Here’s our latest installment from Three Sheets Northwest guest columnist Jim Burgoyne of SalishSeaPilot.com…
The counter-culture vibe of the ‘60s and ‘70s still pervades on laidback Hornby Island, and it always seems most evident near the beautiful, wide south-facing beach on Tribune Bay. The hippies are older today, and a lot wealthier, having traded their jasmine-scented incense, granny glasses and free love for IPOs, hints of contributory negligence and proctology.
Teasing aside — we all have to make a living somehow — this is one of our favourite anchorages. The residents are friendly and welcoming. The atmosphere is fun; the beaches and pathways filled with families toting coolers and blankets, often herding super-charged, squealing children.
The popular anchorage has splendid protection from all but southerly winds. Spray Point divides the bay in two, creating Little Tribune Bay to the west.
The summer is really the best time to anchor in Tribune Bay, when conditions are typically idyllic. Off-season southerlies can quickly spoil the experience. Keep an eye on weather forecasts at any time of year, and be prepared to move to alternate moorage in Ford Cove on nearby Lambert Channel or at Deep Bay on Vancouver Island when conditions turn.
Ashore, at a crossroads a short walk from the beach, there is a Co-op market with groceries, liquor, housewares and hardware. There are also other shops here, with books, crafts, sporting goods and ice cream. On the same corner is a gas bar with gasoline, diesel and oil products. Nearby is a campground.
Hornby is home to an amazing network of hiking trails through the high country. Much of the island’s interior is parkland with both tended and informal trails. Trail maps are available at the sporting goods store near the Co-op market.
As well, there are trails southeast to beautiful Helliwell Park and St John Point. From Tribune Bay Beach, a path leads west to St Johns Point Road (an “s” is added to St John in the name of his road). Turn right on the road. Farther along, trails lead off the road to trails along the high bluffs along the southern shore of the park.
When the conditions are right, Tribune Bay is a marvelous anchorage and a splendid place to spend a few days for families or couples seeking activities ashore. When Tribune Bay is on our short list of possible anchorages along a planned route, it always seems to win out.
(Tribune Bay, along with Ford Cove and Deep Bay, is covered in Salish Sea Pilot’s Cruising Guide to Georgia Strait & the Sunshine Coast.)