Early on the morning of May 12th we set out from the dock at Egmont, on our way yet again to Princess Louisa Inlet. We were there last year in August… a four boat flotilla with friends from Olympia… and we loved it so much we made a point of making it one of our first stops in route to destinations farther north.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about the weather we might be sailing into this early in the season. We’re traveling through a very rainy area, especially in the springtime. We were very fortunate… It was not only not raining, we were having glorious weather so far.
Our departure from Egmont was scheduled around arriving at Malibu Rapids for a slack tide… just like last year. The entire cruise up this inlet was every bit as incredible as last year, but this year there was snow on the mountain tops and waterfalls everywhere! It’s hard to grasp the magnitude of this place without something for scale. (That tiny little boat in the 5th image down is actually a 92′ yacht. There’s some perspective for you!) A bit of trivia… Jervis Inlet is the deepest fjord on the entire British Columbia Coast, at 2,402′.
[Note, since this location is a repeat you might want to take a look at my post from last year. Some of what I shared there is not repeated here on this post. Princess Louisa Inlet… A Treasure Worth the Voyage
I wish I had names for all these waterfalls, but I’m guessing most of them are unnamed, as they don’t exist during much of the year, and no doubt change paths from year to year. It was cool though, to see so many of them, and note how they changed… parts of them coming and going from view as we cruised up the inlet.
Because it is so deep, anchoring here is not an option unless you’re just off-shore of the waterfall. As it was, there was plenty of space at the dock. Several people stepped up to grab our lines as we were coming in to dock. We got to know a good many of them while there for three days. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before on this blog, one of the greatest joys of traveling is meeting people along the way. And it’s usually like-minded people, so there’s always stories to share, things to learn, and suggestions offered on favorite places to visit along the way.
We hiked (actually scrambled) about 1800′ up a mountain side to the trappers cabin again, this time with one of the couples we met, Todd and Julie. The trail (if you could even remotely call it that) was dryer this time, making it only slightly easier to navigate. Unfortunately it was much harder for me as I am sporting two new odd injuries… believe it or not (I don’t)… from back to back clam digging outings! Really! Diagnosed with “water on the knee and tennis elbow” REALLY! 😳 I cannot fully bend my knee, and have no strength for pushing myself up with it, and my elbow is even worse. I can’t put any weight or strain on it, nor can I straighten it out without pain. Julie said she’d suffered a similar injury some years ago and it took a year to fully recover! REALLY??? From clam digging??
Anyway, it was a bit of a painful hike for me, and I was doing my ever-lovin’ best not to make it worse (like I did rolling 6 coats of paint… at every angle… onto the bottom of our boat, and on hands and knees sanding and varnishing teak for several days, and cutting and building shelving with a heavy power tools… all while I was supposed to be icing and resting my boo-boos.)
As if this trail needed any more obstacles, there were two new fallen trees blocking the trail… big enough that going under was easier than going over. (Going around would require some serious bush-whacking through dense foliage, including poison ivy and devil’s club.
On the third day it rained, and rained, and rained… all day long. We don’t figure we have any room to complain considering how grand the weather had been. So we spent a day sitting inside the boat… reading, playing cards, and sorting through images. Tough luck ‘eh?
When we woke the following morning, the day of our departure, the sun was already pushing its way through the clouds. While waiting for slack tide, we pulled out the drone for a little “play time”. The thing I love most about the drone is the opportunity to get a different perspective. In the case of Chatterbox Falls, we had hoped to catch more of the falls… the falls above the falls… but the trees are thick, and cover whatever waterway is there.
Soon after it was time to head toward Malibu Rapids because… as they say… the tide waits for no one. We took passengers along this time… Margo and Jacob. Originally from Poland, and now residing in British Columbia, these two are quite adventurous! Where everyone else at Princess Louisa came by sail or motor boat (the only option other than sea plane or helicopter), these two kayaked all the way from Egmont. That’s about 30 miles! Rather than kayak back down the same waterway, they opted to catch a ride with us. If you look closely at the image above you’ll see one of their kayaks resting atop the “stack pack” on Summer Breeze. (The stack pack is where our sail resides when she’s not up.) We enjoyed getting to know them on the way back to Egmont, and taught them the game of Farkle in route. (Myra Downing would be so proud! 🤣)
With a couple stops along the way, we were now heading in the direction of Desolation Sound. Last year we went all the way up there and with disappointment weighing heavy on us, immediately turned around. All we could see was smoke. Smoke so thick I coughed for days. It plagued us all summer actually, but it was particularly thick in Desolation Sound. This time the skies were clear, so we were looking forward to actually seeing what so many rave about! That’s up next!