Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

We took off from Salt Spring Island on Monday, 9/15, after pulling up our anchor and chain covered with very sticky mud.  Now we understand why everyone has an anchor wash down pump aboard; it was quite a mess!

We headed to Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park on Galiano Island, and it was a quick trip; only about 2 hours.  The Park is very lovely and serene.  The Marine Parks usually consist of an area for anchorage, mooring balls for $12/night, some dock space for smaller boats, and some camp grounds ashore.  The walking at this park was great, beautiful views from the trails.  There is a bus that comes from the Hummingbird Pub during the summer months, but we didn’t make it during this visit.  When we were planning to go the wind came up and we weren’t comfortable leaving the boat.  But there is always next year!

On Wednesday we left Montague mid morning in the light rain.  We were headed for Nanaimo because we had some pressing business with the US Coast Guard and needed to get to a major port so we could print and fax documents.  There was no wind, so we motored and we didn’t mind the rain. We stopped for the night at Clam Bay, which is between Kuper and Thetis Islands.  What a lovely spot! It was absolutely calm and there were no boats anywhere near us, just ducks and geese.  We were sad to leave the next morning.

In order to get to Nanaimo, we needed to pass through a small opening called Dodd Narrows.  The passage is usually timed for at or near slack water, which means the time when the current is not flowing.  During other times the current can move up to 8 knots.  Again, we were motoring.  The narrows are aptly named – it’s narrow in there! But it’s very short.  We passed through with no problems.

After we passed through the narrows, we immediately saw a huge lumber and plywood processing plant.  Quite a change from where we started the day! We arrived at the Port of Nanaimo and docked at about 2 pm.  While we have been here we have done laundry, eaten out a couple of times, restocked on groceries, refilled our water tank, emptied our holding tank, charged our battery bank, washed down the boat and cleaned the inside, taken care of our coast guard business, reconnected to the world on Wifi and taken several warm showers.  Everything a boater needs to refresh themselves is here.  It’s a very comfortable place to stop.

A few days ago we met a local wood carver, Frank, who is part of the Coast Salish people (In the US we refer to Native Americans; in Canada they refer to First Nation).  Frank is a wood carver and after talking with him, we asked him to carve a dolphin for us for a v-berth hanging.  We were really happy to meet Frank and we are very pleased with our dolphin.

The warm weather continues here.  The rain only lasted a couple of days, and it is beautiful again.



Approaching Montague Harbour


Anchored at Montague Harbour


Beach at Montague – I waded in the 60 degree water and Ralph actually dove in. Refreshing!


Art work left on the train at Montague Harbour


Walk-in camp site at Montague Harbour


Serene Clam Bay


Anchored at Clam Bay


Approaching Dodd Narrows – it’s that tiny opening!


Image of Dodd Narrows after we passed through



River otters on the dock in Nanaimo



River otters on the dock in Nanaimo


Our new friend Frank and the dolphin he carved and his wife, Dora, painted


The “famous” Nanaimo bar, which consists of a cookie crust, custard filling and a chocolate top. Not bad!


Toga at the dock in Nanaimo


So many islands

3 thoughts on “Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

  1. Tricia,

    I’ve been trying to send you boat storage information, and I’m always told the message is undeliverable. I’ll resend today. If you don’t get it give me a call. Ron


  2. Tricia,
    Looks like you are having a great summer. I love Vancouver Is. If you get a chance Pacific Rim Park by Tofino and Ucluelet are great. Much more exposure for to elements on that side though. Take good care!


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