Boating Info & Links
Consider this to be a handy resource page for boaters.
Knowledge of local tides is especially important for using both the marina and boat ramp. Low tides make the boat ramp next to impossible to use if launching trailered boats. Low tides also expose hazards around the marina. The lowest of tides ground moored boats in portions of the marina. Therefore, depending on where you are docked in the marina, you may have to plan your trip around the tides.
Boaters should carry the Canadian Tide and Current Tables Volume 5 (Juan de Fuca Strait and Strait of Georgia) published annually by Canadian Hydrographic Service. Remember to add 1 hour to the times on the tide charts during daylight savings time (PDT), and be aware that Canadian reference points use different datum than United States reference points. Fulford Harbour is the closest monitoring point to the Pender Islands.
On the web, local high and low tide information is available from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: www.waterlevels.gc.ca
Click on the Gulf Islands region on the map. Hope Bay is the monitoring point for the Pender Islands. Information on predicting currents is not available at this time. Washington waters are covered in www.saltwatertides.com
Regionally, tides rise from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Strait of Georgia. Therefore, high/low water will usually occur in the Strait of Juan de Fuca several hours prior to the high/low water in the Strait of Georgia. Four tides occur within each 24-hour period, and due to a diurnal inequality, the two high tides will vary in height, as will the two low tides. Kayakers should note that many of the beaches around the Pender Islands are submerged during the higher tides.
For hour-by-hour information on currents, consult the Current Atlas - Juan de Fuca Strait to Strait of Georgia, also published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. It consists of a main book that can be used every year by making the appropriate calculations. Or you can use Murray's Tables or Washburnes Tables published annually to simplify the process. This information is especially valuable to kayakers or any boats with limited power.
Tune your VHF radio to 21B for West Coast Canadian Coast Guard broadcasts. Forecasts are also available in both English and French on WX Channels 2 (from Salt Spring Island), 4 (from Port Angeles) and 8 (which is the same as 21B, from Mayne Island).
Meteorological Services Canada's (MSC) weather reports by telephone now includes a separate forecast for the Southern Gulf Islands (Saturna Island station), as well as southeastern Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. Marine forecasts are also available. (250) 363-6717; (604) 664-9010. By radio: 162.4 and 162.55 MHz
On line forecasts can be found at:
www.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca Maintained by the MSC, includes weather alerts, marine and aviation forecasts, radar and satellite imagery. Click on British Columbia, then select the new reporting station for Gulf Islands (Southern).
www.theweathernetwork.com Local weather as monitored from Victoria Airport (Select "Ganges").
www.weather.com U.S. Weather site. Enter "Friday Harbor" for nearby San Juan Island weather, which is drier, though fairly representative for the Pender Islands. Check for satellite photos of the area.
Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety, includes boating regulations and courses.
BCFishing Reports, information and links regarding local fishing.
Waggoner Cruising Guide, updates for Strait of Juan de Fuca and Strait of Georgia, including the Gulf Islands.
Pat's Boating in Canada, a wealth of information.
American Boating Association, includes miscellaneous information and articles.
Pacific Yachting, BC Boating magazine's website contains features including news about boating and facilities in BC.
Parks Canada site and links to Gulf Islands NP Reserve
These organizations are not affiliated with MLPOS but have a presence in the marina through common membership
Pender Island Yacht Club (PIYC)
The PIYC was originally formed in the 1970's, and emerged in the 1990's as a large club with sixty boats, three-quarters of which are sailboats. The PIYC has no marina or clubhouse facilities, which makes membership fees inexpensive. The purpose of the club is to promote cruising and racing, good seamanship and sponsorship of junior sailing. PIYC organizes races from October through April on Friday mornings. Cruising excursions take place in the summer, which may last one day, several days, or extended periods to local destinations or even Desolation Sound. Meetings are held the third Monday of every month, October through April. See the Pender Post for the PIYC's latest adventures and contact information. A member of the Council of BC Yacht Clubs, www.cbcyachtclubs.ca.
Canadian Power & Sail Squadron Pender Island Squadron
Pender Island Courses
BOATING (leads to PCOC)
FUNDAMENTALS OF WEATHER
NAVIGATING WITH GPS
Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC)
The card is awarded following the successful completion of a Canadian Coast Guard accredited test. Also note that those under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult at least 16 years old to operate a vessel with a motor greater than 10hp. For a 40hp motor, those aged 12-16 must also be accompanied by an adult. The minimum age to operate a PWC is 16 years.
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS) Boating Course, offered by the Pender Island Squadron, convenes weekly September through December. It is an excellent way to learn the basics of navigation and safety, and to obtain the PCOC. You can meet fellow mariners and take the course in a structured way. Instructors are typically very thorough and enthusiastic, and some have won national teaching awards. The Pender Island Squadron is part of the Vancouver Island South District, www.visd.org, which contains a link to the Pender Island Squadron's newsletter. The National CPS number is 1.888.CPS.BOAT and web site is www.cps-ecp.ca.
The Pender Island Squadron also teaches Pender Island Grade 8 students the Boat Pro boating safety course, an abbreviated version of the more thorough Boating Course. Students who pass the exam receive the PCOC. Other CPS courses taught on Pender Island during the winter include Fundamentals of Weather and Global Weather, VHF Radio operator's certification and the advanced courses Piloting, Advanced Piloting and Marine Maintenance.