers and in addition to BC Ferries there is a foot ferry during the summer that runs from Granville Island. Two favorite pubs are the Doc Morgan's located overlooking the marina and just up the road is the Bowen Island Pub sometimes featuring live music and dancing. Bowen Island residents (approx 4,200) are artistic, interesting and eclectic… As you depart Snug Cove and head for Captain's Cove you will transit past the sweeping delta of the Fraser River and you will witness firsthand the true power of this magnificent river. You may even get a glimpse of the Middle Arm seldom seen from the land side, but un-navigable due to the blocking Sturgeon Bank. As you glide past the Sand Heads you will enter the South Arm of the Fraser, often referred to as the Steveston Channel because of the close proximity of the fishing village of Steveston which you will soon see off the port side. Depending on the tide… at low tide you will be looking up and at high tide you will be looking across… another one of those weird or what moments. All too soon off the starboard bow will appear the entrance to Captain's Cove and the trip will come to an end. We truly hope this cruise was better than you imagined and that you will charter with us again… maybe a week… there is so much more to see… to do… and people to meet…
Fraser Delta & The Outer Harbour
Fri… Board the luxury yacht Toy Box II 10:00 am… Your destination Gibsons located on the Sechelt Peninsula often referred to has the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. However for our purposes we will refer to it as the entrance to Howe Sound. Departing Captain's Cove you will proceed down the South Arm of the Fraser sometimes referred to as the Steveston Channel… depending on the tides… at low tide you will be looking up and at high tide you will be looking across; Mother Nature's practical demonstration of tidal movements.
As you proceed north, you will transit the full breadth of this sweeping delta of the Fraser River and you will witness firsthand the power of this mighty river. You may even get a glimpse of the Middle Arm, seldom seen from the land side… but un-navigable due to the blocking Sturgeon Bank. As you glide by this magnificent delta you will come upon the mouth of the North Arm in and around the Point Grey area: home to some of the most prestigious residences in Vancouver and you will even catch sight of UBC and the infamous Wreck Beach… put those binoculars down… Rounding Point Grey you enter Burrard Inlet (the outer harbour) You will thread your way past anchored freighters waiting their turn to enter the Inner Harbour, dodge day sailors and regatta racers; and slowly proceed to the northwest to your evening berth at Gibsons. Gibsons is a quaint and charming seaside town. The harbour is everything a harbor should be with an atmosphere as thick as fog on a fall morning. Home to the former long running CBC series The Beachcombers, be sure to check out Molly's Reach, once a former sound stage, it's now a real cafe… many a commercial fish boats nearby ready to sell you the day's catch…
Sat… Today you will cruise Howe Sound; located about 15 miles from the city, it is the back yard for many Vancouver boaters. The Coast Mountain Range surround Howe Sound and are absolutely stunning. Since the Sound is largely unpopulated, it provides a wilderness setting close to the city. As you depart Gibsons, past Keats Island, zero population, mainly summer homes you will proceed around Gambier Island — the largest of the Howe Sound Islands but the least populated with about 125 full time residents. Mainly a haven for artists, the island has 5 B&B's and a well stocked, all purpose General Store. A great get away going back in time to another era. Passing close to Anvil Island also known as The Hat… a few seasonal homes and a church camp… you will proceed north, destination Squamish located at the end of Howe Sound.
Squamish is a bedroom community serving both Whistler and Vancouver. In the early afternoon outflow winds are funneled down into this area, making it a Mecca for windsurfers, kite boarders and sail boaters… keep a close look out … Proceeding down the east side we will parallel one of the most scenic highways in the world.… "the Sea to Sky Highway" as well as the Rocky Mountaineer's Coast Mountain Railway excursion. Off the port side you will soon see the small town of Britannia Beach home to the National Historic Site of The BC Mining Museum… a former working copper mine that opened in 1904 and boomed through the 20's and 30's with the last shift ending in 1974. We will also pass close to Porteau Cove Marine Park… a divers paradise… with manmade reefs and four small sunken vessels; a mine sweeper, tug boat, dredge tender and a ferrocement sailboat… we will have to give the divers a wide berth. Continuing down the East side we will pass Sunset Beach and the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminals home to BC Ferries where you will make a slight course adjustment and proceed to Snug Cove your overnight destination.
Sun… Snug Cove your overnight moorage finds you safely tied at the Union Steamship Marina. Snug Cove is a favorite stop in Howe Sound. The village has several boutiques and eateries. The village is a favorite for Vancouver day trippers and during the summer there is a small foot ferry that runs from Granville Island. Two close by pubs or restaurants would be Doc Morgans overlooking the marina or just up the road The Bowen Island Pub sometimes featuring live music. Bowen Island residents are artistic, interesting and eclectic. As you depart Snug Cove let's head for the open water of the Strait of Georgia now named The Salish Sea; on a course that takes you towards Gabriola Island. This will provide the opportunity to give a brief introduction to this broad expanse of water and yet within a relatively short period of time, you can find yourself in the Gulf Islands… another fun place to visit… When you find yourself in line with the Sand Heads marker you will turn east and proceed up the South Arm of the Fraser, past Steveston Village and into Captain's Cove. We truly hope this charter was better than you imagined and that you charter with us again soon… maybe for a week… there is so much more to see… to do… and people to meet…
The Gulf Island Sampler - Montague Harbour
Fri… Board the luxury yacht Toy Box II at 10:00 am… your destination is Montague Harbour located on Galiano Island. You will access Montague through Active Pass, which separates Galiano and Mayne Islands and has long been one of the most popular fishing areas in the Gulf Islands. Usually associated with heavy marine traffic including the most popular and highest use BC Ferry route — Active Pass is not named for heavy marine traffic but for HMS Active an early British frigate exploring this area in the early 18th century. Did you bring your imagination? Montague is a great anchorage and stopping spot in the central Gulf Islands. At night enjoy one of nature’s greatest pyrotechnics displays in the water. It’s kind of neat. There are excellent white beaches on the south side and astonishing rock beaches on the north and west sides. Good crabbing is located close by or maybe you prefer to enjoy a fine four star dinning experience at the prestigious Galiano Inn and Spa (some say the finest in the Gulf Islands). Want something a little more down to earth… try the always entertaining Humming Bird Pub, now a family friendly restaurant and be sure to take the complimentary wild bus ride to get there from the harbour.
Sat… Today is explore the area day which shall include Saltsping Island, you may use Toy Box or Toy Bin — although on an exploratory trip and the weather is good, Toy Bin is the way to go and a lot of fun… sort of like taking the Corvette out… You may wish to just spend the time in Ganges (largest town) or circumnavigate the island and visit Fulford Harbour and Vesuvius. Ganges at the head of Ganges Harbour is always a first choice and the recommended stop. Excellent marinas, a good anchorage and a bustling seaside village with shops, galleries and restaurants (including the pristine and historic Hastings House) you may want to rent a bicycle or hike to the top of Mount Maxwell (highest point in the Gulf Islands). Salt Spring… a premier destination… and what would you like to do today?
Sun… Where oh where did the time go… time to head home and we are not even sure where you are; you could be at Ganges or anchored at Prevost Island — might even be in Otter Bay on North Pender Island. This is a Sampler Cruise and Saturday is your day of choices — your boat — your cruise. After a hearty breakfast or brunch, depending on where you are, it will now be time to return across the Strait or Sea and home to Captain's Cove. We truly hope you enjoyed this short charter and the next time out you may consider a one week charter – there is so much more to see, people to meet and things to do.