Active Pass

A report on the lovely city of Sidney and its accommodating harbour must include mention of the excellent provisioning, fine dining, and a surprisingly good haircut at the Bell Buoy Barber Shop.  The barber was fast with scissors and opinions, lashing out against Alberta for throttling the flow of motor fuel to British Columbia over a pipeline dispute.  His remedy?  Withhold all lumber shipping from BC to Alberta.  Will an internecine war ensue?

Transiting Active Pass between Mayne and Galiano Islands.

Today we departed at 07:30 bound for Nanaimo 50nm northwest, having studied the current tables for the challenging narrows en route, many of which require a slack tide (the four times daily moment at which the tide turns, neutralizing the currents which can run to several knots producing dangerous whirlpools, tidal rips and overfalls) for safe passage.

Our first narrows, the well-known Active Pass, was benign at slack water.  Subsequently we received a MAY DAY reporting a large sport-fishing vessel had overturned in the tidal flow at the very next cut, Porlier Pass, dumping both occupants into the fifty degree water.  We turned to assist, but fortunately an even closer vessel retrieved the fishermen as their boat sank.

Gas N’ Go fueling Alberta’s interests.

Arriving in Nanaimo we fueled up at the legendary Gas N Go, reputed to be the fastest fill in the northwest. We took on 1,764 liters and are now as angry with Alberta as the barber!

Sidney to Nanaimo via Active Pass and Georgia Strait

  • Time Underway: 6:28 hrs
  • Distance: 55.1 nm
  • Average Speed. 8.5 kts


  1. Katie says:

    I just love reading your reports of adventures aboard Jupiter. Keep ’em comin’! I remember our captain dealing with those crazy currents in the San Juan Islands. They can be treacherous, and it sounds like Active Pass is well named! xox

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