Mosquito Hunting On The Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound

“There’s a mosquito on your head!” said Natalie. “Where?” I replied.

“On your forehead.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, it’s going to bite you.”

We’ve found a new game as we approach Desolation Sound – mosquito hunting. On a good night (bad night?) my kill count approaches a dozen. The two anchorages we’ve been in – St Vincent’s Bay in Hotham Sound near Jervis inlet and the Copeland Islands (north of Lund) – both had an army of hungry mosquitoes waiting for us as soon as we arrived.

Since we don’t have mosquitoes in Seattle, I had forgotten how annoying they can be. On a boat, there’s no where to run; you can hide, but they will find you. The mosquitoes sneak in through open hatches as soon as you arrive. “Dinner!” they must be thinking. We then closed the hatches, but that makes the boat extremely hot. We have bug spray, a bug net to drape over a hatch, and a citronella candle. These help only a little bit.

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Mosquitoes are patient creatures. They know when you’re coming for them and will hide. They’ll wait till you’re trying to sleep, and then you’ll hear the “buzz buzz” sound above your head. They’re easier to spot at night, with a headlamp. I got pretty good at splatting them with my hand – waking up 3-4 times during the night to kill mosquitoes and check the anchor. Fortunately Natalie has better blood, so they go after her more than me.

It is of course wonderful that the biggest problem we have to complain about is a minor one like mosquitoes. With the mosquitoes, we get hot, sunny days with beautiful views. And the boat has been performing splendidly this year – no mechanical issues or breakages. If mosquitoes are our biggest problem, we’re doing pretty well.

Harmony Islands

After a long day heading into inflow winds in Jervis Inlet, returning from Princess Louisa, we attempted to anchor in the Harmony Islands in Hotham Sound, because we had heard good things about them. They certainly are picturesque, but we had a terribly frustrating time trying to anchor. The anchorage opportunities are small and deep, with rocky bedrock on the bottom. We went to a couple spots that showed < 40 foot depths on the charts but when we got there our depth sounder was still showing 100+ feet. We attempted anchoring in 50 feet and just heard our anchor dragging across rock without catching. Finally we hauled it all in and went to St Vincent’s Bay across the way. This one was also rocky and deep, but we had an easier time anchoring.

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A great sunset view anchored in St Vincent’s Bay

Reprovisioning in Westview / Powell River

We stayed a night in the Westview marina for some much needed marina time – our water tank was empty, the holding tank full, and we were in need of a good shower. We’re really glad we stopped at Westview instead of Lund (slightly further north, and considered the “gateway” to Desolation Sound). Westview had a nearby liquor store with an excellent selection – better than Madeira Park in Pender Sound, and better than Lund would’ve had. We’re stocking up because we know it’ll be harder to find good beer (Lighthouse IPA) and cider (Lone Tree) in the Broughtons.

We also had dinner at Costa del Sur, which turned out to be an excellent Latin restaurant.

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Copeland Islands

The Copeland Islands are north of Lund. Like our previous anchorage, this one also has a rocky bottom and is fairly deep.

We’re realizing we need to step up our anchoring game now that we’re in northern BC. In Puget Sound we’re spoiled by mud bottom anchorages with 20-30 foot depths – our Rocna can instant set at 1.5:1 or 2:1 scope there (then we usually pay out chain to 2.5:1 or 3:1). In deep rocky anchorages it’s hard to tell if the anchor is set well – the chain makes a scraping noise as it drags across the rock bottom, which we can easily hear from the v-berth and sometimes mistake for the anchor dragging (so far it hasn’t).

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Coming Up

We’re in Desolation Sound now and enjoying some hot sunny weather. We’re having an awesome time with good sailing, swimming, and hiking.

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Cool tabletop mountain and spinnaker-flying sailboat on our way out of the Copeland Islands

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