In our latest destinations installment courtesy of‘s Lynne Picard and Jim Burgoyne, we discover some of the many anchorages in the Broughton Archipelago.

When one studies nautical charts detailing the many islands and inlets in and around the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, it can be daunting to decide on a cruising itinerary, especially if you are limited for time.

If it’s your first visit, you may turn to a library of cruising guides — which might even include ours! — to read about all the anchorages and docks, and then head for those that sound best. It’s a bit overwhelming if you have serious FOMO.

General locations of the anchorages in this article.

We are often asked for possible itineraries, but it is difficult since every boat, crew and time schedule is different. The kinds of things a crew likes to do while anchored or moored, how sociable they are, and if they like to move on each morning or stay tucked in and read the days away, all play a role in determining where they want to go.

To take some of the guesswork out of your planning, I’ve put together a list of anchorages and marinas that should not be missed. They are lovely and provide good shelter in most conditions. As well, I’ve thrown in a few fine marinas to top up whatever needs topping up.

I’ve divided them into two parts. Part One, below, includes anchorages and marinas within or near Broughton Archipelago Marine Park.

Looking east from Farewell Harbour.

Part Two, which we will post next week, will include anchorages and marinas west of the park and in the channels north of Queen Charlotte Strait which has some truly stunning destinations.

Of course, these are our favourites, but there are many more anchorages that are certainly worth exploring, some of which are best visited in settled weather.

Come prepared to stern tie, and don’t count on cell coverage as there is only occasional reception. Make sure you have enough water as there are not a lot of sources of good drinking water. Our guides have more detail on each anchorage and where you can provision.

Relaxing as the sun sets at the end of the day.

Southern Broughtons and area

Potts Lagoon is a delightful place to drop the anchor and your crab pots.  The south bay, near the intersection of Clio Channel and Beware and Baronet passages, is spacious and typically still, with good holding and offers easy access to explore the lagoon at the head of the bay by dinghy, kayak or SUP. There is a float-home community along the south shore.

Lagoon Cove Marina offers moorage with WiFi, showers and in high season a potluck happy hour on the dock. If fully booked, boaters who must anchor nearby can obtain a day pass from the marina to access the amenities and grounds ashore. It’s about 7.5nm from Potts Lagoon.

Matilpi, in the Indian Islands off Havannah Channel, is the site of an ancient, abandoned First Nations village with a beautiful midden being the only remaining visible evidence of inhabitation. Wander around and explore this scenic anchorage.

Company arrives at Goat Islet.

Dead Point on the north side of Harbledown Island off Beware Passage is a favourite of ours with its privacy and the charming Monk’s Wall hidden in the trees. The wall is all that remains of an old trading post built in the late 1800s.

Mound Island is our name for a lovely anchorage sheltered by that island off the northwest tip of much larger Harbledown Island. West of Mound Island is a narrow channel suitable for a paddleboard or kayak to access a midden and primitive campground with some trails to stretch your legs.

Mamalilikulla has overnight anchorage in settled weather only, as it is somewhat exposed to the west. There is a dock for tour boats and dinghies, but moorage for private cruisers is not allowed. Once a thriving First Nations village, the totem poles have fallen and the longhouses are returning to the forest. It’s a haunting place to walk the midden and ‘feel’ the history in a way you can’t from reading books.

Early evening stillness in the Burdwood Group.

Goat Island is a popular anchorage on the east side of Crease Island, a short 2.5 nm from Mamalilikulla. There are beautiful views across Village Channel and many islets to explore. Good protection from waves, but winds can be gusty across the low island and Village Channel. Make sure your anchor is well set as there are reports of difficulty setting in the kelp. We have not had trouble getting a good set, but that might be luck.

Farewell Harbour, nestled between Crease, Berry, Compton and Swanson islands, is a pleasant anchorage offering several places to drop the hook. Choose either off Maggie Point between Swanson and Crease Island or along the west shore of Berry Island keeping well clear of the lodge docks which can be busy with viewing vessels. Both locations are fronted by beaches to which boaters can dinghy ashore and walk about.

Spout Islet anchorage on Hanson Island offers beautiful views of Blackfish Sound and passing cruise ships. We have not experienced much swell from the ships, but we have heard that complaint. We have really enjoyed our time there. It’s fun to explore the channels and islands near the anchorage which is well protected from most summer winds.

Watching a cruise ship pass Sprout Islet.

The northern marine park and beyond

Waddington Bay is one of the most popular anchorages in the park, because it’s scenic, well protected and a great place to explore the many nearby islets. It might not be for you if you are looking to get away from everything and everyone but, in my opinion, it’s a captivating anchorage.

Cullen Harbour, just 8.2 nm northwest from Waddingtonis one of the most scenic anchorages in the area. For many, it’s a place to wait for slack water in Booker Passage to enter Booker Lagoon, but I think it’s easily as scenic as inside the lagoon. It can be a little busy near times of slack with boats entering or leaving the lagoon, but there’s a good chance you will have it to yourself overnight.

Booker Lagoon has many arms where you can drop the hook, but our favourite is the larger arm in the north. Lots to explore including a couple of middens. We always deploy an anchor buoy here as most of the lagoon has old fish farm and/or logging debris, though we have never snagged. Always peaceful, it’s a good spot to spend a few quiet days.

A smaller lagoon within Booker Lagoon, the ultimate protection.

The Polkinghorne Islands are only 8nm from Cullen Harbour, but they feel a world away. If the weather is settled, anchor in either the north or south (a little more room) bays. Be sure to set your anchor well, as the bottom is mostly rock, and keep an eye on the weather. Its secluded and a great place to kayak or dinghy around.

Echo Bay is always popular and for good reason.  If you’ve been missing out on a bit of socializing you can catch up at the Kwaxwalawadi Marina and Lodge. There’s the famous Billy Proctor Museum, which should not be missed, and the relatively new marina owners are gradually improving the facility. Basic groceries may be available but the water is not potable.

Burdwood Group is a picturesque anchorage with a beautiful midden and protected from most prevailing westerly winds. Stern-tie options are convenient if the anchorage is already filled with boats swinging on anchor. Note that some older charts have omitted a small islet east of the midden.

An outhouse where comfort very much depends on how you fit.

Tribune Channel is more remote, so the distance from the main park and the popular anchorages there may be enough to discourage you. It’s 12.5nm from Echo Bay to Kwatsi Bay. While there is no longer a marina in Kwatsi Bay, it’s a beautiful anchorage, and feels a bit like Princess Louisa Inlet surrounded by a mountainous wall. Wildlife abounds; we had a bear close-encounter while stern tying there, and then followed hundreds of dolphins down Tribune Channel after stopping for lunch at Lacey Falls.

Those are my picks for the anchorages inside and near the park. Next week we will expand our itinerary to include anchorages and marinas closer to Cape Caution.

Stay safe.

Note: This post was originally published on and is courtesy of the authors.