11th December 2023
Located in the heart of the Canadian Gulf Islands, Telegraph Harbour is a special place, with two marinas and the right mix of ambience, amenities, and things to do to suit your definition of contentment. The harbour is a sanctuary between Thetis and Penelakut (formally known as Kuper) Islands.
Upon entering the narrow harbour keep a lookout for arriving and departing seaplanes. The first marina for moorage is is located at the northern end of the harbour, Telegraph Harbour Marina, reservations recommended. This inviting marina is located on the sunny side of the harbour. The park-like setting provides plenty of room to roam, relax in the shade of one of the many trees, play, picnic, and beach comb. There is something for every crew member with picnic tables, barbecues, horseshoe pits, table tennis, swings, volleyball, and shuffleboard.
The marina is picturesque, clean, and well maintained, but only craft with a shallow draft should attempt the inside fingers closest to shore. The facility offers guests a small general store with basic food items, coffee bar, showers, and laundry.
Another option is Thetis Island Resort, reservations recommended. It is home to the Thetis Island Marina Pub, a post office, an ATM, liquor store and well stocked convenience store. The pub’s large deck is a wonderful place to enjoy lunch or dinner on a sunny day and watching boat and seaplane traffic moving through the small harbor. In the building next to the pub, boaters will find showers, laundry, and a large pavilion perfect for yacht club rendezvous or family barbecues.
If it’s time for re-provisioning and you can’t find what you need in one of the marina stores, grabbed a couple boat bags and made the short walk or dinghy ride to the north end of the harbour and the one room Howling Wolf Farm Market. This unstaffed little store runs on the honor system and has refrigerators and a freezer filled with local eggs, meats, and dairy products. The shelves and tables are filled with fresh baked goods, veggies, preserves and gift items. The farm is known for its award winning 2 lb. berry and fruit pies. As the sign on the wall says, “It’s what’s inside that counts.” We filled our bags, entered our purchases in a spiral notebook and place your payment in a lock box by the door.
For those seeking some exercise, the roads of Thetis Island are lovely and quiet to stroll. For those in need of a java fix, the Pot of Gold Coffee Roasting Company is a popular destination. The company is in the basement of the owner’s home and has been in business since 1976. Here you can purchase a variety of fresh roasted beans and tour the small operation.
For the explorers onboard, launch the dinghy and do some exploring. The drying canal between Thetis and Penelakut Islands, locally known as “The Cut,” makes for great dinghy and small craft exploration as long as it’s done near high tide. The Cut connects Telegraph Harbour and the beautiful anchorage of Clam Bay.
Another adventure is to walk on the ferry and take it to the lovely town of Chemainus and spend the day exploring the many shops and restaurants.