Cruising to Princess Louisa Inlet
To prepare for a first long day of travel take advantage of our early boarding option. Plan for an early start on Day 1 of your charter. You’ll travel 40 NM to the entrance of Jervis Inlet, gateway to Princess Louisa.
The best route to take after leaving Comox Harbour is to cross the Bar and head to the north end of Texada Island. Cruise down the inside of Texada and marvel at the rock fragments left from more than a century of lead, zinc, gold and silver mining.
As soon as you enter Jervis Inlet you’ll have a choice of where to stay tonight. If you choose to tie up in the small community of Egmont, you can choose from two marinas offering fuel, water, a store and a great hike to see the infamous Skookumchuk Rapids. Or continue up to the Harmony Islands and anchor for the night. Kipling Cove at the north end of the Harmonies is a very pretty anchorage. In mid-summer, the water is warm enough to swim and a view of the spectacular 425-metre waterfall that cascades down the mountainside adjacent.
The first task of the day is to check the tide tables (several times) to make sure you arrive at Malibu Rapids at slack tide. Malibu marks the entrance to Princess Louisa and is tricky with narrow access and a dog’s leg to boot. You can only transit at slack tide. Make sure you declare your intention via channel 16 on VHF to warn other boaters of your presence. Your journey today is close to 45 NM and the inlet is 2.5 km wide at times and over 180 metres deep. The wind is a consideration, as the inlet tends to funnel winds down toward the open sea.
Once you are through Malibu you are in Princess Louisa Inlet. This 15 km long inlet ends at spectacular Chatterbox Falls and almost vertical mountains that drop into the deep water. Just behind MacDonald Island are several mooring buoys that are available on a first-come basis. At the head of the inlet is a 275 metres long dock. It is often busy and crowded in the summer months. Your stay here is limited to a maximum of 72 hours and rafting is encouraged. Anchoring is possible in the mouth of the river for 1 or 2 boats.
We suggest that you spend today enjoying the majesty of this location. A vigorous hike takes you up to Trappies Cabin or you can dinghy around the inlet and visit the teen camp at Malibu. This resort was established for the Hollywood elite in the ’30s and ’40s. It hosted all the big names of film and entertainment. It was derelict for several years until it was taken over by the Young Life Christian Organization as a teen camp.
Check tides and plan accordingly so you meet slack tide at Malibu and head back down Jervis Inlet. Your destination for today is the island group at the mouth of Jervis Inlet. Ballet Bay is a good anchorage and there are many others to choose from in the multitude of islands in this area. Or consider Pender Harbour with its myriad of marinas
or the public wharf at Madeira Park. It’s only a short walk to several coffee bars, grocery and liquor stores. There are some great short hikes to discover too.
Today you’re off to Texada Island and up to Jedediah Island. Once there choose from several places to anchor with a stern line to shore. You’ll have great access to Jedediah Island, which was purchased by the nature conservancy as a refuge. Explore the old farm and trails and you may come upon its last remaining sheep. Spending the night here puts you in position for a good start to your trip across the Salish Sea the next day.
Henry Bay at the north end of Denman Island is your destination today. Cruise to the southern end of Hornby and take either Lambert Channel between Denman and Hornby to the Comox Bar or go around Chrome Island light station and up Baynes Sound to Henry Bay.
Note: A cable ferry runs between Vancouver Island and Denman Island. The waterway is controlled by marine traffic lights. Just like on the roads, red means stop, green means go on the Sea. Anchor in Henry Bay and enjoy your last evening on board. Sunsets in Henry Bay are truly spectacular.
It’s a short trip over to Comox to fuel up at the Marina dock. Call DSYC base and advise them of your time of arrival at the fuel dock and a skipper will meet you and take you back to your slip. You must be off the vessel by 0900hrs. Make sure all your personal gear is accounted for.
Have a safe trip home and we hope to see you next year.