Since the first settlers arrived on Gabriola, efficient and reliable water transportation has played an integral and necessary role in island life. Many of the bays and inlets around the island are navigable and accessible for water craft such as canoes, kayaks, boats and ferries. However reefs, sandbars, rocks, and rough waters make some of Gabriola’s bays unusable for water craft.

Several wharves and piers have been used by islanders through the years. Some no longer exist, others are in disrepair, and those like the government wharf at Degnen Bay continue to provide mooring and safe access for the mariners along the west coast of BC. Below are some examples of the bays and wharves that have played a part in Gabriola’s history.

Degnen Bay Wharf, c. 1910
Photo of the Degnen Bay wharf. Several boats are docked at the wharf; two people stand at the entrance to the dock.
Farmers' Landing, c. 1930
View from the water.Boats, steep cliffs. Downtown Nanaimo Harbour view. Bastion on the left. Wharf with boats, Farmers' Landing, two hotels.
Patricia Park Wharf, North Gabriola, c. 1930
Wharf at Clark Bay, planned for CPR boats.
Entrance Island can be seen in the far background.
On back: "Clark Bay, Gabriola opposite Lighthouse entrance. It was planned that the CPR boats land here"
Dock at the Maples, c. 1930
Government Wharf at Degnen Bay, c. 1930
People on the government wharf at Degnen Bay
Silva Bay, Gabriola, B.C., undated
Boats in the Bay, looking north from the middle of Silva Bay.
Berry Point Road Rock Formations, undated
Photo of view of Berry Point rocks. Taken from Surf Lodge
Rock Formations, undated
Photo of sandstone rock formations near Surf Lodge
Scenic Postcard, c. 1950
Black and white photo on postcard stock of woman standing on rocky shore. On fron is written, "Flat sandstone rocks. Gabriola, B.C.
Silva Bay Frozen Harbour, c. 1950
Photograph of a frozen over Silva Bay with snow on the ground.