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2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous

2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous

Taking delivery of our new Ranger Tug R29S a few weeks ago also meant we’d be in the Pacific Northwest to attend another noteworthy 2017 Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous – THE WORLD'S LARGEST BOAT RENDEZVOUS! With 190 boats, and approximately 400 people, in attendance, this is quite an accomplishment. Seems like we were just in Roche Harbor for the 2016 rendezvous, while we had our boat in the PNW for 12 months. At the time, we didn’t have a clue that we’d be here again so soon. Just shows... a lot can happen in a year. We had so much fun in 2016, we couldn’t wait to cruise up to the San Juan Islands from Des Moines, where we took possession of our new boat mid-August. We made so many friendships last year, we couldn’t wait to catch up with them and their boating adventures. In addition we looked forward to creating many new connections within this friendly…

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Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation Day

Ranger Tugs R29S Kismet Orientation Day

Even Experienced Boaters Need Help Sometimes! – Because of our many years of boating experience (six of those years on a Ranger Tug) we didn’t feel we needed to have the “New Boat Delivery Experience” provided by Ranger Tugs when we took possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S – but, they insisted. Boy were we wrong! Way wrong! We have been avid boaters almost all of our adult lives. In all the new boat purchases we’ve made we’ve never, ever, EVER had such a thorough and rewarding new delivery experience like we recently had when taking delivery of our new R29S. The only other experience that was close to comparing was when we took possession of our R27, in 2011. In six years, Ranger Tugs has only improved the process, amazingly not cutting back on it in any way. We think they get how important this is to the new owner’s buying and satisfaction quota meter. Pretty smart in…

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Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Coming Home to Charlevoix, Michigan for the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous! Charlevoix Michigan was home to the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous. What a spectacular setting for this years event. Lisa and I have a fondness for Charlevoix as this was once our homeport. That was before we became enamoured of trailering our Ranger Tug all over the United States. So being in Charlevoix again was like coming home. Arriving on Monday morning, for our 3-day event, we had nothing but clear sunny skies while greeting attendees as they arrived. With 40 people in attendance, we had boaters from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, Ohio, Kentucky, Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Also in attendance were sponsors and representatives of Reed Yacht Sales, Manitowoc Marina and Volvo Penta. The event was also sponsored by Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats and Global Marine Insurance. By the very nature of being able to trailer these boats, Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats have…

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Lagoon Cove Marina – Last Stop On Our Broughton Island Adventure

Lagoon Cove Marina – Last Stop On Our Broughton Island Adventure

Lagoon Cove Marina – A Must See When Cruising the Broughton Islands – This day was somewhat bittersweet! Although we were still in the Broughton Islands, we were heading south to our last stop, Lagoon Cove Marina, before high-tailing it 254 miles back to the USA. It was windy and the water was rough when we departed Pierre’s Echo Bay for our 25-mile cruise into Knight Inlet and finally, our last stop in the Broughton Islands... Lagoon Cove Marina. This is a full service marina located at the north end of E. Cracroft Island, just southeast of the Broughton Archipelago. The setting is well-protected from all sides and offers vast scenic vistas from almost any angle. We’d heard great things about the hospitality at Lagoon Cove Marina, so we were glad we had time to include this little gem in our summer's cruising activities. As we pulled to the dock on a beautiful sunny day, we were greeted by friendly staff and…

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Visiting Billy Proctor – A Living Legend In The Broughton Islands

Visiting Billy Proctor – A Living Legend in the Broughton Islands

Visiting the Billy Proctor Museum – The next morning, after arriving at Pierre's Echo Bay, we took a short walk. We made our way over a bumpy well-worn path starting at the marina, over a bridge,  through the woods and finally a big open field, to Billy's Museum. Billy Proctor, fisherman, logger and beachcomber, is a living legend in these parts. Billy was born and raised in the Broughton Islands. Over the years he has gained a vast personal knowledge of what it was like to live in this remote area. Billy started collecting the impressive memorabilia found in his museum when he was just five years old. The collection highlights a rich and colorful life spent in the Broughton Islands. Billy has written several books and has more stories to tell of his life in this wilderness than anyone in the area. While visiting the museum, we bought one of his books, titled Heart of the Raincoast so we could…

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Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel In The Broughton Islands

Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel in the Broughton Islands

Pierre's Echo Bay Lodge and Marina is Famous for Their Nordic Themed Feasts – Less than 2 miles away from the previous nights anchorage in Shoal Bay sits Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge and Marina. We arrived early morning for a 2-day stay. Before making our way to our assigned slip, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tank. This is a chore we prefer to do on the way into a marina. That way, when we leave early morning, we don't have to wait in line at the fuel dock. After coming out of the wild, with several days spent watching for bears, whales and eagles, we found ourselves, once again, immersed in a busy and unique, floating community. Pierre's Echo Bay is well-known, by boaters in the Pacific Northwest, for their central location in the Broughton Islands and the owner's flamboyant nordic roots. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry have created a haven for boaters in the Broughton Islands with a decidedly nordic flare, a reflection of their…

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Peace And Quiet In Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Peace and Quiet in Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Simoon Sound – A Sure Thing for a Bear Sighting We left Kwatsi Bay late morning to head back west into Tribune Channel and eventually Simoon Sound. First, we wanted to explore the length of Tribune Channel while also looking out for a spot to anchor for the night. Our preferred choice was Macintosh Bay, but the best spot was taken. We proceeded further back into O’Brien Bay and found a nice spot in the north corner of the bay with a good view of a level shoreline and wide open beach area where we hoped to have a black bear sighting at low tide. Simoon Sound is located on the north and east sides of Wishart Peninsula between Tribune Channel and Kingcome Inlet. The sound is also a reserve of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Captain George Vancouver anchored here on Discovery and Chatham in 1792 Entertainment for the night? Bear Watching! Sure enough, at 5:15 we spotted a small black bear walking on the rocks…

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Can’t Get Enough Of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Can’t Get Enough of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina More fog greeted us this morning. We watched it slowly roll into Viner Sound the night before. Never have seen this much fog in our lives! So, today was another exploration cruising day. We enjoy poking into little coves, around islands, up bays, rivers or sounds, just to see whats there. It must be the inquisitive nature and wanderlust in our blood and our ongoing desire to see as much of the Broughton’s as we can this summer. Our end goal today is a return visit Kwatsi Bay Marina. Soon after we departed Viner Sound, we cruised through a group of islands called Burdwood Group. We were scouting potential anchorages for when we come back through. We moved slowly east into Tribune Channel, once again, but saw no whales, however we did see a great many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, way off in the distance. After a delightful afternoon cruise we traveled the final…

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Settling Into Waddington Bay For The Night – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Settling Into Waddington Bay for the Night – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Waddington Bay – Located Off Bonwick Island – After waking up to a thick fog, we departed Goat Island and cruised up Knight Inlet for seven miles in search of whales. Having no luck finding any, we retraced our path through extremely calm water, moving in and out of the dense fog to make our way to the mouth of Knight Inlet. We skirted into a channel by Midsummer Island and out into the base of Queen Charlotte Strait. Still idling through heavy fog, not seeing much past the bow of Kismet we went up Arrow Passage, still looking for whales. With none yet to be seen we moved on into Waddington Bay, off Bonwick Island where we found a wonderfully scenic and remote location to drop the hook at the end of the cove in 15-feet of water. We spent two days on the hook watching, unsuccessfully, for bears grazing on shore and dinghying around the bay chatting with boaters anchored nearby      We were the…

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Goat Island Is In The Village Group Of Islands – Broughton Islands, BC

Goat Island is in the Village Group of Islands – Broughton Islands, BC

Stopping at Goat Island on Our Way to Provision at Port McNeil – It had been 11 days since we had been to a grocery store and the boat cupboards were getting bare! We certainly had enough canned goods, so we wouldn't starve, but we craved fresh produce. Also, our fresh water tank was about empty. With that in mind we departed Sullivan Bay Marina for a scenic cruise within the Broughton Archipelago past Pierre’s Echo Bay Marina and Knight Inlet to an anchorage at Goat Island, it was a 20-mile run.   At Goat Island, we found low lying islands surrounding our anchorage. Calm with blue skies all day, but woke to a dense fog in the morning. Only one other boat anchored with us tonight. It was an interesting trawler with lots of toys on it. The next morning we woke up to heavy fog but not heavy enough to stop us from venturing out to meet slack tide at the top of Hanson…

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Sullivan Bay Marina, A Floating Community – Broughton Islands, BC

Sullivan Bay Marina, A Floating Community – Broughton Islands, BC

Sullivan Bay Marina is on the Edge of the Broughton Archipelago –  After two peaceful nights on the hook at Turnbull Cove we pulled anchor to head a short seven miles to Sullivan Bay Marina. We timed our stay at Sullivans to coincide with their prime rib dinner, a weekly, scheduled event. Sullivan Bay Marina is a remote floating island community, only accessible by boat, sea plane or helicopter. Besides dockage there are many float homes, a convenience store, fuel dock and restaurant.   Lisa taking photos while Jim drives the boat. When we arrived we stopped at the fuel dock to top our tanks. We were warmly greeted by staff and other boaters when we arrived. We checked out the nearby grocery store to see what the offering were and ordered our cinnamon rolls for the next morning. Fresh produce was what we craved, but the prices were of course quite high – understandably. Lisa immediately asked Jim for a two-night stay.     …

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Slow Dancing Our Way Through The Broughton Islands – Turnbull Cove, B.C.

Slow Dancing Our Way Through the Broughton Islands – Turnbull Cove, B.C.

Exploring Picturesque Waterways On Our Way to Turnbull Cove – After enjoying only a one-night stay at Laura Cove, we decided to move on. Having limited time to explore the Broughtons, we need to stay on task. Our day’s charted course consisted of a cruise through Sutlej Channel past Sullivan Bay Marina. Then we cruised up picturesque Dunsany Passage and Grappler Sound into the pristine and remote Kenneth Passage.   We were rewarded with a two-bear sighting this morning in Mackenzie Sound We passed by Turnbull Cove, our days final destination, for a sightseeing cruise and black bear hunt in Mackenzie Sound followed by a cruise to Little Nimmo Bay. During our chart review with Anca, at Kwatsi Bay Marina several night before, she had told us there are often black bear at the end of Mackenzie Sound. This is where the mountain river dumps into the sound providing good feeding ground for bears. Anca also mentioned the mountain views were specatular. When we arrived at the…

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A Warm Welcome Awaits – Kwatsi Bay Marina – Broughton Islands, BC

A Warm Welcome Awaits – Kwatsi Bay Marina – Broughton Islands, BC

Kwatsi Bay Marina is Just One of Many Floating Communities in the Broughton Archipelago! Kwatsi Bay Marina was just around the bend from our anchorage, so it was a short trip to the dock soon after breakfast. We have never thought it made sense to go into a marina at the end of the day if there is an anchorage situated nearby. Maybe it’s the Scotch in us, but why pay for a full day when you don’t have to? This family owned and operated marina has a well-known reputation for being a friendly, hospitable stop. After teaching and then managing the Scott Cove Salmon Hatchery, Kwatsi Bay Marina owners Max Knierim and Anca Fraser, along with their two children, towed their existing float-home to an empty Kwatsi Bay in 1995. This marina will be our introduction into the many floating communities in the Broughtons. Taking a page from the logging industry, very few buildings in the Broughtons are actually built on shore. Most…

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Still And Quiet Beauty Of Kwatsi Bay Anchorage

Still and Quiet Beauty of Kwatsi Bay Anchorage

There are no roads to Kwatsi Bay. To access this remote gem you have to either boat or fly in. Located just north of Gilford Island on the north side of Tribune Channel, the Kwatsi Bay Marina sits on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago, in the Great Bear Rainforest, nestled on the side of a majestic granite mountain on the mainland side of the Broughtons. At the end of our day’s cruise to Kwatsi Bay from Forward Harbour, we were following a yacht through Chatham Channel into Knight Inlet. We saw them suddenly stop turning their bow to point up into Knight Inlet. Curious as to why they made the sharp turn and stop, it soon dawned on us that they had spotted something up Knight Inlet. Whales, of course! We sprung into action and followed their lead. Whale Sighting on first day in the Broughtons! We slowed to a stop and started to see the whale spouts at the…

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First Time In Shoal Bay – East Thurlow Island In The Discovery Islands, BC

First Time in Shoal Bay – East Thurlow Island in the Discovery Islands, BC

Shoal Bay – A Peaceful Oasis in the Discovery Islands! Once we successfully navigated through the rapids of Yucalta, Gillard and Dent we made our way another eight miles to the Discovery Islands and finally to Shoal Bay. This will be our first stop on the way to the Broughton’s. Shoal Bay sits, as the name implies, in a bay off of Cordero Channel, up Phillips Arm. The shoal part of Shoal Bay has to do with how shallow the bay is as represented by how far the old dock, built in 1927, extends from shore out into the bay. Originally a cannery town, Shoal Bay was once the largest town on the western coast of Canada.  Although no remains are visible today, save the massive 600-foot-long pier, Shoal Bay was once a hub of activity for mining and forestry in the 1800s. Today you can still hike up the mountain not far from the marina to the remnants of an old gold mine. Shoal Bay is…

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Pointing Kismet’s Bow North – Time To Explore The Broughton Islands And Mainland Inlets

Pointing Kismet’s Bow North – Time to Explore the Broughton Islands and Mainland inlets

Exploring the Wilderness of the Broughton Islands! The crew of Kismet has been waiting for this day a long time. It is the day we point our bow north of Desolation Sound to reach a cruising wilderness known as the Broughton Islands. This archipelago is famously wedged against the coastal mountain range on the mainland side and Vancouver Island to the west. First we’ll cruise through the Discovery Islands, Yucalta, Gillard and Dent Rapids to our day’s destination of Shoal Bay. Our furthest reach north is located on the 50th parallel. Turnbull Cove is approximately 300 miles from Washington State’s San Juan Islands. Broughton Archipelago Park is situated at the mouth of Knight Inlet on the west side of Queen Charlotte Strait near the north end of Vancouver Island. William Robert Broughton was a British Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He was part of the Vancouver Expedition led by Captain Vancouver, in the late 1700s. Cruising the Broughton Islands will afford us one of the most remote…

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Tugging Together – Gorge Harbour On Cortez Island, BC

Tugging Together – Gorge Harbour on Cortez Island, BC

We had a two-eagle sighting and cruise to our destination, Gorge Harbour on Cortez Island. We were one day early for our reservation, so we anchored in the harbor for the night.  The 2016 Ranger Tugs Desolation Sound Cruise had started a few days prior, in Comox (on Vancouver Island) and was culminating with the arrival of 40 some boats at the Gorge Harbour Marina for the final two days of the cruise. We’ve been looking forward to a return to Gorge Harbour Marina to use their pool after roughing it during our two weeks in Desolation Sound. A swimming pool is a rarity in the hinter lands of Desolation Sound. But even more than that, we were excited to spend a few days socializing with other Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats owners.   After spending a relaxing night on the hook within sight of the marina, we were tied up early, by 11:30 a.m. Once settled in we went directly to the swimming pool…

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This Is What We Came For – Pendrell Sound – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

This is What We Came For – Pendrell Sound – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

Pendrell Sound Provided a Break from All Distractions! From Tenedos Bay we cruised over to Waddington Channel and finally into Pendrell Sound, on East Redonda. We went all the way to the end of the sound, through a fjord like channel to anchor. That way we'd be facing toward the snow-capped mountain range to the south. From this spot we would also have a view of all boat and sea plane traffic in the sound. It was a gorgeously hot summer’s day. During our three days at anchor in Pendrell Sound it all sunk in. This is what we came for. Stunning mountain ranges, scattered islands, winding waterways, scenic vistas, surprising wildlife sightings and peaceful seclusion. We found relative isolation from the busyness of the fast pace world we left behind. No connectivity of any kind. Our phones did not work here, no TV reception and no internet. We lazed the days away without access to a news source, entertainment or man-made social functions or interactions.…

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Tenedos Bay To Anchor For Hike To Unwin Lake

Tenedos Bay to Anchor for Hike to Unwin Lake

Tenedos Bay is Located on the Mainland Side of Desolation Sound – East of Mink Island After two windy days at dock in Heriot Bay, it was nice to have a calm water day for our 27-mile run to Tenedos Bay. The location of the bay is on the mainland side of Desolation Sound, to the east of Mink Island. Having anchored in Tenedos Bay previously, we thought we’d like to try a different spot. First, we slowly cruised the perimeter of the anchorage on the opposing side of the bay. Staying to the right after entering the bay instead of to the left where we previously anchored. There were two protected coves that looked appealing, but they already had boats anchored there. Leaving not much room for another. Desolation Sound is starting to get busy now (July). When we arrived in June there weren’t many boaters here and finding a good position was fairly easy. We ended up in the same spot as before after exhausting options for…

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First Time In Campbell River, BC

First Time in Campbell River, BC

Campbell River is a Good Place to Provision When Cruising Desolation Sound – Today we headed to Campbell River, located on Vancouver Island. We like to balance our boating time between anchorages and marinas. We do this because we like the social aspect marinas offer with a taste of small town life and a chance to interact with local boaters. We also need to provision for the next stretch out on the water. Our routine is roughly 65% at anchor and 35% at marinas. Campbell River is one of the larger cities on Vancouver Island and within reasonable distance from Desolation Sound. If you need a lot of groceries and other necessities, it's the best place for a grocery run with a Super Store just a short walk up from the marina. When we checked in at Discovery Harbour we weren't told their showers or laundry were not working until we tied up and settled in, both of those activities played a major part in our decision to…

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People We Met At Chatterbox Falls

People We Met at Chatterbox Falls

Chatterbox Falls is a Great Place to Meet People! We feel one of the most important benefits of boating is all the wonderful people we get to meet. It doesn't matter where we cruise, we find other boaters to be very friendly. Our time at Chatterbox Falls was no different. We met lots of interesting people during our stay, we even ran into a couple we had met in Alabama while cruising on the River System several years ago, 2,600 miles from British Columbia. It's a small, small world.      On the first day at the falls, soon after we tied up, we took a walk to the end of the dock to take in surrounding natural beauty. We were still trying to absorb the fact we were actually at the falls again. At the end of the dock is a new float plane dock where, in the absence of planes, the views are unobstructed. Boats cannot tie up there. As we turned around to get a 360…

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World Famous Chatterbox Falls

World Famous Chatterbox Falls

Three Years Since We Last Visited Chatterbox Falls It could have been last week or three years ago, it doesn't seem to matter as it relates to our return to Chatterbox Falls – it felt like revisiting an old friend. Seems like we were just at the falls, but in reality it’s been a full three years since we last visited. Early on, we decided to stay for four days. During that time we met and talked with other boaters, had a bonfire in the pavililon, walked to the falls over and over again, took a short hike to a little waterfall and dinghied around the base of the falls. Basically we were just trying to absorb our surroundings. At one point, just after dinner the first night, it started to rain lightly, not unusual for the PNW, but what followed was unusual – thunder and lightning. We’re used to this in Michigan but not in the PNW and definitely not at the base of…

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Princess Louisa Inlet Took Our Breaths Away!

Princess Louisa Inlet Took Our Breaths Away!

Princess Louisa Inlet Leads to Chatterbox Falls Arriving at Malibu Rapids shortly before slack, we had no trouble at all transiting the rapids to Princess Louisa Inlet. We proceeded the last four miles to the end of the fjord and the "granddaddy" of all Pacific Northwest waterfalls – Chatterbox Falls. Princess Louisa inlet is a narrower fjord than Jervis Inlet and it can have a sobering effect on a visitor once inside it’s towering walls. The mountain walls seem to envelop and suck you inside towards the apex of the falls with an uncanny stillness in the air. Unlike our last visit to the falls, which was very overcast and rather gloomy, we had a picture perfect day for our day’s cruise. Calm water and a clear skies highlighted the green, purplish snow-capped mountains hovering over us displaying their regal, majestic glory. Some of the photos were taken the day we left Princess Louisa Inlet. It wasn't raining, but clouds hung low…

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Newcastle Island Marine Park Anchorage Across From Nanaimo, BC

Newcastle Island Marine Park Anchorage Across from Nanaimo, BC

Newcastle Island Marine Park is Within Easy Access to Nanaimo, BC – Our route from Pirates Cove to Nanaimo took us through Dodd Narrows and eventually to Newcastle Island. This passage through a narrow channel needs to be well-timed to transit at slack tide. If not at slack the currents run up to 9 knots in a very turbulent swirling narrow channel between rocky cliffs. We were up at 6 a.m. to hit Dodd Narrows at the 7:03 a.m. slack. Our end destination was Newcastle Island Marine Park located across from Nanaimo BC, the second largest city on Vancouver Island. We decided to first dock at the downtown marina visitors dock (visitors are allowed a three-hour stay), in Nanaimo before we headed for anchor. It was a busy stop in that we fueled the boat, made a grocery run, paid bills and found a post office. This is where we had our first day of substantial rain and stormy weather…

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Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina

Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina

Looking Forward to a Month-Long Stay at Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina We choose Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina (above) for a month-long stay because it is downtown Victoria, British Columbia. From the marina it is a 5-minute walk to the legendary Empress Hotel, Parliament, the legislative seat for British Columbia, and all of downtown Victoria. Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina was recommended by fellow Ranger Tug owners Mark and Jodie, on Irish Mist, they are from Ontario Canada. They gave us the idea to spend a month on our boat in this marina in Victoria. We were also lured to Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina because they have an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, fresh towels every day for showering and lots of free ice… whats not to like. There is not a lot of cruising going on in the winter months in the Pacific Northwest, but interestingly enough a majority of boats remain in the water year-round because of the mild winters.…

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