Tribune Bay, Hornby Island – Anchorage Review

Approach & Impressions

The Hornby Island Anchorage in Tribune Bay is a little area on the southern end of Hornby Island, near Tribune Bay Provincial Park and the Tribune Bay Campground.

As we made our approach around the southern tip, we were rewarded with an awesome view of the cliffs, which are a beautiful sandstone with really interesting features. You just have to watch out for the rocky jetty that stretches out just as you round the island. It seems to be popular with fishers, as there were 3 or 4 boats bombing around the area. Also, keep an eye out for fishing or crabbing floats/balls on the water. We saw quite a few, mostly around the jetty, but some also closer to the anchorage. Some of them were super tiny and not easily visible. Use your binoculars to scope out your approach, to be safe.

As we rounded the island, passing by the beautiful houses on the edge of the cliffs (which Josh wished we had time to dive, as he guessed that they would probably make for really interesting scuba diving… the cliffs, not the houses, lol), the anchorage came into view. There is a crescent-shaped beach in the bay. It is a soft sand beach that leads up to a grassy park.

When we arrived on the evening of June 26th, we saw three bonfires on shore and could hear people laughing and having a good time. There were quite a few other boats in the anchorage, which gave us a reassured feeling. It’s always slightly stressful to be in a brand new anchorage, especially when you’re near to other boaters.

Popularity

There were 10 or so other boats in there when we arrived, so this seems to be a well known anchorage. We had no problem finding a suitable spot to drop anchor (on a Tuesday night).

Anchoring & Protection

The anchoring depths were about 25 to 45 feet with a sandy bottom, which is usually good holding. We put out a 5-to-1 scope of 125 feet of chain in about 35 feet of water.

Wind

It was really windy while we were in there – and out of the North! (Where was this wind all day when we were trying to sail!?!) So, take note, this isn’t a particularly good anchorage for wind protection. Except maybe from the east, but we don’t normally get easterlies in this area. While the cliffs on the south of the island are steep (and to the east of you while in the cove), the land tapers down really low at the north end of the bay… which obviously wasn’t preventing the wind from gusting over and through the anchorage.

We can’t be sure, but we seemed to have dragged anchor a bit while there!

When we checked our anchoring app in the morning, despite the nice bottom and our skookum new Ultra anchor, it appears that we had actually dragged a bit in the night. It was hard to tell for sure visually (as it was very slight), but we *seemed* somewhat further south than we remembered anchoring, and our app had us almost at the southernmost perimeter of our allowable range.

If we did drag, our anchor did reset itself after dislodging and held fast after that. Mud is probably better holding (we had no problems in Gorge Harbour for this reason).

Currents

It’s important to note that there is a bit of current in here, too, to be aware of.

At one point, before we went to bed, our bow was pointed to the east with the wind on our port beam (out of the north). If there were ever ingredients for dragging, this would be what we suspect happened. Josh noticed other boats were angled the same way, so be wary of moderate wind conditions when anchoring here, as the currents will create some lateral forces that could work your anchor loose!

Other Useful Info

The park doesn’t allow dogs on the beach (at all), but we brought Kyuss anyways since she was seconds away from peeing herself after the 12-hour sail! I saw other people with a dog there, too, so I don’t know how monitored the area is for compliance. Being a government park, I suspect this is in place to protect migratory birds, so just be aware of the wildlife if you plan to bring your dog to shore.

Overall, it was a pretty area, and looked really cool for the beach bonfire potential and open grassy park to explore. Not to mention the cool sandstone rocks and cliffs. Sadly, we only stayed one night, but I wouldn’t mind hitting it up again were to pass by another time.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Cheers, 

  – Morgan
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