This Monday (June 27th) we sailed into Desolation Sound with the sails wing-on-wing, a gentle breeze from the southwest pushing us towards Sarah Point. There couldn’t have been a more picturesque way to arrive in Desolation Sound, with snow capped mountains unfolding before us. Reaching Desolation Sound was the first major goal of our summer cruising plans. So far this area is proving why it is so deserving of its reputation and popularity.
We’ve had surprisingly good sailing, this whole trip in fact. Other than the trip up Jervis Inlet to go to Princess Louisa, we’ve had fewer than 2 days (out of about 20 days) with no sailable wind. It’s funny because the reason I was in favor of doing the west coast of Vancouver Island last year was primarily because I had heard the inside route (to Desolation Sound) lacked wind and not much sailing could be done. But this year we’ve sailed far more than we did last year. We’re sailing so much that we’ve barely used 30 gallons of diesel, since leaving Seattle three weeks ago. Perhaps we just know the boat better and have worked out the right rhythm – short hop trips and flexible timing based on the weather – but I’m kind of surprised our formula for being sailing cruisers is actually working.
We had the good fortune of running into Will and Sarah of S/V Kaiquest at Grace Harbor. We had met them at the Seattle Boat Show over the winter (they work for Hydrovane). It was fun hanging out with some other cruisers for happy hour.
While motoring out of the Grace Harbor channel, we saw 3 orca whales hanging out towards the shore. They seemed to be periodically surfacing in the same place, so either they were feeding, or sleeping?
Laura Cove (near Prideux Haven)
We’ve been getting hot, sunny weather in Desolation Sound, and Laura Cove was one of our favorite anchorages so far. At a mid-low tide (we had a 5-7 foot tide I think), a small lagoon forms next to the inside east side of the anchorage entrance. We inflated one of our river tubes and lounged around in the lagoon with drinks, cooling off from the sun.
We also did the hike from the eastern side of Laura Cove to a drying flat at the head of Melanie Cove. There were lots of oyster beds. The hike is about 25 minutes each way, with a bit of elevation gain, and some dense overgrowth on the trail.
It may be because late June isn’t quite as busy as July and August but we haven’t had to stern tie in BC yet. The cruising guidebooks for these waters talk about stern tieing a lot, giving us the impression Canadians just really love stern tieing. But the anchorages we’ve picked have had plenty of room to free swing (and other boats doing so too). So the only place we’ve stern tied so far has been in the San Juans. We’re prepared to, and expect to have to do it eventually, but if we can spare the trouble it’s one less thing to do.
We’re a bit behind on blog posts due to lack of fast Internet connectivity. We’re in the Broughtons now, at Alert Bay, and will have a post on the passage from Desolation Sound to the Broughtons coming up.