Pender Harbour is a large protected series of bays, perfect for kayaking. There is a small town with a decent grocery store, government liquor store, showers and other amenities. The beauty of cruising is that you just need to get there, put down your anchor and there you are – no reservation needed. You have your entire little word, kitchen, comfy bed, music collection. Leave whenever you get the feeling.
I anchored in Garden Bay and attended the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival – really lovely.
This cute tug style boat was anchored nearby. Would be a great West Coast cruising boat, lots of comfortable space.
One thing you do have to put up with is a preponderance of ostentatious mostly US cruising boats. “Calliope” above got his anchor hooked on a cable. Before being taken over by wealthy city people, places like Pender Harbour were centers of logging and fishing so there’s all manner of detritus on the bottom, waiting to snare your anchor -it’s happened to me. The crew (there’s probably a dozen) had to come out and free the anchor. I can see the scene in the grand salon where the owner (Darth Vader) dispatches whoever was responsible for this slip up and promotes the next in line. You have to check out the interior photos of this yacht. (Calliope is just a small fry. We were once anchored next to one much larger in a remote bay when we suddenly heard a cacophonous din as the owner’s helicopter landed on the helicopter pad.)
I’m sure the annual cost of docking, maintaining and operating a vessel such as this easily exceeds $100k. Could be a lot more, who knows. I read that Betsy Devos, the US secretary of education has a whack of these boats. Everyday schmoes read about the wealth gap in the abstract, but on the water here it’s in your face because the West Coast is among the best cruising grounds in the world. In contrast, I just read a piece in Time Magazine about “The Left Behind Economy” – did you know that the minimum wage for workers in who receive tips in Pennsylvania is, get this $2.83/hour? Isn’t that breathtaking? But I digress.
From Pender Harbour one can cruise up the winding fiords, traverse Malibu Rapids into Princess Louisa Inlet and visit the magnificent Chatterobx Falls cascading over the coast mountains. On the way you can take a look at the Skookumchuk rapids and listen to the awesome (yes I really mean awesome) roar of the current going at 12+ knots. Didn’t go up there this trip -it’s another two days in and a bit more than I wanted to do by myself.