Distance: 84 km from Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, Nanaimo, to Friendship Park, Sechelt.
Description: This is the wilderness section of the Salish Sea Marine Trail, with much of the most dramatic shoreline and isolated locations. This is where to go on the Salish Sea to get away from it all. The trick is the open-ocean crossing to get here, which can be placid to downright dangerous depending on the weather. This makes it a fairly advanced route, but with attention to the forecast and timing moderate skill levels should have no issues if they can manage the distance of the crossing - about 10 km whether from Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast.
The BC Marine Trails sets safety standards for coastal travel. Our maximum distance between campsites is 12 nautical miles. Our optimal distance between campsites is between 8 and 12 nm. Please read our disclaimer for safety and risks.
The waters between Lasqueti and Texada islands are dotted with islands, most undeveloped and some included within provincial parks, so this is prime area to explore. In addition, the "jumper" islands are destinations unto themselves. Off the mainland are the Thormanby Islands, which are home to two provincial parks. These make great day-use destinations or even overnight spots to camp.
On the Vancouver Island side, the Winchelsea-Ballenas archipelago off Nanoose is not just a great bridge to Lasqueti Island, it makes a great destination in its own right with beautiful islets to explore and a host of wildlife and features.
Exposed water. This is the more exposed section of the Strait of Georgia so care should be taken to avoid strong winds. In a good weather system, winds will rise throughout the day. In other conditions, anything can happen, including possibly the unpredictable Qualicum winds that blow out of the namesake community into the Strait of Georgia.