SunCruiser West Coast 2023

The Calling of Two Coasts

The waterways of British Columbia and Washington State attract countless boaters every season for their unparalleled nature and tranquillity.

Words by Steve Fennell

The scenery throughout the BC Coast and Pacific Northwest stands the test of time. Cruise the same waters where explorers like Captain George Vancouver first entered Howe Sound in the late 1700s or navigate the maze of the Southern Gulf Islands where the Coast Salish peoples marked their presence with petroglyphs dating back more than 5,000 years. 

The best part for recreational boaters is that while many destinations remain preserved, so does the stillness of the tall-standing forests, the dominance of the coastal mountains, and the silent waters where whales breach and Bald eagles sail swiftly just above the surface. 

Much of the preservation is the result of boaters respecting the waterways. Many organizations such as the BC Boating Association, The Georgia Strait Alliance, Washington Sea Grant and Puget Sound Keeper Alliance advocate strong messages to protect the environment throughout the year. Seasonal campaigns and programs, too, promote best environmental practices to keep the waterways and shorelines clean and green. 

Perhaps that’s one of the main reasons why these two coastal regions are known for being some of the best boating destinations in the world. Take for example, Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast. The former is just a quick throttle away as the vibrant city line of Vancouver fades in the distance as North America’s southernmost fjords and many quiet anchorages lay ahead. 

The gateway to the Sunshine Coast is also nearby. Once past Gibsons, it’s smooth cruising along the Strait of Georgia with its many coves, inlets, channels and small islands. For the more adventurous, follow the coast up to Desolation Sound Marine Park where the epitome of isolation awaits. 

Navigating through the scenic Southern Gulf Islands into the southern U.S. waters of the Salish Sea is another prime destination. Clean waters, environmentally-friendly marinas and several destinations continue through Puget Sound. Amazing experiences are never hard to find. 

Stay, Play and Plan with SunCruiser West Coast

Visiting any part of the Pacific Northwest and the BC Coast takes some researching and you’ll be glad you did. One way is by reading the pages of our 2023 edition of SunCruiser West Coast, which provides all of the information for extended boating destinations. 

This year, we continue to provide illustrated maps with details on scenic passages, areas of open-water cruising, anchorages, marinas, and special places of interest. That’s just the starting point. We also suggest studying local charts and uploading the most recent digital mapping software for pinpoint navigating accuracy. Better yet, once at a destination, ask friendly locals about changes to channel markers, water levels and new areas to see and experience. They’ll be happy to help. 

Visiting the BC Coast and US Pacific Northwest is a true boating experience. It’s an area to cruise at a slow pace, anchor for extended periods and find a new adventure with your favourite on-water pastime. You won’t regret it.