The Gorge Harbour Marina hosts many people living on boats every winter, photo by Kate Maddigan

Bill Dougan says the Gorge Harbour Marina had 14 boats with liveaboards at the dock this winter. As one of the managers at the resort, he says lately there have been more people looking to live aboard their boat at the dock than he has space for, owing in part to Cortes Island’s current housing shortage.

The Gorge Harbour Marina Resort is a busy tourist destination for campers and boaters. It’s also Cortes Island’s most popular liveaboard location.

Many more liveaboards anchor elsewhere in the harbour year-round, attracted to the safety of the enclosed harbour, and the many amenities the marina provides, including a grocery store, showers, and laundromat.

Currently, the marina has no pump-out service for boats. All boaters are expected to discharge outside the Gorge Harbour, as the harbour is designated a “no-discharge zone.” Dougan says regular testing of e-coli bacteria in the harbour has only indicated a problem a couple of times over the past 10 or more years.

Other activity in the harbour includes the operations of Island Sea Farms and other shellfish growers. These employ many islanders, and Dougan believes the Gorge Harbour is the largest seafood producing harbour on Canada’s west coast.

Listen to the interview with Bill Dougan:

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.