Four Boating Spots You Need to Visit in Fall

Four Boating Spots You Need to Visit in Fall

BC Ganges Harbour

Even if the weather has started to cool, it’s still prime boating season here in BC. To help you make the most of it before the winter weather rolls in, we’ve put together a few must-see boating spots for the fall.

Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island

The Ganges Harbour (pictured above) is a lively location, located right off of the ferry terminal on Saltspring Island. Saltspring offers a uniquely west coast rural getaway. Enjoy it’s rolling hills, vivid lavender fields, vineyards and gin breweries. You can take home some famous Saltspring Island Coffee.

Anchorage is available to the north of the float plane buoys with additional sheltered anchorage in Long Harbour to the north. Ganges can get rough with a strong south westerly wind blowing, but during the fall there is often room at the public dock and marina.

Saanich Inlet, Vancouver Island

Often overlooked due its proximity to Victoria, the Saanich Inlet is the perfect destination for a weekend jaunt. Mill Bay Marina offers overnight moorage and features Bridgemans Bistro, a favorite among Saanich locals. The bistro overlooks the waterfront and offers a semi-enclosed patio with ample heaters, perfect for the cooler fall evenings.

On the other side of Inlet lies Brentwood Bay, a municipality with a charming village feel and a picturesque waterfront. For fine dining, visit the Dining Room of the Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa, or enjoy casual fare in the pub. The resort also provides transient moorage in their marina. If you are eating at their restaurant and would like to tie your dinghy at their dock, please call ahead.

After you’ve enjoyed these restaurants, what better than to immerse yourself in nature? Miles of easy to moderate hiking trails are located within the Gowlland Tod Provincial Park and stretch all the way to Victoria.

And who can forget nearby Butchart Gardens? With anchorage available in Butchart’s own wharf, Butchart Cove, you can arrive to the gardens in style. If you are entering the gardens via the dinghy dock, a special park booth will be located a few steps up from the dock for you to purchase entrance tickets. Alternatively, Butchart maintains 5 mooring buoys that are free for visiting boaters to use on a first come, first serve basis.

Pirates Bay, DeCourcy Island

Fall has a special significance for everyone. For us, it means the end of the red tide bloom, making local clams and other shellfish safe to eat.

Pirates Cove, located on DeCourcy Island, is an excellent spot to drop the hook and spend an afternoon digging for clams. All you need is a shovel, pail, and good boots (and a fishing license). Clams are usually found in thick mud and can be identified by the unique holes that they make.

A public wharf in Pirates Cove offers space for pleasure boats to tie up as well. Pirates Cove is very popular and often more than 50 boats can be seen moored in the small harbour. Crowds begin to diminish in September and ample anchoring room can be found. Nearby Clam Bay on Thetis Island also offers anchorage and shellfish digging on its shores.

Galiano Island

Galiano Island is a hot spot for sea life and is home to hundreds of species of birds. Due to its rocky geography and non-arable land, Galiano is the wildest of the Gulf Islands with extensive untouched forests.


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