Anchorages close to Victoria
Captain Duncan McCallum has provided us with a few anchorages close to Victoria that are well worth the time to check out. Just 10 miles east of Victoria International Marina are some wonderful marine parks (Discovery Island) and beaches (Cadboro Bay and Oak Bay). They offer great walks and great spots for water sports and exploring.
If we head just 10 miles to the west we are onto some amazing spots for wildlife viewing and fishing. You will find Race Rocks Ecological Reserve which offers an abundance of wildlife. It is a Californian Sea Lion rookery, Stellar Lions, and Harbour Seal rookery. It is also very common to see Elephant Seals, Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, and Eagles. It also hosts the oldest lighthouse on the west coast, and it is still manned. All these marine mammals are feeding on the abundance of fish in the area. They include salmon, halibut, and rockfish which are all easily caught off the south end of Vancouver Island.
For a very close anchorage, only 22 miles from Victoria is Sidney Spit. It is a perfect spot for a beach barbeque with 1 mile of a white sandy beach with sheltered waters. It is a great spot for Jet Skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or any other water sport.
At 30 miles from Victoria is Ganges Harbour. It is the quintessential small island town that has a lot of nice restaurants, pubs, art shops, and outdoor markets. It is renowned for its funky character and caters to boaters.
For more private and secluded anchorages 30 miles from Victoria, I recommend Irish Bay, Camp Bay and Breezy Bay in Plumper Sound. These anchorages you will get all to yourself and are nice for water sports and enjoying quiet sunsets. Also in Plumper Sound is an even smaller Island Community known as Port Browning which can have colourful characters in the local pub.
There are many nice walks in protected marine parks throughout the southern Gulf Islands that only boaters can get to. And there is a lot of history, you can be walking through an old Hawaiian Settlement (Russell Island), to an old leper colony (D’Arcy Island) and then to a modern vineyard (Saturna Island) all on the same day.