The sea lion migration on Galiano
The sea lion migration on Galiano
Southern Gulf Islands

Chart Your Course for the Southern Gulf Islands

Embarking on a Southern Gulf Islands marine adventure is a captivating journey filled with scenic vistas and maritime exploration. Named one of the world’s best coastal destinations by National Geographic Traveler, the Southern Gulf Islands are a paradise of fascinating shorelines and quiet coves. Whether sailing, motoring, or paddling, there’s endless island-hopping for every type of boat adventurer. Moor at a private marina or municipal dock and get around by bike, bus, or shuttle to see the islands’ best.

If setting sail from Vancouver, the route typically covers approximately 35 nautical miles, from Nanaimo it’s 20 nautical miles to the region’s north and approximately 40 to the south, while those departing from Seattle can anticipate a journey of about 110 nautical miles to reach the enchanting waters of the Southern Gulf Islands. Sailors can navigate through the Southern Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea, choosing to explore the quiet bays of uninhabited islands within the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, traverse the picturesque passages between the islands themselves, or stay in the lively villages.

Your Southern Gulf Islands Marine Adventure

For Salt Spring, cruise from Captain Passage into Ganges Harbour and dock at the Salt Spring Marina, Ganges Marina, or at one of the Harbour Authority docks, offering one of three fuel docks in the region. Additional anchorage can be found on the west side in Booth Bay and Burgoyne Bay Park. Travel north through Trinconmali Channel to Galiano and stay at Montague Harbour Marina or grab a mooring buoy in Montague Harbour Marine Park, you’ll find a fuel dock here as well.

Head south through Active Pass to visit Mayne Island via the municipal dock at Miners Bay or navigate further south through Plumper Sound to the community dock in Horton Bay for greater overnight protection. Additional anchorage can be found slightly north in Bennett Bay, Campbell Bay and east at Dinner Bay.

Veer over through Plumper Sound to Saturna and stay at the municipal Lyall Harbour Wharf where overnighters are common year round. Alternatively, boat slips and mooring buoys are available for reservation just south at Sage Hayward Vineyards. Additional anchorage is available on island’s north and east shores at Narvaez Bay, Tumbo Island and Cabbage Island, or west at Winter Cove.

Still further south to Pender, tie up at the municipal dock at Hope Bay or spend the night at Port Browning Marina. For more seclusion, head to South Pender Island and dock at Bedwell Harbour at Poets Cove Resort. Here, you’ll find a customs dock for US arrivals, as well as a fuel dock. Additional anchorage is available in Grimmer Bay, Medicine Beach, Shark Cove, and Beaumont Park.

Careful consideration of weather conditions, navigation charts, and up-to-date information on moorings and marinas is advised for a safe and enjoyable sailing excursion. Take care to boat responsibly with these local tips.