Pleasure boaters heading up or down the coast or exploring the Gulf Islands find Ladysmith and Chemainus Harbours convenient and interesting stops. As you enter the harbours, both towns rise up on the slopes of the mountains to greet you.
In Ladysmith, across from Transfer Beach are the Dunsmuir Islands. The eastern island is owned by the Seattle Yacht Club, which operates a private moorage. The Stz’uminus First Nation people live on the other side of the bay at Shell Beach. Cedar canoes and dugout 56 foot racing canoes are built here, and are used in the First Nations war canoe races that take place during the summer months in Ladysmith and other locations on Vancouver Island as well as Washington State.
Good anchorage is to be found in Sibell Bay and at the east end of the Dunsmuirs by Bute Island. There are extensive hiking trails along the waterfront. Bird watching here and on the other side of the harbour at the mouth of Holland Creek and Stocking Creek is rewarding. Watch for osprey and bald eagle nests in the area.
The working inner harbour has two sawmills. The boom boats do their ballet as they push bundles of logs. Watch for seals that laze on the booms. Further down the bay, you will see large white piles of oyster shells that are used to re-seed the oyster beds. Oysters and clams are farmed here.
The Ladysmith Maritime Society Community Marina is the first marina on your port side when entering Ladysmith Harbour. The facilities include annual or transient moorage, a new Welcome Center with upgraded showers, washrooms, laundry, BBQ picnic dock, and pump out. This facility also boasts a Maritime Museum and Heritage Boats, and Harbour Tours. For more information call 250-245-1146.
Visitor moorage can be found at the Fisherman’s Wharf which houses public washrooms, showers, boat ramp, tidal grid and laundry facilities 250 245-7511. Ladysmith Marina is the 3rd marina on the port side of Ladysmith harbour and has limited amount of transient moorage, washroom and shower facilities 250-245-4521. Directly across the harbour is the Page Point Inn & Marina 250-245-2312. Page Point’s services include transient moorage, free wifi & BBQ, coin laundry, chandlery, firepit and a licenced waterfront restaurant. For visitors not coming by water there is an Inn with free breakfast.
Chemainus Municipal Marina 250 246-4655 has 650 ft of transient moorage, along with 30 and 50 amp services, pump out facilities, and washroom and showers.
You will need a Tidal Waters Sports Fishing Licence for salt water, and for fresh water a Non Tidal Angling Licence.