Cortes Bay Anchorage
Cortes Bay. Cortes Bay is well protected, but in some places, the soft mud bottom doesn’t hold well. Use Chart 3538 when approaching Several charted rocks and reefs near the entrance have claimed the inattentive. These include Central Rock, north of Twin Islands, several rocks around Three Islets, and a rock off the headland midway between Mary Point and the entrance to Cortes Bay. To be safe, we always pass south of Three Islets.
Pay close attention to the beacon in the middle of the narrow entry to Cortes Bay. This beacon, with its red triangle day board, marks the south end of a nasty reef. leave the beacon to the starboard (Red, Right, Returning) as you enter. If you doubt the existence of this reef, one look at low tide will convince you. A small public wharf is at the head of Cortes Bay. It is usually full during the summer. Rafting is required.
Seattle Yacht Club has an outstation on the south shore of Cortes Bay, at the location of a former marina. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club has an outstation on the north shore. No reciprocals at either outstation.
Local knowledge says good holding ground is east o the Royal Van outstation, off the mouth of a small drying cove. During a 30 – 40-knot southeasterly blow we saw several boats anchored successfully off the SYC outstation as well.
Cortes Bay. (Cortes Island) Charts 3538, 3312, 3513; 2.9 miles W of Sarah Pt; 3.8 miles SW of Gorge Harbour. Entrance: 50°03.48’N, 124°55.12’W Public Float: 50°03.78’N, 124°55.95’W Anchor: 50°03.85’N, 124°56.06’W
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