Five Reasons to Plan a Fall Cruise

Summer has officially come and gone. As much as we love Summer and all it has to offer, Fall is a close second when it comes to our favourite season. At Van Isle Marina, we are lucky to be experiencing lovely warm weather, while still being treated to the beautiful Fall colours. Transient moorage guests continue to rolling in, and we think they have the right idea! The Fall is an excellent time to experience boating in the Pacific Northwest, and we have compiled our top five reasons why we think you should get out on the water.

Less Traffic

As the majority of boaters head home for the season, this opens the waterways to those determined enough to face the Fall weather. Marinas and anchorages will have substantially more availability for transient boaters. Rather than being stressed about your neighbours swinging into you at anchor, you can enjoy the serenity and solitude of a Autumn day.

Fall Scenery & Wildlife

Vancouver Island’s bright green Summer foliage is fantastic, but it is simply no match to the reds, oranges, and yellows of a fall backdrop. In combination with the lush lavender fields and vineyards of the Gulf Islands, this area is a beautiful sight to see in the early weeks after Summer.

The Saanich Inlet is especially beautiful, as while the salmon run is on, hundreds of eagles can be caught hunting for their prey. The same can be said about the bears further north who are taking every opportunity to fill their stomachs before hibernation and rely on the spawning salmon to do so.

Great Sailing Conditions

As the weather becomes colder and the days become shorter, the winds increase, and storms become more frequent. For some boaters this is bad news, however for seasoned sailors, this is welcomed with open arms (and hoisted sails).
The sun is still shining; however, the temperatures are less extreme, so dehydration and heat stroke are less of a concern. Layer up!

Fantastic Fishing

In even the most popular fishing destinations around southern Vancouver Island, Coho and Chum salmon are in ample supply. Although sometimes slightly overlooked, Chum salmon is the second largest of the Pacific Salmon and due to their delayed spawning, they are typically the last species of salmon to complete their migration up river. Like Coho, Chum rely on the heavy rains and colder temperatures that are found in the Fall for successful spawning.

Fall Food & Drinks

Fall in the Gulf Islands is full of bountiful apple trees, pumpkin patches and delicious wild mushrooms. In late September and early Fall, the Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula have several apple themed events and harvest festivals to celebrate the delicious local food. The famous Salt Spring Saturday Market runs until October 27th.

Many of the local cideries are bursting with apples and pears and host daily tastings. Oktoberfest celebrations can be found on the more populated Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands, as well as here in Sidney.

Are you planning on taking a Fall cruise? Let us know your favourite destinations in the comments.