Laurence and Anne Yeadon-Jones published their first Dreamspeaker cruising guide, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Islands, in 1998. Frank and I bought the Zephyr in 1999 and made our first trip to the Gulf Islands in 2000. We had been relying on charts to help us find safe anchorages, but their information needed to be interpreted through the lens of experience which we, as novice boaters, didn’t yet have. So when we discovered the Yeadon-Jones’ guide to our cruising area in the little store in Montague Harbour, we didn’t hesitate to buy it. For the rest of that summer, we never dropped our hook in an anchorage without first studying Laurence’s drawings and checking Anne’s advice.
To our delight, every time we felt ready to explore a new region on the south coast, a newly published Dreamspeaker guide for the area would appear in our marine store. The Yeadon-Joneses accompanied us on our trips to Desolation Sound and Discovery Islands, up Howe Sound and Indian Arm and along the Sunshine Coast, north to the Broughton Archepelago, and south to the American San Juans. We hope in the near future to follow them into Puget Sound as well, but will opt out of their recommended trip along the west coast of Vancouver Island. However their guide is there for those more adventurous than us who are up for the challenge.
Information in the guides is easy to access. Each dock and anchorage has a page to itself on which you will find descriptions of the best approach, depths and holding, wind protection, and on shore amenities. Best of all are Laurence’s detailed drawings that help us avoid hazards such as shallows and rocks. He also sketches in the locations of anchored boats to indicate the optimal spots to drop anchor. Other sections of the books give mariners a heads-up on chart numbers, wind and weather patterns, tides and currents, and protocol for contacting the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as referring readers to more in-depth sources on these topics.
We carry other guides as well and find that each comes in useful from time to time. But we still, after nearly two decades of boating, never enter an anchorage, no matter how familiar, without our Dreamspeaker guide open in front of us at the relevant page.
The guides can be found at almost every marine store or you can order them online from the Yeadon-Jones’ website at http://www.dreamspeakerguides.com/.