Sunshine Coast in 5-7 DaysItinerary for Granville Island, Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast in 5-7 Days
After your provisioning and check out from Granville Island, it’s time to start your vacation! Head to Port Graves on Gambier Island for a well protected and peaceful anchorage. It’s only a few hours journey from Vancouver in fairly protected waters. The holding in the bay is good, lots of room to swing at anchor, warm swimming water in summer months and great crabbing.
Head North along the Sunshine Coast. Anchor at Thormanby Islands if the forecast calls for Southerly winds, otherwise either Secret Cove or Smugglers Cove offer very protected anchorages.
Secret Cove Marina has a fuel dock with a selection of provisions, marine supplies, a BC Liquor Store outlet and some room for anchoring as well. Upper Deck Café with it’s lovely patio is a great spot to enjoy a drink and watch the activities at the dock and the bay.
Smugglers Cove is a beautiful Marine Park and a popular anchorage despite an intimidating and narrow entrance. There are three cozy basins to anchor in, mostly with stern line tied to the shore. With nice walking trails, this is also a good spot for swimming or exploring by dinghy.
You should not miss Buccaneer Bay Marine Park at Thormanby regardless where you were overnight..so let’s motor there for lunch. Make sure to go around the marker at the entrance. It may seem like a detour but you will be wise to go around it as it marks a long reef that is best avoided by everyone except those with great local knowledge. Should you see someone cutting the corner, DON’T FOLLOW THEM! It offers good holding in sand, just be aware of the quickly rising depth as you get closer to the beach. Enjoy your beach walk!
After lunch it’s time to continue your journey North to Pender Harbour. With lots of choices for anchoring as well as many marinas, it is known as the “Venice of Sunshine Coast” and is well worth exploring. Pender Harbour Ferries are a boater’s taxi service as they will offer harbor tours and pick you up from your boat for provisioning or dinners out. Provisions are in Madeira Park and Hospital Bay. Pump out is at Madeira Park public wharf.
Depending on how many days you have left it’s time to either head back South or go hiking!
After vigorous hike to the top of the Mount Daniel to see the fabulous views you can swim in Garden lake on your way down. Francis Point Marine Park can be accessed from Whiskey Slough public wharf in Gerrans Bay. Great exploring can be had by kayak or dinghy and hiking the trails.
For those heading back South you can either make a long run of it to Howe Sound for your last night or stop back in at either Secret Cove or Smugglers Cove, whichever you missed on your way up. Gibsons Landing in Howe Sound has several nice restaurants to choose from if you feel like spending the night at the dock. Keats Marine Park across the way has mooring buoys and a nice park for walks.