Saturday, June 4, 2011

Beales Bay, Cunningham Island, Gunboat Passage

Because it is only about 5 miles from the town of Shearwater, Beales Bay is often overlooked.  There is a large drying ledge near the entrance to the lagoons that restricts swing room for anything more than a couple boats.  The bay is open to the south, but even with winds blowing from the west down Gunboat Passage there is minimal wave action in the bay.  Anchoring depths are good at about 10 meters at the head of the bay.  There are two lagoons to explore off the west side of the bay, the first is small but is accessible at all tide levels.  It looked like this passage could be passable for cruising boats at high tide, but we didn't check the depths inside the first narrows.  The second narrows is shallow and has a drop of several feet at low tide but can be accessed by dinghy at the higher end of the tides.  There are islands and several arms of this second lagoon that can be explored by dinghy.
We spent several days here waiting out gale forecasts, seeing very little wind or weather within the bay.  We had good luck crabbing in several locations within the bay.

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